7 Healing Herbs You Probably Already Have in Your Kitchen
Herbs have been used since ancient times. Harvested by our ancestors, they were used for their medicinal properties. Today, they’ve become staples in our kitchens and as pleasurable additions to our meals. But with the explosion of Western medicine, pharmaceuticals have replaced these natural resources as tools for healing.
While we all know that herbs can make a dish more delicious, many of us may not know how they can also aid in boosting our wellbeing, too. There are a variety of herbs that you can choose to introduce into your diet, but where do you start? They may already be in your kitchen or spice rack waiting for you to discover not just their taste, but their incredible healing powers, too.
These 7 healing herbs you probably already have in your kitchen (and if you don’t, you should):
Rosemary can be used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory systems, and promote hair growth. Rosemary is chock-full of antioxidants, which work to prevent cataracts, and contain 19 chemicals with antibacterial powers to keep infections at bay. It’s also a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6.
It has also been found to help ease asthma since its oils help lessen airway constriction that results from histamine – the biggest offender of asthma and other allergy symptoms.
A member of the ginger family, turmeric has been used in East India and the Middle East for thousands of years. Holistic healers and health enthusiasts alike prize this spice for its medicinal properties. Research continues to uncover its incredible health benefits, like its ability to fight infections, some cancers, reduce inflammation and treat digestive problems.
The oils in sage are antiseptic and antibiotic, making sage a great herb for fighting infections. Sage has a high antioxidant content as well, so it’s very effective for protecting your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to cell death, impaired immunity, and a plethora of chronic diseases.
Sage has also been found to alleviate symptoms of menopause, including night sweats and hot flashes, due to its estrogenic properties and levels of tannins, which can stop the onset of perspiration. Research shows that it can also boost insulin, making it a valuable herb for those with diabetes.
This potent root is revered as one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It can detoxify the body, improve circulation, and act as a natural antibiotic, too. Ginger has also been shown to reduce many inflammation-related issues, including swelling and joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Most notably, ginger works to relieve an upset stomach, and serves as a useful spice for treating morning sickness, motion sickness and nausea of all kinds.
Mint has been used throughout the world as an excellent medicine for counteracting nausea and vomiting, promoting digestion, and calming stomach muscles spasms. Mint is a natural stimulant that can help improve brain function, too.
The menthol found in peppermint can relax airways and fight off bacteria and viruses, and even works to block pain receptors and reduce headaches. Research has found that menthol can also relieve nasal congestion, a natural alternative to mentholated topical creams that are full of chemicals.
The flowers, leaves and oil from thyme have been found to alleviate a variety of ailments including stomach aches, arthritis, colic, sore throats and coughs. Thymol, the compound found in this herb, also works to increase blood flow to the skin, which herbalists believe speeds up the healing process.
Thyme is also used as a natural respiratory muscle relaxer and a great treatment for bronchitis. Aromatherapists believe thyme’s scent can uplift your mood. Furthermore, studies have concluded that thyme is more beneficial for skin health than traditional acne creams.
Fennel is a rich source of fiber, antioxidants and nitrates that work together to improve blood vessel function. It’s also rich in volatile oils, and can aid in alleviating symptoms of bloating, gas pains and digestive spasms in the large and small intestines.
Herbalists believe fennel is a great tool for reducing bad breath and body odor, too. The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in fennel all aid in building and maintaining proper bone structure and strength.
Your humble herb and spice rack may be serving as a decoration in your kitchen or utilized occasionally to enhance your meal. However, it can also hold a plethora of natural healing ingredients that can shift your perspective of how you choose to boost your health or heal an ailment. You can achieve health and wellness benefits with herbs, while still adding great taste to the foods you eat every day.