Herbs, The forgotten Medicine

Written by Fred Walton

Herbs the Forgotten Medicine

Herbs are among the most flavoursome and beneficial health ingredients to add to your shopping list. They are subtle yet incredibly versatile. You can use them as a garnish, make fresh pesto or simply add to a meal to add a serious flavour kick. Fresh Herbs added to salads can completely change the flavour to accompany different meats or fish, add them to salad dressings, sandwiches, soups, stews, oven-baked veges to accompany your Sunday roast and just about any meal you can think of. There are so many things you can do with herbs, and utilising these flavours in the kitchen will eliminate the need for just about every additive-ridden sugared sauce and seasoning mix you can tip from the supermarket shelf.
• Rather than opt for a pre-made salad dressing made with cheap vegetable oils, preservatives and artificial colours and flavours, why not make your own salad dressing with immune-boosting lemon juice, antioxidant-rich cold-pressed olive oil and your own choice of healing herbs? It’s simple touches like this that’ll really optimise your health and wellbeing. By replacing sugar-filled and often toxic, lifeless ingredients with fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich foods you will take a huge burden off your detoxification systems while also boosting your immune system and supplying your body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Fresh herbs are like nature’s form of delicious-tasting medicine. Unlike other vegetables, herbs are known for their particularly dense concentration of medicinal and nutritional properties. Eating more herbs, including dried herbs will make you feel cleansed from the inside out as they supply a surprising array of health benefits, ranging from calming your nerves through to settling your stomach.
Sage ( Salvia officianalis) From the word salvere which means to be saved.
Out of all the culinary herbs, Sage is perhaps the one offering the broadest range of medicinal uses. Sage has been recognised as being anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory anti-hypertensive, and it helps to detoxify and cleanse the blood and offers protection to the synapses in the brain which if not cared for can be the precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and depression
• The primary medicinal components of sage are its oils, flavonoids and rosmarinic acid, a polyphenol similar to caffeic acid. The oils found in sage have been shown in studies to act as an effective agent against salmonella and candida, and the presence of rosmarinic acid has been recorded as offering powerful anti-inflammatory effects, fighting conditions such as gingivitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Long used as a digestive aid, sage works well when combined with fattier meats, such as poultry and pork, and is known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes, Very tasty when paired with other strongly flavoured herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme.
Thyme ( thymus valgarus)
• Thyme contain an essential oil called Thymol, it has antiseptic and anti fungal properties and has uplifting, earthy aroma due to its numerous healing benefits. Thyme has been noted as being a powerful antiseptic, digestive aid, immune system fortifier, parasite fighter, internal skin purifier and bacterial and fungal infection buster due to the content of phenolic antioxidants like lutein, luteolin and thymonin.
Thymol, the primary volatile oil constituent of thyme, contains well-documented health-supporting effects. AN exciting observation made by scientists reveals the capacity of thymol to significantly increase the presence of healthy fats in cell membranes of the brain, kidneys and heart.
• The minerals contained in thyme include High levels of magnesium potassium, iron, manganese and selenium.
• Vitamins include vitamin B6 the stress buster due to pyroxidine keeping up GABA (a beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain), Vit A, Vit C, Vit E
• Thyme is also exceptionally high in vitamin K. This makes it a brilliant herb for expectant mothers, as the presence of vitamin K helps to promote normal blood clotting in a newborn. Vitamin K is also necessary for building strong bones and preventing heart disease, and is a highly important adjunct to vitamin D. Thyme provides a delicious flavour and aromatic quality when added to pasta sauces, scrambled eggs, stocks and roast chicken, and as a freshly sprinkled garnish on fish and meat dishes.
Rosemary ( rosmarinus officianalis)
• Rosemary is one of the most delicious of the everyday kitchen herbs, its pungent, pine-like fragrance offers a priceless complement to chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna dishes, as well Baked veges with your roast as well as soups and relishes.
• Rosemary is actually a member of the mint family and purveys properties that stimulate the immune system, it was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, increase circulation, improve digestion and stimulate hair growth. It’s highly anti-inflammatory and an anti tumor agent, itis a wonderful concentration improver, having been shown in studies to increase blood flow to the head and brain. Rosemary is a good source of vitamin E and is bursting with antioxidants. It also contains significant amounts of folates, vitamins A and C, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron, which increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
• Rosemary also contains carnosic acid which helps fight off free radical damage in the brain. It also acts to protects against Macular degeneration.
Parsley ( petroselinium Crispum) Flat leaf simply add neapolitinum.
• Parley is rich in anti-oxidants,Vitamins, detoxifying and cleansing chlorophyll, vitamins K, C and A, plus folate. This common kitchen ingredient contains significant amounts of a property known as apigenin, which has been revealed in studies to block the formation of new blood vessels in tumours, thereby cutting off the supply of blood and nutrients and slowing or stopping their development.
• Parsley contains essential oils such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol and alpha-thujene.
• Parsley contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and Magnesium.
• Parsley contains antioxidants such as Zea-xanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin, beta–carotene, Vit C and Vit E.
• To up your intake of these health benefits, include parsley in fresh vegie juices, finely chopped in salads, soups and sauces, and as an ingredient in homemade rubs for chicken, beef or lamb.
• Say goodbye to packaged seasonings — the real thing’s right here. Healing herbs are second to none when it comes to adding another level of deliciousness to your meal. And not only will they tantalise your tastebuds but they’ll revolutionise your health.
Oregano: (Oreganum Vulgare)
• Oregano is particularly used widely in Greek and Italian cuisines. Its leaves have a characteristic aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste. The intensity varies; however, good-quality oregano is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue.
• There are many varieties of oregano cultivated across Europe but the influence of climate, season, and soil on the composition of the essential oils is greater than the difference between various species. Origanum heracleoticum is another Greek variety that is having characteristic sharp scent and flavour.

• Oregano contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
• The herb parts contain no cholesterol; however, are rich source of dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol levels.
Oregano contains health benefiting essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stem of the plant are strongly anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogue (help gall bladder secretion), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties. Its decoction is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation conditions.
• Thymol is also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activities.
• The herb is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin) and has been rated as one of the plant sources with highest anti-oxidant activities. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
• The active principles in the herb may improve the gut motility in addition to increase the digestion power by facilitating copious gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.
• This ancient herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent anemia. Magnesium and calcium are important minerals for bone metabolism.
• In addition, fresh herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
• Oregano is a proven super "functional food." This herb is one of the foundation bases of healthy Mediterranean diet in addition to olive oil, fish and lots of greens, herbs and vegetables.