by: Tony Isaacs (TMI) Many of us have a cabinet full of herbs and spices we use to help improve the flavor of our meals. What many may not realize is how much common kitchen herbs and spices can also help improve our health. Here are ten top examples:
GARLIC – Garlic is a natural antiseptic and powerful cancer fighter with numerous other health benefits. It helps lower cholesterol, reduces plaque, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Garlic is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea.
TURMERIC – The curcumin contained in turmeric provides powerful anti-cancer properties, especially for past smokers. Curcumin has clinically proven anti-inflammatory effects, including significant beneficial effects in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Turmeric is also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, and may help prevent cataracts.
CINNAMON – Cinnamon contains a compound that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including the E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus. Research shows that cinnamon can also stop the growth of the Asian flu virus. Cinnamon helps lower blood pressure and helps regulate menstrual cycles. In addition, cinnamon has a tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress
OREGANO – Oregano is a powerful natural antiseptic. It contains 19 chemical compounds with antibacterial actions as well as four compounds that soothe coughs. In addition, oregano helps soothe stomach muscles, making it a good digestive aid, and it helps lower blood pressure.
GINGER – Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid which stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles the stomach, relieves vomiting, and eases pain from gas and diarrhea. Ginger is also effective as an anti-nausea remedy. Researchers have found that ginger is more effective against motion sickness than the most commonly used over the counter medication. Ginger is also used as a pain reliever and it helps lower bad cholesterol.
FENUGREEK – Fenugreek seeds help treat diabetes, lower blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol. Fenugreek also helps maintain good metabolism, prevents constipation, purifies the blood and helps flush out harmful toxins. Fenugreek seeds and leaves are good for increasing breast milk in lactating women.
BASIL – Basil is an herbal carminative which can relieve gas and soothe stomach upsets. Research has also indicated that basil helps prevent aging.
CLOVE – Oil of clove is 60 to 90 percent eugenol, which is a potent pain deadening anti-microbial. Clove has earned the official endorsement of the FDA as an effective stopgap measure for tooth pain. Clove also helps lower blood sugar by helping the body use insulin more effectively. Clove was also found in one study to speed healing of dreaded cold sores.
BLACK PEPPER – Black pepper is one of the oldest and most commonly used spices. It has a stimulating effect on the digestive organs and produces an increased flow of saliva and digestive juices. Black pepper can help relieve indigestion as well as flatulence. It also helps improve absorption and utilization of curcumin, which the body normally does not absorb very well.