I was asked by a friend to explore all the benefits of herbs and spices. Since this is a topic I myself wholly believe in, I decided to pick up my shovel and get digging. What I found was something that was quite amazing. I’ve always believed that God gave us everything we need in His Creation. Nothing God does is ever wasteful and the more I dig, the more I am reminded of this. I myself have tried some of these herbs and spices in my teas and find them very beneficial time and time again. These herbs and spices can be taken in teas, but it is always preferable to use them while fresh.
This is a small collection of herbs and spices that have all proven to aid in a host of health issues, some of these might surprise you.
So let’s get started.
Our first spice we will discuss is nutmeg. Nutmeg is one of the key spices that gives the Spice Islands their name and is often credited with hallucinatory effects. When ingested in dangerously large amounts it can create a feeling of euphoria, similar to the drug ecstasy, this is because of its active ingredient, myristicin. However, this is not the only properties attributed to nutmeg, it is also a very strong antibacterial agent, killing mouth bacteria and aiding in the prevention of cavities. The myristicin in the nutmeg has also been tested and proven to inhibit a specific enzyme that contributes to the Alzheimer’s disease. Nutmeg has also been proven to have success as an antidepressant, along with Ginkgo Biloba, B-vitamins and Zinc.
Our next herb is a liquorice-flavoured bulb known as fennel. Fennel is known for it’s bone-building calcium, phosphate, potassium, iron and magnesium. This is not, however, it’s only benefit. The fiber contained in fennel is known to greatly lower cholestrol levels, while its higher levels of potassium aid in heart health. A study was posted by Medical News Today that stated people who took +-4 g of fennel per day had lower risk of heart disease. Fennel can also boost your levels of immunity, act as an anti-inflammatory and helps to promote healthy weight as well as reducing the effects of PMS in women.
A popular addition to any pizza, the following herb has many uses. Oregano, or wild marjoram as some have called it, is a known staple in most kitchens. Aside from its delicious contributions to any pizza slice, oregano contains a myriad of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our bodies. Vitamin K, vitamin A, iron and manganese all contribute to its healing properties. The Vitamin K in oregano has also proved to aid in bone health. Oregano oil is also know for its antioxidant, antifungal and antiseptic properties, this makes it prefect for a great face wash. Oregano assists in the treatment of colds, stomach ailments, when ground up, and also boosts the immune system.
Like nutmeg, this spice also contains ‘eugenol’, which stops COX-2,a protein which increases inflammation. This spice is called ‘cloves’. Like the above mentioned herbs cloves contain anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant qualities. Its these same antioxidant properties that contribute to the prevention of heart disease and helps to stave off cancer. It assists in the treatment of arthritis as well as improving insulin function. If you should ever find yourself suffering from a toothache, clove oil is a known treatment for toothache. Simply put some whole cloves in your mouth, wait until it softens and simply nibble on them to release the oils in the cloves. A recent study has also discovered that cloves contain properties that actually fight bacteria-resistant antibiotics.
Cilantro, found in coriander seeds, is also known as Chinese parsley. It is a staple herb in many countries across the world. It is famous for its digestive system aiding capabilities. Some people use this herb in their tea. It is known to help people with IBS symptoms, as it can help prevent diarrhea. Some studies have produced evidence of anti-anxiety properties. Cilantro has been proven to fight E.coli and salmonella poisoning. It also lowers cholesterol and is one of the most powerful antioxidants.
This is a spice most commonly favoured as a hot-dog condiment–mustard. Aside from this spice being delicious on any hot-dog, it also serves to benefit the body in many ways. It can increase your appetite, increasing the flow of saliva and digestive juices, hence its popularity as a condiment for so many foods. Due to its spicy flavour, it also serves to aid in fighting congestion. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells, helps vicitms of Raynaud’s phenomenon by increasing the blood circulation in their fingers and, if added to your foot-bath, kills athlete foot fungus. However, taking too large a dose of mustard seeds or mustard powder can make you quite ill, so it is recommended that you use no more than 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 5ml of mustard powder.
Cocoa, something every woman loves. Most commonly associated with chocolate or hot cocoa, this spice has much more to offer us than just chocolaty beverages. It aids in heart health and assists in keeping our coronary arteries clean and healthy, as it is full of antioxidants called ‘flavonoids’. It is these same flavonoids that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Our last herb is a herb that is sacred to India–Holy Basil. This herb fights infection as well as boosts immunity by increasing specific immune cells in the blood, a small study was conducted and has verified this. It inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds. If used before and after meals, it reduces blood sugar levels. It also successfully treats anxiety and anxiety-related depression, however to verify this further study will have to be conducted.
As this is a rather long list, I have only mentioned a few herbs and spices. I will, however, be looking at these other herbs and spices in a future article. Nevertheless, from this rather long list we can see that God has blessed us with an abundance of herbs and spices that are engineered to cure our ailments and keep us healthy, often working better or equal to pharmaceutical grade medications and with no side effects.
Thank you again for reading this post and I hope to write again soon!