A lot of the flavors we love best come from herbs and spices, which are also excellent for our health. For instance, oregano is actually a powerful bacteria fighter, whereas turmeric may ease achy joints and asthma.
Namely, herbal tea can sometimes help, but usually you may need to go for an actual supplement.
In addition, we are going to present you 6 herbs that are better than pills, which should be part of your kitchen cabinet and tips how to use them:
- Garlic or Allium sativum
The pungent and popular bulb is especially heart-friendly: According to several studies, atherosclerosis patients who took garlic greatly reduced the plaque in their arteries, Mark Blumenthal claimed, who is a founder as well as an executive director of the Austin, Texas-based American Botanical Council.
Best form and dosage: Take 200 to 300 milligrams of standardized garlic powder three times on a daily basis for artery health.
Caution: In case you regularly take aspirin or warfarin, don’t add supplemental garlic, since it may thin your blood too much. Also, for the same reason, stop taking garlic one to two weeks prior to surgery, James Snow, a chair of the herbal division of the botanical healing program at the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland, advises.
- Ginger or Zingiber officinale
As a great natural anti-nausea remedy, this delicious root has few equals. According to research, it is effective against morning sickness and post-chemotherapy nausea, and also according to several studies, it fared even better than Dramamine when it comes to preventing motion sickness.
Best form and dosage: It is advisable to take 500 mg of the powdered extract 30 minutes before traveling, and then every four hours until the end of the trip for motion sickness. Or just prepare an infusion, in which you should leave the tea steep 10 to 15 minutes, by adding 1¼4 to 1 gram of ginger to boiling water. At least, consume it up to three times daily.
Caution: In case you are pregnant, don’t exceed 2 grams of ginger per day and in case you have a tendency toward heartburn, take it along with food.
- Oregano or Origanum vulgare
Studies confirm that oregano oil can fight infections, as a result of two powerful compounds found in the plant, such as thymol and carvacrol. According to the director of botanical and regulatory affairs at Herb Pharm in Williams, Oregon, David Bunting, oregano can have positive effects when it comes to traveler’s diarrhea and giardiasisis, too. But, it’s used primarily in the treatment of upper respiratory infections. What’s more, it’s ideal for short-term, low-grade issues, such as coughs and colds, but in case you don’t feel better after a few days, or develop a high fever, it is recommended to visit a physician.
Best form and dosage: Oregano essential oil, which is the most therapeutic form of oregano, is very effective, so it can burn your mouth if taken inappropriately, according to Glen Nagel, a naturopath and associate professor of botanical medicine at Seattle Bastyr University. Therefore, you should use Herb Pharm’s Oregano Spirits that combines the essential oil with a liquid extract of oregano. It is important to know that depending on your weight and the severity of your symptoms, doses actually range from 20 drops two times daily to 30 drops four times daily, diluted in 4 ounces of water.
Caution: There is no other side effects, except the mouth-burning potential of pure essential oil.
- Sage or Salvia officinalis
In the traditional herbal medicine, sage has long been considered as a brain booster. Moreover, in a small British study of healthy adults, those who took Spanish sage oil capsules consistently performed better on a word-recall test than those in a control group. There is a compound in the plant that seems to inhibit the same enzyme that’s targeted by medication used to treat memory loss in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. According to Bunting, it is also a classic remedy for sore throats due to its antiseptic action.
Best form and dosage: Alzheimer’s patients should take 30 drops of the liquid extract two to three times on a daily basis, Bunting advises, as well as a healthy person who just wants to stay sharp. When it comes to sore throats, you should try some sage tea or gargle with a very diluted solution of the liquid, for example 10 to 20 drops dissolved in a cup of warm water.
Caution: If taken in normal doses and along with food, there’s no risk. However, in case you use it for a longer period in amounts much higher than the recommended doses, it can actually bring on seizures.
- Peppermint or Mentha x piperita
It is a great stomach-calming herb that is really good for any kind of digestive upset, according to Bunting. Also, peppermint oil that comes in enteric-coated capsules, is one of the most powerful natural treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.
Best form and dosage: Use plain old peppermint tea in order to alleviate run-of-the-mill upset stomach. In order to treat IBS, take one capsule containing 0.2 milliliters of peppermint essential oil along with water and before meals one to three times on a daily basis.
Caution: Peppermint can result in heartburn and worsen acid reflux in some people, Snow says. So, in case you experience some of these problems, just stop taking the herb.
- Turmeric or Curcuma longa
This staple of Indian cooking is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Some studies confirmed that it eases the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, turmeric may also help with other inflammatory conditions, like tendinitis, and it may even protect heart.
Best form and dosage: Unlike with a lot of spice-rack staples, you can get a therapeutic dose of turmeric from food. Reenita Malhotra, who is an Ayurvedic clinician in San Jose, California says that a pinch per serving is all you need. Take 4 grams of turmeric a day in supplement form.
Caution: Since powdered turmeric is a powerful blood-cleansing herb, it should be sparingly used.