There are a large number of herbal products available and it can sometimes be difficult to know which one is best for you.
For the best quality products, look out for herbal remedies which have been licensed – these will have either a PL or THR number displayed on the packaging.
Licensed herbal products:
- Say what they are used for.
- Contain information on when not to use and what side effects to look out for.
- Are manufactured to consistent levels of quality control.
Herbal remedies are now very popular alternatives to the use of conventional medicines for a variety of minor health problems. The wide range of herbs available may be used to help relieve symptoms of conditions from colds and flu to prostate problems.
When using a herbal remedy, it is important to read the leaflet provided. This will give you the information you need to use the product safely.
Some herbal remedies may interact with prescribed medicines and over the counter medicines. Please consult your pharmacist or GP before starting a herbal remedy if you are taking any existing medication.
For those new to herbal remedies, here is a simple A to Z of the most useful herbs available.
For muscle aches and pains
- Stiff neck and shoulders
- Knee pain
- Sprains and strains
Arnica is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of bruising – however, it can be used as a muscle rub to relieve the pain in muscles and joints.
For joint & muscular pain
- Joint pain
- Muscular pain
- Rheumatic pain
Devil’s Claw is a plant found in the Kalahari desert and the root is used to produce a herbal remedy for joint pain, back pain, rheumatic and muscular pain.
For colds and flu
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Strengthens immune system
This must be one of the most well-known herbs. Echinacea is used to treat the symptoms of colds and flu and does so by strengthening the body’s immune system.
St. John’s Wort
For low mood
- Feeling low
St. John’s Wort is also known as Hypericum and is another well-known herb. It is used to help those feeling down or low in mood.
For the menopause
- Hot flushes
- Excessive sweating
- Night sweats
This is the same herb that you might use in cooking. However, as a concentrated extract, sage can be used to help relieve the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats.
For an enlarged prostate
- For men only
- Relieves bladder symptoms
- Frequent urination
Saw Palmetto is the herb of choice for men with a confirmed diagnosis of an enlarged prostate – a condition which causes the need to urinate frequently and having to get up at night to go to the toilet.
To help you relax
- Mild anxiety, stress
- Sleep disturbances
- Helps restore natural sleep
It is valerian root that is used for herbal remedies. It works to relax your nervous system and can be used to relieve mild anxiety and also to help you when you experience disturbed sleep.