Registered Dietitian Nutrition Counseling-J.Nutrition

A holistic approach to health and wellness

The Power of Health and Healing Through Herbal Remedy and Food

What powerful herbal remedies are sitting in my kitchen?

Did you know the foods we eat have super powers? The versatility of herbal remedies in particular and their nutritional benefits is astounding. Herbal remedies need not be comprised in special potions or tinctures to be beneficial (although this is also an option). Rather beneficial herbs & spices can fit right into a pot or on a plate. Basil, cinnamon, ginger, cilantro, and parsley are some of the most common herbal varieties kept ready in American cuisine. These herbal additions can easily turn a drab meal to brilliant cuisine. In addition, herbs & spices also serve as powerful health promoters in our bodies. Here are just a few health benefits of some of the more common herbal remedies you may encounter in your kitchen.

What herbal remedies can I add to my plate or pot to promote heart health?

There are many herbal remedies for high blood pressure reduction and overall cardiovascular wellness. Turmeric supports heart health by acting as an anti-inflammatory and improving cholesterol levels. Did I mention this is also tasty? You can easily fit this into your day by adding turmeric in smoothies. Turmeric in soups or on salads may also be a great way to fit this simple spice in.

Ginger is another way to show your heart some love. Ginger is one herbal remedy that is incredibly easy to find and easy to prepare. Ginger and heart health go hand with its positive impact on cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Some additions of ginger you may not have considered include ginger in smoothies, stir fry with ginger or carrots and ginger soup. Hint: peel ginger with a spoon for easy access.

Another herbal remedy for heart health is garlic. Garlic is my all time favorite seasoning, and I can assure my house would send any vampire running! Thank goodness my partner shares my love for it. If you are on the hunt for herbs to lower cholesterol (and any large fanged friends) Garlic is a good go-to. It’s packed with fiber and antioxidants to support both a healthy heart and digestive tract.

String of garlic the heart health promoter

String of garlic the heart health promoter

What are some ways to use herbal remedies to reduce anxiety?

Chamomile tea is an easy natural remedy for anxiety to keep in stock in the kitchen. Chamomile tea is commonly used to calm and relax the nervous system as well as help promote healthy circadian rhythm. Promoting healthy circadian rhythms in turn will help to keep cortisol levels in check which is a hormone often associated with chronic stress.

Pair chamomile with lemon for additional health benefits as well as to enhance taste. Lemon acts as a free radical scavenger in the body, reducing oxidative stress on the cells. It is also has healing properties as it is a precursor for collagen synthesis. Other herbal remedies for anxiety include green tea or lavender. Many individuals have also had success utilizing holy basil for anxiety. Another name for holy basil is tulsi. Holy basil is different than the traditional basil we may think of in most kitchens but nonetheless makes a tasty stir fry. Holy basil is used in some thai dishes. Holy basil in tea is also popular. In addition to reducing anxiety, holy basil has anti-inflammatory properties.

Relax with chamomile tea

Relax with chamomile tea

What are some natural remedies for inflammation:

Here we will gear more towards health benefits of spices for a moment. Capsaicin for inflammation is the one spice we will examine here. Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and gives them their spicy flavor. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Blood pressure and cholesterol reduction are added benefits of capsaicin. There is also some speculation that capsaicin can stimulate the metabolism and aide in appetite suppression and weight reduction but at this point research is inconclusive. Cayenne, green or red chili peppers are great sources of capsaicin. Add some heat to your dish to reap numerous health benefits from these tasty natural healers.

The moral of the story is if you are looking for natural remedies for your ales, you often need look no further than your kitchen counter. In addition I encourage you to remember, typically the more flavorful your dish the more super powers it likely has.