It’s time to get back to nature and look at what the Earth provides us with to help nourish our bodies and heal naturally. Your humble herb and spice rack may be more than just a decorative kitchen feature, but rather an abundant wall filled with healing ingredients that can be easily incorporated into your mid-week meals. Certain foods have been identified as “anti-inflammatory” and may help to reduce chronic pain or inflammation.
Herbs and spices contain a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help you to upgrade the nutritional content of your meals. We have put together a list of common herbs and spices that you can add to your meals and flavor your dishes with, that also provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Below is a range of our favorite herbs and spices. You may be surprised about the diverse range of conditions and symptoms these herbs and spices have the potential of treating, and how easy and inexpensive it is to reap the benefits.
A vibrant yellow spice most commonly used in Indian cuisine, it can be found in almost any grocery or health food store. Turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes to treat infections, wounds, colds and liver disease for centuries. Turmeric is arguably one of the most powerful herbs on the planet with over 6,000 peer-reviewed articles proving its benefits.
Incorporate turmeric into your life by:
Adding a pinch of turmeric to scrambled (free-range, organic) eggs or your favorite frittata. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to pumpkin soup or toss through roasted vegetables.
Cinnamon is a popular spice often associated with baked treats, cereals and smoothies.
However, you may not have considered that the teaspoon of cinnamon that you add to your baked treats may doing you more good than you realized. Studies have shown that cinnamon could assist with boosting brain function, fighting cancer, aiding in digestion, supporting weight loss and fighting diabetes.
Incorporate cinnamon into your life by:
Adding a cinnamon quill into your morning tea, sprinkling half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon onto your homemade granola or adding a sprinkle of cinnamon into your next bowl of breakfast oatmeal.
Part of the mint family, rosemary has a scent similar to pine. Often used in Mediterranean cuisine and to accompany lamb dishes, rosemary has a handful of health benefits. Rosemary has been researched by a number of universities to help uncover its anti-inflammatory powers. The health benefits of rosemary include the potential to improve memory, relieve muscle pain, aid digestion and reduce areas of inflammation.
Incorporate rosemary into your life by:
Adding a sprig of rosemary to your tray of vegetables or sprinkling onto homemade potato wedges before roasting in the oven.
For centuries, ancient cultures have embraced the healing benefits of cayenne and other hot chili peppers. All chilis contain a naturally occurring component called capsaicinoids. Capsaicinoids are the secret ingredient within chilis that gives them their anti-inflammatory properties. Chilis have been known to assist in digestion but they also host another array of benefits including reducing arthritis symptoms, relieving headaches, preventing blood clots and assisting the body’s naturally occurring detox system.
Incorporate cayenne into your life by:
Adding a dash of this spicy chili to your favoring soup or stew, or spice up your next hummus or guacamole with a sprinkle of cayenne.
Like rosemary, sage is a herb also used quite frequently in Mediterranean cuisine. Sage is renowned for its ability to soothe menstrual cramps and digestive discomfort as well as increase circulation. Sage is also known for its naturally occurring antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Incorporate sage into your life by:
Adding 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves to your favorite herbal tea, or infuse sage leaves into your olive oil to give it a flavor kick and nutritional boost.
Pungent, aromatic and a little spicy, ginger is a zesty addition to many Asian dishes. Ginger has an impressive nutritional profile and, as well as being packed full of nutrients, also offers a vast array of health benefits. Ginger has been acknowledged for its anti-inflammatory effects, and as a safe and effective relief of nausea and vomiting, particularly during pregnancy. Ginger may also protect you from a number of cancers including colorectal and ovarian cancer, as well as give your overall immune system a boost.
Incorporate ginger into your life by:
Adding some freshly grated ginger into your next Asian curry or stir-fry, or combine with soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to make a healthy salad dressing.
Often used to top your favorite pizza, oregano many offer you a range of health benefits you may have never considered. Oregano contains a powerful substance called beta-caryophyllene that helps fight inflammation. This herb is said to benefit people suffering conditions such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. On top of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and antifungal properties can also be added to the list of what make oregano one of our top picks.
Incorporate oregano into your life by:
Sprinkling it on top of your next pizza or course. You can also add a teaspoon of oregano to your homemade pasta sauce for a flavorsome, nutritional boost.
We all know that the downside to garlic is needing to brush your teeth almost immediately afterwards. But did you know garlic has a long list of health benefits too? Garlic has been used to ease the pain of arthritis, reduce nauseous feelings, reduce inflammation and blood pressure as well as detoxify the body of heavy metals.
Incorporate garlic into your life by:
Adding a minced clove of garlic to mashed potatoes, salsa or stir through pasta sauce.
Cloves come from an evergreen plant and have been used for thousands of years in India and China. Cloves have been praised for their large list of health benefits including aiding in better digestion, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as for boosting the immune system.
Incorporate cloves into your life by:
Adding cloves to hearty soups and stews, or include in hot drinks such as chai tea.