In Medieval times, rosemary was used as an all-purpose medicine; mint was believed to treat stomach aches, while the Melissa herb, more specifically the Melissa essential oil, was considered to be a cure against melancholy. Today, we use all these herbs in our kitchen and many more, to enhance or improve the taste of our food.
But herbs are not simply garnish. They have some amazing health benefits that we can often times overlook. In fact, we should incorporate them into our nutrition, beverages, supplements and cosmetics. Now if you’re new to herbs and their medicinal properties than you may be wondering what the benefits are, which is why we have created a guide to give you the 101 on herbs, and how you can use them to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
What are herbs and herbal combinations?
Herbs are plants with distinct flavor, scent and medicinal or some other properties. The culinary and medicinal values of herbs are many, and each has its own unique purpose. Putting two or more herbs together with the aim of treating one problem is called herbal combination. Compared to a single herb used to treat a health issue, herbal combinations are making sure that the body heals faster and more efficiently.
Health benefits of herbs
Did you know that a lot of herbs and spices you already have in your kitchen have numerous health benefits you can exploit? Here are some of them:
- Strengthening the immune system: Herbs are rich in nutrient substances (vitamins, essential oils, antioxidants…) that help your body fight off germs and toxins and boost your immunity.
- Reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels: Some herbs like licorice and fenugreek can lower the cholesterol levels, while others like cayenne pepper can stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: They’re excellent natural remedies for inflammation.
- Cancer-fighting abilities: Not only are they useful when it comes to preventing cancer and treating its symptoms, some herbs can also soothe the after-effects of chemotherapy.
- Skin care: Herbs like aloe vera, turmeric and neem can guarantee you radiant and healthy skin. Even the beauty industry has embraced the benefits of herbs, and began to incorporate them in skincare products. Many moisturizers in particular, now contain aloe vera.
- Hair care: Jojoba oil stimulates hair growth; chamomile tea can lighten your hair and aloe vera soothes the scalp… These are just some of the ways your hair can benefit from herbs.
- Dental care: Herbal toothpastes are cleaning your teeth and nourishing your gums, but even using some raw herbs can have pretty good results; e.g. rubbing sage leaves on teeth and gums is an instant cleanser.
How to use herbs and spices?
Now that you know everything these plants can do for you, you must ask yourself: how can I consume more of them? Well, it’ simple. Some easy-to-find spices, like mint which is good for alleviating nausea and oregano. Other uses include mproving congestion, as well as being flavor enhancers in our food (it is best to plant them and use them raw). And others, like Siberian ginseng are used to prevent colds and increase energy. This can usually be bought in the form of healthy Biocare products and other herbal combinations.
Teas, such as chamomile and mint can also do wonders for your health. If you would like to “naturalize” your beauty routine, you should not only look for organic beauty products containing healing herbs, but also use herbs in their fresh form to make face masks (e.g. cinnamon + honey), face washes (e.g. basil leaves + distilled water), and other nourishing products.