Outside of your medicine cabinet exists a wide variety of natural remedies. The spice cabinet – or any other storage unit harboring herbs and condimental knickknacks is a treasure trove.
Delightful as they are sprinkled in soups and cookies, spices and herbs have many talents beyond food embellishment.
For thousands of years, they have been used in medicine and their use is still relevant, as many of the same ailments affect our health today.
Initially spices and herbs seem different. Spices through their bold pigmentation and alluring scents provoke exotic visions of faraway lands, while herbs contain a certain familiarity that is subtle and earthy.
Yet the two are botanically the same. The list of medicinal spices and herbs can seem endless and for this reason the following information has been condensed to highlight the spices and herbs that are most familiar.
Please be aware this is for information purposes only. It is advisable to visit your doctor for medical consultation.
1. Cold, Flu, and Other Common Discomforts
In the midst of a cold, mint and ginger can treat common symptoms as well as nausea. Mint also helps treat vomiting, bronchitis, and inflammation of the sinuses.
Vanilla has been used to help treat fevers, while licorice can soothe bad coughs. Sore throats can be treated with licorice, cinnamon, and ginger.
For common pains black pepper treats earaches and joint pain. Crushed garlic can be applied to a site to decrease pain and cloves have been used as a topical anesthetic.
Poor circulation can improve with use of cinnamon, which helps blood pressure. Cinnamon works as an astringent as well, meaning it constricts the discharge of bodily fluids such as blood. Nutmeg is also an astringent.
2. Mental Clarity
Rosemary and garlic have been used to improve memory, while ginger has been shown to help in the prevention of dementia.
Rosemary and cinnamon are both beneficial in treating headaches. Cinnamon can also treat neuralgia. This is easily done by steeping the spice in water and applying it to the site.
3. Chronic Conditions
Black pepper is good for both heart disease and liver disorders.
Rheumatism can benefit from the use of garlic.
4. Stomach Upsets
For a sour stomach or accompanying discomforts, rosemary works as a diuretic and mint helps treat indigestion.
Black pepper treats constipation and abdominal tumors.
Licorice is used to calm peptic ulcers and treat spasms. Garlic also helps treat ulcers and inflammation – it even treats intestinal worms.
Ginger can help with menstrual discomforts in the stomach as well as other stomach disorders, as it increases proper blood flow. Cinnamon also treat upset stomachs.
5. Other Uses
Rosemary has an interesting talent for stimulating hair growth. Perhaps more importantly, rosemary has anticancer properties. If you are worn out or fatigued, rosemary provides a good energy boost and black pepper helps treat insomnia.
Spices can have good effects on your pets, too. In some cases, cloves are still used to treat ear problems in cats and dogs. The oil of cloves was once used as a painkiller in dental emergencies.
Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices, Bharat B. Aggarwal and Ajaikumar B. Kunnumarkkara
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