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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

8 Commonly Used Herbs and Their Healing Properties

Herbs you use to enhance your foods with appetizing flavors also have some amazing healing abilities.

1. Rosemary - contains volatile oils that help stimulate brain activities and increase brain alertness. It also aids in digestion and perks up your immune system. Steep it as tea, use in your poultry dishes and soups--or just crush some up to fill your home with an energizing scent.

2. Mint - Peppermint increases healthy gastric secretions, relaxes the intestines, soothes spasms, settles the stomach, and alleviates gas. In addition it is rich in antioxidants that support good vision and also cleanses your liver, helping to eliminate harmful toxins from your body.
Drink peppermint tea a half hour after mealtimes for untroubled digestion.

3. Oregano - If you're suffering from cold or flu, steep oregano in a pot of water and inhale the vapors, which are antibacterial, antiviral and decongesting. As an immunity-enhancing herb also settles digestion and prevents bloating.

4. Sage - Chinese traditional medicine has long used sage to help prevent the loss of mental function that comes with age. Sage has been found to increase oxygen to the brain cortex and to help improve concentration. Sage is easy on the digestion. Cook it up in soups and poultry dishes.

5. Chives - have been used throughout history for natural healing because they contain a substantial amount of vitamin C as well as essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and folic acid. They can be used to clear stuffy noses, prevent bad breath, ease stomach aches, strengthen the lower back, and improve poor circulation that gives you cold hands and feet.

6. Basil - Basil's scent can perk up your energy level and it is filled with luteolin, a bioflavonoid that studies have shown to be the best protection of cell DNA from radiation.

7. Cilantro - is an energy tonic that can boost your immune system and smooth out your digestion.

8. Parsley - is used in a Chinese folk remedy for cooling the liver and clearing the eyes. Parsley is packed with luteolin, and there is some evidence that this helps protect the eye from UV radiation damage and from glycation, a process in which sticky sugar molecules bind up protein, potentially damaging the retina. The age-old folk remedy recipe for vision protection is a juice blend of celery, peppermint, and Chinese parsley, made fresh daily.

To read the article this comes from, for growing tips, and further uses:

Hi Debbie.
As a massage therapist who has studied aromatherapy a little bit, just wanted to point out that #2, peppermint especially in tea, is actually contraindicated in the evening if you have GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease).
Obviously herbs have contraindications just like other supplements and medications, and folks should do a little research to make sure they don't have issues, but since I have personal experience with this one, wanted to point it out.
Oh, and for a certain percentage of the population cilantro is fairly unpalatable, tasting like soap I have been told. (article link: ) I personally can't get enough of the stuff! Diane KB
I'm one of the "I hate cilantro" people myself. DSL



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