SPICES and HERBS have been used in cooking since antiquity. Not only do they add flavor to any food, but spices and herbs have a variety of medicinal actions that help to support our health. Moreover, many of them are antimicrobial, destroying bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and worms.
In the past, herbs and spices served to cover up the not so pleasant smell of rotting meat and slightly spoiled foods, as well as to preserve foods.
Even now, these lovely natural flavor enhancers, help to keep our gastrointestinal tract (from the mouth to the anus) healthy by supporting a balanced intestinal flora often destroyed by the sometimes necessary use of antibiotics, microbial infections, and unhealthy eating habits.
Healthy digestion is vital to health, as it affects the way we absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat. Impaired digestion (indigestion) may lead to a weakened immune system, anemia, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, vitamin and mineral deficiency diseases, and so forth.
Below is a short list of well known herbs and spices to illustrate how they support a healthy body by promoting healthy digestion, supporting the liver (bile flow), and keeping the intestinal environment clear of unwanted invaders.
Enjoy the spices for their flavors and digestive support. However, consult a naturopathic doctor to treat any health concerns. All spices are derived from plants and may contain substances that may cause harm in large doses or interfere with medications or nutritional/herbal supplements that you’re currently taking.
- alleviates abdominal pain, improves salivary secretion and thus promotes digestion, reduces spasms of the trachea and bronchial tree, and provides antimicrobial protection; also is known to improve the flow of breast milk
- improves appetite, alleviates abdominal cramping, promotes bile flow, and helps to protect the digestive tract from viral and bacterial infections, helps to expel phlegm from the respiratory tract, and protects from, as well as fights, bacterial infections
- promotes appetite, alleviates digestive discomfort, improves digestion, protects from, and fights, bactrial infections of the digestive tract, helps to expel mucus from the respiratory tract, and reduces inflammation of the respiratory tract as well as the genitourinary tract
- promotes appetite, supports bile flow and digestion, reduces abdominal cramping and flatulence (gas), helps to expel mucus from the respiratory tract, and protects from, and helps to fight, fungal, viral, and bactrial infections
- supports a healthy appetite and digestion, promotes sweating, helps to protect from, and fights, bacterial and fungal infections, and tonifies the cardiovascular system
- helps to protect from, and fight, bacterial, viral and fungal infections; soothes abdominal cramps, reduces inflammation of the respiratory and digestive tracts, reduces bad breath (chewing the herb), and alleviates tooth aches (topical paste); is an important component of antiparasitic herbal formulas
- has antimicrobial properties, promotes a healthy appetite and digestion, and reduces abdominal spasms; also used for infrequent or weak menstrual flow
- promotes a healthy appetite and digestion, reduces nausea, promotes blood flow and healthy lipid (blood fats) levels, alleviates pain from inflammation throughout the body, and protects from, and helps to fight, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory and digestive tract
- alleviates flatulence and digestive discomfort, reduces inflammation of the respiratory and digestive tracts, helps to expel mucus from the respiratory tract, and has antimicrobrial properties; also promotes the flow of breast milk
- promotes a healthy appetite and digestion, has antioxidant properties, soothes inflammation of the respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary tracts, and alleviates abdominal cramping and flatulence, as well as diarrhea
- promotes healthy lipid levels, supports blood circulation, and reduces pain when applied topically (externally in a paste or ointment)
- promotes bile production and bile flow to support healthy digestion, helps to maintain normal lipids, reduces inflammation and promotes urine flow, and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; also known to enhance mental clarity
- promotes a healthy appetite and digestion, alleviates inflammation of the respiratory and digestive tracts, protects from, and helps to fight, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, and promotes flow of urine
- protects the liver, is a strong antioxidant, reduces inflammation and pain, promotes healthy cholesterol levels, helps to protect, and fight, bacterial and viral infections, supports a healthy immune system, and has antitumor properties