At East, we feature some of the most simple and easily attainable ingredients in our signature teas, Young Living essential oils, and much more! With Thanksgiving this week, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight some common household spices and herbs that have more benefits besides just tasting wonderful! Here are my top 10 favorites:
1. Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
This spice is probably sitting right on your kitchen table. The herb is popular for alleviating the phlegm from a cold and helps improve your stomach's ability to digest foods. A bonus unknown fact about black pepper is that the outer layer of the peppercorn aids in the break-down of fat cells (1). Add some black pepper to your next warm soup dish and enjoy the benefits.
2. Dill (Anethum graveolens) Dill is currently being researched as an agent against diabetes (2). In addition to helping with diabetes, Dill is rich with vitamin A, vitamin C, and many antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and inflammation. Dill goes well with fish, eggs, or mushrooms. Try dill in one of our signature salads at East, a delicious tuna cucumber salad!
3. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger can be effective for breaking a fever and relieving other cold or flu symptoms. Hot water with added ginger is a perfect remedy for sore throats. It is also the perfect herb to fight diabetes and high blood lipids because it attacks diabetes from several sides, and even helps with weight loss. A 2012 study found that subjects burned an extra 43 calories after consuming a breakfast that contained a hot ginger beverage (3).
4. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
No stranger to most of our kitchens, oregano makes a great remedy for coughs either as a tea or inhaled as steam, and even serves as an anti-inflammatory herb for prostate health. Oregano also contains a rich source of dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol levels (4).
5. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Breathing in boiled rosemary relieves nasal and chest congestion. When cooking Rosemary, it becomes a heart tonic and can help treat metabolic syndrome. Rosemary's chemical properties are effective in fighting inflammation and cancer (5).
6. Sage (Salvia officinalis)
One of the great cleansing herbs since the dawn of time, sage is a great herb for sore throats and coughs. A study showed promise that one of the key compounds in sage helps in the battle against Alzheimer's (6). Try sage and honey in some hot water for enhanced anti-germ power.
7. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
There are tons of varieties of mint, but this one is great for respiratory conditions. In aromatherapy, it is used to treat fatigue! The iron content in a single serving of spearmint is more than 100% of the daily recommended amount, which can stimulate the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin (7).
8. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
Cinnamon is one of the most useful spices on earth, and has useful properties of warming the body and clearing mucous congestion due to colds and flus. The spice is loaded with many nutrients that can decrease inflammation and may aid in weight loss by lowering cholesterol and boosting metabolism (8). Try some cinnamon on beans, lentils, and brown rice to add a healthy touch!
9. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is also rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Thyme contains 75 active phytochemicals that work against diabetes, and its delicious aroma enhances any dish. Thyme also helps certain immune cells secrete agents that fight inflammation (9). It's thyme to try some in your next fall dish!
10. Garlic (Allium sativum)
People have used garlic for health and healing for more than 5,000 years. With antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal benefits, garlic can prevent a cold and boost your heart health. Garlic exhibits the strongest anti-inflammatory force among them and suppresses cells that flare up in diabetes (10).
With all of the benefits of these household herbs in mind, try to utilize and reap all of the health results that can occur in a home-cooked meal this holiday season! Check out All Recipe's website excellent ingredient search option to find some meals that utilize these herbs!
1. Liu Y, e. (2017). Inhibitory effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum) extracts and compounds on human tumor cell proliferation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, lipid peroxidat... NCBI, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20839630.
2. Goodarzi, M. T., Khodadadi, I., Tavilani, H., & Abbasi Oshaghi, E. (2016). The Role of Anethum graveolens L. (Dill) in the Management of Diabetes. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2016, 1098916. http://doi.org/10.1155/2016/1098916
3. Mansour, M. S., Ni, Y.-M., Roberts, A. L., Kelleman, M., RoyChoudhury, A., & St-Onge, M.-P. (2012). Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 61(10), 1347–1352. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2012.03.016
4.Food Composition Databases Show Foods -- Spices, oregano, dried. (2017). Ndb.nal.usda.gov. 2017. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/277?manu=&fgcd=&ds=Standard%20Reference
5. Peng CH, e. (2017). Supercritical fluid extracts of rosemary leaves exhibit potent anti-inflammation and anti-tumor effects. - PubMed - NCBI. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17827696
6.Effects of Sage on Memory and Mental Performance in Alzheimer's Disease Patients - Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov. (2017). Clinicaltrials.gov. 2017. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00110552
7. Buja, L., & Roberts, W. (2017). Iron in the heart. 2017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002934371902403
8. Gruenwald J, e. (2017). Cinnamon and health. - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20924865
9. Kindl, M., Blažeković, B., Bucar, F., & Vladimir-Knežević, S. (2015). Antioxidant and Anticholinesterase Potential of Six Thymus Species. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2015, 403950. http://doi.org/10.1155/2015/403950
10. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic. (2017). Healthline.com. 2017. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic