Eating foods with flavors & aromas go much farther than just tasting good.
There’s a critical element that so many of us have not even considered when it comes to shaking spices out of their plastic or glass containers.
These herbs and spices, when in their original form, straight from the dirt, unaltered, processed, or mass produced, offer unfathomable restoration to the human body.
Herbs, roots, and spices have properties that range from anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, & natural chelation, with full cellular and microbial support for the entire human body.
With great amounts of desensitization that has taken place throughout the industrialization of food throughout the history of US, it can be easy for us to “forget” that these herbs and spices hold a critical role in supporting the human body, not for overindulgence….
We’ve lost touch with the simple understanding of allowing food to be our medicine.
Our foods have lost their ability to fully nouish us due to the poor quality of soil they’ve been grown in, including the adulteration of the seeds they originate from. Today, it has become a great fight and protest to claim our health as our food system has failed us.
With the amount of organic produce that is available, it looks as though it is still not enough!
For any living organism, when it lacks nutrition, it enters a nutritional deficit over time. When we reach this deficit, we (a living organism) become ill, dependent on how this manifests. It can be chronic, or acute. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to this beyond food. In this post, I wont go there…yet.
This brings me to the point of WHY we MUST use medicinal herbs and spices within our foods, allowing our foods to become our medicine.
Our food just isn’t nutritionally abundant as it used to be!
Yes, it is SO helpful to consume whole foods in their original format with all of their team members (ezymes, co-factors, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, etc.) to achieve victory (body nourishment). However, because the food is already malnourished, we need to rev these foods up. We need to support them in order to enhance their effects, and help them in their ability to fight infections with super charged anti-viral/ microbial/ fungal herbs, spices, & roots!
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries in many forms to prevent and battle infections within the body. Today, our bodies need them MORE THAN EVER!
The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants’ usage for preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, approximately 5000 years old. It comprised 12 recipes for drug preparation referring to over 250 various plants, some of them alkaloid such as poppy, henbane, and mandrake.
Ever since ancient times, in search for rescue for their disease, the people looked for drugs in nature. The beginnings of the medicinal plants’ use were instinctive, as is the case with animals. In view of the fact that at the time there was not sufficient information either concerning the reasons for the illnesses or concerning which plant and how it could be utilized as a cure, everything was based on experience. In time, the reasons for the usage of specific medicinal plants for treatment of certain diseases were being discovered; thus, the medicinal plants’ usage gradually abandoned the empiric framework and became founded on explicatory facts. Until the advent of iatrochemistry in 16th century, plants had been the source of treatment and prophylaxis. Nonetheless, the decreasing efficacy of synthetic drugs and the increasing contraindications of their usage make the usage of natural drugs topical again.
Infections can literally be anywhere and everywhere within the body. This is why I love herbs and their super potential to knock out the bugs at a gentle pace on a daily basis 🙂 When you pair these restorative herbs with food, energy provided from the food can carry them throughout the tissue.
Every meal is an opportunity to restore your body; nutritionally, cellularly, and microbially!
With that being said…here’s some simple herbs you can begin using in your next meal!
The best, my all time favorite spice to use in literally almost everything! Turmeric, this incredible root has been shown to overpower countless medications, chemotherapy, while supporting the body with anti-inflammatory properties, joint supports, and perfect support for the liver and gallbladder!
- Despite its use in cooking for several thousand years, turmeric continues to surprise researchers in terms of its wide-ranging health benefits. While once focused on anti-inflammatory benefits, decreased cancer risk, and support of detoxification, studies on turmeric intake now include its potential for improving cognitive function, blood sugar balance, and kidney function, as well as lessening the degree of severity associated with certain forms of arthritis and certain digestive disorders.
- Use of turmeric in recipes can help retain the beta-carotene in certain foods. For example, one study has shown that the beta-carotene in carrots and pumpkins is better retained when those vegetables are cooked using recipes that include turmeric.
- Studies on satay—the very popular grilled meat dish that is often marinated in a spice mixture containing turmeric—have demonstrated a unique role for turmeric in providing health benefits. The grilling of meats is well-known for its potential to produce heterocyclic amines (HCAs) from protein substances in the meats. These HCAs are also well-known for posing potential health risks. Researchers now know that turmeric helps prevent formation of HCAs in grilled meat, including satay that has been marinated in a turmeric-containing spice mixture. About 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric per 3.5 ounces of meat was used to produce this helpful outcome in one study.
This super cinnamon is greatly known for its anti-microbial action, antioxidant load, insulin management, and anti-inflammatory properties. In reality, there’s nothing this spice can’t do!
My advocation for this amazing spice goes much further than how it supports the body. It can be used as a food preservative! Yes! Since cinnamon can fight against microbes, you can put your trust in cinnamons ability to prevent your food from rotting at its “normal” pace! Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over your fruit or even sweet potatoes as you store them in the fridge!
Cinnamon and its extract, irrespective of the species, have been associated with a variety of beneficial health effects. In traditional medicine, cinnamon bark is reportedly used for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including digestive disorders, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections. Over the past 20 years, cinnamon has been found to have potential antioxidant activity2,3 and antimicrobial activity4,5 and to play a role in glucose and lipid control.6−11 Proanthocyanidins are believed to have potential health benefits due to their antioxidant activity.12 Proanthocyanidins are various length polymers of flavanols (catechins and their ent-isomers) linked through a single C4→C8 or C4→C6 bond (B-type) or with an additional C2→O→C7 or C2→O→C5 bond (A-type).
Powerfully therapeutic, this beautiful herb has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, & anti-microbial abilities in supporting the immune system. We can think of this herb as an emergency immune support whenever we feel ourselves coming down with cold or flu-like symptoms. Studies have even shown that this herb has great potential to assist in cancerous cell environments!
- Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium
- Has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal effects, and may kill MRSA, listeria, and other pathogens
- Oregano essential oil may be useful for respiratory ailments like colds and flu
- Adding oregano to meat before cooking may help reduce the amount of toxic compounds created by the cooking process
For the sweet love of basil and all of its aroma is has to offer the sweet soul! This super aromatic herb is a compliment to pretty much anything you put with it! From pizza to tea, this herb offers flavor and anti-bacterial properties for the body!
DNA Protection Plus Anti-Bacterial Properties
The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.
In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These anti-bacterial properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. Lab studies show the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria, including : Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
This spicy chili is known for its great incporporation in many cuisines throughout the world. From Creole to Asian cuisine, this herb has made its debut! Cultures throughout the world have used this spice as an application for the cardiovascular system, stomach ulcers, frostbite, myalgia,
Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer
Red chili peppers’ capsaicin, the compound responsible for their pungent heat, stops the spread of prostate cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms, indicates a study published in the March 15, 2006 issue of Cancer Research . Capsaicin triggers suicide in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines, those whose growth is stimulated by male hormones and those not affected by them. In addition, capsaicin lessens the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), inhibits the ability of the most potent form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, to activate PSA, and directly inhibits PSA transcription, causing PSA levels to plummet.
The dose effective for test animals was equivalent to 400 milligrams of capsaicin, three times a week, for a man weighing about 200 pounds. After four weeks of receiving capsaicin, prostate cancer tumor growth and size decreased significantly in the animals. One warning: Excessive intake of hot chilies has been linked to stomach cancer, so don’t go overboard.
Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Chili peppers have a bad—and mistaken—reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, they can help prevent them by killing bacteria you may have ingested, while stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective buffering juices.
Who doesn’t love rosemary? This beautifully floral herb has been used for centuries in kitchens, for medicinal purposes, and even for is elegant aroma as a perfume.
It’s widely known for its enhancement in cognitive memory, it has also been shown to have a great effect when battling ovarian cancer cells! This is HUGE, as female reproductive health concern is greatly on the rise!
For centuries, one of the most common medicinal uses for rosemary has involved improving memory, not just for the flavor it adds to food. This herb, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
Most recipes call for a few teaspoons of rosemary rather than 100 grams, but the above chart indicates the balance of nutrients, which are many. The same amount provides 16% of the daily value of vitamin A for free radical-zapping antioxidant properties, vision protection, healthy skin and mucus membranes, and increased protection from lung and mouth cancers. Mostly renowned for fighting infection, the vitamin C content synthesizes collagen, the protein required for optimal blood vessels, organs, skin, and bones.
Manganese, another of the more prominent minerals in rosemary, plays such a critical antioxidant role in the body – specifically aided by its cofactor superoxide dismutase – that it’s associated with lowering the risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Rosemary also contains iron (part of the hemoglobin inside red blood cells, determining how much oxygen the blood will carry) and potassium (a component in cell and body fluids which helps control heart rate and blood pressure). There’s also fiber, copper, calcium, and magnesium, and an abundance of B vitamins, such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, folates, useful for DNA synthesis and for women just prior to conception, which helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns.
Being concentrated, the dried version of rosemary provides a bit more of everything: 93 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 45% of the daily value in iron, 35% of the calcium, 29% of the vitamin C and 18% of the vitamin A needed each day.
So there you have it! 6 fantastic herbs and spices that you can use on a daily basis to enhance your immune system through your foods! With every meal you consume, the goal is to incorporate these medicinal herbs as the are your truest form of medicine!
Bask in the aroma of the herbal world 🙂