10 Super Herbs and Spices
October 23, 2021 | By StayHappi Pharmacy
Updated On - January 10, 2022
People around the world have known for centuries about the healing power of herbs and spices. Here’s the science behind why they are so good for us, and tips for how to get your fill. A sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee. A handful of freshly chopped basil over pasta. You know how herbs and spices can wake up just about any food. The use of herbs and spices have been incredibly important throughout history. We Indians have been known to use herbs and spices in our kitchen and even for medical uses. Many herbs were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use. Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits. Here is a list of 10 super herbs that you have around you. Here are the health benefits of some of our favorite herbs and spices
Cinnamon is a common spice, used in all sorts of recipes and baked goods. It contains a compound that is responsible for the medicinal properties of cinnamon, called cinnama ldehyde. Cinnamon has strong antioxidant activity, helps combat inflammation, and has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides. But where cinnamon shines are in its effect on blood sugar. Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity
In folk medicine and aromatherapy, peppermint has a long tradition of use. It is the oily portion containing the agents responsible for the health effects, as is the case with many herbs. Many scientific studies have shown that in irritable bowel syndrome, peppermint oil can improve pain relief. It tends to function by relaxing the colon’s smooth muscles, which relieves discomfort in the intestines.
The spice that gives curry its yellow color is Turmeric. It contains many compounds with medicinal properties, of which curcumin is the most important. It is a remarkably powerful antioxidant that helps combat oxidative damage and boosts the antioxidant enzymes of the body itself. This is important since one of the main mechanisms behind aging and many diseases is believed to be oxidative damage.
4. Holy Basil
In India, holy basil is considered a sacred herb, not to be confused with regular basil or Thai basil. Studies show that the growth of a range of bacteria, leaves, and molds can be inhibited by holy basil. One small study also found that raising certain immune cells in the blood, can boost the function of the immune system. Holy basil is also linked to reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression.
Capsaicin, is the oily compound in cayenne and its peppery cousins, is the active ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter creams, ointments, and patches for arthritis and muscle pain. It’s also used for treating shingles pain and diabetes-related nerve pain. Cayenne is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is also shown to reduce appetite which will help in controlling the weight.
Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine. Studies have repeatedly shown that nausea can be managed effectively with 1 gram or more of ginger which includes nausea caused by chemotherapy and seasickness and morning sickness. Ginger also tends to have effective anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve pain.
Cloves contain a chemical called eugenol that is anti-inflammatory. Some research suggests that this chemical inhibits a protein that spurs inflammation, which causes pain and other health issues. Other potential health benefits are demonstrated by the combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, such as increased protection against heart disease. Compounds in cloves, like those found in cinnamon, also appear to improve insulin function.
The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid. This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion. In a study with 29 individuals, both 50 and 200 mg doses of Rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms
In Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking, coriander seeds yield cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, a staple herb. For certain individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, the herb may be helpful, as it calms digestive spasms that can lead to diarrhea.
In cookies and sweets, ginger is not just a tasty ingredient. For centuries, this root has played a major role in Asian and Indian medicine, mainly as a digestive aid, and Matluck states that to improve the potency of other herbs, ginger is also added to herbal formulas. Researchers are also excited by ginger’s ability to combat inflammation, and several studies have found that it reduces pain and swelling in people with arthritis.
So you see herbs and spices are not just cooking ingredients that will increase the flavor of your food or make them look more delicious. They have many benefits and some of them may come cheap while some are expensive but their benefits are priceless. So go on & restock your spice cabinets but this time make sure to add some more to the list. Increase your spice pallet as well as your health. Spices and herbs come in all shapes, sizes, and flavor we just need to add them to our daily meal and take a step towards a better and healthy life which isn’t dependent on scientifically created medicines.