For as long as we can tell, humans have been drawn to flavourful plants. Herbs and spices are part of crafting delicious meals, creating memories, and embracing cultures. It turns out that herbs and spices can also be sources of fantastic health benefits. Food truly can be medicine, and when something healthy tastes fantastic, everyone wins. The following will explore some of the many herbs and spices that can add zest to your meal and wellness to your life.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It works by lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your body and balancing the hormones tied to your thyroid. It also supports proper adrenal function, which helps keep you energized and handle stress effectively. Ashwagandha also supports brain health, boosts mood, encourages stamina, and discourages cancer cells.
Basil is a member of the mint family and is probably most well known for its role in savory Italian dishes. This plan has anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and antibacterial properties. It helps to relieve pain, protect blood vessels, boost your immune system, and combat cancer.
Turmeric is known for its bright yellow color and for being the perfect addition to curry dishes. There are a lot more turmeric benefits than tasty meals, though. It’s fantastically anti-inflammatory and works as an antidepressant, anticoagulant, and cholesterol regulator.
Cardamom comes from the seeds in ginger plants and is packed with manganese (80% of your daily requirement in a single tablespoon). It’s full of phytonutrients and has been known to combat bad breath and cavity formation; it lowers blood pressure, aids digestion, combats cancer, and soothes diabetes symptoms. A fantastic trick to get a little more of this in your diet is to sprinkle it in your coffee or tea. Turkish coffee, in particular, is known for having a little bit of cardamom.
Bay leaves are a beloved staple in chef’s pantries everywhere because of it’s aromatic mellow spice. These leaves have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, making them excellent at attacking cancer, boosting insulin function, preventing candida, supporting wound healing, and improving cholesterol levels.
Maca root has been called a superfood by researchers worldwide and for a good reason. It balances hormones naturally without any side effects, boosts stamina, increases libido, and increases energy levels in a safe, non-jittery way. It is particularly beneficial for folks who are thinking about conceiving soon so don’t want anything too intense in their systems but are paying attention to hormone health.
This biennial plant is part of the daisy family. Its roots are full of antioxidants, including quercetin, and when ingested, they support detoxification processes in the body, promote healthy circulation, fortify the lymphatic system, protect against diabetes, and heal skin issues like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. In addition to all of the above, burdock root also helps with arthritis and fights cancer.
You probably know cayenne pepper as the spicy pepper that makes meals burn your mouth a little. This pepper can also support your digestion, discourage blot clots from forming, soften migraine pain (sometimes eliminating it completely), settling nerve or joint pain, encouraging detoxification, reducing symptoms of allergies, and encouraging healthy weight loss. Of course, it’s important to note that with spicy foods, everyone has their own limit. Please listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Over time you’ll build a tolerance to the spice; please take it easy until then.
For over 2000 years, people have been using milk thistle to draw toxins out of the body. It has also been shown to assist in liver repair if the liver has been damaged by pollution, heavy metals, or prescription medication. As a bonus, it reduces the signs of aging, lowers cholesterol, defends against cancer, and protects against diabetes.
Known for its calming effect when taken in tea form, chamomile has many other health benefits. It soothes allergies, insomnia, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, skin irritations, toothaches, PMS symptoms, inflammation, and muscle spasms. It also helps heal wounds. That’s a ton of benefits! One of the most popular ways to get some chamomile into your daily life is by ending off your day with a cup of tea. It’ll get you ready for bed and set your body up to heal itself overnight.
While most of the above-mentioned herbs and spices are excellent for your health and no doubt have some emotional benefits (balanced hormones, good sleep, and a brain that’s not inflamed will do wonders for your mood), mint’s primary benefit is how it can improve the symptoms of depression. It settles nausea, is used to soothe headaches, promote healthy digestion, and soften respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic coughing.
Cilantro is one of the few herbs that people either love or hate. Sort of like licorice; it has its own flavor completely. It’s also full of phytonutrients and promotes the detoxification of heavy metals, which everyone is in desperate need of; just look at the mass quantities of heavy metals found in cord blood and placentas. Newborn babies haven’t been around all that long, and still, they’re packed with these toxins. Can you imagine what your system is like? You’ve been here a fair bit longer, right?
Mustard seeds are packed with vitamin and mineral goodness. You’ve got folate, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These tiny, tasty seeds can also reduce inflammation, treat gum disease, prevent and fight infections, and support heart health.
This festive spice comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree, and often it’s referred to as one of the most beneficial spices on earth. It has an insane amount of antioxidants within it; it reduces inflammation, is antimicrobial, boosts your immune system, protects your heart, and fights cancer and diabetes. This can be sprinkled on anything sweet, including apple slices, mixed with almonds and other nuts, added to coffee and tea, or baked with.
It might seem like the above is a lot of herbs and spices, but this is only the beginning. There are literally hundreds of healing herbs and spices that can make your meals spectacular and the experience of being in your body one of comfort and vibrant ease.