Since ancient times, herbs and spices are known as powerful and beneficial. People have used herbsand spices for health and medicinal purpose, as well as culinary. And now, modern science has shown that herbs are indeed useful and bring remarkable health benefits.
Powerful Herbs Supported by Research
Let’s discover 10 kinds of herbsand spices, and their powerful benefits, supported by research.
Cinnamon contains vital oils and other derivatives, such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, andcinnamate. The compounds make cinnamon a powerful antioxidant. This species of Lauraceaefamily helps fight inflammation. Also, it helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Studies show that cinnamon is excellent in controlling blood sugar levels as well. It lowers blood sugar by several mechanisms, and help slow the breakdown of carbs in the digestive system, as well as improve insulin sensitivity.
Sage or originally Salvere(Latin) means “to save”. In the middle ages, sage is well-known for its healing properties. Recent research shows that sage can improve brain function and memory. It can be useful for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have shown that natural oil in peppermint can enhance pain managementin IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It relaxes the smooth muscles in the colon, which can relieve the pain experienced during bowel movements. Besides, it also helps reduce digestive symptoms, like bloating.
Some other studies also found that aromatherapy use of peppermint is useful to help fight nausea.
We know turmeric as the spice that gives yellow color in our meals, like in curry. Not only valuable for culinary, but it also has powerful benefits for health purposes.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. It can help our body to fight oxidative damage and boost our body’s antioxidant enzymes. Besides, curcuminis also a potent anti-inflammatory.
Other ingredients in turmeric are also beneficial in medicinal properties, such as improving brain function, fighting Alzheimer’s disease, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieving arthritis.
5. Holy Basil
In India, holy basil is considered a sacred herb. Holy basil different from the regular basil or Thai basil. It is known that holy basil can boost our immune system by increasing immune cells in the blood. Moreover, it can restrict the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Studies also show that holy basil can reduce blood sugar levels as well as reduce anxiety.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is one kind of chili pepper we use in spicy dishes. A study found that by adding one gram of red pepper to meals can boost fat burning and reduce appetite in people who did not use to eating peppers. It is because there is capsaicin in the peppers. It is also found in an animal study that capsaicin can fight certain cancers, including lung, liver, and prostate cancers. However, this anti-cancer effect has not proven yet for humans.
Throughout history, ginger is one of the popular spices used in alternative medicine. Ginger is believed and proven to help treats nausea, including morning sickness, seasickness, and chemotherapy. Besides, it also contains strong anti-inflammatoryproperties. Mix ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil to help decreasing pain and stiffness for people with osteoarthritis. One research found that its effectiveness is as good as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Fenugreek is famous for its ability to enhance libido and masculinity since it affects testosterone levels. Furthermore, fenugreek is also beneficial for blood sugar. Plant protein 4-hydroxy isoleucine in fenugreek can improve the function of insulin hormone. Research on humans shows that 1 gram or more of fenugreek extract a day can help to lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Rosmarinic acid, an active ingredient in rosemary, is known to reduce allergic responses and nasal congestion. A study done on 29 people taking rosmarinic acid showed to decrease allergy symptoms. Besides, immune cells in nasal mucus are reduced, with reduced congestion. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can improve the immune system and blood circulation.
Since ancient times, garlic is known for its medicinal properties. It is because garlic contains allicin. Garlic’s most popular use is to fight sickness like a common cold. Besides, compounds in garlic are also proven to be effective in reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
There are still many more benefits of herbsand spices. Stay tuned to find out more.
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