Herbs and spices have been used as cures for health issues in cultures around the world since ancient times. The most wonderful thing about them is that unlike pharmaceutical prescriptions, there are no harmful side effects imposed on your body without your consent.
Over this past few years, these are the herbs and spices I’ve used on a regular basis. I recommend those that I’ve used myself and speak from my own experience. However, I also include few additional tidbits of information that I’ve gleaned from other sources.
“For so many people, antidepressant medication either stops working or has too many side effects,” says Henry Emmons, MD, a psychiatrist with the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. Emmons, author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom, prescribes medications for his patients, but he also highly recommends exercise and good nutrition as physical treatments for depression, combined with a few targeted mood supplements.
Mint contains useful flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are known to boost health and help numerous ailments. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may increase memory and relieve stress.
Peppermint is in the same family of herbs with Rosemary and Sage which also contain flavonoids and phenolic acids.*
As an essential oil, peppermint can be used as a topical pain reliever, for skin or hair care, freshen breath, and in toothpaste. It can also be used aromatically in a diffuser for a pleasant, relaxing scent in your room before going to bed.
Sage has a long history of both physical and spiritual healing. Moreover, it belongs to the same family as rosemary and mint and therefore contains flavonoids and phenolic acids.* This is what gives sage both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
What’s great is the anti-inflammatory properties of sage make it a great herbal remedy for people who suffer from inflammatory conditions.
You may use rosemary topically as an application to the skin to prevent and treat baldness. In addition, it treats circulation issues, toothaches, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia. It also heals wounds, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent.
Interestingly, rosemary is in the same family with Peppermint and Sage and therefore contains flavonoids and phenolic acids.*
Health benefits of rosemary include the ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.
The fresh, clean smell of lavender makes it highly used in soaps, shampoos, and sachets to scent our clothes. Furthermore, it eliminates nervous tension, enhances blood circulation, and treats respiratory issues. Additionally, it is in use for disinfection of the scalp and skin.
Inhaling lavender has a calming, soothing, and sedative effect. The name “Lavender” comes from the Latin root “Lavare” which means “to wash”.
The aroma of jasmine essential oil has an uplifting and pleasant effect on the mind and helps reduce depression. Many use it as an antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative, and as an aphrodisiac.
The aromatic effect of jasmine oil stimulates the release of certain hormones in the body, including serotonin, which results in the boost of energy and the an uplift in your mood.
This is an ancient spice, in use for more than 5,000 years. The curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin, are what makes turmeric so extraordinary. Curcumin is a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Moreover, turmeric is also widely in use as an anti-depressant.