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Stay healthy with Herbs

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

Herbs are used in Ayurvedic Diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine

We love to use herbs in our cooking, and should do it even more since they have many beneficial health qualities. The health benefits of herbs have been known in many cultures for thousands of years. The Ayurvedic Diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine are well aware of the health benefits and use herbs as medicine. Alternative medicine in western countries are also familiar with the health properties of herbs, and use them to treat certain health conditions.

The Health Benefits of Herbs

There are many health benefits of herbs. Herbs can relieve pain, calm an upset stomach, ease cold symptoms, speed up the healing process and help healing wounds. To get the health benefits of herbs, just add extra herbs in your cooking, make yourself some herbal tea, or take a relaxing massage with herbal oils. Below is a list on a few herbs and their potential health properties. Be aware though that herbs are not medicine, so if you have a physical problem, always consult with your doctor first.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is antiseptic and stimulates the stomach. A headache can be helped if you put some basil in oil on your temples. Basil has a calming, diuretic and an antispasmodic effect. Basil also contains antioxidants. In Ayurvedic Medicine, Basil is used against cold, stomach ache and head ache. Basil with tomatoes is a very tasteful combination.

Mint (Mentha)

Mint has many health benefits. It is antispasmodic, expectorant, pain-relieving and antiseptic and can reduce fever. It has also been used against fungus and virus. Aroma therapists often use Mint to help people with bad blood circulation. It is a very refreshing herb and can be added to any kind of fruit and berry. It can also be used in cooking together with lamb and couscous.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano is antispasmodic and good for digestion. It has a calming effect and it is expectorant. Oregano can help healing wounds and swellings. Oregano is very popular together with Pizza and it is very common in the Greek kitchen.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Women can benefit by eating Parsley during menstruation because of its high level of Iron. Parsley also contains a lot of vitamin A and C. It stimulates the digestion and has cleansing effects. Parsley teases your appetite and helps the body to absorb the nutrients better. If you suffer from bad breath or if you have eaten garlic, take some Parsley. Parsley can also ease swelling and insect-bite. Next time, try to rub some Parsley on an insect-bite. Mix Parsley with some garlic, salt and olive oil and use the lovely mix on meat, fish or chicken.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary helps the immune system and it is good for digestion. If you suffer from migraine or have pain during menstruation, you could be helped by drinking Rosemary tea or adding some Rosemary to your lamb steak. Pregnant women should be careful though, and not drink too much of the Rosemary tea.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

If you have a sore throat you could rinse your mouth with water and Sage. Sage tea can help during colds and infection of the respiratory passage. Sage can also help during menopause, especially if you sweat a lot. Some American Indian tribes burn Sage as incense, to get rid of bad energies. Sage is very common with veal chop, fillet of pork and poultry.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Its strong scent is uplifting and improves your focus and memory. If you suffer from cramps and pain you could add some Thyme to your diet. The herb is also used against cold and is good if you have a persistent cough and cough up phlegm. Thyme contains tymol that kills the germs. If you have a cold you should inhale Thyme or drink tea made of Thyme since it expands the passage in your throat, helping you breath easier. It is said to strengthen the matrix and can restore the bacterial flora in the stomach. It can also heal wounds. Thyme is good with meat, fish, chicken and root vegetables.

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