Your Spice Rack as a Medicine Cabinet: 5 Hidden Healers in Your Kitchen
by Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society, 3 March 2013
You don’t have to be a chef to know that some herbs and spices taste good in certain dishes. Likewise, you don’t have to be a professional herbalist to use many of these same spices and herbs to treat and prevent illness and disease. Your kitchen should double as your medicine cabinet, as you’ll often find what you need without having to hit the drug store or the pharmacy.
While we could write a book on healing herbs and spices (many such books have been written), we’ll just give you a brief run-down of some of the more commonly overlooked herbs and spices with healing properties. Here are 5 healers that can be found in your kitchen.
Common sage is often used in meat dishes and in cooking with root vegetables. But sage has many health benefits. Made in a tea, you can use the herb sage for sore throat relief, to soothe digestion, calm a cough, and even boost memory. One study found consuming sage can improve scores on memory recall tests. Maybe best of all, you can grow your own.
The many benefits of this golden yellow spice are really no secret, unless you haven’t been following natural health news at all in recent months. It’s a powerful antioxidant, can be used to detox the liver, and even relieves pain. There is evidence that turmeric can protect against Alzheimer’s disease and even prevent breast cancer. Perhaps the most documented benefits of turmeric is in its ability to fight cancer cells.
You might put it on your pizza or in your pasta dishes, but what you probably didn’t realize is how oregano could be benefiting your health. Oregano and the oil derived from it has been shown to encourage weight loss, promote healthy digestion, treat sinus infections and even sooth toothaches. It is an anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine herb. And like sage, you can easily grow your own to experience oregano benefits.
Everyone should be getting some cinnamon in their daily diet. This spice is great on everything from desserts to teas. And it’s good for managing diabetes, promoting a healthy heart, fighting Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and PMS.
More and more you can find fresh and actually live basil plants in the grocery store produce section. This isn’t only good for your salads and pesto sauce, it’s great for your health. Basil can improve circulation, reduce cholesterol oxidation, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity. It can also treat stomach cramps, nausea, and headaches. Check out some information on sweet basil, one of numerous basil varieties.
There are numerous other herbs and spices in your kitchen right now that are great for your health and can double as medicine. What are your favorite spice-rack healers?