My wife Michelle and I are deeply involved in the care of our two small children, but like many families out there, we sometimes need answers to things we just don’t know how to solve.
Yes, it’s convenient to surf the internet to find these answers, but you can’t believe everything you read. Every day, natural medicine advice is published online by well-meaning individuals who aren’t qualified and who haven’t done the proper research. This can make it hard for us to know which options are safe and effective — and which are not.
And with herbalism emerging as a top-dog in the holistic healing space, it’s more important now than ever to separate herbal facts from fiction.
Today I want to discuss 2 very special herbs and 1 herbal extract that are making the front page in the world of natural medicine. These herbs are renowned for their powerful healing properties, but truth can sometimes get lost in myth….
We’ll look at what’s really going on with these popular herbs – Are they safe? Are these herbs good for you? And most importantly, do they work the way people claim they do?
Let’s dive in….
#1 Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a golden herb that has gotten wildly popular around the world for its incredible health benefits – particularly its anti-inflammatory action on the body. From fire cider to golden milk, turmeric is so hip that coffee shops are now selling turmeric lattes.
Click here for a Shamanic Fire Cider Recipe!
There are a ton of “facts” that come up when you research turmeric. Today, I’d like to focus on these two specifically: A) Turmeric is an effective antidepressant and B) Turmeric is hard for the body to absorb.
Now, what is fact? And what is fiction?
Turmeric can help relieve symptoms of depression.
My good friend and renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan, wrote an article for The Healthy Home Economist that mapped out exactly how turmeric can fight depression.
Curcumin, she states, is one of the most active healing constituents in turmeric; it’s the key player when it comes to regulating depressive symptoms. Studies have shown that curcumin fights inflammation, boosts your immune system, protects against cancer, lifts depression and neurodegenerative disorders, detoxifies the liver and stabilizes your hormone levels.
These factors work together to create a healthy environment for your mental health — particularly by teaching your adrenal system to find balance.
In fact, turmeric is such a potent and promising antidepressant that it’s currently being evaluated as a suitable, all-natural replacement for Prozac.
Turmeric is hard for the body to absorb.
Though it is true that curcumin is more difficult for the body to absorb without the presence of piperine (black pepper), that doesn’t mean the rest of the herb is hard to process.
The other healing components like volatile oils, bitter components, and flavonoids are still available to fight pain, aid in digestion and fight oxidation.
#2 Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
Damiana has gotten a lot of publicity lately as an aphrodisiac – but so do a lot of things like steak, wine and chocolate just to name a few… So what makes damiana stand out from the rest?
Damiana is an effective ‘love herb.’
Damiana has been proven to stimulate sexual desire and improve intimate experiences for both men and women.
Damiana is particularly helpful for women because it calms the nerves and heals long-term stress response. It also serves as an effective remedy for vaginal dryness by bringing oxygen down to the area.
The University of Hawaii studied damiana’s effects on women and found that after adding this super-herb to their routines, 73% of the volunteers were having better sex more frequently.
For men, damiana is a promising substitute for Viagra. The University of Buenos Aires found that damiana can heal impotence in two ways:
1) By relaxing the arterial walls of the penis, allowing more blood to pass through more quickly.
2) By relaxing the nervous system and modulating mood.
*It is important to note that damiana boosts fertility as a natural side effect of increased libido.
You can get high from drinking damiana tea.
While ingesting herbal blends that include damiana can result in a ‘body high’ due to its naturally relaxing properties, it’s not at all like the ‘mental high’ that can come with smoking THC or drinking a little too much wine. And you absolutely will not experience this if you drink a glass of damiana tea.
#3 CBD (extracted from Cannabis sativa)
This final one is a bit controversial but the pool of scientific data on its many health benefits has grown too massive for any of us to ignore.
Cannabis has over 80 active compounds, but there are two that are getting a lot of buzz right now… THC and CBD. THC is popularly known as the compound of cannabis that can make you feel intoxicated, but what about CBD?
A quick Google search on CBD will give you pages and pages on its healing effects, so what’s fact and what isn’t?
CBD gets you high.
CBD (or cannabidiol) is unlike its counterpart, THC. While THC does have the properties to give you that mental high, CBD has zero psychoactive side effects.
Studies have found that our bodies have evolved in such a way to include receptors that respond specifically to CBD. This cellular network is called the endocannabinoid system, and its main job is to keep our bodies in balance. In other words, our bodies are designed to process CBD and extract its healing properties.
Including CBD in a regular regimen can be mentally and physically therapeutic and help ease severe symptoms of pain, migraines and seizures.
Some popular ways of using CBD include using tinctures or eating gummies infused with CBD oil. Others might need topical pain relief and can turn to the many brands of creams and salves.
You can get addicted to CBD.
CBD is a safe, non-addictive and extremely effective way to treat things like anxiety, depression and insomnia. Because of its physiologically calming effects, CBD is often used to prevent cravings and is a common herbal extract used by those recovering from addiction.
It also helps prevent illnesses like Alzheimer’s and cancer while simultaneously modulating the symptoms of Parkinson’s, seizures or strokes.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Herbs are nature’s most powerful medicines and should be treated as such. With proper use, these herbs can do wonders for your mental, physical and emotional health.
And now, their healing magic has been officially proven to be fact as well as tradition.
Host of Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness
& Founder of The Sacred Science
want to know more
Hi Brendan – Thanks for connecting! Which herb are you curious about, there are some additional links in the post for further exploration. Let us know and we can provide some resources.
I tried 1 brand of hemp oil that had .33mg of CBD and even tripled the dose and had no effect. With all the pure brands out there why are so many ineffective? And is there a way to choose a brand with a guaranteed effect?
Hi Kristen – Thanks for connecting! Remember, CBD is part of herbal medicine. What is your desired outcome? You may need to work with a trained herbalist. Always best to get baseline measures to see what effects there may be, where you are beginning and where you’d like to go. There are many brands and products to choose from in the CBD industry. One place we know has quality products is https://www.ojaienergetics.com. It also depends if your source is from commercial hemp or medical marijuana, and what is the specific CBD profile of the product. Not all CBD extracts or Hemp extracts are made the same, and each body responds differently. Hope this helps!
I would like to know more about CBD, especially the strength, and amount to take. my body is sending cancer to my skin, and I use black salve, (which kills it, but seems to draw more) and CBD, I also take curcumin with pepper everyday; ashwaghda and moringa.
Thank you for clearing up a lot of myths
I enjoyed the article on turmeric. I receive many emails on companies trying to get me to purchase their turmeric supplement. Im looking to purchase some, but not sure which companies are reputable or not.
Thanks for the good info
There is so much variance when looking at cbd oil. You want to buy from a trusted source when you are spending that sort of money. Do you know of a reputable source that ship to South Australia?
Which is the best turmeric and cbd oil to take?
Really interested in your updates and clarification on certain herbal medicines. It’s a jungle out there trying to sift fact from fiction. Really enjoyed your webinar Ancient Remedy and its got me very keen to plant and grow and learn how to produce some of the important herbs. Gota kola is one and here in Australia it seems to grow like a weed in certain areas but there are other similar looking plants easily confused. Are you able to get some really defining pictures and description and more info on this herb please. Thanks for your efforts. Jodie ps in Australia doctors believe Lyme Disease does not exist!
I agree…these 3 are all SUPERSTAR Herbs
But…i do NOT agree when they make a drug out of a natural plant by just using some of its properties like they have done with the marijuana plant . Plus…if Monsanto gets their way of GMOing the plant then that is the WORST thing that could be done. Look at the success Rick Simpson had with the THC but they are breeding that out of the plant so there is hardly any left. And I don’t think legalizing it is the answer…BIG Pharma just wants a cut from the profits. Leave the plant the way God intended it to be…whenever man messes with something…it never is good. That’s my 2 cents!
That’s all really great news!! Just wondering if THC is good for you too? Or just the CBD? They sometimes say you need both to support each other, and will add THC. To the CBD products
I work in the aviation industry and we have a strict no THC policy. FEDEX just put out a bulletin that most over the counter CBD oils contain some THC. They are having people pop positive on drug tests who are claiming they are not doing drugs. The investigations are now showing that many companies are out to make a fast buck and their refinement process is imperfect.
If you are subject to drug tests at your work I highly recommend you stay away from over the counter CBD products!
I used to make golden milk but after being put on a low does aspirin as a blood thinner I read that turmeric also acts as a blood thinner and should not be taken while taking aspirin. Can you shed any light on this please?
I believe turmeric also needs the presence of fat to be absorbed… thus the tempering of the spices in ghee/oil with Ayurvedic cooking or taking a small amount in warm milk.
It is such a western idea (and an erroneous one in my opinion) that we can extract a component from an herb or consolidate a plant to take it in large quantities via a pill and get the same and/or optimal medicinal affect as using it naturally. These mechanisms are very complex and the best way to utilize the gift of nature is to use it as nature originates, with its inherent intelligence. Taking a little turmeric each day saluted in oil of ghee in a meal or as golden milk is far better that popping a pill. Taken in those large amounts over time, who knows what the effects will be. The unnatural way will no doubt swing something out of natural balance. We seem to always feel “more is better” and then years later get caught on the other side.
Guess we should agree to disagree on turmeric? Several people at my clinic got liver and kidney problems with turmeric supplementation and 2 acquired depression from having gut issues derived from it an we had to switch them to boswellia
You are right. We cannot trust everything we read about herbs. I have studied many herbalists, and I bought your course on Remedy. I feel that you are honest and really have a calling to help people as well as to make a living for your family. After reading a lot of what you write, and trying out your advice, I really appreciate you and the information you give. I feel you present a balanced and true approach. Your work has helped me in my personal health (I am now 84 and still volunteering 40 hours a week. I’ve passed your advice on to many friends. Thank you for your integrity in your work to seek the truth for us. God bless you.
Thank you so much for your work! I also have had issues with CBD oil products. What to buy? I think most of us who use it topically it’s for joint pain, also internally, it’s for pain management mostly, right? I’ve heard great things about it but the products I tried (3 different brands) did not do a thing. Other things have helped like Turmeric and White Willow, (plus liposomal vit-c) but even with curcumin products I found the quality varies….the triple strength product I just bought didn’t even include Black Pepper, so have to take it separately…why they couldn’t just include it is more than I can understand…
Is there an herb for psoriasis?
Dear Nick, I use CBD oil and It has made a world of difference to me in my life. I have Autoimmune disease, and Tinnitus, and I have kept it at bay using diet for about 4 years now. About a year ago, one day out of the blue, I got tinnitus. it just began screaming in my ears! After about 6 months of no sleep, I realized I had to do something or kill myself! ! ! ! ! I am not that strong, and I decided to try CBD oil. THANK GOD for CBD oil. I CAN SLEEP now! ! ! NO, CBD is NOT a medicine, it is better! If not for it, I might have committed suicide by now! DO NOT DISCOUNT CBD oil!
I was very interested in the article about the herb Damiana. Where do you get these fresh herbs or do you get the same effect from dried herbs, which I have always wondered about. What quantity on a daily basis would you need to have?
Do you know what the plant is with the little pink/purple flower on the left side of the photo accompanying this article?
Thanks for your good work…!