Herbs can play a huge role in helping the body achieve optimum health. Whether the goal is to help remedy open wounds, aid digestion, boost the immune system, or lower cholesterol, herbs can be a viable, all-natural solution. Certain herbs have even been used for hundreds of years to naturally remedy a variety of health conditions.
What Are Herbs?
Herbs are plants that have a specific flavor, scent, and medicinal properties. They can be used in both culinary and medicinal fields, and they are appreciated/used differently around the world. Different cultures have learned to use herbs in various ways to treat things such as dysentery, bowel troubles, respiratory problems, or to help improve organ function.
Benefits of Herbs
Herbs can be used or consumed in a variety of ways to reap their benefits. You can inhale the aroma of an herb’s essential oil or brew fresh herbs into teas. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, you must use the herbs accordingly. Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties and can help remedy conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel ailments, or osteoporosis. Other herbs can help balance blood sugar levels, which is great for diabetes patients.
What follows is a list of some very common, yet extremely powerful, herbs that you can incorporate into your everyday life.
Basil has been known to calm the mind when consumed fresh or drunk as a tea. It has stress relieving properties, but its aroma can help to boost energy levels. The antimicrobial and anti-aging effects work to keep your skin healthy and youthful; it’s also a beneficial insect repellent. Keep a bunch of basil fresh by placing the stems in water at room temperature. Do not keep it in the fridge.
Sage contains a lot of vitamin K, which helps to maintain healthy bones. You can actually chew sage or drink sage tea to help naturally remedy conditions like psoriasis or arthritis. When consumed, sage helps to fight free radicals in the body. Sage can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks, but make sure it is wrapped in a damp paper towel.
Parsley is incredibly rich in antioxidants and flavonoids that work to kill cancer cells. These antioxidants include apigenin, luteolin, coumarins, and quercetin, among several others. The other nutrients in parsley, like manganese, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, all work separately to decrease oxidative damage and reduce kidney and liver toxicity. Keep parsley fresh by storing it the same was as basil (see above).
Dill is actually packed with flavonoids and B-vitamins, both of which have a calming effect on the brain. Consuming dill seeds can help to freshen your breath and soothe the digestive system. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of dill seeds contains more calcium than one-third cup of milk? To keep dill fresh, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in the fridge.
Rosemary has antioxidants, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help boost the immune system and promote healthy circulation. It has been known to help fight off staph infections and enhance one’s overall well-being. Rosemary has incredible anti-aging benefits, which can be reaped from both the essential oil and the plant itself. Keep rosemary fresh by storing it the same way as dill.
Oregano is a beneficial, heart-healthy herb with tons of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great herb to help detox the body and promote healthy liver function. You can also use oregano oil topically on the skin for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Store it the same way you would rosemary or dill.
Recent studies have shown that thyme extract has the ability to reduce the heart rate in rats with high blood pressure. Additionally, it was also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Thyme has many health benefits, including the ability to help the formation of red blood cells. It can also help relieve lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, and vertigo. Loosely wrap thyme in a damp paper towel and keep it in the warmest part of the fridge, like the door, for optimum freshness.