Are you one of those people who rush to get aspirin or paracetamol when they have a headache?
If so, let me tell you that the excessive use of allopathic medicines for non-critical reasons can be extremely harmful to your health.
The good news is that nature has given us plenty of effective therapeutic herbs that you can use as a substitute and in fact more reliable remedies with no side effects in most cases.
Herbs not only bring something extra to your plates that makes your taste buds dance but also complement your diet, protect your body and enhance your health. Delicious healthcare, who would want to say no to that right?
Indeed, herbs can do wonders to your health. You have to realize their benefits as an essential food ingredient and incorporate them into your daily diet.
There is a large variety of herbs in nature but to keep it time effective let’s talk about five powerful herbs that you usually have in your kitchen and how you can take advantage of them!
Why do you need herbs?
Herbs have a wide range of uses. Most of them are often used for cooking due to the enticing flavour they impart to the food being cooked.
Herbs can completely transform your dishes. Think of how boring can a plain tomato sauce be. Just tasteless right? How about when you add a bunch of basil leaves to it? It magically becomes the most delicious pasta sauce you would want to have. You can also replace the basil by oregano and your amazing pizza sauce is ready!
Other herbs are commonly used in perfumes and candles. These are aromatic herbs and include among others lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary.
If you are planning a romantic dinner, including herbs in the meals you are cooking is mandatory. But, lighting some perfumed lavender candles will make a huge difference!
Many herbs have been used as beauty treatments as well, especially for enhancing the health of the skin and the hair. For instance, herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary have antifungal properties and are used as natural shampoos against dandruff.
On the other hand, lavender, rosemary and other herbs that are characterized by their disinfecting and anti-inflammatory properties are used to reduce and treat skin problems like acne.
Herbs can also be used for decoration. you can use them to brighten up your kitchen with vivid colours or to add a fresh or rustic look to your dishes.
Medicinal herbs are very rich in minerals and vitamins mainly vitamin A, B, C and K. They are also a great source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects. They also have other properties that include anti-microbial, anti-diabetic and anti-asthma activities.
That’s why medicinal herbs are well known for their remarkable health benefits. They have been used for thousands of years in conferring protection against diseases. Indeed, their power lies not only in playing a preventative role but also in treating and curing illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Parsley has many beneficial effects especially on the liver, the spleen, the intestines and the whole digestive system. Its main constituents include coumarins, furanocoumarins (bergapten, imperatorin), ascorbic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, apiole, various terpenic compounds, phenylpropanoids, phthalides, and tocopherol. The nutrients present in its leaves, roots and fruits have remarkable antioxidant and detoxifying effects as well as other medicinal virtues.
Parsley is a body cleanser and a diuretic:
While its leaves rid the body of waste products, including uric acid, which causes arthritis and gout, its roots treat water retention, oedema and occasional cystitis.
Parsley is a digestive stimulant:
In addition to stimulating the appetite, parsley’s leaves and roots stimulate gastric and biliary secretions, relieve digestive disorders and flatulence.
If you have intestinal disorders like bloating, constipation and indigestion, parsley might very well help you relieve them.
Parsley is anti-fatigue and anti-anaemic:
Parsley is rich in vitamins A, B, E, K and contains more vitamin C than orange and lemon. Therefore, when you eat it fresh and raw you can benefit from its anti-anaemic effects. it can help you reduce the fatigue as well.
Parsley is anti-inflammatory:
Parsley can also be used externally. Rubbing its fresh leaves directly on the skin relieves and soothes insect bites and skin irritations. They can even be used as an emergency bandage.
A little secret for women:
Parsley is effective in case of the irregular menstrual cycle and painful menstrual cramps that can disrupt regular activities of women.
Dear madame, if you have excessive pain during your periods, drinking parsley tea or parsley juice twice a day can be very helpful.
Coriander contains several antioxidant compounds, mainly in the form of phenolic acids, but also coumarins, terpenoids and flavonoids.
This parsley-like plant can be consumed for its leaves (fresh or dried) as well as for its seeds, two parts that are quite distinct in terms of their content of different active compounds.
Coriander seeds are for instance rich in silica, bullfrogs, vitamin C and linoleic acid. They also contain a small amount of flavonoids, which are not present in the leaves. In turn, coriander leaves are said to contain more phenolic acids than its seeds.
Fresh coriander leaves contain also carotenoids, including beta-carotene. For comparison, 125 ml of fresh coriander leaves would contain almost as much beta-carotene as 250 ml of broccoli. On the other hand, the same amount of fresh coriander would contain ten times less beta-carotene than a carrot, a vegetable known for its exceptional beta-carotene content.
Coriander seeds are known for their antispasmodic properties, they help to get rid of intestinal gas.
coriander has a stimulating effect. It increases the body’s tone and helps fight against fatigue and flu-like states.
Coriander is sometimes recommended against anxiety and to promote sleep.
The presence of vitamin K would also allow coriander to participate in the proper coagulation of the blood and ultimately requires caution in case of anticoagulant treatment.
The presence of linalool in the essential oil of coriander has an anti-pain, calming and sedative action. You can dilute the essential oil of coriander in vegetable oil for skin application to relieve pain and relax muscles.
Coriander is also detoxifying, it allows the detoxification of heavy metals. It reduces the levels of aluminium and leads in the body. But you have to consume it fresh and uncooked to benefit from these effects.
celery is very nourishing. It contains calcium, iron, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and other nutrients. Do not hesitate to use it in soups, salads, stews and ready meals.
Celery prevents cancer:
Both the leaves and the seeds of celery contain certain types of polyacetylenes in significant quantities. In the past, these bioactive compounds were thought to be harmful. However, studies have shown that some polyacetylenes have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. They are believed to have the ability to inhibit the proliferation of several types of human cancer cells.
Celery has a satiating effect:
Celeriac is less caloric than green beans. Also, it has high fibre content that helps you feel full quickly and for a long time. A 100 g serving of celery provides 1.6 g of fibre.
If you are on a diet or want to maintain a healthy weight, you can afford to eat a lot of celery because it is very low in calories. Two stalks of celery contain less than 10 calories. That’s because water represents 95% of their weight.
It is a good source of folate:
Celeriac is a good source of folates (vitamin B9), which are essential during pregnancy, but also as soon as you want to have a child, to limit the risk of placental anomalies and, above all, spina bifida in the unborn baby. It provides 15% of the recommended nutritional values. Children also need folate because of their rapid growth in the early years.
It is an anti-ageing food:
Celery contains several antioxidants: lutein, beta-carotene, flavonoids… These antioxidants have various properties: some are anti-inflammatory, others are beneficial to the health of the eyes or skin… Consuming celery helps the body protect itself from free radicals that can damage the body’s cells.
Celery is a diuretic:
Celery provides between 15 and 18% of daily potassium requirements. This mineral promotes the elimination of toxins by the kidneys, it also limits water retention and therefore, the formation of cellulite.
- Promotes digestion, regulates lipids, improves blood circulation: cholagogue (helps evacuate bile), antispasmodic.
- Diuretic: Reduces the risk of kidney stones or gout and prevents rheumatism.
- Anti-stress, anti-fatigue: it prevents insomnia and helps fight against intellectual overwork.
- Antioxidant effect: against cellular ageing.
- Against skin diseases: infections, wounds, cleansing of the skin and genital areas.
- Accelerates hair growth.
- Helps to fight against certain pathogens: antimycotic and antibacterial.
- Relieves rheumatism.
USUAL THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS:
- Rosemary contains choline which acts as a lipid regulator in the liver and promotes digestion.
- Its diuretic virtues facilitate renal activity and participate in the prevention of rheumatism.
- Its antioxidant properties have a stimulating effect on brain activity and improve memory.
OTHER PROVEN THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS:
Rosemary is also suitable as a stimulant for people suffering from asthenia while acting preventively against insomnia. It has antiseptic qualities that make it a good agent to clean the skin and sensitive areas or act directly on infected wounds. It can also be used for its antitussive power as it helps to suppress coughing.
Lavender soothes the skin:
Lavender is a healing plant; it relieves sunburn, superficial burns and bee or wasp stings. To do this, remove the sting, rub one or two lavender flowers on the wound for a few minutes and repeat the massage as many times as necessary.
It has a mild narcotic effect (coumarin):
Lavender helps with insomnia, hysteria and nervous disorders.
Infuse 0.8 g to 1.5 g of dried lavender flowers (1 tsp to 2 tsp) in 150 ml of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Take as needed up to 3 times a day, or at bedtime to combat insomnia.
It has an antispasmodic effect:
Thanks to the esters that the plant contains, Lavender is used for treating symptoms such as tummy pain and cramp (spasm). Esters work by slowing the natural movements of the gut and by relaxing the muscles in the stomach and intestines.
Lavender regulate some disorders:
Lavender is helpful for difficult digestion due to stress or nervousness, and for ulcerations.
It’s good for respiratory disorders such as cold and asthma and is said to be a good treatment of migraines and headaches.
Indeed, lavender is used in Ayurvedic medicine, in India, to relieve depressive states accompanied by digestive disorders, as well as by Tibetan Buddhist doctors to treat certain mental disorders. In Chile, it is used to regulate menstrual flow.
Admittedly, herbs enhance the flavour of every dish, but they also play a huge role in keeping you healthy and preventing you from illnesses. They have been used since ancient times as natural medicinal treatments to cure many diseases.
Including herbs in your daily diet can do wonders to your health, Just be aware that “natural” does not mean “safe”, therefore you have to use them wisely.