Herbs and spices are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and have been used medicinally for thousands of years. They are nutrient dense AF with mega healing properties. Adding in herbs and spices to your daily routine is an excellent way to increase the nutrient density of any meal, snack or beverage.
Think of your spice rack as a mini-pharmacy! You can include herbs and spices in soups, stews, beverages, sauces, salad dressings & marinades. One of my personal favorite ways is to make tea blends. The ritual of preparing a fresh cup of tea with certain herbs and spices is a grounding, calming and health supporting practice.
Below is a list of seven herbs and spices I incorporate into my daily routine for health and vitality.
Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory OG, what HASN'T been said about turmeric. This is a medicinal spice that has been used as a remedy for many different chronic health conditions where long-term inflammation is an underlying factor. It has a bitter and pungent taste and is packed with bioflavanoids and carotenoids. PRO TIP: take turmeric with black pepper, which activates the medicinal properties to make it more bioavailable.
Cilantro: Cilantro is the master detox herb and rich in chlorophyll. Cilantro can help balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation in the body. I love having cilantro pre washed and cut in my fridge to throw on top of eggs, grain bowls, fish, smoothies, the possibilities are endless.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is the dry bark from the Cinnamomum tree. It is excellent at balancing blood sugar and lowering blood glucose levels. Cinnamon also has antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial effects on the body. Bada bing, bada boom. I love adding 1 tsp of cinnamon to my morning coffee with almond milk.
Oregano: FUN FACT Oregano has 4 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries - wowza (Murray, 2006). In addition to being the herb with the highest amount of antioxidants, oregano is highly antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Studies have shown that oregano oil is effective in treating Candida albicans,a fungal overgrowth condition.
Cumin: My personal favorite spice, I worked very closely with cumin while on my gut healing journey. Cumin has been used for years to support digestive health and can reduce gas and bloating. Studies have shown that cumin can help reduce symptoms of IBS such as bloating and abdominal pain.
Ginger: Ginger is a warming spice that helps support digestive health and has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years. Ginger is a remedy for gas, bloating, cramps, nausea and indigestion. It also can stimulate circulation in the body and has antiviral properties as well. I love sipping fresh ginger tea throughout the day.
Fennel: Another herb that supports overall digestive health. Fennel seed has anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties and studies have shown it can help with the treatment of kidney stones. Rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium!
CCF (Cumin, Coriander & Fennel) Tea is an Ayurvedic recipe that has been used for centuries to support the digestive system. When I was on my healing journey I would sip CCF tea throughout the day to soothe my gut, support digestion and reduce bloating.
Inspired by Ayurveda
1 tbs cumin seed
1 tbs coriander seed
1 tbs fennel seed
2 cups water
Add in seeds and water
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat
Boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat
Strain & enjoy
Chevallier, Andrew. (2016). The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: Random House LLC.
Murray MT, Pizzorno JE, Pizzorno L (2006). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Murray, M., Pizzorno, J. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. New York, NY: Atria Books.