Medicinal plants are plants grown for their uses in medicine. Many of our pharmaceuticals come from medicinal plants. At least 175 plants native to North America are for sale in the non-prescription medicinal market in the United States, according to the National Park Service. These herbal remedies account for a $30 billion market. Native Americans used many of these medicinal plants for everything from toothaches to asthma.
Ginkgo Biloba originated in China and is one of the oldest living trees on Earth today. It is often referred to as "the living fossil" and its leaves are dried and used as medicine. The tree can reach heights of 70 feet and has both a male and female part. Ginkgo is used to treat senility, heart disease, kidney problems, Alzheimer's and asthma and is excellent in restoring energy.
Echinacea is a medicinal plant commonly referred to as purple coneflower. The plant grows well in dry, open areas and blooms from early to late summer. The plant is used to help prevent colds and can cut chances of catching them in half if taken when the cold and flu season begins. When taken during the onset of a cold, Echinacea can reduce the amount of time you are sick by nearly two days. Standard dosage of echinacea is 2 grams per day, and it should not be taken for more than 10 days at a time.
Sassafras is a very fragrant shrub that can be found all across North America and in parts of Canada. In the Southern United States, it can grow to heights of 100 feet. It was once used as food and medicine for the Native Americans and was one of the first American exports. The plant is used to treat stomach problems, colds, liver disease, rheumatism and blood impurities.
Ginseng is a perennial herb that produces bright red berries and can be found all across North America. The plants like cool, rich soil and grow about 1 to 2 feet high. The roots are gathered and dried during cooler fall months and used for their medicinal properties. Ginseng helps to reduce stress and fatigue and also has been used to suppress the appetite. It is an ingredient that can be found in many energy drinks and is safe even in large doses.