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Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices
    Brianna Shaw, MSP
  • on Nov 01, 2019 |

Most of us use herbs and spices for recipes when cooking and baking. Little do we know that those ingredients are not just used to make our food taste better, they can have major health benefits for our bodies as well!

Growing herbs and spices yourself is the best way to obtain the most of its health benefits, but if that’s not an option you can buy high quality organic herbs and spices at your regular grocery store.

All spices originate from plants, flowers, seeds, fruit, leaves, roots, and barks. They are known to contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, B vitamins, minerals and disease fighting antioxidants.

Health benefits of herbs and spices:

Cinnamon – Cinnamon has the highest value of antioxidants out of any spice. It reduces inflammation, lowers blood sugar and triglyceride levels. It is also used to alleviate nausea, increase sensitivity to insulin and burns fat.

Basil – Basil is a versatile herb that has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It can help prevent osteoarthritis and aids in digestive disorders. Fresh basil is the best to use to obtain its many benefits and can be used in many different kinds of recipes.

Arrowroot – This starchy herb is an amazing thickening agent similar to corn-starch. It can be used as a gluten free alternative for thickening agents in recipes. It is highly digestible making it a great choice for those who suffer from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Turmeric – Turmeric contains a cancer-fighting compound and is often taken medicinally for its ability to reduce inflammation and improve joints.

Garlic – Garlic is known for its pungent aroma and strong taste. It is also known to provide anti-cancer benefits with only 2 cloves of garlic a week.

Dill weed/seed – Dill contains antibacterial properties and is great for settling the stomach. It is better used in recipes that don’t require heat as it loses most of its nutrients when heated.

Cayenne – Cayenne improves the absorption of other nutrients in foods. It can increase circulation and reduce the risk of heart problems.

Mint – Mint can be used to calm digestive troubles and alleviates nausea. If used externally in oil or tea form, it can repel mosquitos.

Oregano – Oregano is known to be antiviral, anticancer, antibacterial and antibiotic. It is very high is antioxidants and its oil and leaves are used to treat cold symptoms. It also demonstrates antimicrobial properties against food borne pathogens.

Cumin – Cumin has antimicrobial properties and can be used to reduce flatulence.

Rosemary – Rosemary contains an antioxidant that shows many benefits regarding cancer treatment, cholesterol, and healthy digestion. It has the ability to fight aging by rejuvenating small blood vessels under skin. Water that has been boiled with rosemary can be used as an antiseptic.

Thyme – Thyme is a well-known antioxidant. It can be boiled in water and used as a cleaning spray or added to bath water to treat injuries. It can also be used to treat gum infections and wounds in the mouth by swishing thyme water around in your mouth. Teas made with thyme can be used to treat things like athlete’s foot or yeast infections. Thyme tea can be used internally as well to speed up recovery from illnesses.

The healthiest herbs and spices often go unused while the least healthy ones like salt and pepper, are used on a daily basis for some people. It is important to research different herbs and spices to gain insight on what ones you should be using more of.