Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to add flavor to food and to promote health. Today, research has confirmed that consuming herbs can help prevent and control heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It can also help reduce blood clots and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Here are 10 of the healthiest herbs and spices in the world, backed by research. Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices in the world.
It has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation, and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (2, 3). Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10 to 29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount (9, 10, 1). The effective dose is usually 0.5 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon a day, or 1 to 6 grams. Alzheimer's disease is accompanied by a decrease in the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Salvia inhibits the degradation of acetylcholine (1).
In a 4-month study of 42 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, sage extract was shown to produce significant improvements in brain function (1). Other studies have also shown that sage can improve memory function in healthy people, both young and old (14, 1).Peppermint oil has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for digestive issues. Many studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome or IBS (16, 17, 1). It seems to work by relaxing the smooth muscles of the colon, which relieves pain experienced during bowel movements.
It also helps reduce abdominal bloating, which is a common digestive symptom (19, 20).In a study of more than 1,100 women in labor, aromatherapy with peppermint caused a significant reduction in nausea. It has also been shown to reduce nausea after surgery and cesarean deliveries (21, 22, 23, 2).Turmeric is a traditional spice from India with a powerful compound called curcumin (2). Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, which helps fight oxidative damage and increases the body's own antioxidant enzymes (26, 27, 28, 29, 30). Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point of equaling the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (3).
Studies suggest that it can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer's, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few (32, 33, 34, 35, 3).Holy basil is another herb with medicinal properties. Studies have shown that holy basil can inhibit the growth of a variety of bacteria, yeasts and molds (37, 3). A small study also found that it can boost immune system function by increasing certain immune cells in the blood (3).Red pepper or cayenne pepper is another popular spice with many health benefits. The active ingredient in it is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many studies (42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 4).
A study found that adding 1 gram of red pepper to meals reduces appetite and increases fat burning in people who don't eat peppers regularly (4). Some animal studies have also found that capsaicin fights certain forms of cancer such as lung cancer liver cancer and prostate cancer (49, 50, 51 5).Ginger is another popular spice with many health benefits. Many human studies have shown that at least 1 gram of ginger can successfully treat nausea. This includes nausea caused by morning sickness chemotherapy and dizziness (53 54 55 56 57 5).
A study in subjects at risk of colon cancer found that 2 grams of ginger extract a day lowered markers of colon inflammation in the same way as aspirin (60).Fenugreek is an herb with many medicinal properties. Many human studies have shown that at least 1 gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels particularly in diabetics (63 64 65 66 6). In a study with 29 people doses of 50 and 200 mg of rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms (6).Ayurvedic medicine has been an integral part of traditional Indian medicine for centuries. Here are 12 Ayurvedic herbs and spices with science-backed health benefits: cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds cardamom turmeric basil seeds.
CardamomCardamom is an Indian spice known for its intense flavor and its use in traditional medicine such as to aid digestion.
Here are 10 health benefits of cardamom backed by science.