Healthy Living: 7 super Herbs for a Healthy Life
Your arsenal of home remedies is about to get a lot spicier. Though herbs have been used for hundreds of years to heal, scientists are finally starting to substantiate these plants’ abilities to alleviate arthritis pain, reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol, and help with many other conditions. They’re even discovering amazing new powers in some herbs, such as the ability to kill cancer cells and help with alcohol addiction. Recent studies have even shown that herbs and other natural remedies can be as effective as traditional treatments, often without the same negative side effects.
So here are 7 Super Healing Herbs you’ll want to add to the all-natural section of your medicine cabinet–and even to your favorite recipes! Folding one or two of them into your cooking every day can yield big benefits.
Cinnamon: Lower blood sugar
In a recent German study of type 2 diabetics, taking cinnamon extract daily successfully reduced blood sugar by about 10%. It might also Lower cholesterol. Cinnamon packs a one-two punch for people with type 2 diabetes by reducing related heart risks. In another study of diabetics, it slashed cholesterol by 13% and triglycerides by 23%.
Turmeric: Ease arthritis
Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.A heaping helping of curry could relieve your pain. That’s because turmeric, a spice used in curry, contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that works similarly to Cox-2 inhibitors, drugs that reduce the Cox-2 enzyme that causes the pain and swelling of arthritis. It might also help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Rosemary: Avoid carcinogens
Frying, broiling, or grilling meats at high temperatures creates HCAs (heterocyclic amines), potent carcinogens implicated in several cancers. But HCA levels are significantly reduced when rosemary extract (a common powder) is mixed into beef before cooking. “Rosemary contains carnosol and rosemarinic acid, two powerful antioxidants that destroy the HCAs. It might also stop tumors. Rosemary extract helps prevent carcinogens that enter the body from binding with DNA, the first step in tumor formation, according to several animal studies.
Holy Basil: Combat stress
Holy basil has proven useful at reducing stress by increasing adrenaline and noradrenaline and decreasing serotonin. Tea made from the leaves of holy basil has also been used to relieve indigestion and headaches. It might also inhibit breast cancer.
St. John’s Wort: Soothe your worries
You probably know that research has confirmed this herb’s power to relieve mild to moderate depression and anxiety as effectively as many drugs–without a lot of the side effects.
Garlic: Lower cancer risk
High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, says a 2006 research review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A 2006 Japanese clinical trial also found that after a year of taking aged garlic extract supplements, people with a history of colon polyps saw a reduction in the size and number of the precancerous growths detected by their doctors. Garlic contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which many studies have shown decreases high blood pressure by as much as 30 points.
Ginger: Avert nausea
Ginger can prevent stomach upset from many sources, including pregnancy, motion sickness, and chemotherapy. A powerful antioxidant, ginger works by blocking the effects of serotonin, a chemical produced by both the brain and stomach when you’re nauseated. It could also decrease your blood pressure, arthritis pain, and cancer risk. Ginger helps regulate blood flow, which may lower blood pressure and its anti-inflammatory properties might help ease arthritis and powdered ginger kill ovarian cancer cells as well as–or better than–traditional chemotherapy, at least in the test tube.
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