Category Archives: Herbs

Three-In-One Herb

Three-In-One Herb is an unusual fleshy-leaf, fragrant herb of Middle Eastern Origin, most likely from India, and is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family. Also known as Spanish thyme, Indian Borage, Mexican thyme, Mexican mint, Húng chanh (Vietnam)and Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), or French Oregano.
This succulent perennial herb can reach up to 10-20 inches in height with fleshy leaves in opposite pairs. It occasionally produces pale violet flowers. It is tender, very sensitive to the cold, likes good soil, full sun. Don’t let it dry out between
watering.

This fragrant herb smells like a combination of oregano, thyme
and mint. It is wonderfully aromatic. Used for meat and fish in Africa,
Southeast Asia, the Caribbean. Eaten in Salads in the Caribbean, cooked with
fish, mutton and sour soup in Asia, eaten raw with bread and butter, fried in
batter, or used as a flavoring for beer and wine in India and also used as
flavoring in Cuban Black Bean Soup.

However you use it, once you have tried, you won’t be able to do without it anymore. This is a rare find and great addition to any herb garden large or small.

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Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano

Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano Plant - Variegated

Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano is a versatile, very aromatic and downright delicious herb. The fleshy leaves and the roots of this plant have been used in the Caribbean, India, Java, and Malaysia, and are now sought after here. Once you have tried it, it will become a staple in your kitchen as well.

Use it as seasoning for pork, fish, goat, curries, black bean soup, salsa, to flavor beer and wines. Brew the leaves as tea to cure cough and congestion. Use the fragrant leaves as a natural mosquito repellent.

Once discovered, this one is going to be hard to do without.

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Add Oregano To Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Greek research found that adding just 2 teaspoons of fresh Oregano daily during menstruation reduces or eliminates cramps. Oregano contains the natural compounds Thymol and Carvacrol. These compounds relax uterine muscles and prevent painful contractions.

Oregano has many beneficial effects like antibacterial and anti-inflammatory  properties. A new study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental  Biology highlights the cancer fighting effects of Carvacrol.  Preliminary reports have revealed that the compound is an extremely potent  anti-cancer agent.

Combines well with: tomato sauce, mushrooms, summer squash, fish, olives

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Add Mint to Reduce Belly Discomfort

 

mint

Mint contains menthol, a natural compound that relaxes painful stomach cramps. German research found that it can reduce stomach discomfort by 40%. The uplifting aroma of a hot cup of mint tea can start to settle an upset stomach even before you drink it. It also calms nausea and helps prevent gas and  bloating after a heavy meal.

Mint can also energize the mind and increase concentration.

Combines well with: tomatoes, eggplant, green peas, lamb, couscous, melons, cold and hot beverages

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Garlic

Garlic is one of the best known and most used medicinal plants. It is not only useful for treating existing complaints; it is also a powerful preventative medicine. It has a strong odor but its properties make it well worth suffering the effects.

 Properties: antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, cleanses blood, helps create and maintain healthy bacteria in the gut, helps bring down fever, tones the heart and circulatory system, boosts the immune system, may prevent some cancers, treats infections of the stomach and respiratory system, helps prevent heart disease and reduces risk of atherosclerosis, antioxidant, decongestant, stimulant, expectorant, carminative, disinfectant, rejuvenating on all tissues and systems, antispasmodic, lowers cholesterol levels, regulates blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, makes blood thinner and less sticky

 Uses:

  • Fresh garlic eaten daily, can reduce chronic acidity of the stomach.
  • Eat crushed garlic to boost sexual debility (crush and let rest 5-10 min to let enzymes start working).
  • Garlic syrup can treat bronchitis, lung infections, and digestive disorders.
  • Fresh garlic juice is antifungal, and can be used to treat infections like athlete’s foot.
  • Garlic-infused oil can be used as a chest rub for respiratory and digestive problems, or in the ear to reduce inflammation.
  • Chew whole roasted garlic cloves to improve circulation.
  • Add several mashed, raw garlic cloves to salads to clean the intestinal tract (excellent combined with red onion).

Peppermint

Peppermint is a popular flavor of chewing gum, toothpaste, candy, and more. It is popular as a tea and used in recipes all around the world, and is found in a host of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Properties: digestive, carminative, antispasmodic, refreshing, mild stimulant, cooling on the skin, expectorant, pain relieve, itch relieve, antiseptic, reduces body odor

Use:

  • tea to tone and settle the digestive system, relieve indigestion, gas, spasms, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, motion sickness
  • helps tone the liver, intestines, and nervous system
  • valuable expectorant in treatment of bronchitis, colds, and flu
  • can reduce fever by inducing sweating and cooling the body
  • relieves itching when applied as tea compress
  • relieves muscle fatigue
  • suck on mint candy to relieve mental fatigue
  • relieves hiccough
  • add to food daily to reduce body odors

Spearmint

Spearmint is a popular flavor of chewing gum, toothpaste, candy, and more. It appears in cuisines all around the world, and is found in a host of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Spearmint has much of the properties as peppermint, but is milder and therefore good for use with children’s complaints.

Properties: digestive, carminative, antispasmodic, refreshing, mild stimulant, cooling on the skin, expectorant, pain relieve, itch relieve, antiseptic, reduces body odor

Use:

  • tea to tone and settle the digestive system, relieve indigestion, gas, spasms, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, motion sickness
  • helps tone the liver, intestines, and nervous system
  • valuable expectorant in treatment of bronchitis, colds, and flu
  • can reduce fever by inducing sweating and cooling the body
  • relieves itching when applied as tea compress
  • relieves muscle fatigue
  • suck on mint candy to relieve mental fatigue
  • relieves hiccough
  • add to food daily to reduce body odor

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Chamomile

 

Chamomile

Chamomile  has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is most often used as a tea and is very beneficial when having difficulty sleeping.  Its relaxing properties can be beneficial when suffering  from muscle cramps as well. Allergy sufferers need to beware that chamomile is related to ragweed. Chamomile is a self seeding annual. It is a good companion plant in gardens, as it helps other plants grow.

 Properties: anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive

 Uses:

  •  for any kind of digestive upset – acidity, heartburn, gas, colic, indigestion, nausea.
  • to ease anxiety, stress, tension, headache, arthritis, menstrual cramps and insomnia.
  • for fever and teething problems in children.
  • calms the nervous system and induces sleep.
  • prevents and eases spasms, relieves pain, settles digestion, acts as a liver tonic.
  • as a compress or bath for sore and inflamed eyes and skin, like rashes, inflammation, cuts, boils, allergies, and insect bites.

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Sage

 

sage

Sage is easily recognized because of its fragrant smell and distinct taste that adds flavor to a number of dishes. Many may not realize that when you incorporate sage into your cooking, you are offering up some very real health benefits as well. Sage can be taken in different forms that include sage tea, essential oil, and extract. Traditionally, it is said that 1 cup of sage tea a day maintains health in old age.

 Properties: antiseptic, astringent, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, nervine, generally strengthening, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral

 Uses:

  • Remarkable help with excessive sweating, hot flushes and night sweats. Take a cup of cold sage tea before bed to stop night sweats.
  • Improves brain function, including memory. (Maybe that’s why a wise person is called a “Sage”?)
  • As a gargle and mouthwash soothing for sore throats, laryngitis, tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, and inflamed and tender gums.
  • Tea relieves stress, helps depression and nervous exhaustion, post-viral fatigue.
  • Helpful with digestive problems, relieves constipation, abdominal cramps, and nausea.
  • Extract helps with inflammation in the body, like rheumatoid arthritis, and other ailments.

 Most users experience greater energy, better sleep, increased cognitive functions, and overall better health.

It is recommended that sage extract should only be used for one week at a time. Stop using the extract for a few days, then it can be used for another week.

Nursing women should beware that sage has the reputation of stanching the flow of milk.

Please consult your physician for any questions and how sage may interact with medications you may be taking.

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Fenugreek

 

fenugreek

Fenugreek  has a rich and spicy flavor popular in Indian and other South Asian dishes. The seeds are used to make curry powder, pickles, and pastes. The leaves and seeds are also used to produce flavoring for maple syrups. Roasted ground fenugreek seed is a popular coffee substitute in India.

 Properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, soothing, promotes menstruation, eases coughs, sore throats, and digestion

 Dr. Atkins (The Atkins Diet) mentioned Fenugreek in his book, “Dr Atkins Vita-nutrient Solution”. He points out the most important use of Fenugreek, as a blood sugar regulator for sufferers of Type I and Type II Diabetes. Fenugreek acts in the stomach reducing the amount of sugar that the body is able to absorb from food. Fenugreek is not a substitute for a doctor-recommended treatment, but may sometimes be of assistance. By reducing the sugar absorption in your stomach Fenugreek can also help with weight loss, since it allows the carbs to wash straight through your system without entering the bloodstream.

 Other Uses:

  • Seeds contain a lot of bulk and mucilage, mixed with water become gelatinous and ease sluggish bowels.
  • Seeds can be eaten by nursing mothers to increase milk production.
  • Gargling a Fenugreek decoction will soothe a sore throat and laryngitis, treat arthritis and aching joints, bring on menstruation and lower cholesterol.
  • A poultice can be used to treat boils and rashes.
  • Fenugreek reduces mucus and helps asthma and sinus problems.
  • Mixed with yogurt Fenugreek makes an effective hair conditioner.

 Minor side effects like diarrhea and flatulence have been reported by some users. Pregnant women should avoid taking Fenugreek because it stimulates the uterus and promotes menstruation. Always consult your doctor before beginning an herbal treatment course.

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