30 Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Photo by Calum Lewis

Spices and herbs have been part of most traditional diets since forever and that’s not just because they add a lot of flavor to dishes. Research has shown that they contain components that are good for your health, but many people don’t know much about the health benefits of herbs and spices. Read this article to learn more about how the following herbs and spices could improve your health and well-being.

Cinnamon-sticksSix Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Without a doubt, cinnamon is one of the most popular herbs out today. That’s because it is found in so many of the foods and drinks we ingest daily. From pies to teas, cinnamon is all around us. Thankfully, though, cinnamon is very healthy for us. In fact, this herb is filled with numerous health benefits, making it an important part of our diet. Six Health Benefits of Cinnamon.

1. Reduces Menstrual Pain

Within cinnamon, there is a natural chemical named cinnamaldehyde. This chemical is known for both increasing the hormone progesterone in the body as well as decreasing testosterone production in women. In other words, cinnamaldehyde will help balance out hormones which have proven to be effective for menstrual pain and infertility.

2. Eases Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a condition where individuals experience joint pains and aches throughout the body. When people with arthritis eat or drink cinnamon, they reduce cytokines. It’s these cytokines that are ultimately linked to arthritic pain which means cinnamon will help those with arthritis deal with the pain they’re going through.

3. Lowers LDL Cholesterol Levels

It has been shown time and time again that cinnamon can reduce LDL cholesterol levels. For those who don’t know, LDL is actually the harmful type of cholesterol that the body produces. By reducing these levels, individuals reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

4. Regulates Blood Sugar

Cinnamon is a great addition to anyone’s diet who has either diabetes or hypoglycemia. That’s because it has been proven to regulate blood sugar. However, it’s not just ideal for diabetics and hypoglycemics. Cinnamon even helps those who just want to stabilize their energy levels and moods.

5.  Prevents Cancer

In a study held at the University of Texas, which was then published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, it was found that cinnamon has the ability to lower the proliferation of cancer cells. This means with a diet full of cinnamon, there is potential for cancer prevention and pain reduction for those already suffering from the disease.

6. Rich in Nutrients and Minerals

Compared to other herbs, cinnamon is stocked with all sorts of nutrients and minerals. Some of these include fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese.

Photo by Matt Montgomery

Seven Health Benefits of Sage

Today, there are so many food items on the market that are bad for our health. Why eat that, though, when you can stick to herbs like sage that are actually good for your body? In fact, sage is one of the best herbs to ingest because it’s packed with so many different health benefits.
Check out some of the top health benefits of sage

1. Nutritious

Compared to other herbs, sage is good for you because it is full of antioxidants like apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin. That’s not all, though. It also contains a lot of crucial nutrients, such as vitamin K. In fact, because of this, sage is often considered one of those ingredients that can remedy a wide variety of diseases.

2. Alzheimer’s Disease

Another health benefit found in sage is that it helps improve both memory and information processing. That’s why it’s a great herb to eat if you’re someone suffering from mild Alzheimer’s disease.

3.  Memory

Similar to health benefit number 2, sage is one of those herbs that improve memory. Actually, it was found in a study published in the journal Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior that a dose of 50 microl of sage essential oil will immediately improve word recall. This means it’s a great food to eat when studying, or just trying to retain information.

4. Anti-Inflammatory

It has been proven that sage contains anti-inflammatory properties. In other words, sage is a fantastic herb to include in your meals if you’re someone who constantly experiences nausea or other stomach issues. This ingredient works to calm your system so that you feel at ease.

5. Diabetes Type 2

Sage is very powerful at lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in those individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes type 2. Basically, thanks to this, sage is extremely helpful to those patients.

6. Asthma

Within sage, there are properties that work to help open up the air passageways in your body. Due to this, sage is typically seen as a great herb to ingest when you suffer from asthma, as it alleviates the symptoms found in that condition.

7. Stomach Pains

As mentioned in health benefit number 4, sage should be eaten daily if you deal with stomach pains on a consistent basis. The properties located in this herb will work to clear up your system.

Photo by Marko Blazevic

Three Health Benefits of Mint

Who doesn’t love to include mint in their daily diet? Whether you’re throwing some mint leaves into your iced tea or are sucking down on a candy cane, this ingredient adds that minty flavor we can’t get enough of. Did you know, though, that mint is actually healthy for you? It adds all these kind of benefits that you can’t get out of any other food. Check out some of them below.

1. Aids Stomach Problems

If you’re experiencing nausea or menstrual cramps, mint is a great food to start digesting. That’s because it has proven to settle your stomach, riding you of any type of pain you’re going through in that area. In fact, according to a 2007 study out of Italy, irritable bowel syndrome was significantly reduced in 75% of the people who ingested mint oil capsules for a month. Are you wondering why this is the case? Well, mint turns on your ‘anti-pain’ channel in the colon, removing inflammatory pain that’s building up in the gastrointestinal tract.

2. Curbs Cravings

Looking to lose weight? If so, you better start stocking up on mint. Mint is a great food for fighting hunger because even the smell alone can make you want to steer away from any type of food. In 2011, there was a study done where patients were asked to sniff mint oil once every two hours. When the results of this study came in, it showed that these people reported not feeling as hungry as those who didn’t go through the experiment. That’s not all, though. These patients even ended up eating 2,800 fewer calories throughout the week.

3. Eases Headaches

Do you commonly suffer from stress, anxiety, and even hangovers to the point where you feel it all in your head? For those who have experienced this feeling before, mint is a fantastic option. A study in 1996 found that if you rubbed a little topical mint oil on your forehead and temples, headache pain would ease away. Actually, the study showed that this homemade remedy was as effective in 15 minutes as taking some acetaminophen would be.

With all these health benefits that come with ingesting mint, why not start implementing more of this food into your daily diet? Mint is easy to grow inside or outside in containers or in your garden.

gingerEight Health Benefits Associated with Ginger

From the kitchen to the medicine cabinet, we use ginger for just about everything. That’s because this spice is packed with nutrients, offering a whole slew of health benefits to all those who ingest it. Check out some of them below.

1. Maintains normal blood circulation

Since ginger contains magnesium, chromium, and zinc, it has been proven to not only help improve blood flow but also prevent fevers, chills and excessive sweat from occurring.

2. Aids motion sickness

While it’s still not known exactly why ginger is great for combating motion sickness, it’s clear that the ingredient is an effective remedy for getting rid of nausea that comes with this condition.

3. Improves absorption

Ginger has the ability to stimulate pancreatic and gastric enzyme secretion, which in turn triggers the body to absorb all of the vital nutrients floating around.

4. Flu and cold prevention

For years, ginger has been used as the main ingredient in treating both the common cold and flu. In fact, if you’re sick with this type of virus, all you have to do is place 2 tbsp. of freshly chopped ginger root in hot water and then drink that mixture two to three times a day. No worries, though. Since it’s a spice, it’s actually quite tasty.

5. Remedies stomach discomfort

If you’re having trouble digesting food, you should definitely consider adding ginger to your diet. That’s because it has the power to reduce inflammation, so you’re able to absorb food better. In other words, this means fewer stomachaches.

6. Colon cancer prevention

For those with a predisposition to colon cancer, ginger is a fantastic spice to take in because it slows down the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

7. Battles Common Respiratory Problems

When you’re in the middle of fighting a nasty respiratory disease such as a cough, ginger is a must-have. Since it expands your lungs and loosens up phlegm, it’s a natural way of breaking down and clearing out mucus from your system.

8. Strengthens immunity

Consuming a little bit of ginger every day is an excellent way to improve your immune system. For starters, it helps lower the risk of getting a stroke since it stops fatty deposits from clogging up your arteries. It also reduces bacterial infections in the stomach and puts an end to throat irritations and coughs.

aniseSix Benefits of Anise

Who doesn’t love working with anise? This herb, which is often compared to licorice, is typically used to cook with and even flavor candies and alcoholic drinks. While it definitely delivers in the taste department, anise is also a must-have ingredient because of all the health benefits it brings to its consumers. Check out some of them below.

1. Treatment of gastrointestinal problems

If you constantly suffer from indigestion, heartburn or bloating, you should consider adding some anise to your diet. This herb is known to relieve those who ingest it from these symptoms. Similar to this, anise also helps with nausea and flatulence. To take the herb, you can either use it to make tea or sprinkle some of its seeds over whatever dish you’re eating.

2. Treatment of respiratory illnesses

For those dealing with issues like bronchitis, asthma and the common cold, you better stock up on some anise. This herb has the ability to loosen up mucus found in the lungs, making coughs a whole lot more effective. In fact, that’s why most cough syrups use anise oil as one of their ingredients.

3. Treatment of hormonal imbalances

A lot of women who are going through some kind of hormonal imbalance tend to turn to anise. That’s because, in the past, it has reduced premenstrual symptoms, stimulated lactation in breastfeeding and increased libido. There are even some studies which hint that the hormonal effects of anise help those with diabetes because it helps keep blood sugar levels in check.

4. Treatment of acne

Many soaps and skin-care products choose to include anise in their ingredients since it targets oily skin and therefore aids in getting rid of acne.

5. Treatment of insomnia

If you’re having trouble sleeping, products with anise may do the trick, since it contains sedative properties. Besides the effect that anise leaves on those who take it, this herb is a natural remedy for insomnia, so it’s completely safe.

6. Treatment of external parasites

If you ever come across scabies or lice on your body, the oil from the anise plant can help you out big time. Anise has anti-parasitic properties within it, so it will treat all these types of issues.