Today, we rely a lot on modern medicine and drugs. But, many times, our grandparents relied on cures that could be found in the kitchen. As it turns out, that trove is still rich with effective remedies.
In fact, even modern medicine relies on plants more than many of us realize, says Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, senior attending pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital and chief editor of publications for the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, which evaluates scientific data on herbs.
“Practically all of the most widely used drugs have an herbal origin,” Ulbricht says. “The number one OTC medication, aspirin, is a synthetic version of a compound found in the willow tree. Many statins are based on fungi; and Tamiflu originated from Chinese star anise.”
Following, you’ll find a host of age-old remedies whose remarkable effectiveness has been confirmed by new research. Because botanical medicines can interact with other drugs, consult your doctor before taking them. The exceptions are the common food items–onions, parsley, and cayenne–when consumed in natural form and conventional amounts.