Peppermint oil to help irritable bowel syndrome. Chile pepper seed rub to ease aching joints. Lavender to aid sleep. Hibiscus-flower tea to lower blood pressure.
Once dismissed by medical experts as grandma's superstition and folklore, herbal and natural cures such as these are getting a double dose of respect by mainstream physicians. Not only are they being recommended with increasing frequency, modern researchers are doing studies that find that many of these cures do in fact possess active biological agents that do just what Grandma told you they would.
MICHAEL HOGUE/Staff Artist
One of the latest signs of how seriously such treatments are being taken is the newMayo ClinicBook of Home Remedies(Time Inc. Home Entertainment, $25.95). It's not the first book to deal with home remedies – syndicated columnists Joe and Teresa Graedon of the People's Pharmacy have several, and an online search for home remedies gets millions of hits – but this carries the name of the prestigious Minnesotaorganization.
And as Mayo Clinic publishes a book about natural health care, the EU plans to move ahead with the April deadline to ban natural remedies -
When the EU does something truly unpopular, it usually builds in a delay. Eurocrats know that national ministers are likelier to agree to measures which will blow up in the laps of their successors. Thus the restrictions on natural and alternative medicines, which were passed in 2004, will hit herbalists’ shelves in April.
TheIndependentreportsthat hundreds of traditional plant remedies are under threat, including Meadowsweet, Cascara Bark and Pau D’Arco. Some products will be proscribed outright; others subjected to a prohibitively expensive licensing regime. Read more
I'm one of the contributors to Doctor's Book of Home Remedies and six more for Rodale Press.
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