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Let Your Food Be Your Medicine

Aug 17, 2007
The standard American diet is nothing short of a death trap. More Americans are overweight today than at any other time in history. And, as obesity soars, so do many other sickness and diseases. Many of which could be eliminated or at least greatly diminished if we took responsibility for our own well-being.

Herbs have been a source of medicine for thousands of years. There are now stores in almost all mid to large size cities that cater to the natural and organic foods market. The concept is easy to embrace; yet some people just don't seem to understand the simplicity of it. By simply adding herbs to our everyday cooking we can dramatically stabilize and see radical improvements in our health. The problem is that we have to get more families in the kitchen and out of the fast food restaurants.

Herbs come in several forms: fresh, dried, chopped and powdered. You will have to get familiar with the herbs to figure out which form you like to use. Some herbs work better in a fresh form than others, but it is ultimately a matter of taste.

With such an array of herbs on the market today, it would be impossible to go through the benefits of each one. However, most people have several very beneficial herbs right in their cupboards. Let's take one of the basics, garlic. Garlic has been called natural penicillin for centuries. Garlic is known to prevent both heart disease and cancer. It is very wise to ingest as much garlic as you can, especially during cold and flu season. Although it does not leave the most pleasant aroma in its wake, garlic is one of the best natural medicines you can have in your diet.

Here is a list of many other common pantry herbs and spices that are very beneficial to your health.

* Cinnamon is a potent antimicrobial agent and is very useful in settling an upset stomach.
* Ginger is one of the best-known nausea preventatives. It is also antibacterial and is commonly used to support the immune system, cardiovascular health and arthritis.
* Tumeric is well known for treating both diabetes and arthritis.
* Cloves have proven pain-relieving properties. It is also a natural antiseptic.
* Red pepper also is well known for its pain-relieving properties. If you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, try adding red pepper or cayenne to your meals.
* Thyme is beneficial for its natural anti-aging chemicals. It is also used for relieving muscle pain and tension headaches.

And of course this is just a good starting point. Pick up a book such as the Green Pharmacy, or any good herbal cookbook and you will be amazed at what you can do to live a healthier life just by simply incorporating herbs in your foods.

As far as how to incorporate them into your foods, I dare not go into that arena. Adding herbs to your food is a matter of taste. However, here are some basic tips.

* If you are using a fresh herb, you will need double the amount as the dried form.
* Start out adding small amounts and suit to taste.
* To determine the best flavor combinations for your foods, try taking the herbs and rubbing them between your fingers. Then smell them and see what you think. When it comes down to it, your sense of smell is much more important than your sense of taste. Before long you will know exactly the right combinations for your families tastes.

And as Hippocrates supposedly said, "Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food."
About the Author
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