Spices and herbs do more than just add flavor to your favorite dishes. They are also nature’s most powerful healing botanicals! In today’s post, we are listing down 5 of the most powerful herbs and spices nature has to offer:
Sage is often paired with meats and poultry in cooking. But when taken as a tea, it helps relieve an upset stomach and soothe a sore throat. Several studies also show that sage extract may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to one research, sage contains a compound called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a brain chemical needed in learning and memory. In a demonstration, students who were given sage extracts for several weeks performed better on memory tests. Participants also reported feeling an overall improvement in their mood.
Rosemary is one of the most important herbs in ancient Greece. Scholars would wear rosemary garlands to study them. Now one study found that this herb might help improve memory and alertness. In an experiment, researchers created a mist made with aromatic rosemary oil. They used the mist on participants and tracked their performance. They found that participants’ performance improved after misting.
Just like sage, rosemary is often used to flavor meats and poultry. And there could be a scientific basis for this practice. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid and antioxidants. These compounds fight bacteria, prolonging the freshness of the meats. Rosmarinic acid and antioxidants help make the meats healthier. Kansas State University researchers also found that by adding rosemary extracts on ground beef, the formation of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) slowed down. This makes the meat healthier when grilled, fried or broiled.
In India, turmeric is traditionally used to treat a long list of maladies ranging from common colds to cancer. Turmeric happens to be India’s most popular spice! It’s chock full of antioxidant curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compound! It helps relieve arthritic pain and gout. It also keeps the teeth and gums healthy. Several studies also found that curcumin helps prevent the onset of heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes! Even better, curcumin inhibits cancer cell growth and suppresses the enzymes that activate cancer-causing compounds in the body!
Here’s another reason to love spicy foods, chilies also contain cancer-fighting compounds called capsaicin and capsinoids! Capsaicin speeds up the body’s metabolic rate. It’s an effective weight loss aid and may help protect from cancer. Capsaicin also cuts the risk of stomach ulcers by protecting the stomach cells from infections. On the other hand, capsinoids in sweeter variety of chilies also aid in weight loss and keeps the organs healthy. It also helps lower blood cholesterol level by keeping LDL cholesterol in liquid form.
Ginger is traditionally used to relieve common colds and sore throat. In cooking, it’s used to eliminate fishy taste and add a punchy flavor to fish and poultry. Ginger contains a group of powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Gingerols relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee. It also relieves motion sickness, morning sickness and nausea from chemotherapy.