The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history. Many were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use. Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.
Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect
Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods.
Cinnamon has numerous health benefits, and is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels.
Sage Can Improve Brain Function and Memory
Sage gets its name from the Latin word Salvere, which means “to save.”
There is promising evidence that sage extract can improve brain and memory function, especially in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Peppermint Relieves IBS Pain and May Reduce Nausea
Peppermint has a long history of use in folk medicine and aromatherapy. As is the case with many herbs, it is the oily component that contains the agents responsible for the health effects.
The natural oil in peppermint provides pain relief for those with IBS. It also has potent anti-nausea effects when used in aromatherapy.
Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
Studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has major benefits for many aspects of health.
Holy Basil Helps Fight Infections and Boosts Immunity
Not to be confused with regular basil or thai basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India.
Holy basil appears to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds.
Cayenne Pepper Contains Capsaicin, Which Helps Reduce Appetite and May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper used to prepare spicy dishes. Of course, these observed anti-cancer effects are far from being proven in humans, so take all of this with a big grain of salt.
Cayenne pepper is very rich in a substance called capsaicin, which reduces appetite and boosts fat burning. It has also shown anti-cancer potential in animal studies.
Ginger Can Treat Nausea and Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine. Studies have consistently shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea.
1 gram of ginger appears to be an effective treatment for many types of nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce pain.
Fenugreek Improves Blood Sugar Control
Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance libido and masculinity. While its effects on testosterone levels are inconclusive, fenugreek does seem to have beneficial effects on blood sugar.
Fenugreek has been shown to improve the function of insulin, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels.
Rosemary Can Help Prevent Allergies and Nasal Congestion
The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid. This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion. The number of immune cells in nasal mucus also decreased, with reduced congestion. Rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory effects that appear to suppress allergy symptoms and reduce nasal congestion.
Garlic Can Combat Sickness and Improve Heart Health
Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its medicinal properties. We now know that most of these health effects are due to a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic’s distinct smell. Garlic supplementation is well known for combatting sickness, including the common cold. If you often get colds, then adding more garlic to your diet could be incredibly helpful. There is also convincing evidence for beneficial effects on heart health. In one study, it was just as effective as a blood pressure lowering drug.