Power up with these Healing Herbs and Spices

Herbs and Spices play bigger role than just adding aroma flavor to a meal, they are packed with health benefits that may surprise you.

Each one offers different healing effects ranging from helping you recover from the common cold to preventing cancer and disease.

In this post, I’m going to share with you detailed information about the healing power of some of the most common medicinal herbs many people have in their kitchen, the best way to use herbs and how to incorporate more health into your life starting today.

1. Cinnamon is powerful for health
Mostly used in the form of a powder of the bark or leaves or as oil, cinnamon is widely used ingredient in Ayurveda for its healing powers.

Cough and Cold
Sipping decoction made of cinnamon stick soaked warm water along with a few drops of honey and a pinch of ginger juice about two-three times a day to get relief from congestion and sore throat.

Regulating Blood Sugar
Regular intake of cinnamon supplements or adding a pinch of it in diet can show marked improvement in blood sugar.

Skin Health
Mix 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder with 2-3 tsp of honey to form a paste. Apply this mix on the face-covering acne and pimples. Wash it off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Tea
1 piece of cinnamon bark, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp black pepper, powder, A pinch of dry ginger powder, 1 tbsp herbal tea powder

Boil water in a vessel. Add all the ingredients in it and give it a quick stir. Strain the tea and sip it warm.

2. Fenugreek Seeds for Skin, Hair and Health
Fenugreek seeds are very helpful to improve overall digestive system including all enzymes and liver. It reduces the toxins from the blood thus help in balancing uric acid level in the blood. Soak a teaspoon of seeds in a glass of water overnight and drink in the morning, it promotes insulin secretion and control diabetes.

Oil of Fenugreek for Hair
Mix 4o gm. powdered seeds in 150 ml of Coconut or Sesame oil and keep it in sunshine for one week. Filter it and store in glass bottle. Regular use of this oil gives nourishment to hair.

Application of paste made with Sprouted Fenugreek seeds and Aloe Vera promote hair growth and remove dandruffs.

3. Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory herb
Turmeric is a flavorful yellow-orange spice often referred to as the “golden spice”. It is one of the most important and useful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing and complexion enhancing.

For therapeutic use quantity of Turmeric powder should be around 1-3 grams mix in cup of warm water. You can also try Gold Milk, a delicious hot, spiced milk beverage. Mixing with Black pepper enhances Turmeric’s benefit by 2000% without any adverse effects. So, it is better to take Turmeric with black pepper in order to increase its absorption.

In Diabetes
Ayurveda recommends turmeric powder and honey mixed in the juice of Indian gooseberry (Aamla) for diabetes.

Acne & Skin
Topical application of Turmeric is an excellent wound healer and helpful in maintaining oil balance by regulating excessive sebum secretion in those suffering from acne and related problems.

Anti-aging
Turmeric reduces oxidative stress and also boosts the body’s own antioxidant capacity with routine dietary intake.

4. Ginger’s medicinal properties
The Ginger has an abundance of healing properties and is thought of in Ayurveda as “universal medicine.” Use of ginger root improves defense against cough, cold, and flu. Chewing Lemon soaked Ginger before each meal increases secretion of digestive juices and appetite.

Simple Ginger Tea
Fresh Ginger, sliced, Lemon juice and Honey.

Boil the Ginger in water and let cool to a palatable temperature. Before drinking, add a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of raw honey.

This is a great beverage to have in the morning or 30 minutes before meals. It helps to get the gastric juice flowing, leading to stronger digestion—which inevitably leads to a potent immune system. Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which also bolsters the immune system.

Ginger Bath
Combine 1/4 cup powdered ginger and 1/4 cup baking soda. Add to a warm bath. Soak, breathe, and savor. The aromatics of the ginger will help open the lungs, increase circulation, and stimulate warmth.

5. Basil, a holy herb
Ayurveda refers to Holy Basil or Tulsi as “the incomparable one,” “mother medicine of nature” and “the queen of herbs”. Basil has also been used in cities to combat air pollution.

Benefits for Skincare
For itching, Basil leaves are made into a paste and applied over the skin.

Face mask made with Basil, Mint and Aloe Vera is very effective in sensitive skin and acne.

For sinusitis and headache
Holy basil’s fresh leaves are crushed to extract the juice. Two drops of this juice are put into both nostrils on an empty stomach. This helps to relieve sinusitis related headaches.

For bad breath
Chewing one or two holy basil leaves daily helps to relieve bad breath by improving digestion.

For cold, cough and fever
Basil tea can be made to combat these conditions.

Basil Tea
Take 10-12 fresh Basil leaves (If fresh leaves are not available, take ½ tsp of dry Basil leaves). Boil them in about 1 cup of water on a medium flame and reduce to half. Filter and enjoy.

You may add a little ginger and clove while making this tea for extra benefit.

Author: Dr. Jitendra Varshney is currently working as the Spa & Wellness Director at Six Senses Spa, Mumbai. He specializes in Ayurvedic and Integrated Wellness consultations, guest treatments and nutrition plans for lifestyle disorders.