enrich the taste of our dishes, and they are often the reason we are
especially fond of some flavor. However, most of them also offer various
health benefits and can help you fight multiple issues and conditions.
For instance, oregano effectively destroys bacteria, and turmeric soothes asthma symptoms and joint pain. However, you cannot enjoy all the benefits of an herb by only adding a pinch of it to your meals. There are cases when you need to take supplements in order to get the maximum positive properties of it. Herbal teas are also a good alternative, but in the case of the following six herbs, you should have them in the form of pill sin your kitchen cabinet for you to get their full potential.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Benefits: Research has shown that ginger is extremely effective in the case of morning sickness and post-chemotherapy nausea, and experts have found that it is even better than Dramamine in preventing motion sickness.
Best form and dosage: To treat motion sickness, you can prepare an infusion by adding ¼ to 1 gram of ginger to boiling water; and consume this three times daily. You can also take 500 mg of the powdered extract half an hour before traveling, and 4h prior to the trip’s end.
Warning: In the case of pregnancy, do not take more than 2 grams of ginger daily. If you suffer from heartburn, take ginger with food.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Benefits: This herb has been traditionally used for centuries as a brain booster and as an antiseptic in the case of a sore throat.
Also, British researchers have found that people who took Spanish sage oil capsules were consistently better on a word-recall test than those who did not. Sage contains a compound which inhibits the same enzyme that is the target of drugs for memory loss in the case of Alzheimer’s disease.
Best form and dosage: In the case of Alzheimer’s, or if you are just trying to remain sharp, take 30 drops of the liquid extract 2-3 times daily. In the case of sore throats, drink sage tea or gargle with a much diluted solution of the liquid (10 to 20 drops) dissolved in a cup of warm water.
Warning: There are no risks if taken in normal doses. However, if used in excessive amounts for prolonged time periods, it might lead to seizures.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Benefits: This miraculous bulb with a pungent taste is excellent for the heart.
According to Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the Austin, Texas-based American Botanical Council, its consumption drastically lowers the plaque in the arteries in patients with atherosclerosis. He maintains: “Garlic slightly lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, and raises HDL, the good type. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces the potential for a stroke, because less plaque means there’s less possibility that pieces will break off from the artery walls and lodge in the brain or heart.”
Best form and dosage: To support the health of the arteries, take 200 to 300 milligrams of standardized garlic powder three times every day.
Warning: You should not take garlic in the form of supplements if you are regularly using aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin), as it might thin the blood.
James Snow, chair of the herbal division of the botanical healing program at the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland, advises “For the same reason, stop taking garlic one to two weeks before surgery.”
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Benefits: Oregano oil fights infections, due to the potent compounds it contains, thymol and carvacrol.
David Bunting, director of botanical and regulatory affairs at Herb Pharm in Williams, Oregon, maintains that “Oregano can be helpful for traveler’s diarrhea and giardiasis, but it’s used primarily for upper respiratory infections. It’s best for short-term, low-grade problems like coughs and colds, but if you don’t feel better after several days, or you develop a high fever, you should definitely see a physician, who may need to prescribe antibiotics.”
Best form and dosage: The inappropriate use of this oil might burn your mouth, as suggested by Glen Nagel, a naturopath and associate professor of botanical medicine at Bastyr University, in Seattle. Therefore, it would be best that you choose some combinations of this essential oil with a liquid extract of oregano. The proper doses range from 20 drops twice daily to 30 drops four times daily, diluted in 4 ounces of water.
Warning: There are no risks apart from the potential burning of the mouth of the pure essential oil.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Benefits: Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, and it soothes the pain due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It relieves inflammation in the case of other conditions, like tendonitis, and it boosts the cardiovascular health.
Best form and dosage: According to Reenita Malhotra, an Ayurvedic clinician in San Jose, California, you can get the therapeutic dose of turmeric from food, and you need a pinch per serving. If you choose supplementation, you should take 4 grams of turmeric a day.
Warning: Use it with caution, as powdered turmeric is a potent blood-cleansing herb.
Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
Benefits: Peppermint is the best stomach-calming herb you can use. It is extremely beneficial in the case of all kinds of digestive issues. Peppermint oil in the form of enteric-coated capsules is excellent in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
These capsules are coated, and they pass through the stomach and do directly to the intestines, where they open, and provide an antispasmodic effect on the muscles that go haywire during IBS, causing its main symptoms, such as diarrhea and/or constipation.
Best form and dosage: Drink peppermint tea to calm the upset stomach, while in the case of IBS, take a capsule with 0.2 milliliters of peppermint essential oil 1-3 times daily with water and before meals.
Warning: In some cases, peppermint might lead to acid reflux and heartburn. Therefore, if you notice any symptoms, stop using it.