I am a big believer in the healing power of foods. Chicken soup may not be able to heal broken bones but it is certain to make you feel better when you are sick. Tea with honey will soothe a sore throat. Citrus fruit helps you stay healthy in cold season with vitamin C. These are some of the remedies that we all know. So, I would like to talk about some delicious healing foods that are not quite as obvious: herbs and spices.
I love my herbs and spices. I have written about them on several occasions and for different reasons (see my previous articles TIP TUESDAY: Keep Your Spices Fresh, TIP TUESDAY: Spice It Up! and TIP TUESDAY: Some Like It Hot). I know the flavor profiles and cooking methods for just about any herb or spice you can imagine. However, recently in the recesses of the world wide web I came across a poster called “10 Herbs That Heal”. After reading through it, I have to tell you two things. One – I don’t know much, as it turns out. And two – herbs and spices are magic. Here are some of their healing properties I bet you didn’t know.
- Joint pain? Curry powder can help relieve your joint and muscle pain as well as any prescription medication. It inhibits the body’s production of inflammatory compounds that over-sensitize nerves.
- Feeling down? Basil can boost the brain’s production of dopamine and seratonin, which can lead to sunnier disposition.
- Feeling tired and fatigue? Try cilantro. It binds itself to heavy metals in your blood and removes them, reversing toxin buildup that causes chronic fatigue and even depression.
- GI issues? Dill works as well as prescription antibiotics at killing harmful intestinal bacteria.
This list goes on. Coughing, congestion, stomach aches, nausea – all can be relieved with the help of delicious herbs and spices. I don’t know about you but that makes me happy. As I look at my spice collection and thriving potted fresh herbs, I am pleased to know that I am doing something good for my body. By making my cooking robustly flavorful, I am reaping the health benefits. How can you beat that?
I hung up that poster in my pantry. Cheers to flavor, I say! It helps us heal. And that is no small thing.