Ask Linnea: The Healing Properties of Herbs

Ask Linnea: What are some healing herbs?

Herbs have been used for centuries to treat (and perhaps even cure) disease, helping humankind survive countless hardships. Here is a sample of some common household herbs to help you maintain health and a high quality of life.

Garlic is used in everyday cooking, but did you know that garlic may help lower your risk of cancer? Studies conducted in Japan suggest that garlic reduces cancerous growths. Garlic has phytochemicals which can help lower high blood pressure, and may even decrease your risk of stroke.

Ginger is a great herb for preventing stomach upset during pregnancy and motion sickness. It is a powerful antioxidant and will stop the production of free radicals, which can cause upset stomach. Ginger may decrease your blood pressure, arthritis pain, and cancer risk. It helps regulate blood flow and is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Rosemary is an antioxidant, and may decrease your risk of tumor formation. The best way to use rosemary on meat or vegetables is to marinate it with a combination of thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, and onion.

Tumeric, an orange-yellow spice found in curry, also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Tumeric may help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Tumeric has been shown to shrink lesions on the colon and to help clean the brain of the plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer's. It is also a powerful antioxidant.

Cinnamon has helps reduce blood sugar, and also lowers cholesterol. Add it to tea, coffee, baked goods, or sprinkle it on toast.

Many studies about herbs represent independent research. You can learn more by consulting some of the fine new books on this topic, or by surfing the web. There is more and more interest in the healthful benefits of herbs and spices, many of which are also available as food supplements.

As people try to limit their intake of sodium, they are discovering that you can literally spice up your diet and keep food flavorful at the same time that you cut back on salt: just add herbs and spices!

At Bloomingfoods you will find many local and high quality herbs and spices, in the produce, bulk and grocery sections. We also carry a new brand of organic herbs and spices: Pinch Plus (see above). Remember to use spices and herbs as much as possible to add flavor, color, happiness, and health to your life!

You'll find healthy houseplants from Linnea's Greenhouse at our three stores.