Psyllium husk is a soluble dietary fiber. Soluble fibers such as psyllium are prebiotics that help nourish beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria in turn assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function.8
Cascara is perhaps the best-researched of the laxative herbs. The Formulary Service of the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists emphasizes the mildness of cascara and acknowledges that it will not lose its effectiveness with repeated use. This laxative is mild, it does not create discomfort in reasonable doses, its action is limited to the large bowel, or to the site of action, and therefore, does not create problems in the rest of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition cascara’s effectiveness is not lost with repeated use, is not habit-forming, can be used to restore and maintain tone in the colon, and in small doses it can be used on a daily basis to enhance the health of the liver and other organs.9
Senna is found in many tropical countries. The plant has been used in India for thousands of years as a laxative. Senna contains glycosides, which are a group of organic compounds that are commonly found in plants. These compounds work as a laxative by smoothing the muscles as digested food moves through the intestines. This helps to enhance the stool volume and move it out of the colon and has been found to be effective in relieving constipation.3
Hydrangea has been used for urinary tract problems such as infections of the bladder, prostate and urethra. It has also been found to be effective to combat hay fever. Hydrangea is a mineral-rich plant containing magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur and is a diuretic that has been found to increase urination to clean the urinary tract.6
Marshmallow root has been used since ancient times to soothe sore throats and soften skin. It may reduce irritation and support smooth tissue lines in the colon and urinary tract. Marshmallow root has also been found to flush the kidneys through increased urine flow. In addition, it has been discovered to fight infections and act as an antioxidant.7
Cranberry has been well known for treating urinary tract infections. Prevents cavities and gum disease. Aids in protection from breast cancer, and is an anti-oxidant. Cranberry juice may have a role in the prevention of urinary tract infections.5 Cranberry has been well known for treating urinary tract infections. Prevents cavities and gum disease. Aids in protection from breast cancer, and is an anti-oxidant. Cranberry juice may have a role in the prevention of urinary tract infections.5
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for 2,000 years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver, kidney, and gall bladder problems. Studies show milk thistle improves liver function and increases survival in people with cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. Milk thistle has also been found to possibly be effective in treating viral hepatitis, cancer and liver disease.11
Milk thistle has been commonly used as a detoxifier for the body, especially for the liver. Milk thistle benefits include liver detoxification and health, helps lower cholesterol, may help control or even prevent diabetes, may help in preventing gallstones, boosts skin health and has anti-aging effects.2
Dandelion root is typically recognized as a regular garden weed. This is a detoxifying herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for ailments ranging from digestive disorders to complex disorders such as uterine, breast and lung tumors. Native Americans have harnessed the dandelion to cure indigestion, heartburn, and kidney disease. In addition, dandelion has also been utilized for spleen and liver ailments and fro chronic skin disorders.4
Activated charcoal is a popular natural remedy for gas, bloating, detoxification, and hangover prevention, and can also save a life as a first-aid treatment for poisoning. The activation of charcoal creates many more internal pores, increasing the surface area to trap substances in the gut by hundreds of times. Activated charcoal binds with toxins in the stomach and helps them to be eliminated, rather than being absorbed and causing harm.10
Modern scientific research has revealed that the wide variety of dietary and medicinal functions of garlic can be attributed to the sulfur compounds present in or generated from garlic. Garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antithrombotic, and anticancer properties.1
The medicinal uses of ginger have been known for at least 2,000 years in cultures all around the world. Ginger actually has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties. It has been useful in treating nausea, motion sickness, and digestive upset. Ginger shows promise as a cancer and diabetes fighter and has anti-inflammatory properties.8
(1) Ariga, T., & Seki, T. (2006). Antithrombotic and anticancer effects of garlic-derived sulfur compounds: A review. Biofactors, 26(2), 93-103.
(2) Axe, J. (2016). Milk thistle benefits: Detox the liver & boost glutathione. Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/milk-thistle-benefits/
(3) Balasankar, D., Vanilarasu, K., Preetha, P.S., Umadevi, S. R. M., & Bhowmik, D. (2013). Senna: A medical miracle plant. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 1(3), 41- 47. (4) Chatterjee, S. J., Ovadje, P., Mousa, M., Hamm, C., & Pandey, S. (2010). The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human
(4) Chatterjee, S. J., Ovadje, P., Mousa, M., Hamm, C., & Pandey, S. (2010). The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells. Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 8(1), 1-11.
(5) Gardner, E. (2014). The health properties of cranberry juice. Nutrition Bulletin, 39(2), 223-230.
(6) Group, E. (2014, June 15). Hydrangea: A pretty flower with a nutritional punch. Global Healing Center. Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/hydrangea-a-pretty-flower-with-a-nutritional-punch/
(7) Group, E. (2014). Marshmallow root and kidney health: 4 facts to know. Global Healing Center. Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/marshmallow-root-urinary-tract-4-facts-know/ (8) Mercola, J. (2014). Psyllium dietary fiber could cut health care costs. Mercola.com: Take Control of Your Health. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/10/13/psyllium-dietary-fiber.aspx (9) Mowrey, D. B. (1993). Cascara sagrada: Herbal tonic to get you moving. Health News & Review, 3(3), 1-3 (10) Tweed, V. (2016). Charcoal: A go-to remedy. Better Nutrition, 78(11), 24-26 (11) University of Maryland. (2016). Milk thistle. University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/milk-thistle