Most herbs have a range of health benefits and healing properties. However, they are often overshadowed in conversations about health-promoting foods by vegetables and fruits, which tend to monopolize the spotlight. Here are a few that you might want to consider growing in a window box or on your fire escape.
Cilantro is high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals that can lead to cancer and other negative health effects. In addition, cilantro inhibits oxidation in other foods, thus delaying spoilage, which means it can serve as a natural preservative.
Cilantro is also believed to have an antibacterial effect that can protect against Salmonella. Animal studies have suggested that cilantro can be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, and it is often used as a treatment for heatstroke, digestive disorders, and insomnia.
Finally, it has been found to help prevent lead accumulation in rats, and because of this, it is often used in detox juices and on detox diets to combat heavy metal toxicity.
Aside from being a key ingredient in a killer marinara, oregano is a wonderful herb for many reasons. Like cilantro, it has antioxidant and antibacterial effects. In addition, oregano contains beta-caryophyllene, a substance that reduces inflammation. Therefore, it can be used to help treat osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, and other inflammatory conditions.
And due to its antiviral effects, oregano oil in spray form can be used to treat symptoms of upper respiratory infections, as well as colds and flu. Oregano is high in vitamin K, which helps to promote bone growth and maintain bone density. It is used as a treatment for a range of conditions, including muscle pain, toothache, fatigue, and menstrual cramps.
Parsley is high in vitamins C, B12, K and A; it offers immune support and promotes bone health. It also contains myricetin, a flavonoid that has been shown to fight against skin cancer. In addition, it contains high amounts of chlorophyll, which can protect against the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines, which are produced when foods are grilled at high temperatures. So if you enjoy grilled foods, you might consider adding a sprig of parsley to your meal.
It is also believed that myricetin may help to lower blood sugar, decrease insulin resistance, and offer anti-inflammatory effects. Parsley is frequently used to treat urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, intestinal gas, support kidney function, and more.
Many of us think of herbs as the tasty additions that bring flavor to our favorite dishes. But herbs are an important part of a health-promoting diet. And while scheduling an appointment with an herbalist is a great option, some of the most common herbs pack a powerful punch when it comes to supporting your health and wellness — and they can be grown at home.
—The Alternative Daily