Home » Top 10 Spices & Herbs for Overall Health Benefits

Top 10 Spices & Herbs for Overall Health Benefits

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There are so many healing herbs and spices for most ailments out there: but I have chosen 10 of the ones I believe will help the most people and are readily obtainable in most stores.

  1. Cayenne Pepper- The active ingredient in Cayenne pepper is Capsaicin which is in many ointments for arthritis pain. Internally it is said to reduce inflammation and acts as an anti-oxidant in the bloodstream. Many recent studies also show it’s effectiveness in controlling blood sugar in diabetics. One study posted in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that it helps diabetics allowing them to take far less insulin after meals, with Cayenne pepper added in their foods.
  2. Garlic- Studies show amazing results in reduction of heart disease and ability to ward off cancer cells. When adding garlic to your daily diet it is said to reduce your chances of heart disease by 75%, lowers cholesterol by 5-10% and thins the blood. Garlic also appears to be able to rid carcinogens before they can cause damage and aid in cancer cell self-destruction. The sulfur from Garlic is shown very helpful in regards to Stomach and colon cancers. In addition garlic is a strong anti-bacterial agent and anti-fungal, which helps with yeast infections and upper respiratory infections.
  3. Sage- As with so many herbs, sage is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer action herb. In many studies Sage shows to boost the function of insulin and reduces blood sugar, preforming like a common anti-diabetic drug. In addition some researchers have suggested that sage may actually help prevent type 2 diabetes in some individuals.  One study shows improved moods in participants with increased alertness, relaxed contentment, and ability to recall test questions more easily. More research is currently under way in showing benefits in Alzheimer patients.
  4. Tumeric- This spice is now listed as a top level anti-cancer agent helping to eliminate inflammation and tumor growth. It works by removing carcinogens from the body before they can cause damage, and the repair of damaged DNA. In addition, Lab studies do show that tumeric helps stop the growth of cancer cells and the spread of the ones that are already forming.Much research suggests that tumeric protects against colon cancers as well as melanomas of the skin. Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey are investigating a combination of curcumin and phenethyl isothiocyanate (the anticancer compound in cruciferous vegetables) as a possible treatment for prostate cancer. Studies have also linked turmeric to reduced inflammation in a number of conditions, including psoriasis. In several animal studies, curcumin decreased the formation of amyloid, the chemical product of the brain deposits characteristic in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Research is ongoing in regards to assisting people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
  5. Mustard seed- is in the category of strong anti-cancer plants. It’s the seed from a variety of cabbage plant, containing compounds that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells according to may international researchers. But use in foods sparingly to avoid stomach irritation such as strong laxative or nausea. The daily limit of mustard seeds or crushed seed should not exceed a teaspoon a day. It’s anti-fungal effects can be seen by adding crushed seeds to a foot bath to rid foot fungus such as athlete’s foot. As a topical agent it also can reduce pain, just like cayenne,  it has the ability to deplete nerve cells of substance P, a chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain, when used externally.
  6. Ginger-  It’s known for it’s digestive benefits for stopping nausea, and is shown in studies to be just as effective as Dramamine but does not make you tired. Ginger is also an added benefit to controlling morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy while added to foods or brewed in a tea of hot water and honey with dash of lemon.Ginger enhances production of digestive juices and neutralizing acids as well as reducing intestinal contractions to be quite effective against nausea.  The less known benefit of Ginger is the positive benefits in treating migraines by blocking prostaglandins and reducing inflammation.
  7. Lemon Balm- Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family that is known for it’s calming and antiviral properties.  Many uses include stress & anxiety reduction, bloating & gas discomfort, insomnia,  and is a common ingredient in cold sore remedies from herpes simplex. On this site I actually have 2 full posts on the benefits of Lemon Balm. You can find them under the teas and herbs category of this site.
  8. Cloves- In recent studies cloves show incredible anti-inflammatory properties with their active ingredient of eugenol. In addition it is also ranked high on the list of spices for anti-oxidant with benefits to help starve off cancer cells from the body. Just like some other spices, cloves can improve insulin function and slow bone and cartridge damage in arthritis patients. Cloves not only aid in pain control but has been shown, in studies, to kill certain bacteria’s that were resistant to all common antibiotics.
  9. Cinnamon- A most powerful spice to improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients: and with as little as 1/2 teaspoon a day in foods can cut triglycerides and total cholesterol by 15-30% per studies. Researchers have also noted that Cinnamon contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties shown to conquer E. coli infections as well as other bacterial ailments.
  10. Dandelion- The last of my list of the top 10 is Dandelion leaves and roots. Please visit my 2 posts on the health benefits of Dandelion in the food tab of this website.
    • Digestive Aid: The dandelion is a mild laxative which promotes healthy digestion while balancing the beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
    • Cancer: Dandelions have shown in studies to slow the growth of many cancers and prevent spreading of the cancer cells: rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants assists this process.
    • Blood pressure: since Dandelions are a diuretic it increases urinary output which then lowers the blood pressure, in addition to the high Fiber and high Potassium helping this process too.
    • Kidney & Liver: The Dandelion, with it’s diuretic help, eliminates waste, toxins, salt and excess water helping kidney function. Also assists the liver by removing toxins and helps control electrolyte balance in the liver.
    • Immune System: Many studies have shown that Dandelions can boost your immune system by helping to fight off fungi & microbes.  Inflammation: The phytonutrients and fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body.
    • Antioxidants: The leaves and root of the Dandelion contain antioxidants which prevent free-radiacal damage to all our cells and DNA, helping slow down the aging process of our organs and skin.
    • Gallbladder: Dandelion root and leaves increase bile production and reduce inflammation assisting in gallbladder blockages and other bile issues: as well as relieving pain & swelling.
    • Diabetes & Cholesterol: Recent studies have shown that Dandelion can help regulate insulin & blood sugar levels: while showing promise to help control cholesterol levels in the blood.

 

 

 

Please leave your comments. :}

Meg

 

 

10 comments

  1. Tessa says:

    Great post! Whenever I cook I simply use spices for added flavor; its great to know they actually have major health benefits!

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