Spices and Herbs are enjoyed by all of us to varying degrees in soups, meat dishes, stews, curries, and even desserts. In reality, spices and herbs are parts of plants and often used for their medicinal values as well. Hence, using herbs and spices daily may provide subtle health benefits to us.
Please see a naturopathic doctor to help you treat any health conditions with herbal medicine. Spices and herbs used in excessive or inappropriate amounts may cause harm, or interfere with medications or supplements you are currently taking.
Spices and herbs are natural flavor enhancers, help to predigest (break down and soften) foods in marinades, preserve foods from spoilage, and in the past were used to cover up the not so pleasant smell and flavor of rotting meat.
Even thousands of years ago, people noticed that many of these spices and herbs reduced intestinal distress such as flatulence (abdominal gas), burping, and intestinal cramps (colics), in part because of their medicinal properties.
These medicinal properties of spices and herbs not only protect us from the microbes that we often ingest along with the foods but also promote healthy digestion by supporting liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic function, thus helping to regulate sugar, fat, and protein metabolism. Moreover, spices and herbs, when used in natural medicine (naturopathy, alternative medicine) as teas, tinctures, extracts, and topically in poultices, help to support healing of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts, as well as the healing of cuts and bruises.
Below are some examples:
- Indigestion — Allspice, Anise, Basil, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Ginger, Nutmeg, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Spearmint, Thyme, Turmeric
- Abdominal Cramping — Caraway, Clove, Cumin, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme
- Cough — Anise, Dill, Ginger, Peppermint, Licorice, Sage
- Bronchial Asthma — Anise, Licorice
- Congestion of the Upper Respiratory Tract — Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Fennel, Thyme
- Glucose (blood sugar) Regulation — Ginger, Onion, Fenugreek
- Fat Metabolism — Garlic, Ginger, Onion, Red Pepper, Rosemary
- Cardiovascular Health — Cinnamon, Garlic, Onion, Red Pepper,
- Infection of the Digestive Tract — Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Fennel, Thyme, Turmeric
- Inflammation of the Digestive Tract — Basil, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Fennel, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric
- Inflammation of the Respiratory Tract — Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Caraway, Cardamom, Fennel, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Licorice, Nutmeg, Onion, Peppermint, Sage, Thyme
- Inflammation of the Genito-Urinary Tract — Basil, Bay Leaf, Garlic, Oregano, Rosemary
- Skin Conditions — Ginger, Rosemary, Turmeric
- Wound Healing — Basil, Bay Leaf, Fenugreek, Garlic, Onion, Thyme, Turmeric
So, don’t be shy about adding spices and herbs to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, knowing that with each bite you’re not only indulging your taste buds but also supporting your health.
Until the next natural healing perspective blog…