"I use medicinal herbs to treat my health problems - these are the best herbs for bronchitis, anxiety and PCOS"

  • 9 months ago
A student who shunned traditional medicine to treat her health issues with herbs and stinging nettles says she has "never felt better".

Ash Ruiz, 27, turned to alternative remedies starting to study medicinal botany at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, in 2017.

The course inspired her to try complementary and alternative medicine for her own health issues - including echinacea for digestion and mullein for bronchitis.

Ash suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome - a condition that affects how the ovaries work - from the age of 14, and used the contraceptive pill to regulate her menstrual cycle.

But she decided to seek herbal treatment instead after reading about the benefits and tried raspberry leaf tea and chasteberry vitex, which she says made her "feel like herself again".

Ash has also used red clover and stinging nettle tea for balancing her hormones and oat straw and Nervine herbs - like lavender - to calm anxiety.

Ash says her herbal remedies have helped with her migraines, irregular periods and anxiety and she'd "never go back" to using traditional medicines alone.

Ash, a herbalist, from Woodbridge, Virginia, US, said: "I’ve been on tons of different meds from a really young age, but now I feel more in balance with myself.

"I was put on birth control from a really young age - and now I’m constantly trying to find natural ways to regulate my hormones.

"It started with juice cleanses - but now I use teas and tinctures."

Ash had been suffering from irregular periods, weight gain and anxiety from the age of 14.

In 2010, her parents took her to a gynaecologist for a scan - which showed she had "a lot" of cysts in her ovaries.

She was prescribed the contraceptive pill to regulate her periods and stop her migraines, weight gain and severe anxiety, and took it for seven years.

She says she “didn’t know any better” before studying medicinal botany - but her own health struggles led her to trying herbs for herself.

“I have a condition called PCOS,” Ash said.

“It’s a hormonal condition - and it can be insulin-resistant.

“My main symptoms were irregular menstrual cycles.

"From as young as 14, I could go three to four months without having a period.

“My parents didn’t have a lot of knowledge about natural remedies, so they took me to a gynaecologist - who did a lot of scans.

“None of us knew any better, so when I was put on birth control, I just took it. And it was horrible from then on.

“I used to have migraines, irregular periods, weight gain, anxiety - so many symptoms, the list goes on.

“And birth control just made it so much worse - I did not feel like myself.”

In 2017, Ash began studying biology at Virginia Commonwealth University and chose medicinal botany as a module.

She liked how “different” it seemed from the other areas of study and poured all her research into St John’s Wort - a plant used to treat depression, burns and cuts among other conditions.

Ash “fell in love” with medicinal botany - and felt lik