5 Herbs with Amazing Benefits

Photo credit: stevendepolo

Ah herbs, the spice of…food. And I guess life, too, if you know how to cook with them.

If you enjoyed my post about 5 teas with amazing benefits, then you’ll love this one.

Here are 5 herbs with properties you won’t believe!

1.) Fenugreek

The hard fenugreek seeds are often found in the spice rack of organic grocery stores but are rather tough to eat. The encapsulated powder version is much easier to consume.

What is so great about fenugreek?

Fenugreek has been shown to significantly increase strength in men without having any effect on their hormones. It also appears to have very strong anti-cancer properties. In vitro studies showed that fenugreek has the ability to kill different cancer cells (including prostate cancer) without harming normal cells.

So men, eat fenugreek.

Bonus: fenugreek may give your armpits a sweet, fruity smell. Just don’t skip the deodorant.

2.) Turmeric

Turmeric, the yellow spice that is the main ingredient in curry powder (quality curry powder tends to also contain fenugreek), has some amazing properties.

The spice appears to suppress human fat cells and inhibit cancer cell invasion.

Turmeric is best known for being both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. However, unlike other spices, it also causes your body to increase production of your own antioxidants. The antioxidant enzyme, catalase, gets a significant boost from turmeric consumption. But, the boost only comes from cooked turmeric and the anti-inflammatory properties come from raw turmeric.

As such, it is probably best to consume turmeric in both forms. Turmeric blends well with sweet dishes that contain cinnamon. So if you are making a pumpkin smoothie, throw a little bit of turmeric in there for the anti-inflammatory benefits. For the antioxidant effects, add it to any rice you are cooking.

3.) Cinnamon

Speaking of cinnamon, you probably already know how great it is for you.

Just a quick recap, cinnamon contains anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-tumor, blood pressure-lowering, cholesterol-lowering, and lipid-lowering properties.

But, what you probably don’t know is that the cinnamon you typically find in the grocery store is bad for you!

Cassia cinnamon (what is found in most foods labeled just ‘cinnamon’) contains a chemical called coumarin that is toxic to children’s livers (and can be toxic to adults, too, if they eat it every day). Only Ceylon cinnamon should be consumed.

Big shock to me too (I put cinnamon in my oatmeal each day). Make sure you get the good stuff.

4.) Cloves

Cloves (not garlic cloves, but the dark brown, dried, flowers) have probably the highest antioxidant levels of any food on this planet.

Use sparingly as it has a VERY strong taste.

Would make a great addition to the pumpkin smoothie mentioned above.

5.) Oregano

And that brings us to our final herb, oregano.

Oregano is best known for being antimicrobial. Oregano contains the chemicals carvacrol and thymol. Both have strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

This herb is probably second to only garlic in its ability to kill germs but doesn’t have that terrible garlic taste.

But be careful if you plan on taking oil of oregano as it can thin your blood. Had my first spontaneous nose bleed while taking some and it took about 2 hours for it to stop. Scary.

That being said, I believe all these herbs should be taken as a whole food, not as an extract or as an oil.

Don’t mess with mother nature.

Sources:

  1. NutritionFacts.org
  2. Dr. Axe – Food as Medicine
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