These herbs and spices will kick-start your immune system.
Fresh or dried, chances are you aren’t getting enough of these five herbs in your diet. Make no mistake, they aren’t just around for taste—spices and herbs are indeed nutritional powerhouses that can complement your health and help to treat a condition or sickness. The following will not only diversify your palette but also bring a whole new meaning to such things as cancer prevention, weight management and anxiety reduction.
I only recently learned the health benefits of turmeric and ever since have made sure to incorporate it in my daily diet, usually as part of my morning tea.
Turmeric originates in India, where it has been used for more than 2,500 years and is a staple in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. Above all other health claims associated with it, turmeric should be regarded as a detoxifying agent. It naturally cleanses the liver and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Additionally, the spice reduces the risk of all cancers, is anti-inflammatory and helps with weight management. Turmeric also treats Alzheimer’s, depression and arthritis.
How to use it: Each morning, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to 1 cup of tea water along with a dash of turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Sweeten with a few drops of liquid stevia to finish off the ultimate morning elixir that will cleanse the liver and get your day started the right way!
Regarded as the “King of Herbs” in France, tarragon dates as far back as 500 B.C. in southern Russia and Siberia. The Greeks would chew tarragon to numb the mouth from toothaches. In the Middle Ages, tarragon was used as an antidote for poisonous snake bites. For our purposes, however, tarragon is relevant in treating stomach aches as well as triggering the appetite. It helps the liver produce bile and thus contributes to proper digestion. Tarragon also prevents heart disease, lowers blood pressure and is a mild sedative.
How to use it: Tarragon is suitable for chicken, fish and egg recipes. It is also a central ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, which is only second in status to Hollandaise sauce.
This one truly lives up to its namesake—it is somewhat of a panacea. Allspice is a staple in Caribbean dishes and often goes under appreciated everywhere else. But it shouldn’t! Allspice has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and has a soothing and calming effect. It also contributes to gastro-intestinal health, controls blood pressure and improves metabolism. And with its power antioxidant content, allspice prevents cancer and aging.