Herbs are natures’ larder of healing substances. They have been used for centuries and are once again becoming popular because of their gentle action on our bodies with none of the side effects often found in the chemicals of modern drugs. Science shows us that these herbal power-healers can help ease pain, prevent Alzheimer’s, and ward off cancer and heart disease. Though herbs have been used for hundreds of years to heal, scientists are finally starting to substantiate these plants’ abilities to alleviate arthritis pain, reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol, and help with many other conditions. They’re even discovering amazing new powers in the best healing herbs, such as the ability to kill cancer cells and help problem drinkers curb their alcohol intake.There are times when it might be smarter to use an herbal remedy than a pharmaceutical. For example, sometimes an herb offers a safer alternative. Take chamomile: The flowers have been used for centuries as a gentle calmative for young and old alike. It’s non-habit-forming and well tolerated, and a study sponsored by the University of Michigan found that chamomile extract had roughly the same efficacy as many prescription sleeping medications when given to adults with insomnia. Calendula (marigold) flowers contain antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that promote healing. Comfrey leaf and root, sometimes called knitbone, has been valued for many years for its wonderful ability to promote the repair of wounds, ulcers and broken bones. The ancients knew all about these remedies and we are gradually going back to these pearls of nature that heal without any of the side effects often seen with the chemically produced remedies.