10 Herbs with super health benefits
Although herbs have been used for thousands of years in medicines, it is only recently that modern science has started to pay much attention to the healing abilities of herbs. It is now being proven that the seeds, leaves and roots, that we call herbs, have some amazing properties including the ability to reduce high blood pressure, fight pain and delay the signs of ageing. A lot of people think that that eating healthy, means eating food with no flavour, but if they were to just add more herbs in their cooking, they would get a wonderful mix of different flavours and a host of health benefits too. Here is a list of ten super herbs that will add health benefits to your food, as well as flavour.
You have probably heard that, when meat is cooked at high temperatures, such as barbecuing a steak, carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCA) are created. Researchers at Kansas State University found that Rosemary has the remarkable ability to stop those carcinogens forming. A sprinkling of rosemary on your meat before you cook it will provide antioxidants that destroy the HCAs that are produced in well cooked meat.
Parsley is the green garnish that restaurants place on the side of many dishes and the garnish that a lot of people leave to one side. You might think twice about leaving your parsley, when you find out that it is a great source of Vitamins A, C and K, and it contains some pretty powerful antioxidants. Parsley has also been proven to be able to reduce blood pressure in people who have hypertension.
3. Holy Basil
Holy basil has the ability to increase the levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the body and reduce the levels of serotonin, which makes it a very good herb for combating stress. Studies have also suggested that the herb may have the ability to fight breast cancer. In research carried out in mice, holy basil appeared to have the ability to shrink cancerous tumours in the rodents.
4. St John’s Wort
St John’s wort has the power to alleviate mild depression and anxiety and has none of the side effects that the drugs that are usually prescribed for these conditions do. It can be also very useful if you have trouble sleeping. St John’s wort contains melatonin, which regulates the body’s sleep patterns, which will help you to sleep better at night.
Ashwagandha, also sometimes called Indian Ginseng, is an herb that is used a lot in Ayurvedic medicine. Both the leaf and the berry of the plant are used to treat a large range of ailments including high blood pressure and anxiety. It is also said to have the ability to boost the immune system.
The roots of burdock used to be eaten as a root vegetable and the leaves and seeds are used in Chinese medicine. One of the main uses for burdock on herbal medicine is that it is believed to be able to purify the blood and detox the system. Burdock root oil, or burdock oil, is also used as a treatment for scalp conditions.
Oregano has potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties and it also contains plenty of iron, calcium and Vitamin K. It can be added to many dishes including pizzas, omelettes and stir fries, or you can get the concentrated health benefits of oregano from oregano oil.
Dill has been used since ancient times as a remedy for stomach disorders like diarrhea and heartburn, and many of the herb’s medicinal benefits are thought to arise from its high content of monoterpenes and flavonoids. You can also get a good dose of Vitamin A from dill.
Sage has had a reputation as a healing herb since the middle ages and its name is Latin for “to save”. More recently, research has shown that sage can improve the functioning of the brain and could even be of help to people with Alzheimer’s. In one study, when sage extract was administered to people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, the patients showed improved brain functions.
Peppermint is another herb that has been used in medicine for centuries and, in this case, the herb has been shown to have the ability to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and to alleviate nausea. As with many herbal remedies, the potency of peppermint is in the oil that is contained within the leaves. The anti-nausea properties of peppermint have been shown to be particularly effective in pregnant women suffering with morning sickness.