The spice trade of the 17th century moved the spices all around the world and more and more nations were finding how good herbs were for healing all sorts of ailments .
So what is a Herb, they can be dried or fresh grown they are used to flavor dishes but not usually the main dish, the more common ones used in cooking are oregano, basil, bay leaf, lemon balm, parsley, thyme and rosemary. They are easy to grow and cultivate.
Herbs are found all over the world, some native to the area and some have been introduced, most people don’t study herbs and buy what is available at their local store, but did you know there are 90 different varieties of rosemary?
The medicinal purposes of herbs are no secret but it can be confusing to know what herb for what ailment and what quantities to use also. For example, St.Johns Wort taken in small dosages can help with depression but in large doses cause toxic overload that can lead to complications for the body.
Mixing herbs and medications should also be looked at carefully to make sure there are no contra indications.
Herbs are packed with vitamins and minerals and you can now find them in most health food stores in supplement capsules and also liquid formulas. There are so many herbs to choose from and all of them have healing properties of some kind, therefore I have listed some of my favorites below and their medicinal properties.
Ginger: One of my favorite herbs is Ginger, this herb is so versatile and can be used for many healthy benefits. Ginger has the extraordinary ability to fight inflammation is extremely beneficial for the heart where inflammation can lead to disease.
Cinnamon: This herb keeps your blood sugar under control, gets rid of bath breathe with it’s anti bacterial properties it is helpful with fungal infections, and cinnamon tea is great for heartburn.
Lavender: Most people know about the healing properties of Lavender you can use it for dandruff, sleeping, put on cuts and wounds as it has antiseptic properties. Lavender tea is wonderful for an upset stomach.
Tumeric: I love this herb I use it when I make soups and put it all of my stir fries and it tastes really good. You can use it to dye clothes in Asia and India they have been doing that for centuries. SO when using it be careful not to get in on your clothes 🙂 Medicinal uses are phenomenal they have tested on mice for the prevention of breast cancer spreading and also combined with cauliflower reduces prostate cancer, it also stops the growth of existing tumors. Also beneficial for Alzheimer’s. More about Tumeric
Chamomile: This is a beautiful flower and has a great aroma, it settles an upset stomach, drinking the tea calms anxiety and stress and helps with sleep if drunk just before bedtime. Helps stops Diarrhea and also helps with tooth-ache.
Drying herbs is a great way to keep them for longer there is a difference in the taste between fresh and dried herbs, nothing like picking a basil leaf from your garden and putting it straight into your recipe. There are 3 methods to drying herbs that I have found.
Method #1 Natural Air Drying
The best place to dry herbs is in a large room such as a pantry, closet or attic. They can be an addition to your decor hanging to dry in your kitchen. They need to be kept away from direct sunlight, moisture and frost as this compromises the quality of the herb. Make sure there is airflow. Tie the herbs into a bunch and hang them upside down, small loosely tied bunches work best. Check the herbs every day to see how they are drying and if they need to be moved or need more airflow. It takes about 7 – 10 days for them to be dry and brittle then you can rub them between your hands onto some parchment paper and then store them in jars for future use.
Method #2 Oven Drying
Air drying is by far the best but if you want the herbs quicker or you live where there is a lot of humidity then oven drying might work better for you. Remove some of the stems and lay the herbs on a cookie sheet do not overcrowd them give them space. Place them in the oven at the lowest setting but no more than 180 degrees. You should not smell the herbs cooking if you do then the oven is too high. It will take around 2 – 4 hours and then once they are dried follow the same process by rubbing them through your hands.
Method #3 Microwave Drying
Microwave drying is fast and easy especially if you are drying a small amount of herbs. Place the herbs on a paper towel and place in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes check the herbs and check them every 30 seconds until they are dry and brittle. The length on time will depend on how much moisture is in the herb. It is easy to overheat them so remember to keep checking after every 30 seconds.
Quality of Herbs
How do know the herbs you want to take are of good quality. The best way is to grow your own and then you know for sure. If you do not have a green thumb or the space then research and check labels and information. The more information regarding the herb the more reputable the company will be. Finding one that works best for you is the main factor in deciding which brand to buy. Getting recommendations from your health practitioner or other health professional who has studied herbs. Remember to check with your health professional before taking, changing or stopping any supplements, herbs, vitamins and medications.
Look for guarantees, where the herbs were grown, how they are dried and harvested and where the manufacture is from and do your due diligence. Once you find a brand you like then you can stick to it.
The very best way is to grow your own herb garden then you can take charge of your health from a completely different angle. Then you truly are using your herbs for healing.
What is your favorite herb and what do you use if for?
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I became a writer, speaker and holistic life coach so I could make a difference by teaching from my personal experiences and also teaching a great empowering tool. My mission is to empower everyone to be their true self. if you want to find out more about me click here