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3 Medicinal Plants that Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Herbal remedies and plants have been used as medicine for millennia. From chamomile to valerian, herbs and botanical extracts can help boost mood, improve sleep, and reduce stress. If you’d like to improve your quality of life, consider incorporating the medicinal plants described below into your daily routine. Always check with your doctor before using any herbs or supplements, especially if you have chronic health conditions or are taking other medications.

Marijuana

According to Ganjapreneur, “marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in many U.S. states, and studies show that it can help reduce stress, anxiety, and pain from several medical conditions, including cancer.” CBD oil, derived from marijuana, is also used to treat some types of epilepsy, and it has shown promise in treating nausea, muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and multiple sclerosis.

Milk Thistle

Also known as Mary thistle or holy thistle, milk thistle is an herb that belongs to the same family as daisies. The plant is native to several countries in the Mediterranean region, and it has been naturalized in North America. Its health benefits cover quite a range, with many patients reporting that it helps reduce cholesterol, improve symptom management for diabetes, and improve liver conditions such as cirrhosis and jaundice.

According to Erbology, “milk thistle could be quite a blessing indeed for the liver, given that the range of liver ailments that it has shown to be effective in helping to heal include alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, fatal toxins such as those produced by deadly mushrooms, and liver cancer.” The herb is also beneficial in the treatment of gallbladder ailments.

St. John’s Wort

According to Monq, “St. John’s wort grows in North America, Europe, and eastern Asia. It has star-shaped yellow flowers and is particularly useful as a natural remedy for mental health conditions.” Some studies have shown that it can be as effective as prescription antidepressants for the treatment of mild depression, and some patients report that it can reduce symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and poor appetite.

In addition, women going through menopause commonly use it to help reduce hot flashes and mood swings. It can be applied to the skin to treat minor burns; however, this should be done with caution as it can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Since St. John’s wort can interact with a number of medications, including prescription antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), always ask your physician or pharmacist before taking this supplement.

Whether you’re feeling down or struggling with sleep, herbal remedies like those described above may help you achieve symptom relief. To learn more about which herbs may be right for you, consider consulting a naturopathic physician.

Here are a couple articles we think you’re going to enjoy!

  • Study Finds Medical Marijuana Alleviates Seniors’ Pain, Reduces Opioid Use
  • Health, Natural Medicine, Spiritual Awakening | achs.edu

The Surprising Science Behind Food Addiction

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The public has believed the onset of addiction stems from a chemical imbalance. Numerous studies have been done to determine what causes addiction.

Not just drug addiction, but any addiction, whether it be food addiction, technology addiction, or even sugar addiction. These tests have shown addiction to be a social imbalance and not an imbalance in the brain. Let’s look at some facts.

Addiction is Not About Chemical Hooks

Over the years, scientists have studied the onset of addiction. You hear about addiction as a genetically induced or a chemical imbalance. MentalHelp.net explains, “operant conditioning is one theory of how addiction works.

This type of learning occurs due to the cause-and-effect relationship between a behavior and its consequences. Operant conditioning has a common sense element. When we reward a behavior, it increases.

When we punish a behavior, it decreases.” Addiction gives a person a sense of euphoria. Food addiction is said to be the same as drug, cigarette, or alcohol addiction. It’s not what you are addicted to, it’s why you are addicted.

This is not a chemical imbalance in the brain. It isn’t a cold or the flu. There is no magic pill to eradicate addiction. It is the obsession with food and being unable to control your eating.

Addiction is Behavioral, Rather Than Chemical

There is the argument that food addiction is chemical, by the discovery of a genetic marker that was identical to those found in confirmed drugs and alcohol addicts.

Even though food addiction doesn’t usually end in overdose and death, that doesn’t make it any easier to overcome the addition. According to The Recovery Village, “the way the brain reacts to food can have surprising similarities to how it reacts to drugs and other substances, triggering the same reward centers and causing the organ to release an abundance of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.

Unlike illicit drugs and alcohol, food is essential to our survival and health. This only serves to complicate your relationship with food when you start using it as a means to get high or curb your stress.”

What This Means for Food Addiction

The first step in recovering from food addiction is admitting to yourself it is a problem. Take a look at the patterns of your food obsession. Are you unhappy at work? Did you lose a loved one? Any emotional stress can be a catalyst.

According to Food Addiction Institute, “what once started as emotional eating soon becomes food obsession and finally food addiction. Admitting to loneliness or sadness is the first step to recovery.”

Look at the positive points in your life. Learn how to use other tools to redirect your focus away from food. Practicing meditation can give you a good look inside yourself. Delve into your inner consciousness and think positive. Don’t laugh. You’ll be surprised what a little quiet reflecting can do for your soul.

We may never conclusively know what causes addiction. One theory is chemical imbalances; another is that genetic markers are indicators of possible addiction. Another, less familiar rationale, is the thought that our environment and sense of self-worth is the underlying source of food addiction.

Whatever the reason, we should be supportive and teach food addicts how to redirect their focus from food to their well-being. Teach them it is possible to enjoy food in moderation and redirect their attention to an enjoyable activity that occupies your thoughts.

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