Sunday, August 3, 2008

The 15 Most Powerful Healing Herbs in Your Kitchen

The 15 Most Powerful Healing Herbs in Your Kitchen


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Since ancient times our ancestor's harvested the many herbs andspices
that grew wild around them, mixed potions, and treated ailments. Man was
after all a hunter-gatherer, and an omnivore, (an organism which gets its
food energy from both plant and animal material).

The humble herb and spice rack in your kitchen today need not be just a
decorative feature, although they look quite pleasing to the eye hanging on
the wall, in both modern and old fashioned styled homes. They can in fact
hold a plethora of natural healing ingredients that can also add great taste
to the foods you eat every day.

Of all the herbs and spices you can choose from for flavor,there are 15 that
are more powerful than the rest. Below is thelist and you may well be
surprised to learn of the many diverse conditions for which they've proven
so very useful.

1. BASIL - Basil is an herbal carminative, that is, it can relieve gas and
soothe stomach upsets. One possible explanation for its calming effect is a
compound called eugenol, which has been shown to help ease muscle
spasms. Research is still preliminary, but laboratory studies also suggest
that compounds found in basil may help disrupt the dangerous chain of
events that can lead to the development of cancer.

2.. CAYENNE - Cayenne pepper is a hot red powder made from tropical chili
peppers. It contains alkaloid capsaicin, which relieves pain by blocking the
chemicals that send pain messages to the brain. If you eat cayenne at the
first sign of any type of headache, with plenty of water as a chaser, this
spicy herb may be an effective alternative treatment. Added to food,
cayenne perks up appetite, improves digestion and relieves gas, nausea,
and indigestion. The herb also thins phlegm and eases its passage from the
lungs, thus helping to prevent and treat coughs, colds and bronchitis.

3. CINNAMON - Cinnamon bark contains an oily chemical called
cinnamaldehyde that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including the
dreaded E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureas. Research shows
that cinnamon is also able to stop the growth of the Asian flu virus.
Herbalists report that cinnamon bark also helps regulate the menstrual
cycle and checks flooding during menopause. Also cinnamaldehyde has a
tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress.

4. CLOVE - Oil of clove is 60 to 90 percent eugenol. A potent pain
deadening antimicrobal. Clove has earned the official endorsement of the
FDA as an effective stopgap measure for tooth pain. Clove is also among
the spices that can help the body use insulin more effectively, thus lowering
blood sugar somewhat. In one lab study, clove was also found to speed
healing of the dreaded cold sores.

5. DILL - Dill has been used to soothe the digestive tract and treat
heartburn, colic and gas for thousands of years. In fact, the word dill comes
from the Old Norse word dilla, meaning to lull or soothe. The herb has an
antifoaming action that suggests why it might help break up gas bubbles.
Like parsley, dill is rich in chlorophyll, which also makes it useful in treating
bad breath.

6. FENNEL - Rich in volatile oils, fennel is what's known as a carminative
herb, meaning that it can ease bloating, gas pains, and digestive spasms in
the small and large intestines. Fennel can also reduce bad breath and body
odor that originates in the intestines. Women who are breastfeeding may
find that fennel, which works in a way similar to the body's hormones,
increases milk flow.

7. GARLIC - Intact garlic cloves contain an odorless, sulphur-containing
amino acid called alliin. When the garlic is crushed, alliin becomes allicin.
Research shows that allicin helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and
also helps prevents blood clots. Garlic can also reduce the risk of
developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Compounds in this
familiar bulb kill many organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause
earaches, flu and colds. Research indicates that garlic is also effective
against digestive ailments and diarrhea. What's more, further studies
suggest that this common and familiar herb may help prevent the onset of
cancers.

8. GINGER - When it comes to quelling the queasiness of motion sickness,
ginger has no equal say herbalists. In fact, researchers have demonstrated
that ginger beats dimenhydrate, the main ingredient in motion sickness
drugs such as Dramamine, for controlling symptoms of seasickness and
motion sickness. Ginger stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles
the stomach, relieves vomiting, eases pain from gas and diarrhea, and is
effective as an anti-nausea remedy. This aromatic herb also helps lower
cholesterol. Herbalists have also found it to be useful as a pain reliever.

9. MINT - Herbalists the world over use mint, as a premier stomach tonic,
to counteract nausea and vomiting, promote digestion, calm stomach
muscle spasms, relieve flatulence, and ease hiccups. Menthol, the aromatic
oil in peppermint, also relaxes the airways and fights bacteria and viruses.
Menthol interferes with the sensation from pain receptors, thus it may be
useful in reducing headache pain. Scientific evidence suggests that
peppermint can kill many kinds of micro-organisms, and may boost mental
alertness. In one study, people who inhaled menthol said they felt as if it
relieved their nasal congestion, although it didn't increase their measurable
airflow.

10. OREGANO - Oregano contains at least four compounds that soothe
coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial action that may help reduce
body odor. The ingredients in oregano that soothe coughs may also help
un-knot muscles in the digestive tract, making oregano a digestive aid. This
familiar spice also contains compounds that can lower blood pressure too.

11. PARSLEY - Diuretic herbs such as parsley prevent problems such as
kidney stones and bladder infections and keep our body's plumbing running
smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. They also relieve bloating
during menstruation. Also there's a reason for that parsley on the edge of
the diner plate, its not just there for fancy decoration; it's an effective
breath freshener because it contains high levels of chlorophyll.

12. ROSEMARY - Rosemary is one of the richer herbal sources of
antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent cataracts, and contains 19
chemicals with antibacterial action that help fight infection. Traditionally
used to ease asthma, this common culinary ingredient has volatile oils that
can reduce the airway constriction induced by histamine, that chemical
culprit of asthma and other allergy symptoms. Herbalists think that
rosemary may also help ease breast pain by acting as a natural drying
agent to fluid filled cysts.

13. SAGE - The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, so it
can help fight infections. Sage is effective for symptoms of menopause,
night sweats and hot flashes, because of its estrogenic action and because
its tannins can dry up perspiration. There's also compelling evidence that
sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin
does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may
boost insulin's action.

14. THYME - Thyme contains thymol, which increases blood-flow to the
skin. The warmth is comforting, and some herbalists believe that the
increased blood-flow speeds healing. An anti-spasmodic. Thyme relaxes
respiratory muscles and is endorsed for treating bronchitis by Commission
E, the expert panel that judges the safety and effectiveness of herbal
medicines for the German government. Aromatherapists say that thyme's
scent is a mood lifter.

15. TURMERIC - Many clinical studies agree that curcumin in turmeric has
anti-inflammatory effects, including a significant beneficial effect in
relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Curcumin, which
gives this spice its familiar yellow pigment, may also lower cholesterol.
Turmeric is also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E,
which have been shown to prevent cataracts.
Passed down to us by our forefathers and countless generations throughout
the world, these 15 food additives and enhancers are just a selected few
that are currently known to have medicinal and beneficial properties, yet
represent the more commonly used. By including these herbs and spices
into your daily cooking or diet on a regular basis, you will greatly enhance
your quality of life, and reduce the need for those expensive, and often
damaging pharmaceutical drugs.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Diana said...

Great info on the herbs and spices. I just recently read about Turmeric helping with joint inflamation. I'm going to try it out for my tendonitis. I love growing my herbs but don't use them as often as I would like. I keep fogetting they are in my own backyard. Sheesh!

August 3, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Alida Cornelius said...

I got your site from my google alerts. Nice read on herbs. I believe in the healing power of foods and how additives can make a person ill.
I don't eat white sugar anymore and read every label on processed foods and generally have stopped eating processed foods. The USA diet is full of over processed foods full of chemical additives and dyes.

August 4, 2008 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Nydia said...

Wow, I loved the new blog layout!!
I'm deep with herbs at home, Rodrigo is taking a cuorse about homeopathy, this posts is handy! :)
Kisses from Nydia.

August 6, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hmm - Love basil, rosemary, thyme and garlic.

Can't "stomach" ginger, dill, parsley and sage.

I think I'm about 50% yay and 50% nay on these herbs listed.

August 6, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hmm - Love basil, rosemary, thyme and garlic.

Can't "stomach" ginger, dill, parsley and sage.

I think I'm about 50% yay and 50% nay on these herbs listed.

August 6, 2008 at 10:18 PM  

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