In recent times medical research has done wonders in turning the spotlight on ordinary natural foods that have immense medicinal benefits. More and more people are bringing back fruits and veggies to the table. Let’s take a look at some spices and herbs that are not only nutritious, but have the power to heal too.
Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and has been used in baking for long now. This spice is not only aromatic, but also has wonderful healing properties. The oil extract called Eugenol has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. As a medicine it can relieve both extremes in digestive problems like diarrhea and constipation. For this you have to only massage the oil into the skin. Administering the medicine is especially useful for children as it need not be taken orally. The oil extract is very potent so it has to be toned down with a common oil before massaging into the skin or for use as a compress for abdominal pain.Other than cold and flu, it can also be used to revive tiredness as Cinnamon is a stimulant that can improve circulation. A few drops of the oil in warm water is used in foot baths for relieving numb and tired feet. Be sure to include a few drops in your cooking to strengthen the immune system.
The colorful cherries that you savor in your ice creams and desserts can be used to treat painful arthritis and inflammation. Sour fruits have been found to carry more healing micro nutrients than sweet. The sweet cherries can only pamper the taste buds. Cherries have seventeen anti oxidants that can prevent prostrate cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant is ten times more powerful than aspirin for relieving pain and inflammation. Two others called Kaempfarol and quercitin are constituents of products used for improving vision, memory and concentration. Eat twenty cherries a day and stall arthritic pain and the pain of aging.
Eat one or two ripe and freshly cut kiwis everyday because it has medicinal properties to take care of your heart. They reduce blood pressure and LdL cholesterol, prevent spontaneous blood clots from forming. Excellent micronutrients in the kiwi fruit prevent cancer, stroke and respiratory problems. Its a stand alone in fruits, packing in more fiber, double the vitamin c and more potassium than apples, oranges and bananas. If that’s not all, Kiwis can also help damaged cell and stressed DNA cells to repair themselves. Pick only ripe fruits because anti oxidants increase as they ripen. Use freshly cut ones as the enzymes start working as soon as the fruits are cut.
If you think cabbage smells awful and avoid eating it, think twice. You are going to loose something that fights cancer, heart disease and even birth defects. Cabbage has a compound called I3C or Indole- 3Carbinol that balances hormones like estrogen, preventing cancer, especially breast cancer. Glutathione is an enzyme that gets rid of toxins in the intestinal canals that cause colon cancer. The super veggie cabbage has another compound Sulfurophane, that activates this glu enzyme. These are conclusions drawn by researchers from renowned universities like John Hopkins, after numerous experiments. Anti oxidants like vitamin e, beta carotene and vitamin c that get rid of free radicals and folates that help in the growth of healthy tissues are all contained in this demure veggie. Bokchoy and Savoy varieties have been found to contain more potent phytonutrients, but any kind will do to maximize health benefits.
Broccoli belongs to the same cruciferous family as cabbage and has all the phytonutrients of the cabbage with additional medicinal benefits running into volumes. Briefly, Broccoli has the enzyme Sulfurophane that stops the growth of the stem cells of breast cancer. Sulfurophane capsules are available, but the study regarding concentration and dosage has not yet been completed. Including broccoli in your diet is still the best option. Broccoli is like a multi vitamin tablet with vitamins B, A, C, B3, B5, beta carotene along with potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, chromium and phosphorus. Calcium is present in a form that can easily be absorbed for healthy bones. It also relieves stress and prevents cataracts. High fiber content, low calories and energy enhancing qualities makes it precious for diet watchers. Make the most of its medicinal value by steaming it lightly as overcooking destroys it.
Turmeric is a rhizome widely used in India in powdered form. Apart from being helpful in digestion and its use as anti bacterial and antiseptic remedy, it reduces inflammation and joint pain. Studies are presently going on about its role in treating various cancers, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been proclaimed as a great natural therapy for joint pain like the wrist joint. Computer users may kindly sit up and take notice of this wonderful natural remedy. Turmeric is also used as a depilatory and for removing blemishes in the skin.
Ginger is another rhizome used almost daily because it can be used in various forms like powder, extract, tea, shredded raw or as a paste. It is available in two forms fresh and dried. Each has its own individual properties. Ginger extract can be taken along with honey for all types of throat infections and coughs. As it is spicy and cannot be tolerated by everyone, honey must be used to sweeten it. Treat asthma and wheezing with either ginger extract and honey or dried ginger powder in honey. Ginger tea can relieve nausea and vomiting especially for women suffering from morning sickness in pregnancy and for travel sickness. A few drops of the extract can be used as ear drops for ear infection and pain. Ginger as a paste is used as a compress for migraines and headache. If you are having constipation, an infusion of powdered ginger along with flax seeds and honey gets you rid of the problem immediately.
We all know how important carotenoids are for reducing the incidence of breast cancer after menopause, cancer of the prostrate, colon cancer, cancer of the bladder and cervix, esophagus and the larynx. Carotenoids are antioxidants extracted from carrots. Studies declare that even one carrot taken daily can reduce the risk of lung cancer by 50 percent. Other cancers like kidney and ovarian cancers can be reduced. Carrots being a rich source of vitamin A improve vision and night blindness. Other minerals like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium are all micro nutrients stored in this hi fiber veggie, carrot.
Coconut is enjoyed more as a food or the tender water as a thirst quencher. Coconut palms grow in abundance near sea coasts. So many islanders especially those from the pacific islands treat coconuts as their staple food. Only in recent times has medical research been able to ferret out golden nuggets of information. Coconuts have been found to kill bacteria and viruses that cause infections and they are numerous like throat and gum infections, urinary tract infection, pneumonia and ulcers. They also kill all fungal infections, heal wounds and diaper rash. Destroy parasites like lice and tapeworm. Strengthen the roots of hair and increases energy levels.
Imagine getting 460 percent of the required dosage of vitamins in a day from just one cup of boiled spinach. That should make anyone gulp it. It is also packed with lutein, which takes care of the cornea in old people and generally improves vision. Vitamin K, A, C, magnesium and iron along with folate are all contained in this common herb. Patients on antibiotics must eat spinach as all the vitamin K is destroyed by the pills along with the viruses. The risk of prostrate cancer is reduced and improves the function of the brain. Looks like Popeye knew all about it so many decades ago.