Ancient Remedies: 10 Native Herbs or Foods to Ease Common Ailments
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Natives used the tree species ginkgo biloba for treating and alleviating depressive symptoms, according to Secrets of Native American Herbal Remedies. Gingko contains compounds called flavonglycosides and gingkolic acid, which help to fight depression.
Ginkgo biloba, lauded as the "brain herb," is one of the oldest living tree species, and the leaves are available in capsule, tablet, liquid extract or dried herb form, reports LiveStrong.com.
Studies confirm the plant can improve mood and increase attention in healthy subjects, states a December 2010 review article in the Life Sciences Research Organization, Inc. issue of Nutrition Reviews titled "Do Specific Constituents and Supplements Affect Mental Energy?" reported Newswise.
Ginkgo biloba additionally shows signs it can enhance memory in older adults; laboratory studies prove "gingko improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets."
Among the best-selling herbal medications in Europe and the United States, "it consistently ranks as a top medicine prescribed in France and Germany," states the University of Maryland.
6. Maple Sap
Maple sap, also called zogalebi or sweet water, is not only a healthy and natural substitute for sugar, it also boosts the immune system, serves as an antioxidant and calms the stomach, reported Health.com.
Maple syrup contains a high content of manganese, a mineral that serves as an antioxidant, which diminishes the damaging effects of free radicals, unpaired atoms believed to be involved in degenerative diseases and cancers. Basically, consuming more manganese may translate to healthier bone structure, a better metabolism, better regulated blood sugar levels, higher absorption of calcium and stronger connective tissues--and possibly slow the effects of aging, reported Organic Facts.
Because many pancake syrups are made with processed sugars, such as corn syrup, rather than real maple syrup, read the label. Look for pure maple syrup as the only ingredient, Robin Plotkin, RD, a Dallas-based nutritionist, told Health.com. Then, substitute maple syrup for sugar or other processed sweeteners.
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