A pinch of salt. A dash of pepper. Just a smidgen of basil to bring out the flavor. We use herbs and spices all the time to make our food taste better, but what if adding an extra herb or two to a meal could boost our health as well? Whether you’re in another country shopping in a foreign market or simply growing your own herbs for health reasons, these are 5 commonly used garden wonders to improve overall well being.
Basil – Can you smell the delicious aroma of fresh basil leaves, still warm from the sun? This aromatic leaf is packed with calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K. A few leaves in a capresé salad or ground as pesto over warm noodles work in the body to help lower blood pressure and boost circulation.
Marigolds – Such a pretty flower with so many valuable perks for the body! This colorful orange flower contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants responsible for brightening skin complexion. To use fresh flower petals, pour boiling water over the mixture and let soak overnight. Strain and chill to use as a daily skin toner. You may also see the oils of marigold flowers in many skin creams also known as calendula.
Peppermint Leaves – Crush a few of these stimulating leaves and soak in cold water for a few minutes. Apply to the pulse points and temple for an energizing break. Peppermint eases tension headaches and if inhaled as an oil, it can expand sinuses and relieve that heavy feeling you get when your sinuses are congested.
Chamomile – This versatile herb has been used in natural medicine for centuries to cure everything from digestive issues to anxiety. Chamomile plants are made up of thin feathery branched leaves and erect fuzzy green stems that produce numerous flowering heads. The florets are flat with triangular white petals and conical sunflower yellow centers. The flower heads are used as an infusion to create chamomile tea. The florets can also be used as an herbal element in salads or as a garnish.
Chrysanthemums – Suffering from a headache? Soak a handful of fresh chrysanthemum flowers in hot water for 10 minutes and drink as a relaxing tea. The effect of releasing blood vessel constriction and decreasing muscle tension in the head will often put the headache away in minutes.
Do you have a favorite herb or herbal remedy? Please share what’s worked well for you!
As with all medical conditions discussed on the Internet, check first with your doctor before using any alternative treatments.
Happy, Healthy Travels!
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