Wonderous Herbs

Wonderous Herbs

According to research we have been using herbs in medicine and to improve the flavor of the foods for thousands of years. Scientists are now discovering that the early doctors and herbalists knew a lot more than they were given credit for. Many historians believe that herbs were used for medicine and healing because they either resembled a part of the body or from simple observation that the person improved after taking the herb.

Today herbs are often only used as garnishes to add a colorful aspect to our meals. However, they do so much more than make a plate or soup look pretty. Herbs are packed with nutrition and by enjoying them on a daily basis, provide that extra burst of energy to keep us feeling and looking great.

Here are some popular herbs and their benefits. In the past many people enjoyed having a herb garden where they could nip out and snip a few wonderful and fragrant leaves to add to their meals. We can still do this today by growing herbs on our windowsill or in containers on a porch or deck.

I have included celery as well because it is a fabulous vegetable and can be added along with any other herbs to soups, stir frys, in stews or enjoyed raw.

Celery

Benefits of Celery

  • Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains a chemical that can lower levels of stress hormones in your blood.
  • Reduced cholesterol: Adding celery into your diet may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol
  • Good antiseptic: Celery seeds help in uric acid elimination. It is helpful for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis etc. Celery seeds also assist in avoiding urinary tract infection in women.
  • Healthy joints: Celery contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling and pain around the joints so can aid in the relief of arthritis, rheumatism and gout. Celery sticks contain a diuretic substance, which help to remove uric acid crystals that build around joints.
  • Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides and polyacetylenes. These anti cancer components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells.
  • High in Vitamin C: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and can give you relief from colds and asthma. It also promotes cardiovascular health.
  • Rich in sodium and potassium: These minerals help in regulating fluid balance.
  • Relief from migraine: The presence of coumarins may give relief from migraines.
  • Good for diabetic patients: Celery leaves are also used for treating diabetic conditions. 
  • Calming: The high calcium content in celery is considered calming for the nerves.
  • Also: Celery is an antioxidant, alkaline, helps improve teeth, aids in weight loss, cleanses the liver and strengthens the blood.

Parsley

This popular herb has been cultivated for 2,000 years. Long before that it was well known for its medicinal properties. Parsley is one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body. It's like a multi-vitamin/mineral complex in green plant form and is wonderful for the immune system. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year.

Benefits Of Parsley

  • Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, approximately three times as much as oranges. It is also very high in iron and is a good source of manganese, calcium and potassium. It also contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants.
  • Parsley is rich in vitamin A, well-known for its effects on vision, and can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes.
  • Blood Cleanser: Raw parsley can clean the blood, dissolve sticky deposits in veins, and help to maintain elasticity of blood vessels.
  • Parsley may facilitate in the removal of moderately sized kidney and gallstones, treat deafness and ear infections, and benefit the sexual system.
  • Chewing parsley prevents bad breath!
  • . Parsley is helpful in reducing bruising. Simply crush the parsley leaves and apply straight to the affected area.

Chives

Chives are part of a large species of strong smelling perennials that have underground stems or bulbs. This group of herbs is known as allium herbs and include chives, leeks, garlic and onions. They all have undeniable health benefits.

Benefits of Chives

  • The strong odor emitted from these herbs is due to a number of sulphur compounds such as alkyl sulphoxides and allyl sulphides. These sulphurs are reportedly beneficial for the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems.
  • Chives have been reported to have anti-cancer, anti-clotting, antibacterial, antiviral and decongestant properties.
  • Research has shown that using alliums on a regular basis helps to lower the risk of several types of cancers, especially stomach and prostate cancer.
  • The leaves of chives have been found to have a high antioxidant activity and are also full of flavanoids.
  • In Chinese herbal medicine, chives have been used to control bleeding and to treat fatigue.
  • The leaves can be applied to insect bites, cuts and wounds.
  • Chives have also been shown to help lower cholesterol when used on a regular basis.
  • They are rich in vitamin A and C and contain a small quantity of iron.

Basil

Basil is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia and grows best in warm, tropical climates. This bushy annual herbal plant was originally grown for its medicinally properties but is now enjoyed as a regular part of cooking.

Benefits of Basil

  • Studies show that basil essential oil contains a strong antioxidant that can prevent premature aging, age related problems and even cancer.
  • The herb is low in calories and contain no cholesterol.
  • Basil is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that makes the muscles and blood vessels to relax, therefore improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythm of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.
  • Basil is a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C,
  • Basil is very high in Vitamin A known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A can also help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Basil is high in Vitamin K, which is important for the coagulant factors in the blood and helps the mineralization process in the bones.
  • Basil tea is used to treat constipation, stomach cramps, indigestion and flatulence. It can also provide immediate relief from the gas in your stomach and intestines.
  • Basil has anti-inflammatory effects, making it an ideal food for those people suffering from arthritis.

Benefits of Basil as an essential oil

  • Used as a skin and hair moisturizer, it enhances the luster of dull looking skin and hair.
  • Effective in treating skin problems like acne and psoriasis.
  • Effective in providing relief from cold, influenza, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sinus infections.
  • Can be used as an anti vomiting agent in motion sickness and many other vomiting cases.
  • Can provide a calming effect; it is therefore effective in stress related problems like migraines and depression. If used regularly can give mental strength and clarity.
  • Has anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.

Cilantro

This powerful herb may have originated in the Middle East or southern Europe due to the fact that these regions contain large amounts of the herb growing in the wild. Remnants of cilantro have been found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, and in ancient Greece; the leaves were used for foods, and the robust essential oil in perfume making. The Romans introduced the herb to England during medieval times, where it was used to mask the smells of rotten meat. The British brought cilantro to the North American colonies in 1670, and it has been a popular staple in the Americas ever since.

Benefits of Cilantro

  • Powerful natural cleansing agent. Cilantro has been effectively used to help remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body.
  • The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to the heavy metals, loosening them from the tissues, blood and organs. Cilantro's chemical compounds then aid to transport these harmful substances out of the body through elimination.
  • Studies suggest that cilantro could be one of nature's best chelation agents, particularly for individuals who have been exposed to heightened levels of mercury.
  • Digestion The rich quality of cilantro oil aid the digestive system in its production of digestive enzymes, acids and juices. The oil also helps to stimulate digestion through peristaltic motion.
  • Contains powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
  • Has protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products
  • Cilantro acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
  • Wards off urinary tract infections
  • Helps reduce feelings of nausea
  • Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation
  • Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping.
  • Adds fiber to the digestive tract
  • A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
  • Gives relief for diarrhea, especially if caused by microbial or fungal infections
  • Helps promote healthy liver function.
  • Reduces minor swelling
  • Strong general anti-oxidant properties
  • Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
  • Stimulates the endocrine glands
  • Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar
  • Acts as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema
  • Contains immune-boosting properties
  • Acts as an expectorant
  • Helps ease conjunctivitis, as well as eye-aging, macular degeneration, and other stressors on the eyes.

Ginger

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy both externally and internally for centuries. It has also been used throughout the world as a wonderful spicy addition to soups, stews, fish dishes and even desserts.

Benefits of Ginger

  • Ovarian Cancer: Ginger may helpful in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.
  • Colon Cancer Prevention: A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger might slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
  • Morning Sickness: Several studies have shown that ginger is effective in the treatment of morning sickness.
  • Motion Sickness Remedy: Ginger has been found to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.
  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.
  • Heartburn Relief: Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.
  • Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment: Ginger is well known as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flu and food poisoning.
  • Ginger helps to stimulate the digestive tract and improve circulation.
  • Migraine Relief: Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
  • Heart Disease: It may also have blood thinning and chloresterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease.

Scallions

Benefits of Scallions

  • Used as a traditional medicine for common cold.
  • Stimulates the respiratory tract and helps in expelling sputum (phlegm).
  • Contains essential oils that stimulates the sweat glands and promote sweating.
  • Helps lower blood pressure.
  • Increases appetite.
  • Helps prevent diarrhea.
  • Rich in sulfur, an essential element that kills or inhibits fungus infections.
  • Inhibits cancer cell growth especially colon cancer.
  • Contains high levels of vitamin A and C and calcium.
  • Good for circulation and absorbs vitamin B1. This helps reduce stress and tiredness.
  • Relieves a runny nose. Mash a scallion to extract the liquid. Dip a cotton handkerchief into the liquid and place it to your nose. Breath deeply.
  • Rumor has it that if you cannot sleep well a bundle of green onion placed beside your pillow does the trick.