The use of herbs and spices has been incrediblyimportant throughout history.
Many were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use.
Modern science has now shown that many ofthem do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.
Here are 10 of the world's healthiest herbsand spices, supported by research.
Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Hasa Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect! Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in allsorts of recipes and baked goods.
It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon's medicinal properties.
Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides inthe blood.
But where cinnamon really shines is in itseffects on blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by severalmechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improvinginsulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can lowerfasting blood sugars by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount.
The effective dose is typically 0.
5-2 teaspoonsof cinnamon per day, or 1-6 grams.
You can watch more about the impressive healthbenefits of cinnamon in this video.
Sage Can Improve Brain Function and Memory! Sage gets its name from the Latin word Salvere, which means “to save.
” It had a strong reputation for its healingproperties during the middle ages, and was even used to help prevent the plague.
Current research indicates that sage may beable to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is accompanied by a dropin the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain.
Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.
In a 4-month study of 42 individuals withmild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, sage extract was shown to produce significant improvementsin brain function.
Other studies have also shown that sage canimprove memory function in healthy people, both young and old.
Peppermint Relieves IBS Pain and May ReduceNausea! Peppermint has a long history of use in folkmedicine and aromatherapy.
As is the case with many herbs, it is theoily component that contains the agents responsible for the health effects.
Many studies have shown that peppermint oilcan improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
It appears to work by relaxing the smoothmuscles in the colon, which relieves pain experienced during bowel movements.
It also helps to reduce abdominal bloating, which is a common digestive symptom.
There are also some studies showing that peppermintin aromatherapy can help fight nausea.
In a study of over 1, 100 women in labor, peppermintaromatherapy caused significant reductions in nausea.
It has also been shown to reduce nausea aftersurgery and C-section births.
Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance WithPowerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects! Turmeric is the spice that gives curry itsyellow color.
It contains several compounds with medicinalproperties, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body's own antioxidant enzymes.
This is important, because oxidative damageis believed to be one of the key mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.
Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.
Given that long-term, low-level inflammationplays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not suprising to seethat curcumin is linked to a variety of health benefits.
Studies suggest that it can improve brainfunction, fight Alzheimer's, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few.
Here is an article about the many incrediblehealth benefits of turmeric/curcumin.
Holy Basil Helps Fight Infections and BoostsImmunity! Not to be confused with regular basil or thaibasil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India.
Studies show that holy basil can inhibit thegrowth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and molds.
One small study also found that it can boostfunction of the immune system by increasing certain immune cells in the blood.
Holy basil is also linked to reduced bloodsugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression.
However, these studies were quite small, andmore research is needed before any recommendations can be made.
Cayenne Pepper Contains Capsaicin, Which HelpsReduce Appetite and May Have Anti-Cancer Properties! Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper usedto prepare spicy dishes.
The active ingredient in it is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many studies.
For this reason, it is a common ingredientin many commercial weight loss supplements.
One study found that adding 1 gram of redpepper to meals reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who did not regularlyeat peppers.
However, there was no effect in people whowere accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a tolerance to the effects can buildup.
Some animal studies have also found capsaicinto combat certain forms of cancer, including lung, liver and prostate cancer.
Of course, these observed anti-cancer effectsare far from being proven in humans, so take all of this with a big grain of salt.
Ginger Can Treat Nausea and Has Anti-InflammatoryProperties! Ginger is a popular spice used in severalforms of alternative medicine.
Studies have consistently shown that 1 gramor more of ginger can successfully treat nausea.
This includes nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and sea sickness.
Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatoryproperties, and can help with pain management.
One study in subjects at risk for colon cancerfound that 2 grams of ginger extract per day decreased markers for colon inflammation inthe same way as aspirin.
Other research found that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil decreased pain and stiffness experienced by those withosteoarthritis.
It had a similar effectiveness as treatmentwith aspirin or ibuprofen.
Fenugreek Improves Blood Sugar Control! Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularlyto enhance libido and masculinity.
While its effects on testosterone levels areinconclusive, fenugreek does seem to have beneficial effects on blood sugar.
It contains the plant protein 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which can improve the function of the hormone insulin.
Many human studies have shown that at least1 gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics.
Rosemary Can Help Prevent Allergies and NasalCongestion! The active ingredient in rosemary is calledrosmarinic acid.
This substance has been shown to suppressallergic responses and nasal congestion.
In a study with 29 individuals, both 50 and200 mg doses of Rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms.
The number of immune cells in nasal mucusalso decreased, with reduced congestion.
Garlic Can Combat Sickness and Improve HeartHealth! Throughout ancient history, the main use ofgarlic was for its medicinal properties.
We now know that most of these health effectsare due to a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic's distinctsmell.
Garlic supplementation is well known for combattingsickness, including the common cold.
If you often get colds, then adding more garlicto your diet could be incredibly helpful.
There is also convincing evidence for beneficialeffects on heart health.
For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementationappears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%.
Human studies have also found garlic supplementationto cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
In one study, it was just as effective asa blood pressure lowering drug.