Loretta loves to write about best practices in health and wellness as well as the great job opportunities in the growing wellness industry.
All over the world, people have known about the healing and health powers of herbs and spices. For centuries and even imbibed in most cultures, you would find that cooking with some herbs and spices is part of the people's culture and food. Some specific spices and herbs give certain recipes passed down from generation to generation the signature taste for which they are so loved. These spices do not only give taste and add to the aesthetics of your plate but are also beneficial for their healing qualities.
Here are some science-backed reasons for why these spices can be found in the cuisine of several cultures as well as why and how you should incorporate them into your recipes;
This golden spice which is very popular in Indian cuisine is very rich in antioxidant compounds due to its high cumin levels. This powerful antioxidant compound has been found in studies to contribute to treating a wide range of illness and health issues, from minor toothaches to chronic conditions like heart diseases, arthritis and diabetes.
The usefulness and benefit of turmeric in treating Alzheimer’s diseases, and breast, prostate and colon cancers are also being explored. With clinical trials majorly supporting its effectiveness in the treatment of depression too.
Organic turmeric root powder is the main ingredient in preparing curries; you can also incorporate it in your other soup and stew recipes. You can also use them in lamb chops, chicken, pasta, pancake, rice, turmeric Latte and tea, which is very popular with health enthusiasts and good for the body.
This one of the most popular herbs and spices all over the world. Garlic is a favourite with many people due to the flavour it adds to cuisine, and it also has lots of health benefit due to its bioactive compounds and other nutrients. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have taken to consuming garlic and ginger, believing them to be potent in protecting against the virus and cold. There has yet not been a verified medical statement confirming this assertion's accuracy, but people feel safer using them because they are suspected of helping boost immunity.
Known qualities of garlic include reducing high blood pressure and hypertension and is the main reason why garlic extracts are used in supplements and blood pressure treatment medicine.
Garlic is used in various cuisines; they are used in making garlic bread, cooking meat, pasta, stews, and soup.
3. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are known to contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. They help to protect the body against stress and are essential aids in diabetes management too. According to health experts, bay leaves help reduce inflammation and respiratory issues and improve heart health and digestion. This leaf which is scientifically known as Laurus nobilis is native to the Mediterranean region and has been a part of the medicinal and culinary world for centuries in almost all the continents including Africa, Asia and America.
Organic bay leaves are important herbs in herbal and aromatherapy treatments for respiratory, digestive and skin conditions. The nutrient value includes protein Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, vitamins and lots. They also contain anti-bacterial properties.
In some cuisines, the herb’s leave is grounded into a spice and used to flavour stew and soups while more commonly, the leave-in added whole in cuisines for flavour and used as a garnish to be later removed before the meal is eaten.
Rosemary, like most spices, is popular due to its flavour and fragrance. A member of the mint family studies has shown that this herb can serve as a mood booster. It also improves concentration and, when added to cooking, helps fight hair loss, improves brain function, and prevents cognitive decline in older people. The use of rosemary in balding and scalp treatment oils points to the herb's validity and effectiveness.
In cuisine, you can use rosemary as a seasoning in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, lamb, fish, chicken, pork, steaks etc.
5. Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon sticks contain lots of antibiotic and antioxidant properties suitable for their healing potency in the body. Cinnamon is also said to boost the immune system, improve appetite, reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, and enhance digestion.
One of the most effective ways to extract the cinnamon stick's numerous properties is by soaking in water and sipping the water regularly to reduce the effect of menstrual cramps and boost the immune system. Cinnamon infused water has healing properties because it is filled with antibiotic and antioxidant compounds.
According to some researchers, organic cinnamon sticks help regulate blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance and aid in cholesterol reduction. However, there are conflicting studies about this, and it would be best for you to consult your doctor about using it if you have diabetes. It is also best to use cinnamon as a spice in your cuisine to get a healthy amount of the nutrients it contains. Consumption of cinnamon in large quantities has been linked to liver damage due to the compound, coumarin present in cinnamon.
This distinctive and popular spice is known and loved for its medicinal qualities as much as its flavour and fragrance. It is used for an extensive range of cuisines and drinks, from sweet to savoury, pastry, soups, and baked goods, sprinkled on lattes and toast, and lots more.
NOTE: Some herbs can cause side effects or interact with medications when consumed in large quantities. Use moderation by only using them in your cooking, not consuming them directly, and telling your doctor about any herbal supplements you take.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Loretta Osakwe Awosika