|Photo: Petr Kratochvil|
Herbs, Spices, and Kitchen Pantry Staples to Heal ByThe following list of herbs and spices that are good for your health is by no means exhaustive. There are other uses for the listed kitchen herbs, spices, and cabinet staples, as well, but these are the ones most well known. Your herbal home remedy may be in your cabinet.
CayenneFights germs. Helps keep hands and feet warm on cold winter days if you spring a very small amount in shoes or gloves during cold weather. Be careful not to use too much, since it can blister in large amounts. Cayenne will also help stop blood flow on bleeding cuts. Sprinkle on and be ready for the burn. Since it also kills germs, this is a good first aid treatment. If you have a nightshade allergy, avoid cayenne and other peppers.
CeleryGood for arthritis. Also good for stabilizing blood pressure. It has lots of fiber which helps with constipation.
CinnamonAntimicrobial that kills harmful germs. Good for helping regulate blood sugar. 1/4 tsp a day is enough to help stabilize blood sugar. Add some to your oatmeal for a tasty breakfast. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar carefully if you take cinnamon while on insulin.
Citrus FruitHigh in antioxidants. Helpful in overcoming flu and colds. Enhances immune system.
CherriesCherries contain fiber, protein, and vitamin A. They boost antioxidant activity in your body, and have anti-inflammatory properties that help provide relief for arthritis and gout. Studies have found that cherries help regulate fat and glucose in the blood, as well as lower the risk of colon cancer. As an added benefit, they have also been shown to enhance memory and help you sleep better.
CranberryThis is not as common in the kitchen. At my house, we keep Craisins–cranberries dried like raisins. Delicious and helps prevent and cure urinary tract infections. Drinking a small glass a day supports your urinary tract by preventing bacterial infections.
GarlicA natural antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-parasitic. Does not work as quickly as prescription drugs, so if you are very ill go to your doctor immediately. Helpful treatment for any lung infections, and helps promote coughing up lung congestion. Good for the digestive system, and helps balance intestinal flora. Reduces cholesterol levels.
GingerGreat for nausea. Make a tea with powdered ginger, and sip. If you don’t like the heat of the herb, you can use ginger ale or nibble on ginger snaps. Good for morning sickness or motion sickness. Also used as a remedy for the common cold in China. In India, it is used in a paste applied to the temples to relieve headaches. It has also been reported to help relieve migraines ear aches. For this use take 1/3 of a teaspoon of powder, or take a ginger capsule. Can also be helpful in weight loss efforts. Can cause heartburn, gas, or bloating if taken in powder form.Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory herb. Add to soups, salads, and teas.
OatsGood for constipation. High in fiber. Help to reduce cholesterol. Feeds the nervous system and is good for depression. Oats take a while to work, but can be a very helpful in treating nervous exhaustion.
Olive OilPrevents DNA damage. Provides mono-unsaturated fat for your diet. Research indicates that olive oil likely prevents cancer.
ParsleyA great remedy for bad breath–also is good for urinary tract and works as a diuretic.
PeppermintGood for digestion. Also good to take as a capsule for irritable bowel syndrome. Helpful for cleaning sinuses and lungs of congestion.
RosemaryHelps boost memory and energy, and is helpful for people with low blood pressure. Use a tea externally for muscle stiffness. Also good for nervous tension, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea.
SageMake tea from tsp. sage and one cup of boiling water. Can gargle for sore throat, or add honey and sip for soothing effect. It is also good for mouth ulcers and gum disease. DO NOT use if you are pregnant or lactating. Sage will dry up a mother’s milk.
ThymeGood treatment for lung infections and also for urinary tract infections. As a gargle, it is good as a treatment for laryngitis, tonsillitis and soar throats. Can also be used as a wash for minor cuts, sores and infections. Do not use the essential oil of Thyme undiluted and do not take it internally. Essential oils are often quite poisonous when taken internally.
Again, this list is not exhaustive. There are many other herbs, spices, and kitchen staples that have medicinal uses. The herbs listed here are traditionally used in homeopathic and herbalist medicine.
Be Careful of Drug InteractionsBefore using any herbal remedy, talk with your doctor. While uncommon, there are sometimes interactions with some prescription medicines that can be very harmful.
Do you use kitchen remedies or home remedies?