June 26, 2012

Summer Healing Spices

Tap into how you are feeling and cook with these when you can!

Basil  - anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, digestive, galactagogue, tonic and aromatic. Contains orientin and vicenin, two water-soluble flavonoids, which both stimulate growth of white blood cells and protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. Basil’s volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene, protect against unwanted bacterial growth of pathogens such as: Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.

Peppermint – stomachic, and cooling, it relieves indigestion, dyspepsia, and colonic muscle spasms by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue of the intenstines. Essential oil of peppermint also stops the growth of many different bacteria, including: Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, which helps open bronchial passageways and reduce the effects of allergy-induced cold symptoms.
Parsley – depurative, anti-dandruff, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, odontalgic, stomachic, and tonic. rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. The activity of pasley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.

Rosemary – antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiac, carminative, diaphoretic, nervine, and ophthalmic. Contains rosmarinic acid, which stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, and improves digestion. Anti-inflammatory, digestive, and aromatic, the potent herb both aids in digesting fats and decreases the risk of infection from contaminated foods. It increases circulation, specifically to the head and brain, thus improving concentration.

Sage – antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, galactofuge, vasodilator, tonic, cholagogue, and astringent. Improves memory by decreasing the growth of neurovascular plaque in the brain. Soothes the digestive tract, dries excess mucus from all membranes, and provides crucial phytonutrients which counteract the effects of oxidation, not only in human blood but also in cooking oils and nuts.
Thyme – anthelmintic, antiseptic, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative, tonic, repellent, and fungicidal. Contains thymol and other volatile oils, which have antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi such as: Staphalococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Shigella sonnei. Helps preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. Thymol helps increase the percentage of healthy fats, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes.

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