The contents of this blog article are purely for educational purposes, the views and opinions contained within this article, whilst heavily sourced and researched. Are not to be seen as a substitute for following proper medical guidance. For official information regarding the COVID-19 epidemic please consult your doctor, local authority or the WHO website
There are a range of herbs and spices that are available on the market place, so many of us use them in our cooking on a daily basis, but do you ever stop and think about how they are helping your health?
If we look at the recent world wide epidemic, we can see that countries where a high level of herbs and spices are used in the diet, did seem to perform better than those who live on a junk food heavy diet.
We’re not saying that diet is a main contributor in the recent epidemic, we’re no where near qualified enough to make these sorts of claims, but it has long since been said that a healthy diet can support an healthy immune system.
That being said, we all think about fruits and vegetables when it comes to healthy eating, but there are a range of delicious ways to make your meal even healthier, and tastier, by simply adding these herbs and spices in this list to your own cooking you can work with your bodies natural immune system to remain healthy!
Here is the list of top ten useful herbs and spices for human health.
No. 1 – Garlic
Obviously Garlic was going to be on this list, let’s get it out of the way early, some of our later entries are so surprising you’ll be amazed at what you can do to boost your health at home!
Everyone knows about this powerhouse of immunity, but did you know that Garlic is one of the prehistoric natural medicinal vegetables? This means it hasn’t changed much since the dinosaurs roamed the earth!
Each clove of this aromatic bulb-shaped veggie is doing wonders since ancient times when it comes to treating some of the stubborn human illnesses like hypertension and cancer.
Garlic has some of the important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B1, B6, C, manganese, calcium, selenium, copper, etc and bioactive phytochemical compounds.
Due to its rich nutrients and phytochemical compounds, garlic is beneficial in a wide range of human health complications. Garlic is recommended for following health ailments.
Garlic can be used for a range of illnesses, including:
- Allergies and infections
- Cold and flu
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
- For lowering blood cholesterol level
- For lowering blood sugar level
- Heart Issues
- Boosting the immune system
- Controlling hair loss
No. 2 – Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a native spice of South America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. It is one of the delicious spices which are known to humans for thousands of years. The cinnamon is also well-known for its health benefits and medicinal uses. The bark of the spice contains oils known as cinnamaldehyde. Due to cinnamaldehyde the cinnamon has got a peculiar smell. Cinnamaldehyde has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Polyphenol compounds present in cinnamon displays antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because of its rich bioactive compounds, the spice is effective in a range of health problems like it reduce blood sugar level by enhancing insulin sensitivity, it helps in fighting fungal infections, it improves brain health especially it helps relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer. The spice is also helpful in fighting bacterial and viral infections.
Number 3 – Ginger
Ginger is not only a spice that you use to spice up your recipes but this rhizome tuber has been used as folk medicine since ancient times. Ginger contains important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B3, B6, C, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron in addition to anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Therefore, ginger has been proven as an effective natural remedy for a good range of health problems like stomach issues and arthritis, etc. In the following complications, ginger is recommended by health experts.
- Common cold and flu
- Joints and muscles pain
- Menstrual cramps
Number 4 – Sage
Sage, a herb, has many health and medicinal benefits. Its leaves are used in medicine manufacturing. Sage is native to the Mediterranean and its other prominent family members include rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Sage is famous for its strong antioxidant properties but however, the herb also displays anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen properties.
Besides containing bioactive beneficial compounds, sage has also a rich nutrient profile. Sage contains healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins, iron, calcium, manganese, and vitamin B6 and K. Sage is proved helpful in promoting oral health, relieves menopausal symptoms, lowers blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels, protects against cancer, improves memory and promotes brain health.
Number 5 – Peppermint
Peppermint is not a naturally occurring plant; instead, it was created artificially by crossing two different species of mint family-spearmint and water mint. Peppermint belongs to the mint family and it is an aromatic herb. Peppermint is popular for its cooling and aromatic sensation which it leaves in the mouth after chewing it in fresh form.
Besides aroma and pleasant cool sensation, the herb is also rich in nutrients. It contains dietary fiber, essential nutrients like iron, manganese, folate, and vitamins like vitamin A.
Peppermint is very good for improving digestion especially it relieves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some of the other health benefits of peppermint are brain health improvement, relieving cold symptoms, killing bad breath, and soothing bodily pains.
Number 6 – Chamomile
Chamomile is a flowering plant native to Western Asia and Europe but now it is cultivated elsewhere in the world. The plant comes in two varieties, German chamomile and Roman chamomile, the former variety is widely used for its health and medical benefits. Its medical benefits were known since prehistoric times and Hippocrates, the father of medicine, also used it for a variety of ailments.
The herb contains useful chemical compounds like bisabolol, matricin, and flavonoids in addition to other bioactive substances. Chamomile is used as an ingredient in herbal teas and its health benefits include treating insomnia and anxiety, relieving indigestion symptoms, healing wounds, and improving eczema, and diabetes.
Number 7 – Hemp
We have an awful lot of content on how excellent hemp is, both for the human body and the planet. Unfortunately negative connotations are associated with the consumption of hemp; these connotations may be due to its recreational side effects. But with our prevalent approach to this weed, we may likely miss on some of its crucial nutritional benefits.
Hemp seeds have very significant nutritional and dietary benefits. For instance, hemp seeds contain up to 33% of proteins and up to 35% of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. Hemps seeds are also rich in dietary fibers which means a healthy tummy for you. With such important and essential nutrients, it is time to re-think about hemp as it deserves a re-thinking.
Number 8 – Chilli Pepper
Chilli pepper or red pepper was originated more than 7000 years ago in Mexico. Since then, it has been used both as a food and a natural medicinal herb. Chilli pepper contains some important vitamins like vitamin A and C and bioactive compounds like tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Chilli peppers also contain characteristic chemical compound capsaicin.
The capsaicin is known as a pain soothing chemical because it helps reduce pains related to skin. Besides its uses as a food herb, chili pepper is also popular for its medical uses. For instance, chili pepper is found effective in improving cardiovascular health, improving diabetes, and relieving menopausal symptoms. Besides, it also boosts the immune system and is helpful in skin care.
Number 9 – Bok choy
Bok choy or Chinese cabbage is a member of the cabbage family and it is a very nutritive leafy vegetable. Bok choy is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers while it is low in carb and almost without any fat. Besides, rich nutrient profile, it has also some strong anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogen (cancer-fighting) compounds.
Therefore bok choy has a range of health benefits. Anti-oxidant compounds of bok choy fight inflammation and reduce cell damage. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications and fights cancer cells. Bok choy is also useful in relieving pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Bok choy is also reported for improving the immunity system, lowering blood pressure, and managing type 2 diabetes.
Number 10 – Rosemary
Rosemary is an herb native to the Mediterranean but it can now be cultivated elsewhere. Rosemary herb is used for multiple purposes. It is used as a spice in food; its leaves are utilized in medicines while oil from its seeds is popular for various health benefits.
It contains some of the important nutrients like iron and calcium and vitamins like vitamin B-6. Besides nutrients and vitamins, rosemary also contains some of the potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial compounds.
Because of its ingredients, rosemary is a useful medicinal herb. It helps lower your blood sugar level, promotes digestion, improves heart and brain health, and protects your vision and eye health. Besides, it also improves your mood and memory.
So that’s it, our complete run down of our top ten herbs and spices to maintaining a healthy body! So many of these are classic favourites and you didn’t need much more of an excuse to add more garlic to your lives already anyway haha!
But We’d highly recommend stir frying Bok Choi in ginger, garlic and chilli pepper next time you’re feeling run down, it’s a real health boost to get you back on track!
Can’t fit all these herbs and spices into your diet? Check out our range of herbal supplements to give you body a little helping hand!