Natural Medicines That Continue to Heal Us After Centuries of Use

As we’ve seen during this time of a pandemic, modern medicine doesn’t always have the answers. There have been many amazing advancements in health and wellness, but sometimes it’s the natural remedies that work best. Mother Nature can be dangerous, but it can also be healing, and there are natural treatments to many of the most common ailments that we suffer on a regular basis. Here are some of the best natural medicines that have been in use for centuries and are still around today. 

Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are considered a hallucinogenic drug. They are illegal in most countries and jurisdictions, but that is slowly changing as research proves the healing properties they’ve been known to have for millenia. “Shrooms” contain the active ingredient psilocybin, which can help with affiliations such as anxiety, depression, and even PTSD, to just name a few. Along with the euphoric feelings they provide, the positive effects of magic mushrooms are not just immediate, but can last for months, making them a powerful healing agent for our minds. 


Echinacea has been used by the Native American population for centuries. It is known as a healing agent. It can work on burns, wounds, and even toothaches. It continues to be used today as a treatment for cold symptoms, such as sore throat, and for nausea as well. Patients can take it as a tea, a supplement, or they can even apply it topically to an injured area. The roots are the strongest part, however, the entire plant can be used medicinally. 


The healing power of this weed comes from its white sap. Over 150 years ago it came to be known as a treatment for warts. However, it’s usefulness as a medicine has grown since then. It can also successfully treat other skin conditions, such as sunspots. It can also prevent lesions from getting infected or developing into skin cancer. The reason for this is that the active ingredient of milkweed, ingenol mebutate, kills human tissue that is rapidly replicating like a cancer cell would. 


Elderberry is a natural remedy for headaches and toothaches, however it also is a powerful weapon against the common cold and flu. It can help fight the symptoms, such as runny nose, fever, and sore throat. Elderberry contains natural antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties, which can help you prevent infection and fight it off if you already have one. Patients can take it as a tea or as a syrup, but many people cook them and eat them with honey. However, elderberry is toxic if you try to eat it raw or before it is ripe. If you do want to try this herbal remedy, just make sure that you are taking it safely. 


Were you paying attention in history class when they talked about the ancient medical practice of leeching? The treatment used actual leeches to drain the theoretical infected blood of a sick patient. The theory was that blood was out of balance with the other three “humours” of the body: black and yellow bile, and phlegm. Being out of balance meant being susceptible to disease. This practice went away as medicine developed and things like germ theory became scientific fact. 


However, leeches are making a comeback in some hospitals. Many surgeons have started using leeches to remove excess blood from wounds after microsurgery. Removing the excess blood allows the body to more easily heal naturally. Leeches naturally produce a blood clot prevention protein which makes it easier for veins to heal. Skin grafts and finger reattachment are just two of the surgeries that might involve the use of leeches during recovery. 


Turmeric has become very popular in recent years because of its use as an anti-inflammatory. The active component in turmeric is curcumin, which is known to fight arthritis, chronic pain, and even anxiety. In most cases you can take it as a supplement. Some people like to assimilate it with their cooking, however you would need to eat a lot to get any benefits out of it as food. Users have connected the intake of turmeric with feeling upset stomach, diarrhea, skin irritation, and headache, so it’s important to take caution. 


Snowdrops are a flowering plant that gets its name from the white petals that seem to droop from the stem. Some research has started to show that it may be used as an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The active component of snowdrops is galantamine, which gets all the credit for being a potential treatment for such a terrible affliction. 


Ginger is closely related to turmeric, which means it has many of the same medicinal properties. However, it is best used as a treatment for nausea. Many pregnant women and cancer patients used it for this reason, as it is considered safer since it does not involve any artificial compounds or negative side effects. However new research has shown that ginger may be an effective treatment for much more, such as preventing heart disease and even cancer. 


You may have heard of chamomile tea, but you may not realize that it is a powerful medicine. It is made up of over 100 compounds, many of which have healing properties. For the most part, chamomile can help to treat nausea and digestive tract issues. However, animal research is showing that it may also help as an antioxidant and antimicrobial. Patients can take it as a tea, but they can also take it as a supplement or use it topically to help with wound healing. 


Modern medicine has made some incredible advances, however there are still side effects and negative outcomes related to the medications of today. Try out any of these safe and natural remedies to see if they work for you. Do not try to use leeches yourself, however. By taking a chance and trying out a natural remedy, you will be doing what’s best for your body and avoid some of the negative impacts that modern medicine can have.