What leaves can cure infections?
Before the evolution of modern-day medicine, leaves, and herbs were used to promote and preserve health. In traditional medicine, such leaves and herbs were used to treat and cure various kinds of diseases and infections. In this article, we will be taking a look at differents leaves that can cure infections.
- Medicinal leaves and herbs played a significant role in the treatment of various infections and were used by various natives all over the world.
- Leaves that can cure infections, as used in traditional medicine, include rosemary, clove basil, and aloe vera. These leaves were used to fight infections and contained various compounds and phytochemicals that helped them eliminate or inhibit the growth of certain mild infections.
- These medicinal leaves and herbs also have various antimicrobial, antioxidative, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Before the phenomenal advancements we see today in modern medicine, various plants, leaves, and herbs were once the go-to medications used to treat various infections and other disease conditions.
In this article, we'll take a look at certain leaves that were and can be used to treat certain infections, including scientific evidence that suggests their effectiveness.
But before we move any further, let's take a look at what an infection is. According to the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary, an infection can be defined as
the state produced by the establishment of one or more pathogenic agents (such as bacteria, protozoans, or viruses) in or on the body of a suitable host.
Leaves or herbs that can cure infections include:
1. Mitracarpus scaber
Mitracarpus scaber is a common plant seen in most forest or mangrove areas in West Africa. The plant is used as a home remedy to treat certain types of mild skin infections. Research conducted on the plant's extract shows that it has antimicrobial activity against certain parasites like Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for most skin infections, and Candida albicans, which cause vaginal yeast infections.
Rosemary, scientifically known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is a perennial plant found mostly in Europe and certain Mediterranean countries. Rosemary has been one of the plants used as a home remedy to treat certain sexually transmitted infections.
Certain lab findings have suggested that rosemary has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the primary stages of Herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). But it is worth noting that this research was conducted in a scientific lab with various top-tier equipment without any animal or human test subjects.
3. Clove basil
Clove basil, also called scent leaf and scientifically known as Ocimum gratissimum, is a common household plant found in Africa, Southern Asia, and certain parts of South and North America. Clove basil has been used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases like diarrhea, cough, fever, and pneumonia, all of which have been supported by modern-day research.
Pawpaw, scientifically known as Carica papaya is one of the leaves people use to treat infections and other ailments. Found in parts of Africa, Asia, and North America, the plant's leaves are important in traditional medicine due to their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a common plant people use to treat different infections and health conditions. It is an evergreen perennial plant grown in various tropical and semitropical parts of the world. Aloe vera leaves are said to contain acemannan, a polysaccharide gel known to have medicinal benefits.
Studies have suggested that aloe vera is quite effective against certain types of skin infections and leg ulcers. As such, it may be used as a common household remedy for mild skin infections, burns, and abrasions.
6. Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea, also known as the purple coneflower, is a plant found in most parts of North America and Europe. The plant is a popular home remedy used by locals and natives to treat certain types of wounds and infections.
7. Bitter leaf
Bitter leaf, scientifically known as Vernonia amygdalina is a perennial plant mostly found in parts of Africa and Asia. Bitter leaf is considered a household remedy for some diseases and infections.
Research shows that bitter leaf is effective in treating various microbial infections like amoebic dysentery and diarrhea. An animal study also showed it was effective in eradicating plasmodium (the causative agent for malaria) in mice.
8. Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus membranaceus, also known as the Mongolian milkvetch, is a green plant found in most parts of Asia. The plant is a famous one used in certain Asian countries like China to fight cold-related infections. Recent studies have shown that the plant is effective against a notable acute respiratory infection, the influenza virus.
The Elder plant, also called black elder and scientifically known as Sambucus nigra is a plant found in most parts of Europe. The plant has been used to treat various cold-related infections in traditional medicine.
10. Candle bush
Candle bush, also called ringworm bush and scientifically known as Senna alata, is a plant found in parts of Africa, Asia, North Australia, and parts of North America. The plant is used as a home remedy to treat a wide range of skin infections and diseases like scabies, shingles, urticaria, itching, pityriasis versicolor, and ringworm.
Research shows that its extract shows strong inhibitory effects on parasites like Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for causing skin infections and boils, as well as E. coli, which causes stomach ulcers.
Are herbs always effective for curing infections?
Scientific evidence shows that some herbs may be effective in curing infections. However, they may not work for everyone.
Before the advancements that we have today in modern medicine, traditional medicine, which involved the use of various medicinal leaves, herbs, and roots, were used to fight bacteria and treat diseases.
Some of these plants possess various phytochemicals that help inhibit or eliminate certain parasites that cause infections. Other plants simply possess a nutritional value that helps boost the host's immunity to help it fight off the invading parasite.
But one challenge with the use of herbs to treat infections and other medical conditions is that most herbs have not been properly studied and clinically tested to determine things like the right dosage, the age group they are best suited for, and toxicity levels.
Safety tips for using herbs to treat infections
If you are considering using a herbal remedy for your infection, here are some precautions to take and things to keep in mind:
Don't self diagnose
You shouldn’t self-diagnose yourself when you're down with an ailment. Always be sure to visit your doctor and get a proper examination of your health status.
Avoid using herbal remedies or taking any other drugs on your own without consulting a certified health professional. It's important to know that certain herbal mixtures may act differently on various individuals. So, be sure to get medications prescribed by your doctor after you've been diagnosed and use those drugs appropriately.
Consult your doctor
Always seek your doctor's advice if you intend to take herbal medicine. Your doctor would be in the best position to tell you what herbal medicines you should take and the right amount to take. This is because certain herbal drugs can interfere with the actions of orthodox medications.
Herbal plants have proven to be effective in helping treat a wide range of infections. Various studies are being conducted to find out what leaves can cure certain infections. Finding out more about these plants would help improve our knowledge about how they act against certain parasites as well as their effects on the human body.