If you’re a cook and love food like I do, you’ll appreciate this report – I have always cooked with generous amounts of herbs and spices. Being raised by my paternal grandmother, she always included herbs and spices in her culinary delights and everyone was in disbelief how she could simply “throw some ingredients together” at the drop of a hat and make them a gastronomical delight…ah…her secret weapon was all those aromatic herbs and spices.
More recently, studies show what grandma knew long long ago. The health benefits of many herbs and spices have now been validated according to Professor of Medicine and Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. The most researched herbs include, but are not limited to: cinnamon, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, ginger, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. For the purposes of this report, I will be sharing the health secrets of only three: cinnamon, turmeric and ginger…click to continue reading…
The main health benefits associated with the herbs and spices mentioned above are their polyphenols – a type of plant compound. Polyphenols are additionally present in certain fruits and vegetables, tea, and red wine. We must keep in mind, however, that for those with inflammatory conditions (arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.) you must avoid nightshades like the plague, regardless of the other health benefits scientists isolate.
Professionals in natural health have used herbal and spice combinations for centuries to assist conditions that, for instance, include inflammation. For example, the antioxidants in cinnamon are linked to the reduction of inflammation, as well as benefiting those who must reduce their blood glucose levels as present in diabetics and those with insulin resistance.
The amount of ground cinnamon necessary on a daily basis is about 1.5 teaspoons spread throughout the day to benefit those with blood sugar imbalances. One thing to remember is that spices and herbs degrade with age and exposure to light and/or dampness – keep them in airtight containers and cool, dark and dry. For maximum medicinal purposes, buy small quantities and don’t use beyond 60 days of purchase. I find that once a seasoning is older than 60 days, I simply use for cooking but not for medicinal benefits. I recommend using a permanent marker and writing the date of purchase on each container – it’s easy for time to fly. If you choose to use fresh herbs and spices, you must double the amount recommended for medicinal purposes as dried ones are twice as strong.
- Add 1.25 tsp. to prepared oatmeal, yogurt or French toast batter. Use for baking apples, add to your favorite curry recipe, sprinkle over ground coffee before brewing, top-off a latte or hot cocoa, use generously in puddings, especially in bread pudding.
- Use whole cinnamon sticks and brew for a delicious, healthy hot tea. The secret in releasing the color and taste is to allow sticks to fully boil for about 5 minutes then add cold water, cover, turn off fire, and allow to steep for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Studies show that simply ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
- Studies also suggest that cinnamon has a regulatory effect on blood sugar; making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance disorders.
- Cinnamon has shown amazing abilities to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
- In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
- It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
- A study at Copenhagen University showed that patients given ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with 1 tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
- Cinnamon added has shown to inhibit bacterial growth and food spoilage – making it a natural, non-toxic food preservative.
- A study found that simply smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory – confirming the health benefits of aromatherapy that has been used for centuries.
- Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
- Cinnamon is packed with manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.
- Add to chicken or seafood casseroles and to water when cooking rice or vegetables like broccoli.
- Delicious in Greek yogurt; use ½ tsp. into 1 cup and use as a dip or sandwich spread.
- The basis of condiments for Asian dishes like curry.
Considered one of nature’s most powerful healers, turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin. It has been used for over 2500 years in India, specifically in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s most important benefit is its ability as a natural anti-inflammatory. Recent research has revealed its natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
The following are 20 documented reasons to add turmeric into your diet or supplement routine:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric is available in powder form as a condiment or in capsule or pill form for supplementation.
NOTE: For sore muscles or inflammation, I have used a supplement for over 20 years called Inflavonoid that contains a complex of ginger and turmeric along with lemon bioflavonoids. At the first sign of symptoms, take two tablets and then one every hour until relief. For those with a sensitive stomach, eat a small snack when taking the supplement. When I travel, I often strain my shoulders and this supplement reduces the inflammation quickly before long term damage occurs…it’s always in my travel bag. This is a professional product, to order call 888.352.8175 Mon. – Thurs. 8: to 2: Pacific Time.
Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Turmeric is often used by pregnant women; however, it is important to consult with a nutritionally-aware health professional before doing so as it can be a uterine stimulant.
- Add chopped ginger to stir-fry’s
- Sprinkle ground ginger on cooked carrots
- Use in a vinaigrette for a bit of spiciness
- Use in curries
- Great raw in fresh vegetables juices
- Grate fresh ginger into bread batter and cookie dough
The following are documented health benefits of ginger:
Another condiment that has been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits, ginger is now being validated by researchers around the world as beneficial in treatment of everything from cancer to migraines.
- Ovarian Cancer Treatment – ginger may be the powerful weapon needed in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it is applied!
- Colon Cancer Prevention – a study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
- Morning Sickness – reviews of several studies conclude that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in treating morning sickness, motion sickness and general nausea.
- Reduces Pain and Inflammation – studies show that ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory as well as a powerful natural painkiller.
- Heartburn Relief – taken in tea form, ginger has been used for centuries as a natural heartburn and indigestion remedy.
- Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment – ginger is especially effective as a natural treatment in cases of stomach flu or food poisoning; not surprising given its soothing effects upon the digestive tract.
- Migraine Relief – research confirms what ancient natural medicine has known for centuries; its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
- Menstrual Cramp Relief – the Chinese have used ginger tea with brown sugar or honey for centuries to relieve menstrual cramps.
- Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy – a study on diabetic rats confirmed that when given ginger there was a significant reduction of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage). The rhizome of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) is a rich source of antioxidants, including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones and other ketone derivatives.
The Way I See It…
Many of my patients lament that their diets are so limited because of their illnesses and/or food intolerances. I find that those who run out of culinary ideas are not individuals who enjoyed or did alot of cooking even before their illnesses. My suggestion is to begin slowly to introduce some of these medicinal culinary herbs into simple dishes. For instance, I love eggs. However, I would not enjoy them as much if I had them the same every day or every time I ate them. I alter them constantly with whatever is in my vegetable drawer. Some of the ingredients I add include cilantro, turmeric, green onions, avocado, broccoli, zucchini, Bragg’s amino acids, etc. Get creative, it’s good for your health and your palatte, naturally. Remember that since so many herbs and spices assist digestion, you’ll be surprised at how they benefit your overall health, just listen carefully to your body…it won’t guide you wrong.
Your Health Detective:
Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C.,
EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist
Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She consults worldwide via telephone and at her Institute in north Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com for details about consulting with her.
Creator of certificated courses to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR) and for post-graduate education for health and spa professionals. Go to www.gloriagilbere.com and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.
Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2010/2011division of Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, all rights reserved.
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