A closer look at a dozen herbs and spices that claim to help curb pain, improve memory, lower inflammation, reduce blood sugar and generally improve health.
Our ancestors used herbs and spices to flavor foods and soon learned that some of them seemed to improve their health. Today, science is looking more closely at those claims. Read on to find out the latest research on these history healthy spices and herbs.
One of the most commonly used spices in the world, cinnamon has been linked in various studies to improvement in cholesterol and blood suger control, and it seems to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Enjoy it on your food, but hold off on using capsule supplement, says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Lauri Wright. There’s not enough research on dosage and long-term impact, and if you have liver issues, it could be dangerous.
Uniquely fragrant, rosemary has historically been known for its impact on memory. Shakespeare wrote about it in Hamlet, when Ophelia say to her brother Laertes, ”There’s rosemary ; that’s for remembrance. ”
Turmeric, a common spice in curry powder and other Indian dishes, is another powerhouse spice often touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. The National Center for Complementary and integrative Health says that claim isn’t yet supported but points to studies that show it can control knee pain as well as ibuprofen, reduce the number of heart attacks after bypass survey, and reduce skin irriation after breast cancer radiation treatment. Be aware that using turmeric in high closes or over a long period could cause stomach distress.
Ancient records from Greece, Rose and Egypt mention the use of mint as a healing herb; Today, we often see peppermint used for colds, headaches and digestive issues. Studies of peppermint oil show that it may improve irritable bowel symptoms when taken in capsules and when applied topically may lessen tension headaches, but there’s no evidence it can help the common cold or other conditions. Be warned: Excessive closes of peppermint oil can be toxic.
Asian medicine has used dried ginger for centuries for stomaches, nausea and diarrhea. Scientific studies show that ginger could help control nausea from cancer chemotherapy when used along with conventional medications, and it may reduce morning sickness among pregnant woman, who should be sure to consult with an OB/GYN first.
When used as a spice, ginger is considered safe, but there is some concern that it could interact with blood thinners and increase the flow of bile, which might affect anyone with gallstone disease.
Garlic is the edible bulb of the lily family and is widely promoted as a health aid for high blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol and the common cold. But the The National Center for Complementary and integrative Health says the research into these claims is inconclusive. The center recommends adding Garlic into foods but warns that it can be increase the risking of bleeding in those of warfarin or needing surgery and can interfere with some drugs, including one that treats HIV.
Sage is a potent herb often used in stuffing and butters. Studies have shown that it may be helpful for memory, cholesterol and menopausal symptoms if taken by mouth. In one study, a mixture of sage and rhubarb on cold sores was nearly as effective as the antiviral medication acyclovir.
Evidence is sparse for the use of sage for cancer, asthma and stomach pain. Use in food is considered safe, but supplements are not advised during pregnancy or if you have seizures, high or low blood pressure or a hormone-sensitive cancer such as breast or ovarian canc
Source: CNN net
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