“Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ as stated Hippocrates way back in 400 BC and today this statement is still spot on when it comes to emphasizing the importance of nutrition to prevent or cure disease. Although many of us are familiar with the therapeutic use of herbs, as a tea or supplement, it is important to recognize that many of the herbs and spices that we cook with every day are also beneficial to your health. 

Here is a list of 10 herbs and spices, found in everyone’s spice racks that have powerful healing benefits.

Black Pepper is so innocuous and common that it is easy to forget that peppercorns have all kinds of benefits for the body, as a pain reliever, decongestant and weight loss aid. Black pepper also acts synergistically with other spices to facilitate their healing benefits. Black peppercorns can easily be added to any savory dish and also enhance the flavor of strawberries.


Cardamom is especially beneficial to the mouth and the digestive system as it kills harmful bacteria that can be found in the mouth and the gut. It is also a mild blood thinner. Cardamom can be added to a tea and is a common ingredient in Chai tea. Cardamom can also be added to meat dishes, curries, and chilis.


Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a compound that helps to burn body fat and reduce your appetite. It also clears the sinuses and relieves coughs. Cayenne pepper can be added chilis and curries and rubbed onto meats. A dash of cayenne can also be added to a cup of hot chocolate.


Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, an antioxidant that controls inflammation and also helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Get more cinnamon in your life by adding it to baking, porridge, toast, hot drinks, meat rubs, and spicy dishes.


Garlic contains allicin, which is a known infection fighter. It reduces high cholesterol and high blood pressure and is useful in combating the common cold. You can add garlic to almost any savory dish, including soups, curries, chilis, and meats. It can also be chopped up and added raw to salads or used with tomato to make bruschetta.


Ginger is a well-known anti-inflammatory and decongestant that also fights nausea. It is especially used for seasickness and car sickness. It also placates muscle and joint pain. Ginger can be added to lemonades and teas and also mixed into chilis and curries. It can be rubbed on meats and added as an ingredient into all kinds of baked goods.


Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, which serves to reduce nasal and chest congestion. You can drink it as a tea or add it to soups. It can also be used to flavor vegetables and meat, especially chicken or lamb.


Sage improves cognition, memory and helps to clear LDL cholesterol and balance blood sugar. Sage has a very strong, lemony flavor and suits pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes. It can also be chopped up with butter and stirred into pasta.


Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, liver, lung and blood cleaner and cancer fighter. It helps tone the organs and clear the skin. Turmeric can be added to smoothies, chilis, and curries, cooked with vegetables and rice and rubbed on meat and fish.


There are many different ways to change your diet for the better, and if you are overwhelmed, or do not know where to start, you might want to consult with Dr. Rahman or one of the other natural health experts at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre. Feel free to contact us here at our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services. We also offer a full roster of health services that can be perused on the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website including acupuncture, naturally cleanses, anti-aging therapies, Toronto weight loss, , hypnotherapy, homeopathy, and more.


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