Useful Herbs

Useful Herbs

While on my journey to become a Master Herbalists I have learned so much about how herbs can be useful in your diet and for many health issues that we may experience from day to day. It’s amazing how something so natural and easily available can serve so many purposes. The best part is that herbs can be used to heal ailments as opposed to medication which only masks the symptoms of the ailment. Another amazing fact is that you can consume them in different ways from adding them fresh or dried to your meals to diffusing them as tea. If you are like me I am sure you couldn’t imagine how to incorporate certain herbs in your daily diet. So to help us all on this journey to a healthier lifestyle I will share some information on the herbs and their characteristics as well as some practical uses.

Oregano

Oregano contains many health benefits:

  • Its benefits include fights infections, treats cold, flu, cough and overall respiratory issues
  • Oregano is also a natural antibiotic for common infections like yeast.
  • Can help lower cholesterol
  • Improve gut health
  • Has antioxidant properties which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals (toxins) in the environment.

To Use:

You can use leaves dry or fresh. When used in cooking the flavor of oregano gives your dish a Mediterranean flavor.

  • Can use in veggie dishes, like stir-frys which is a favorite of mine
  • Can add to a beans
  • Can add to fish
  • Can add flavor to chili
  • pizza and pata sauces
  • use as marinade
  • add a few leaves to your salad

Tips:

Best added to dishes toward the end of cooking.

To get the most nutrients and release the herb’s flavors chop, crush or grind leaves.

Add small amount to avoid making the dish have an overwhelmingly bitter taste..

Another option that is helpful if you want to benefit from the nutrients’ of the herb but don’t want to cook with it is enjoying the herb as a tea.

Tea prep:

1 tbsp. fresh or dried leaves

1 cup boiling water

honey to taste.

Crush leaves and place in a cup. Pour in boiling water and steep 5-10 minutes. The longer it steeps the stronger the flavor will be.

Strain and add honey to taste

Thyme

Contains the following properties: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant.

  • Can be used for digestive problems, respiratory issues and to neutralize certain viral and fungal bacteria.
  • Also beneficial in treating skin inflammation.

To Use:

Can be used fresh or dried for culinary purposes to add an earthy flavor with a slight minty taste.

  • Can use in seasoning or marinades of meat
  • Add to soups or stocks
  • Add to vegetables, fish, and more

Tip: The longer the her cooks the more flavor it adds to dishes.

Tea Prep:

Add 1teaspoon of dried leaves or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme to pot

Cover herbs with 2 cups of boiling water

Simmer for 15 minutes

Strain and add lemon, ginger and/or honey to taste.

To prepare from Thyme Powder: add 1/2 to 1 tsp of Thyme powder. to cup, pour boiling water over the powder and mix well.

Tea can also be used as a mouthwash and to treat respiratory issues like Bronchitis and to soothe a sore throat.

Turmeric

It contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

  • Can be used to ease PMS symptoms
  • lower bad cholesterol
  • ease joint pain
  • ease feelings of depression
  • fight viral infections from herpes to the flu

To Use:

Herb mostly used as a dried herb, not found as a fresh root in too many places. It has a pungent, bitter flavor.

  • Can use to season meat
  • Add flavor to eggs, tofu, and roast vegetables
  • Add to rice for color and mild flavor

Tips:

Best if used in small amounts

Turmeric can be taken as a supplement for the body but must be paired with black pepper for the body to absorb the nutrients of turmeric. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin which gives it health benefits: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This ingredient is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream. So it is best used in conjunction with black pepper which has a compound called piperine. that increases the absorption rate of curcumin into the bloodstream.

Ginger

Contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

  • It is very beneficial for settling upset stomach and other digestive issues
  • can reduce muscle pain and helps ease menstrual cramps
  • Can also be used to avid diabetic issues as well as lower risk of infections

Uses:

Can be used fresh or dried. Has a complex flavor of spice, sweetness and woodsy combined.

  • Can be used in soups, sauces and marinades
  • Stir-frys

Tea:

Add a a few coin sized slices of peeled ginger to pot

Cover with 2 cups of boling water

Simmer for 10-15 minutes

Strain and add lemon and honey for taste

I hope this list has shown you how useful herbs can be for your diet and health needs. Incorporating these herbs in your diet not only adds flavor to your meals but also offers many benefits for your body. Take your time and experiment with one until you are more comfortable and learn what works for you. It is not a fast-paced process but may have some surprisingly beneficial effects on you.

If this sounds like something you’d like to study more about click here.

For more on using herbs check out my post Home Remedies

Until next time stay safe and positive. Remember a change is made one day at a time.

scarletshealthandwellness

Starting my journey to a healthier lifestyle began when I realized that the human body is like a machine. Whatever you put in it affects how it works. To allow our body to function at it's best we must care for it properly both physically and mentally. So my mission is to help others by sharing tips and ideas on ways to bettering their health.

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