Natural Remedies: 5 Herbs & Spices for Daily Health

Imagine that tomorrow you wake up with a terrible fever and sore throat. Your first instinct is probably to check the medicine cabinet for something that hasn’t yet expired. Either that or you head straight to the local drugstore for your tried and true flu-zappers.

But when it comes to health today, many people are taking a step away from traditional health care and exploring more holistic and natural options. The reasons can be everything from common sense to a lack of health care coverage. But in any case, waves of consumers are turning to the grocery store rather than the pharmacy counter to heal their ailments.

Over the past handful of decades, food trends have come and gone, and it’s been hard to nail down the foods that are actually beneficial. Of course, no one solution works for everyone, but some foods are definitely worth a try. You can find plenty of online articles that list things such as “The Best Foods for Healthy Skin,” or “The Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol,” and so on and so forth. But let’s break it down even further. This list of simple spices and herbs offer a big bang for your buck, and they may help ward off what ails you when you add them to your daily nutrition routine. Take a look at these five natural remedies and see for yourself.

#1. Turmeric

If you’re experiencing chronic joint and muscle soreness, you may want to whip out the turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. This yellow-orange spice is commonly used in curries, but it’s a delicious addition to just about any meal. In addition to some awesome anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric also boasts other benefits, including ease from digestive issues and some cancer and infection fighting properties.

#2. Ginger

Upset stomach? Give trusty ginger a try. Ginger is most commonly found in root form in your local grocery store or in a powder in the spice aisle. If you suffer from motion sickness, morning sickness, or other types of nausea-inducing illness, ginger can be the hero you’re looking for. It’s incredibly versatile as you can use it in any form to achieve the same effects. While the powdered version is great for cooking, you can mix ginger root into your daily smoothie or steep it into a cup of hot tea. Many companies even make ginger-based teas to keep this remedy right at your fingertips.

#3. Black Tea

Tea drinkers unite! Nowadays, coffee tends to take center stage, especially when it’s so easy to add whipped cream and swirls of caramel or chocolate. But tea is the real MVP. Black tea can improve your mood, and the benefits don’t stop there. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols that kill bacteria within the body and support a healthy digestive system. Black tea is also great for oral health. If you’ve ever had oral surgery or gum swelling, you may have been instructed to place a wet teabag on the site. This is because the caffeine in the tea helps to constrict the blood vessels in the area, bringing swelling to a minimum. This same technique can even be used to treat puffy eyes!

#4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another powerhouse spice that most of us already keep stocked on the spice rack. It’s known to fight infection, ease inflammation, and reduce blood pressure. Cinnamon has the power to lower blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance, which is most beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes. You should especially be aware of  two types of cinnamon: Ceylon and cassia. Ideally, you should use Ceylon cinnamon, as it is truest to form. But cassia is the most common type found at the grocery. While still helpful, cassia cinnamon should be used in smaller quantities.

#5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a little spice that goes a long way. A whiff of this red pepper can make you sneeze, if you’re not careful. But if used in the right amount, it can soothe even the sorest of throats. Especially as we head into cold and flu season, mixing a dash of cayenne pepper into a cup of warm water and honey creates the perfect remedy for that scratchy throat. Just a few sips and the cayenne pepper creates a welcome numbing effect, proving that you can beat fire with fire. In addition to its pain-relieving properties, cayenne is also known for easing cramps, headaches, nerve pain, and even lowering cholesterol.

Adding these spices into your weekly routine gives you the opportunity to see significant changes in your health. They’ll also save you a good amount of money that you would have spent at the pharmacy. If you’re looking for a clever way to combine some of these health superheroes, try your hand a little beverage known as “Golden Milk.” It’s perfect for a crisp fall day or in lieu of your regular bedtime tea. Simply combine turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper with raw milk or nut milk. For sweetness, add in a little honey. Warm these ingredients together on the stove, and you’ll have one solid health-boosting drink that’s safe to enjoy every day. You only need small amounts for a whopping full-body effect, and all of these herbs and spices can easily be integrated into your nutrition lifestyle, leaving your body strong and healthy for years to come.

Image from iStock/Shaiith.

Alyson Monaco

Alyson is a professional dancer based in New Jersey with a passion for health and wellness. A former dance major at the Boston Conservatory, her interest in how the body moves lead her to pursue both Group Fitness and Personal Training certifications through AFAA. When she is not dancing, she truly loves helping people find a better quality of life.

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