Why spend money in pills of all sorts when food is the best medicine for minor illnesses or recurrent complaints? Not that we wish to undermine the importance and frequent need for an adequate medical treatment but it is true that we tend to underestimate the healing properties of medicinal herbs and spices.
This computer graph of Super Herbal Foods illustrates the surprising medicinal uses of ten fresh herbs and spices widely used in the kitchen.
COUGH? TRY CURING IT WITH ...
Eucalyptus decongests the chest and helps expel mucous. What’s more, tannins are anti inflammatory and relieve sore throats.
Pairings: white beans, potatoes, polenta, apples
CRAMP? TRY ...
Image: Non Sprecare
OREGANO. Two spoonfuls of fresh oregano each day, help women who suffer from menstrual pain. In fact, this herb relaxes the uterine muscles and prevents painful spasms.
Pairings: mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, pumpkin
BELLYACHE? TRY USING ...
MINT. Menthol works wonders for intestinal spasms. Studies show that it can reduce pain by 40%.
Pairings: aubergines, tomatoes, melon, dwarf beans
MUSCULAR PAIN? TRY USING ...
CURRY. Curcuma inhibits the production of prostaglandin E2, which makes nerves hypersensitive. It works better than any medicine for muscular pain.
Pairings: lentils, rice, cauliflower, spinach
INTESTINAL DISORDERS? TRY USING ...
Image: The Green Revolution
DILL. Indian scientists have discovered that limonene is just as effective as antibiotics for eradicating intestinal bacteria such as E coli.
Pairings: cucumber, turnip, carrots, salad
FEELING BLOATED? TRY WITH ...
Image: Anne Sture Tucker
PARSLEY. Thank apiol and myristicin for the fact that parsley is a naturally diuretic herb providing relief in cases of water retention: it prevents the salt from being reabsorbed by the body.
Pairings: pasta, tomatoes, cereals, onions
FEELING WEAK? PICK YOURSELF UP WITH ...
BASIL. Eugenol and rosmarinic acid accelerate the production of dopamine and serotonin. Your mood will improve in just three days.
Pairings: tomato, pizza, pasta, olives
STUFFY NOSE? TRY SOME ...
Image: Living Raw
CAYENNE PEPPER. This spice deactivates the substance P, a neurotransmitter associated with the inflammation, which reduces nasal pressure and congestion.
Pairings: green leaf vegetables, beans, soups, rice
TIRED AND LISTLESS? TRY USING...
CORIANDER. Its carboxylic acid binds to heavy metals, such as mercury, and helps remove them from your body and bloodstream. Say farewell to the toxins responsible for chronic fatigue and depression.
Pairings: avocado, sweet corn, black beans, curry
NAUSEA? TRY SOME ...
GINGER. A good ginger infusion will work better than many medicaments.
Pairings: potatoes, miso soup, rice, pears