Most people I meet underestimate the power of their kitchen herbs… this is because they basically expect the herbs to work like pharmaceuticals… they expect their symptoms to vanish with 1 or 2 ‘doses’… Unfortunately herbs do not work this way… herbs heal your body from inside out…
I can’t say that taking an herbal tea or an infusion can deal with a fever or joints aches for instance as quick as an NSAID or cortisol tablet. No they don’t. Herbal remedies and natural healing in general do not tackle the symptoms as much as they deal with the root cause to achieve total body healing and this takes some time to restore your health, your energy, strengthen your power to fight disease, heal your wound or turn off the inflammation furnace…
Many people find it easier to swallow a pill or pop up a capsule than rest and take some hot broth or tea. It’s your choice certainly. Sometimes we need it to be fast to control our symptoms or ease our pains, but we still need to work on the healing power of the body… And, here comes the magic of our kitchen herbs…
By adding herbs to your daily life, I certainly don’t mean the sprinkle of oregano hidden under the pile mozzarella on your pizza or the spring of parsley that decorate your dinner steak… For them to work you need way more than that… Here are my 5 most essential ways to add herbs to your daily diet:
1.Add herbs into your Soups and stews.
- You can thicken soups with brown rice, oat, quinoa or millet.
- You can add cardamom, star anise, rosemary, basil, parsley, coriander, thyme, or nettles to the broth.
- You can add some cubes of roots and rhizomes like burdock, dandelion, sweet potato, or pumpkins to the recipe.
2.Try herbal teas.
- Herbal teas like Peppermint, caraway, and anise are great for your digestion. They help with gas and bloating, abdominal spasms and irritable bowel.
- Cinnamon tea is great anti-microbial, warming, anti-spasmodic and blood-sugar regulating.
- Lemon balm tea is calming and mood lifting.
- Passionflower, lavender and chamomile help you sleep smoothly.
- Sage is great for your memory and helps reduce night sweat and hot flashes in menopause
- Fennel is great for both your digestion and respiration. It also helps balancing female hormones
- Thyme and linden are great for the lung and respiratory problems.
You can also have cold herbal teas:
- Liquorice soothes the digestive tract, raises low blood pressure, and reduces inflammation in the body.
- Sumac is great for inflammation and for urinary tract disorders.
- Hibiscus lowers high blood pressure.
3. Add herbal powders or dried herbs to muffins, pancakes, paratha, focaccia and breads.
- You can add olives, sundries tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, nettles... to your dough
- You can add sumac or oregano on your pita bread.
- You can add a Tbsp of marshmallow root or slippery elm to any flour blend you are using. Marshmallow root and slippery elm are demulcent and soothing to the digestive tract.
- You can also use 1 tsp of astragalus powder with any flour mix. Astragalus is a Chinese herb that has been used for centuries as immune booster.
4. Prepare herbal vinegars and use them in your salad dressing or meat and chicken marinade
Add 1 to 4 ounce of herb (30-120 g) to 8 ounce (240 ml) apple cider vinegar. Steep for 2-6 weeks, then filter and store in dark container at room temp.
Some great herb vinegars to experiment with are:
- Sage vinegar. Sage is a good anti-microbial and has regulating effect on the sweat glands so it is very effective for night sweats and excessive perspiration.
- Thyme, oregano, marjoram are digestive aid and appetite stimulant. They are also great anti-microbial especially for respiratory tract issues.
- Nettles vinegar is very rich in minerals like iron, which is good for your blood. It is also rich in calcium, which is good for your bones and teeth.
- Garlic is a known anti-microbial, immune booster and cardiovascular support.
5. Herbs can also be added to rice, pasta sauces, stir fired vegetables and bean recipes
- Cumin, kumbo seaweed, garlic and onions can be added to the boiling water when preparing beans, legume and lentils.
- Cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg make good addition to rice especially wild and brown basmati rice.
- Basil, thyme, oregano, and peppermint can be added to pasta sauces
- Lemon grass, rosemary, and tarragon go well with stir fried vegetables.
These are just few ways you can integrate herbs in your everyday life… start experimenting, be creative, try new recipes… the sky is the limit… the more you add them the better your food will taste and the more healthful it gets.