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Benefits of Herbs

WHAT WAYS CAN HERBS PROMOTE GOOD HEALTH?

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS

Talk to your doctor before starting any herbal therapy or treatments.

THYME  (Thymus Vulgaris)

The ancient Romans believed the sweet-smelling aroma of Thyme to be a cure for melancholy, and often added the herb to their homes. The ancient Greeks would use Thyme for incense, believing it was a source of courage. Similarly, the essential oils of Thyme are used today in aromatherapy sessions to relieve pain and elevate one’s mood.

Thyme is made up of an essential oil that is rich in thymol, which has powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and strong antioxidant properties. Often times, it is added to mouthwashes to treat inflammations of the mouth and infections of the throat. Thymol, when combined with another chemical, chlorhexidine, is used a dental varnish to prevent tooth decay.

A tea made by infusing Thyme and water can be used to aide in the treatment of coughs. Add one teaspoon of crushed Thyme in a half cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes & strain. Drink three to four times per day. Sweetening the tea with honey will increase its effectiveness as honey also acts as a demulcent.

 

OREGANO (Origanum Vulgare)

Hippocrates once used Oregano as an antiseptic as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. Used widely in Greek and Italian cuisines, Oregano is considered to be one of the key elements of the ever popular Mediterranean Diet. The diet is often cited as beneficial for one’s health as it is low in saturated fat and high in dietary fiber. Oregano is rich in dietary fiber which can aide in digestion and overall health. Just 100g of Oregano contains 107% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber.

Due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids, Oregano is high in antioxidant activity.  Oregano contains a number of plant derived chemical compounds that are known for their disease fighting properties. The leaves and stems of the herb are said to help gall bladder secretion and sweat production. They can also act as an antiseptic, expectorant, and stimulant. It has also shown antimicrobial activity against food born bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes.

 

 SAGE  (SPATSIASalvia Officinalis)

Sage is an earthy and flavorful herb that comes from the same order of plants as lavender, jasmine, and sesame. Found throughout both the old and new worlds, sage has long been prized for its medicinal and spiritual properties.

Sage has a rich cultural history. Ancient Egyptians used sage as a medicinal herb for the treatment of snake bites, and to aid in women’s fertility. The herb was a favorite of Charlemagne, and he encouraged its cultivation in Europe. Some Native American cultures still burn bundles of sage inside of their homes. The smoke from the sage is believed to ward off evil spirits and unwelcome ghosts.

Modern studies have shown sage to have many health benefits. It can act as a mild stimulant, a diuretic, and is believed to aid in memory function. Sage also is proven to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Sage tea is a common folk remedy used in treating colds, fevers, and soar throats. It is no wonder the plant’s name is synonymous with “wise”.

 

BASIL  (Ocinum Basilicum)

Basil is a sweet herb that comes from the mint family. Originally native to India, basil can now be found throughout the world. Basil gets its name from the Greek word basileus which means “king”.

According to Indian traditions, basil is thought to treat stress and diabetes. Other cultures thought basil had medicinal properties including: treatment of headaches, coughs, diarrhea, constipation, warts, worms, and kidney malfunctions.

Modern studies show basil to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. A study from the 2011 issue of Pharmaceutical Biology showed a variety of basil to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects on laboratory mice, and researchers at the Beckman Research Institute, in California, are looking into the basil extract vicenin-2, used in combination with other drugs, as a prostate cancer growth inhibitor.

 

ROSEMARY (Rosemarinus Officinalis)

Rosemary is a very aromatic herb with a powerful almost medicinal flavor. It is a woody perennial plant native throughout the Mediterranean region. Its name comes from the Latin words for “dew” and “sea” due to its robust ability to survive on moisture from the humid sea air alone.

Rosemary has roots in both Greek Mythology and early Christian lore. It has long been thought to have medicinal properties. The Queen of Hungary believed it to revitalize paralyzed appendages, and it is mentioned as a key component for a balm in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.   It was also customary for brides in medieval Europe to adorn head pieces made from rosemary as symbols of purity, love and loyalty. Folk remedies have often held that rosemary can ease itchy scalp and soothe sore muscles.

Today rosemary is still believed to provide a variety of health benefits. Cancure.org lists rosemary as one if its cancer fighting foods due its levels of carnosol which inhibits the development of both breast and skin cancers in animals. A study done at Northumbria, in the Untied Kingdom, showed that a chemical found in rosemary oil called “1,8-cineole” had a significant effect on brain performance. Some optimistic studies even suggest that rosemary can promote hair growth for people with alopecia.