Plants with the Healing Power to Cure What Ails You

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

A fever, stomach pains or a simple case of the sniffles can send people rushing to the pharmacy for a drug to battle their symptoms. But Mother Nature provides a number of medicinal plants with healing properties that also can nurse you back to health, a fact more Americans are beginning to discover.

“The use of herbal medicine, although traditional in many Eastern cultures, had been only a minor fad in Western medicine until recent decades,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic (, which provides complementary and alternative medicine. Here are examples, a couple of which are recognizable by better known names and purposes.

•Piper nigrum. This flowering vine’s berries, when still unripe, are used to produce black pepper, but spicing up food isn’t its only talent. Piper nigrum has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-spasmodic properties that make it ideal for treating digestive disorders, Sodhi says. It doesn’t stop there. Drug resistance is a major concern in cancer patients. Piper nigrum can reverse multiple drug resistance many fold and significantly increase the apoptotic effect of many pharmaceutical drugs.

•Boswellia serrate. Commonly known as Frankincense, this herb has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Several patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis have gone in to remission using a Boswellia preparation. In brain tumor patients it has reduced cerebral edema by 75 percent. Sodhi has mentioned case studies of many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and ulcerative colitis who went into remission.

•Bael. This fruit-bearing tree indigenous to the hills and plains of central and southern India has numerous uses. The fruit promotes healthy digestion and is used medicinally to treat such conditions as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. The leaves, roots and bark of Bael also have medicinal value. They help relieve acute bronchitis, heart palpitations, intermittent fevers and many other ailments. Dr. Sodhi has observed 100 percent success in treating patients of clostridium difficile, who did not respond to standard medical protocol of metronidazole (Flagyl), Dificid (fidaxomicin), or vanconycin.

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