Healing Herbs

You don’t need to be a master herbalist to use many of the healing herbs right in your kitchen!

The use of medicinal herbs has gained a great deal of traction in mainstream society in the last couple of decades. Even just forty years ago, there was a certain ‘Ivory Tower’ mentality attached to the use of Healing Herbs. The layman was led to believe that herbal medicine was a mysterious healing discipline that bordered on the snake oil vendor reputation – unless you were a licensed doctor.

While herbal medicine encompasses the use of thousands of healing herbs, it’s true that you must be careful and knowledgeable before setting out a shingle and dispensing medical advice! On the other hand, there are many herbs we use to season dishes every day, which are both safe and effective remedies for a variety of common ailments. The list of herbs which follows have centuries of proven, beneficial results to back up their stated virtues. Let’s take a look at several of these healing herbs.

Garlic is good with meats, poultry, many fish and seafood, as well as in a salad dressing or slathered on bread with butter. With its ability to reduce cholesterol dramatically and its natural antibiotic properties, garlic is one of the healing herbs you can’t get enough of when it comes to good health! Fresh garlic is best for its medicinal benefits. If you don’t care for the garlic breath that comes with its use, mix in a good amount of fresh parsley, loaded with vitamin A, to counteract the garlic breath effect.

Turmeric, the bright orange-colored spice found in many Indian dishes, helps keep your digestion in good order, reducing levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and serves to regulate blood sugar. It’s also a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is one of the most versatile of the healing herbs, of use to everyone, especially those suffering from arthritis, diabetes, or digestive disorders.

Rosemary, a common seasoning for roasts and roasted potatoes, is also a tonic for the heart. It’s a good choice for those with high blood pressure, or almost any heart condition. Fresh rosemary is best, both for flavor, visual appeal and medicinal value.

The hot, spicy Cayenne pepper is another of the healing herbs that packs a healthy punch, promoting strong blood vessels, good circulation and a healthy dose of antioxidants. Use a pinch or two to jazz up a salsa and serve over fish. Cayenne is also great for adding some zip to chowders and is essential for an authentic Gumbo.

Ginger root is one of the healing herbs that is good as both food and drink! Ginger quells nausea and motion sickness admirably, so it’s a good stomach settler as a bedtime tea. Ginger also promotes good circulation and helps hold your cholesterol levels in check. Thin slices of ginger root makes a plain Jane veggie dish come to life, especially good with snow peas and sweet bell peppers. For a delicious one dish meal, add some steamed rice and sliced breast of chicken, or shrimp.

If your cholesterol and/or triglycerides need watching, green tea is a beverage for which you should cultivate a taste! Green tea reduces triglyceride levels and the ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol, while increasing the ‘good’ HDLs. The antioxidants contained in green tea help prevent cancer.

You can see that you have healing herbs that address a variety of health conditions, sitting right in your kitchen. You may find your curiosity piqued sufficiently to look further into the world of herbs!

To your health!

John.

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