With the increasing popularity of healing spices such as cinnamon and turmeric, some less common ones have taken a backseat. It’s very unfortunate, as there's such a wide variety of healing herbs and spices to choose from!
I consider herbs and spices the easiest form of medicine nature has to offer; what can be more simple than sprinkling a bit of flavor on each of your dishes? While there are numerous standouts when it comes to health benefits, I’ve chosen a few easy-to-integrate choices that will help you reap huge benefits. Here's my list of herbs and spices you NEED to be eating:
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A fragrant herb with woody, evergreen like needles is just what the holistic nutritionist ordered! Rosemary is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-allergenic, and can help fight foodborne illness
To make things even better, rosemary was even prescribed by Hippocrates (yes, THE Father of Medicine) to cleanse the liver.
Nutmeg is common spice derived from the fruit of the nutmeg tree (an evergreen); commonly thought of as a holiday spice for its starring role in the creation of eggnog, nutmeg is best used fresh, as it loses its flavor quickly once grated.
Nutmeg can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and it increases circulation. It's also a great source of antioxidants, is rich in B vitamins, regulates digestion and enhances sleep.
Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree, and are widely used in Ayurveda.
Clove oil can provide toothache relief, and other general pain relief. Cloves also stimulate warmth in the body and increase hydrochloric acid production, which is needed for digestion.
This aromatic, Mediterranean herb of the mint family has been used since ancient times and is available in more than 60 varieties, each nutrient dense and loaded with benefits.
Thyme is antiseptic and antibacterial, and is an excellent source of iron, manganese and calcium. It's also a great respiratory enhancer as it can relieve chest and respiratory problems. As a bonus interesting fact the thymol used in Listerine is one of the active constituents in thyme!
An evergreen, perennial shrub common to the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe, sage has been one of the most popular herbs since ancient times.
This very powerful antioxidant also enhances brain function and improves memory. Sage aids digestion of oily and fatty foods, and calms upset stomachs. As a vitamin boost, sage contains vitamins A, B, C and several necessary minerals, such as potassium, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium.
One of the most popular spices is actually a dried fruit of a flowering vine and is the world’s most traded spice! Pepper has been used historically as both a spice and medicine, and is valued for its health benefits.
Black pepper can aid weight loss by stimulating the breakdown of fats and increasing metabolism, but it can also stimulate appetite. It may also help stop bleeding of minor cuts while disinfecting the area.