For 2013, the list of top herbs or alternative remedies did not deviate much from the list in 2012, showing that several of the trending topics from last year were still carried over. In fact, the top herbs (in terms of interest as well as promise) for the first half of 2013 were much the same as those for the last half of 2012. Below we list 7 of the most noteworthy herbs in the line-up and talk about what they can do that makes them so intriguing.
- Kratom – Kratom is used for both medicinal and recreational reasons. Because it produces mild euphoria along with its relaxing effects, it may be an option for those dealing with anxiety or depression. It is more popular for its pain-killing action, though, and is often found as a replacement for conventional pain-killers like morphine—without the nasty side-effects.
- St. John’s Wort – Another herb being considered for use in the treatment of depression, St. John’s Wort is being researched by many groups at the moment. It is also being used by many as a solution for sleeping disorders, although research on this particular effect has yet to be produced.
- Kefir – Very popular with health food and organic food fanatics at the moment, kefir is becoming the “new yoghurt”, being strongly promoted by adherents for the health it brings to the digestive system (through introduction of friendly bacteria) and for the supposed longevity it brings to drinkers (since the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains, from where it comes, tend to be long-lived).
- Fenugreek – Supposed to be a galactagogue, the herb has been gaining added interest as new information comes to light suggesting that it is also effective at improving libido in men.
- Echinacea – Allegedly good for the immune system, it has been traditionally used to help those with weaker immune systems (like children) recover from bacterial and viral complaints.
- Flaxseed – Good for those with heart complaints, flaxseed has been shown to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels as well as alleviating blood pressure.
- Aloe Vera – Currently being studied for its ability to speed up wound healing, aloe vera has long been used to treat skin issues like burns topically.