If you’re like most people, when you think about medicine, you probably think about a bunch of scientists and doctors in a lab, mixing together different chemicals and compounds. A lot of the time, this is what happens. Medicine needs to serve a specific purpose, and needs to be as safe as possible. This means that making a medicine involves a lot of testing, and a lot of trial runs. Maybe one ingredient with a certain use could be combined with another to increase efficiency or longevity, but what effect does it have once they’re mixed together? There are so many different questions that can only really be answered with a lot of testing. But people have been using medicine for centuries, and they didn’t have access to the tools and equipment we have today. Here are a few plants that have medicinal purposes, and were used long ago, and still today.

Kratom

Kratom is a tree primarily grown in Southeast Asia, and has been used for hundreds of years as a painkiller. You might know this by the 2016 kratom ban, that was very controversial in the United States. This was due to a lack of knowledge by the DEA, and scientists and activists alike rebelled against the ban, and had it revoked before it came to fruition. In small doses, kratom acts as a stimulant, and in large doses, as a sedative. It’s also being researched in how it can be used to help addicts, due to its non-addictive properties. Today, you can still easily and legally buy kratom online, or other ways.

Gingko

Gingko trees are were and are widely used in Chinese medicine. These trees can live to be up to 3000 years old, and are considered to be living fossils. For a long time, the ginkgo tree has shown its ability to treat brain-oriented health issues. This includes depression, dementia, and alzheimers. However, it has its drawbacks. Ginkgo has a few distinct side effects, including being harsh on the liver. Long term use of gingko can also increase risk of certain cancers. Use of ginkgo can also interact with different medi cines and ingredients, especially blood thinners. So be sure to talk with your doctor before using gingko.

Turmeric

Turmeric is used extremely often as a spice, especially in Indian foods and cuisine. It’s more than safe, and is used in foods all across the world. When it comes to medicinal use, this root is used as an anti-inflammatory. People who have mild arthritis or dermatologic diseases often use this as a supplement. It’s also been shown to help decrease the risk of cancer, and aid against DNA mutation, as small a risk as that may be. 

Tea Tree Oil

Originating in Australia, this oil has been used for a long, long time to help with various skin conditions. A lot of you may already have this in your home for one reason or another. Especially any beauty gurus. Commonly used as an essential oil, it’s used on inflamed insect bites, small cuts or scrapes, and mild acne. 

Lavender

Another widely known and available product, lavender is often used to make products such as essential oils, perfumes, air fresheners, and even sometimes be used to flavor foods. But why is it so good to breath in? Well real lavender, such as the lavender extract in essential oils, has great anti-anxiety properties. It creates a very calm, soothing environment. There have been multiple studies proving the effect that lavender has on moods and performance, and has also been shown to help act as a sedative, if you struggle sleeping.