Herbs and Spices
They spice up our food and in addition they also offer up a wide array of medicinal properties. These natural flavorings provide an array of nutrients and health benefits to our meals and to us.
Consumed as herbs, spices, and flavorings within meals, sipped as a relaxing cup of tea, and absorbed through our skin in hand lotion, hair lotion, and healing ointments we often are unaware how often we are benefiting from their use.
Herbs and spices make their appearance in ointments, personal care products, our food, and our beverages. They can also be found locked deep within the aromatherapy and perfumed products that we also use. Because our use of herbs is now so common place a lot of individuals are unaware that they are using these plants to also improve their health.
From the green tea, ginger, and turmeric that we use as an alternative treatment to relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis to the garlic and honey for the cold and flu. Whether we take them intentionally or unintentionally there are a wide variety of herbs, seasonings, and spices that are available for our medicinal use.
Although it would be nice to include a complete listing of the many medicinal foods and their health benefits in this article there are just far too many and it would require the writing of a book. Looking at the few that I have included here you may find yourself spotting a spice or herb that you already use to flavor your favorite foods with.
Growing, harvesting, or purchasing herbs it is nice to know the purpose each plays in our health.
These are a few of the basic healing herbs we commonly use:
Basil: It relieves depression, migraines / headaches, and is beneficial in improving concentration levels.Bergamot: Aids in the functioning of the digestive and urinary tract. Acts as an insect repellent and is beneficial in the relief of cold sores.
Caraway: is used to control flatulence.Chamomile: Aids in the relief of acne, blisters, eczema, psoriasis, depression, headache, nervous tension, gout, flatulence, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.
Chamomile should not be taken by pregnant women as it can bring on uterine contractions.
Cloves: Generally used as an oil, it is an antiseptic used to relieve symptoms of the common cold, toothache and mouth sores.
Dandelion: Stimulates the liver and gall bladder. It is also a diuretic and a mild laxative.Dill: It is used to relieve symptoms of colic and flatulence in young children. It is used by individuals of all ages to increase appetite and improve digestion.
Frankincense: Aides with symptoms of nervousness, asthma, bronchitis and colds, it is also beneficial for healing wounds or slowing the effects of aging skin.
Garlic: For relief or prevention of the common cold and flu. It helps reduce high cholesterol and is a natural mosquito repellent.
Ginger: Aids in the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, bronchitis, colds and flu, colic, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, poor circulation, sinusitis, and in addition even helps relieve indigestion.Hops: are used to treat insomnia and to provide relief from fevers.Jasmine: An aphrodisiac it also provides relief for headache, mental tension and anxiety.
Lavender: An antiseptic it soothes minor cuts and burns, muscle aches and pains, insect bites and eczema. It is also used to calm and relax or to relieve anxiety. It is an effective treatment for relief from acne, dandruff, insomnia, sunburn, psoriasis and the symptoms of PMS.
Lemon Grass: Reduces stress or depression.
Marjoram: Relieves the symptoms of anxiety, arthritis, bronchitis, flatulence, muscle aches and pains, rheumatism, sinusitis and digestive problems.
Myrrh: Stimulates the immune system and aids in the symptoms of arthritis, bronchitis, colds, cough, and digestive problems.
Peppermint: It provides relief for symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, headache or migraine, colic, sinusitis, sore or tired feet and toothache. It is also a natural insect repellent.
Pine: Is used largely as a disinfectant. It helps relieve symptoms of gout, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and rheumatism.
Rosemary: Provides relief from nervousness, bladder problems, water retention, flu, gout, poor circulation, burns, liver or gall bladder problems, fatigue and rheumatism. It is also beneficial in the prevention of cellulite.
Sage: Is another herb that should not be ingested by pregnant women. It provides relief for symptoms of cough, sore throat, and indigestion.
Sandlewood: An immune system booster it also aids in symptoms of water retention, fatigue and impotence.
Spearmint: is used to soothe an upset stomach or to aide in other digestive disorders.Thyme: Enhances memory, reduces stress, raises low blood pressure, aids in the symptoms of colds, cough, depression, fatigue, rheumatism and tonsillitis.
Turmeric: A powerful anti-inflammatory used for treatment of arthritis and other inflammation based illness.
Yarrow: For relief of flatulence and indigestion.
Ylang Ylang: For relief of high blood pressure, anxiety or intestinal problems. Also for improvement of sexual dysfunction problems.
Spices are so much more than just a flavoring for our food.