In our present modern world herbs are regaining its importance in our diet. Herbs are useful part of any balanced diet by aiding to remedy minor ailments. Even though herbs are rich in nutrients, in practice herbs have little nutritional value since it is consumed only in little amounts. The medicinal value of herbs known to earlier civilizations through a combination of keen observation, trial and error, is being rediscovered and confirmed by modern scientific tests. A convenient place to discover the medicinal value of herbs is the kitchen shelf. Most herbal spices are carminatives, stimulants and aids to digestion. Spices can be used to treat problems ranging from bleeding, flatulence, diarrhoea, headache, and infections. Some of the healing herbs are:
Basil Basil is said to be a tonic and to calm the nervous system. It may aid digestion and also ease stomach cramps. Basil tea helps relieve nausea. Sweet basil can be used when there is indigestion, fever, cold, headaches, vomiting, and constipation. Its medicinal properties include carminative, antipyretic, stimulant, and diuretic. Some recipes
Fennel This is a very valuable herb. Both the seeds and leaves can be used to aid digestion and help to prevent excessive wind, insomnia, nausea and vomiting due to its antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant and stimulant properties. The leaves of fennel are digestive, appetizing, stimulating and increases the secretion and discharge of urine. Chewing the seeds after meals prevent foul breath, indigestion, constipation, and vomiting. Fennel seeds promote menstruation and regulate monthly cycle. Fennel is one of the safest herbs for colic pain. Fennel leaves are useful in respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. Some recipes
Coriander The pungent leaves are used in curries, salads and chutneys. Both seeds and leaves are used for strengthening the urinary tract and for treating urinary tract infections. It possesses the properties as diuretic and carminative. Regular drinking of coriander water helps to lower blood cholesterol. A teaspoon of coriander juice with a pinch of turmeric powder is effective for pimples, blackheads and dry skin. Coriander juice is highly beneficial for hair loss, anaemia, and vitamin A deficiency. Coriander seeds help to stimulate the digestive system. Persons suffering from bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis should sparingly use dry coriander. Some recipes
Sage Sage is antispasmodic and astringent and helps in slowing the secretions of fluids. It is used for excessive perspiration, vaginal discharge, night sweats, diarrhea, dysentery, bladder infections, and sinus congestion. Sage tea is used as a gargle for sore throats and ulceration's of the mouth. Leaves rubbed on the teeth regularly help to keep them sparkling white and strengthen the gums. Sage leaves are used in hair oils to prevent premature greying of hair. Fresh sage leaves are used in salads and sandwiches.
Aniseed Aniseed is a culinary herb. It is very useful for breaking up mucus and is thus used for chronic coughs where expectoration is difficult. Aniseed is an ideal medicine for expelling wind from the stomach. It is considered beneficial in the treatment of asthma due to its expectorant properties. Aniseed is used externally as an insecticide against small insects such as lice and mites. It has also fungicidal and carminative properties. Check out the aniseed sherbet recipe
Cayenne pepper Cayenne is a stimulant, astringent, carminative and antispasmodic and is claimed to act as a tonic to the digestive and circulatory systems. Cayenne powder or tincture can be rubbed on toothaches, swellings and inflammations Rub a little cayenne tincture over the inflamed arthritis joint and wrap it around for some time. The pain is usually relieved after this treatment. It is been found to be helpful in the treatment of chilblains. Cayenne is not irritating when uncooked. Some recipes
A single herb could be used to treat a wide variety of maladies. Every herb contains hundreds of biochemical constituents that may have an effect on the body. They are used in various forms like food, medicine, cosmetics or fragrance. Once they are absorbed in the body they circulate to influence our whole system. Although herbs do not produce harmful side effects some herbs may cause adverse reactions in some individuals. Try only one herb at a time.