Category Archives: Healing Herbs & Spices

Eat raw ginger to ease the pain of aching muscles Pain killer:

Raw ginger can reduce muscle strain after exercise, according to a study Ginger could help muscle pain caused by exercise. A new study shows taking a small amount of the spice every day reduces the strain on muscles after a workout. Ginger has long been used as a remedy for nausea, but recent research has suggested it has other powerful properties. One lab study showed powdered ginger could kill ovarian cancer cells. In the latest experiments, American scientists gave participants 2g of raw ginger, or a similar amount of heat-treated ginger as some evidence shows heat treatment boosts the spice’s potency for 11 days. A third group was given a placebo. They were then put through a series of testing arm exercises. The results, published in the Journal of Pain, showed that 24 hours after exercise, pain levels in the raw ginger-eating group were 25 per cent lower than those on the placebo. And in the heat-treated group, pain levels were 23 per cent lower. Researchers say this supports anecdotal evidence that ginger has a pain-killing effect.

 Extract from: By Daily Mail Reporter


Currying favour: Curcumin, from turmeric, has been found to reduce the number of chemotherapy-resistant cells

Currying favour: Curcumin, from turmeric, has been found to reduce the number of chemotherapy-resistant cells

 A common ingredient in curry could help target and destroy chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells, scientists said today.  Curcumin, from turmeric, has been found to reduce the number of chemotherapy-resistant cells. This could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and also help prevent the disease from returning.

Researchers at the University of Leicester have been using curcumin – an extract of root turmeric, commonly used to spice up curries – to target chemo-resistant cells. The aim is to use the extract in colorectal tumour tissue. Colorectal cancer accounts for more than 600,000 deaths a year and is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the western world.

Lead researcher Dr Karen Brown, said: ‘Following treatment for cancer, small populations of cancer cells often remain which are responsible for disease returning. ‘These cells appear to have different properties to the bulk of cells within a tumour, making them resistant to chemotherapy. ‘Previous laboratory research has shown that curcumin, from turmeric, has not only improved the effectiveness of chemotherapy but has also reduced the number of chemo-resistant cells, which has implications in preventing the disease returning. ‘We hope that our work will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which curcumin targets resistant cells in tumours. ‘It should also help us identify those patient populations who are most likely to benefit from curcumin treatment in the future.’

Turmeric, part of the ginger family, is best known as an orange/yellow powder used as a spice for curries, but has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Its potential use in Alzheimer’s, arthritis and other disorders is also being investigated around the world.

Fellow researcher Dr Lynne Howells said money from Hope Against Cancer, which funds research fellowships at the university, had been key to furthering the research.

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:06 AM on 29th September 2010

Cloves For Healing

cloves Cloves have many medicinal virtues. They are stimulant. They are useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders and in relieving flatulence. They help stimulate sluggish circulation and thereby promote digestion and metabolism.In the Indian system of medicine, cloves are used in various conditions either in the form of a powder or a decoction made from them. Clove oil contains ingredients that help stabilize blood circulation and regulate body temperature. Clove oil, applied outwardly, has stimulating effects on the skin, producing heat and redness.
Digestive Disorders
Cloves promote enzymatic flow and boost digestive functioning. They are used in various forms of gastric irritability and dyspepsia. Licking the powder of fried cloves mixed with honey is effective in controlling vomiting. The aesthetic action of clove numbs the gullet and stomach and stops vomiting.
Cloves are very useful for treating cholera. About 4 grams of cloves are boiled in 3 litres of water until half the water has evaporated. This water, taken in draughts, will check severe symptoms of the disease.
Chewing a clove with a crystal of common salt eases expectoration, relieves the irritation in the throat and stops cough in the pharynges—that is, inflammation of the pharynx. Chewing a burnt clove is also an effective medicine for coughs caused by congested throat and pharyngitis.
Three to five drops of clove oil mixed with honey and a clove of garlic helps alleviate the painful spasmodic coughs in tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. It should be taken once before going to bed.
Clove is an effective remedy for asthma. A teaspoon of decoction prepared by boiling 6 cloves in 30 ml of water can be taken with honey thrice daily as an expectorant.
Teeth Disorders
The use of a clove in toothache decreases pain. It also helps to decrease infection due to its antiseptic properties. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache.
A clove sautéed in a teaspoon of sesame oil and 3 to 5 drops of this (warm) oil put into the ear can cure earache.
Muscular Cramps
Muscular cramps are often relieved when the oil of dove is applied as a poultice near the affected portion.
A paste of clove and salt crystals in milk is a common household remedy for headaches. Salt, as a hygroscopic agent, absorbs fluid and decreases tension.
Clove is one of the best remedies for sty’s which is an inflammation around the eyelash. A clove stub rubbed in water and then applied over the sty gives relief.
Other Uses
Cloves are used as a table spice and mixed with chillies, cinnamon, turmeric and other spices in the preparation of curry powder. They are also used to flavour the betel quid (pan pad). Clove oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, bath salts and as a flavouring agent in medicine and dentistry.


The sole purpose of these newsletters is to provide information. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

Thyme & Turmeric-healing herbs & spices for your kitchen

Today I will discuss the last two items on the list of healing herbs and spices; Thyme and Turmeric. Passed down to us by our forefathers and countless generations throughout the world, the 15 food additives and enhancers as discussed, are just a selected few herbs and spices that are currently known to have medicinal and beneficial properties, yet represent the more commonly used. By including these herbs and spices into your daily cooking or diet on a regular basis, you will greatly enhance your quality of life, and reduce the need for those expensive, and often damaging pharmaceutical drugs.

Thyme has what I would describe as a ‘vigorous’ flavour, almost peppery in character, and is for foods that can carry strong flavours. It is also one of the essential herbs in the mixture herbes de Provence, along with savoury, bay leaves, and rosemary. It is always included in a bouquet garni. Thyme is usually cooked with the food rather than being added at the end, although the new shoots of lemon thyme can be added to salads. Thyme finds itself being tested for everything from its antibiotic principals to its volatile oil. Some researchers say it can kill bacteria in 40 seconds.

14. THYME – Thyme contains thymol, which increases blood-flow to the skin. The warmth is comforting, and some herbalists believe that the increased blood-flow speeds healing. An anti-spasmodic. Thyme relaxes respiratory muscles and is endorsed for treating bronchitis by Commission E, the expert panel that judges the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicines for the German government. Aroma therapists say that thyme’s scent is a mood lifter.  It is antiseptic and antibacterial, soothing sore throats, coughs, colds, allergic rhinitis, hay fever, back pain, aches and pains, poor digestion, scabies and lice, ringworm and thrush, athletes foot, chest ailments, in particular asthma and bronchitis, hangovers, insomnia and poor circulation. Thyme also stimulates the body’s production of white blood corpuscles to resist infection. Thyme has antiseptic, expectorant and antispasmodic properties. It soothes fungal and inflammatory conditions and is now claimed as one of the anti-ageing herbs.

Thyme goes with:  Bay leaves, chicken, fish, garlic, lamb, lemons, mustard, olive oil, onions, orange zest, parsley, rabbit, rosemary, tomatoes, venison,…..

We now move onto turmeric, the last in the list of 15 healing herbs and spices. Much loved and favoured in Indian and Asian cooking and is essential in the making of curry powder. Turmeric is a rhizome related to the ginger family, it is bright orange when fresh and becomes a vibrant yellow with drying. dried and ground turmeric is a common ingredient in Asian cooking, providing a brilliant yellow colour and musky flavour. 15. TURMERIC – iIt is only during the last two decades that turmeric’s therapeutic actions have been researched and understood. There has been an upurge of interest in foods that have health benefits like lowering high cholesterol, cancer prevention or that have anti-inflammatory actions, and turmeric does all of that. Many clinical studies agree that curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects, including a significant beneficial effect in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Curcumin, which gives this spice its familiar yellow pigment, may also lower cholesterol. Turmeric is also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, which have been shown to prevent cataracts.

Turmeric goes with: curries, curried eggs, lentils, beans, rice dishes, vegetable dishes like brinjals (eggplant), & green peppers, meat dishes, savoury dishes.

And so ends this little project, the content which I hope you have all enjoyed reading. This will also be my last posting for a little while. Thanks to everyone who added their own snippets of information to this topic.

Until next time…. xxx

Sage-healing herbs & spices for your kitchen

Coming in at number thirteen on the list of healing herbs is sage. It is held in high esteem both for culinary and it health giving properties. The masters with the use of sage in the kitchen to my mind are the Italians; sage sautéed s in butter or olive oil until crisp and sweet and tossed with pasta is delicious. In Italian cuisine sage is also sautéed with other herbs and vegetables in a soffritto, the beginning of a many Italian dishes. This herb’s camphor, pine and citrus give it a pungent and powerful taste, so use it sparingly. So if you are new to the use of this wonderful herb, remember that less is more. The flowers are edible too. Avoid the tricolour, variegated and purple sages in cooking as they are far too camphory in taste.

13. SAGE – The oils found in sage are antiseptic, antifungal and antibiotic, so it can help fight infections. Sage is effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes, because of its estrogenic action and because its tannins can dry up perspiration. There’s also compelling evidence that sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may boost insulin’s action. Sage heals sore throats, mouth infections, coughs and colds, rough skin, acne, rashes, indigestion, and memory loss.  A big pot of gently simmering water containing fresh sage sprigs (use enough water to cover) will disinfect the whole house and deodorise cooking smells and pet smells.

Sage goes with: anchovies, artichokes, butter, chicken, dried beans, duck, goose, ham, lamb, leeks, lemons, olive oil, onions, parmesan cheese, pasta, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, veal,…

Rosemary-healing herbs & spices for your kitchen

Number twelve on the list today is Rosemary, another herb that originates from the Mediterranean region, and it is the cooks of Italy, Southern France and Spain who use rosemary to best advantage. Rosemary comes quickly to mind when one thinks of roasted meats, its pungent aroma fills the kitchen when one opens the oven door on rosemary-scented roast lamb.

12. ROSEMARY – Rosemary is one of the richer herbal sources of antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent cataracts, and contains 19 chemicals with antibacterial action that help fight infection. Traditionally used to ease asthma, this common culinary ingredient has volatile oils that can reduce the airway constriction induced by histamine, that chemical culprit of asthma and other allergy symptoms. Herbalists think that rosemary may also help ease breast pain by acting as a natural drying agent to fluid filled cysts.

Rosemary also pairs well with fish, bread, and beans in soups or purees, and is an essential part of a soffrito, the base of so many stews and braises produced in Italian and Spanish kitchens. Finely chopped needles of rosemary can be incorporated into bread and pizza dough.

Rosemary goes with: bread, chicken, dried beans, fish, garlic, kid, lamb, olive oil, onions, parsley, pine nuts, pork, potatoes, rabbit, tomatoes, yohgurt

Parsley-healing herbs & spices for your kitchen

And number eleven on the list of herbs and spices to day is the truly amazing herb parsley, another herb from the rocky shores of the Mediterranean renowned for its medicinal qualities. It is an all-time favourite in the herb garden and one that most cooks would find hardest to do without. Newly picked young sprigs of parsley have the scent of a garden just after the rain. I like to toss newly picked parsley in the salad bowl along with other choice leaves. Parsley is used in just about every savoury dish in the world.

11. PARSLEY – Diuretic herbs such as parsley prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections and keep our body’s plumbing running smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. They also relieve bloating during menstruation. Parsley on the edge of the diner plate, its not just there for fancy decoration; it’s also an effective breath freshener because it contains high levels of chlorophyll. This herb has been used through the centuries as a diuretic herb, for the treatment of gout, arthritis, and rheumatism, cystitis, fever, delayed menstruation, flatulence, nausea, ‘liverishness’ and the control of blood pressure. This herb is a plus for men too who suffer with prostrate problems, bloating and painful bladder infections. A mere half cup of chopped fresh parsley contains more beta carotene than 2 large carrots, more vitamin C than 2 large oranges and 20 times more iron than one serving of liver. Parsley even has 10 times more calcium than a cup of milk. It is also recommended to treat or prevent hair loss and plaque formation.

Parsley goes with: anchovies, artichokes, beans, butter, cheese, chervil, chickpeas, chicken, chives, cream, cumin, eggs, fish, garlic, ham, lemons, lentils, mint, olive oil, pasta, pepper, pine nuts, radishes, salad leaves, tarragon, zucchini but to name a few.

Parsley can be sipped as an infusion for ailments. 1-2 cups of parsley tea sipped through-out the day will bring swift relief. To make the tea use ¼ cup fresh leaves. Pour over one cup of boiling water. Stand for five minutes to infuse, strain and sip slowly.