Food and Nutrition

Can Cooking With Herbs and Spices Improve Health?

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Herbs and spices make our food taste good – but did you know they can also treat physical ailments? The next time you’re sick or in pain, try cooking with one or more of these herbs and spices. They may provide relief from your symptoms without the side effects of traditional medicine.

Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant that helps give this yellow spice its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can aid in clearing up psoriasis and other skin conditions. It also contains cyclooxygenase inhibitors, which are also anti-inflammatory, and which relieve joint inflammation and stiffness commonly seen in rheumatoid arthritis. It may take a few weeks to build up to therapeutic amounts in the body, so don’t expect to see results right away – although it’s also possible that it may work immediately for you. You can take turmeric in capsules, add it to a dry rub for meat or seafood, put it in curries, soups, and stews, or sprinkle it on cooked vegetables.

Making a caprese salad? The sweet basil does more than just add an herbal kick to your recipe. Its antioxidants also help alleviate asthma and other respiratory ailments. It’s said to be good for skin breakouts, too. Pesto’s another way you can add basil to your diet: blend it with pine nuts, garlic and olive oil to create a sauce for pasta.

Rosemary gives roast potatoes a delicious flavor. It’s also a potent alternative medicine with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps hair growth, and is often used as a treatment for alopecia (hair loss). It’s good for the stomach and digestive system, relieving gas and diarrhea and promoting normal digestive processes.

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Mixed with rosemary in an infusion, sage can help to soothe a sore throat. It treats tonsillitis, hoarseness and coughing – it’s a good alternative to cough drops and cough medicine if you’d rather take a natural remedy. It can act as a natural antiperspirant, and dry up mother’s milk if she is weaning or prefers not to breastfeed. Add sage to your meals by chopping it and making a butter-sage sauce to toss with pasta. It’s also a delicious flavor to pair with turkey and stuffing.

Other edible medicinal herbs and spices include cayenne (helps with blood circulation), nutmeg (for indigestion), and ginger (for nausea). These herbs and spices give the phrase “eating well,” a whole new meaning.

Originally posted at GrannyMed