Special Kitchen Pharmacy with Spices and Herbs as Nutritional Powerhouses with 5 Applications
Do you love cinnamon? Do you know that cinnamon supports digestive function, blood-thinning, stimulates circulation, boosts metabolism, prevents urinary tract infections, and contains a powerful anti-microbial that can kill E-coli and other bacteria? What about other spices?
We already know that spices and herbs have been used for centuries to enhance food flavors along with certain medicinal purposes to treat chronic conditions. How exciting to see increasing scientific studies that show them to be nutritional powerhouses as rich sources of plant phytonutrients with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Plant phytonutrients contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals essential for life made from sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. Phytochemicals work together in synergy to nurture and protect complex cellular digestive health. It seems that spices and herbs are an even more concentrated form of nutrients. Good nutrition is a bargain.
Love Your Spices and Herbs
Healing Properties Of a Few Spices and Herbs
Generally, many kinds can be helpful in treating many medical conditions such as, nausea, infections, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Garlic: a member of the allium family (plus onions and scallions)
Most of these health effects are due to a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic’s distinctive smell.
Its medicinal properties are not just folklore; research suggests garlic helps protect against heart disease and stroke. It may also lower blood pressure and test tube studies shows it even acts as an antibiotic.
Ginger: used in several forms of alternative medicine.
It is a natural anti-inflammatory used to manage pain, treat nausea, morning sickness and chemotherapy. It may be a natural diet aid, boosting the body’s rate of burning calories.
Turmeric: contains Curcumin with powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects with medicinal properties that helps to alleviate symptoms of autoimmune disorders, arthritis, tendonitis, and other long term, low-level inflammation.
Studies suggest that it can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer’s, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry and mustard its yellow color.
Fresh or Dried Peppermint: It is an excellent remedy for all types of stomach upsets such as irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, indigestion, nausea and heartburn as well as an aromatherapy to fight nausea.
Cayenne Pepper: It contains Capsaicin which helps to reduce appetite, increase fat burning and acts as a mild blood thinner that reduces platelet stickiness to improve circulation, fight inflammation and boost immunity.
Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper used to prepare spicy dishes.
Extra benefit: spicy hot food reduces the need for salt, plus it helps the body sweat and potentially remove toxins.
Cinnamon: contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties as a potent anti-oxidant that helps fight inflammation. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, lower blood sugar and slow down the breakdown of carbs in the digestive system.
Sage: research shows that sage may be able to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain.
Rosemary: the active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid that can help prevent allergies and nasal congestion by reducing the number of immune cells in nasal mucus.
Oregano: also has the compound called rosmarinic acid. It has as much as 42 times more anti-oxidant activity than apples, potatoes or oranges.
5 Important Applications to Celebrate Spices and Herbs
- Remember that many important drugs are derived from the pharmacologic agents found in herbs. For example, white willow bark led to aspirin. Mexican wild yam led to birth control pills. Foxglove led to digitalis.
- Give credence to folk herbal medicines even if originally anecdotal. Now controlled scientific trials are proving their effectiveness. For example, a double blind clinical trail with an elderberry preparation was effective treatment for an influenza infection. Active substances in elderberries enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines which are unique proteins that “blunt” the spikes on a flu virus cell.
- Flavor your meals generously with nutrient dense herbs or spices and literally “upgrade” your food without adding a single calorie by adding color, flavor, vitamins, and minerals. Many can create a more thermogenic effect that can naturally increase your metabolism.
- Never assume some “discovery” from a scientific laboratory has all the answers to better health when Mother Nature holds all the keys and locks to your quality cellular survival. Products from Nature cannot be patented as manmade and therefore companies don’t have an economic incentive to get a natural product approved by the FDA, no matter how effective it may be. It is up to the consumer to research which foods, vitamins and/or anti-oxidants are shown in clinical trials to be effective and safe.
- Be aware that testing for dietary supplements or natural therapies is more complex than drugs based usually on one single active ingredient. Botanical products have complex chemical structures with potentially hundreds of active ingredients. More and more bioscience shows rather than seeking “silver bullets in a bottle for well-being” let Nature bring its full arsenal of nutritional powers.
Just think, more than 25,000 phytonutrients have been found in plant foods and scientists are discovering more daily! How amazing is Mother Nature to provide us with phytonutrients that protect our cells, tissues, skin, skeleton, bloodstream, organs and enforce our immune functions against a synthetic, toxic environment.
Plants have given us a great gift, thousands of disease-preventing compounds are made by their immune system to support our immune system. Mariette Leufkene: Holistic Nutritionist
Take the opportunity to better understand the amazing pungencies, flavors and aromas of beautiful herbs and spices and their natural health benefits.
Do you have favorite spices or herbs and special ways of using them in a preventative wellness lifestyle?