Herbs and Spices Tips

Read these 28 Herbs and Spices Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Healthy tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can thyme help me?

Thyme and Thyme again...

Thyme's fragrance lasts in cooking, so it's good for long-cooking stews and casseroles. It adjusts the iron in meat, to aid in digestion. These same properties help make gas-inducing foods like beans easier to digest, a practice which was known to ancient Egyptians.

Thyme is one of the ingredients of the liqueur Benedictine, which was invented in 1510 as an elixir to revive tired monks. Thereafter it was used to combat malarial diseases. Now, it's a luxurious and tasty treat. Food grade Lemon Thyme is a wonderful addition to fish and chicken too.

   
Can cinnamon help with stress?

Stress And Cinnamon

Cinnamon and Stress: Cinnamon bark contains an oil chemical called cinnamaldeyde which reportedly has a tranquilizing effect and can help reduce anxiety and stress.

   
What can I do with my extra herbs?

Drying Herbs

I like to use fresh parsley and fresh cilantro, but there is usually lots more in the packages from the market than I can use before it would spoil. When spoilage approaches, I wash the remaining sprigs, sort out any that may be beginning to spoil, then dry the rest. I place them loosely in a clean paper sack. Then I use one staple at the top of the bag to almost close it, but let air in. I place the bag of sprigs on a high, dry shelf for 3-4 weeks. The dried sprigs are ready to move to a clean, airtight container and wait to be added to recipes.

   
When should use of feverfew be avoided?

Avoid Feverfew with Pregnancy or Blood Thinners

Feverfew or any other member of the tansy family of plants should NEVER be used during pregnancy, in any form.

People who are using blood thinners such as warfarin should not use feverfew because it can affect clotting rates.

   
What is ginger good for?

Ginger Remedies

Studies indicate that Ginger's antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties could fight migraines.

Try ground ginger in water at the first sign of pain.

Ginger in hot water makes a pleasant tea.

Ginger is also available in capsules and liquid form.

It can also be helpful with motion sickness.

I like to use ginger for mild allergy relief when a stronger antihistamine's side effects such as drowsiness would be a burden.

   
Can Chamomile help a sore throat?

Chamomile - Sore Throat Remedy

Chamomile Tea with a bit of brown sugar helps to soothe a sore throat.

   
What herbs are good for my teeth?

Sage for your Teeth

Rub fresh sage leaves on your teeth to clean them and to remove stains.

You can also make sage tea and use it as a mouthwash.

   
How can cinnamon fight bacteria?

Cinnamon vs. Bacteria

Cinnamon Bark contains an oily chemical called cinnamaldehyde, according to information in Recipes from the Herbal Garden, it kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including the dreaded E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureas. Research shows that cinnamon has also been able to stop the growth of the Asian flu virus.

   
What are some ways to apply feverfew?

Feverfew: Infusion; Tincture or Poultice

Drinking a weak infusion of feverfew (15 g. herb to 500 ml water) after childbirth has been recognized to encourage cleansing and tonifying of the uterus. This herb also has a history of relieving menstrual pain associated with sluggish flow and congestion.

Adding up to 2 ml of feverfew tincture three times a day to other herbal remedies has been found to help in the acute stages of rheumatoid arthritis.

Sauté the fresh herb in a little oil and apply as a hot poultice to the abdomen for colicky pains.

When using this herb, choose the lesser amounts suggested.

There are links within the healthy-tips.com site for companies selling feverfew.

   
How can dill benefit my health?

Digestive Dill

The word DILL comes from the Old Norse word, DILLA, meaning to lull or soothe.

According to information in Recipes from the Herbal Kitchen, dill has been used to soothe the digestive tract, treat heartburn, colic, and gas for thousands of years. Dill has an antifoaming action which may why it can help break up gas bubbles.

Like, parsley, dill is rich in chlorophyll which can make it useful in treating bad breath.

   
Will evening primrose oil help itchy, irritated skin?

Evening Primrose - golden oil

Easily irritated skin can be uncomfortable, itchy, and even painful. I've recently had some success using evening primrose oil capsules.

1000 milligrams a day is a good place to start.

I was pleased to notice some relief within just a few days instead of the usual 30 to 90 days supplements often need to show effect on our bodies.

   
Does feverfew help migraine headaches?

Using Feverfew for Migraines

Be sure to check with your doctor before using feverfew for migraine relief.

Some authorities recommend eating one large fresh leaf daily as a way to avoid migraines.

It can be used as a tincture; 5-10 drops every 30 minutes at the onset of a migraine. Feverfew seems to work best with "cold" type migraines which involve tightening of the cerebral blood vessels and are eased by apply a hot towel to the head. An anti-inflammatory, feverfew dilates the blood vessels.

Feverfew is available in the United States as capsules and tablets. Users are advised to follow the package direction for use.

Side effects of eating leaves can include mouth ulcers.
Avoid feverfew in pregnancy and when using warfarin or other blood thinners.
Feverfew is available from herbal/vitamin suppliers. Some have sites linked with healthy-tips.com

   
Are herbs better for prevention of illness?

Herbs for prevention

Many herbs are better used to prevent illness. A strong immune system will ward off many diseases before you become sick. Using herbs wisely and moderately with a sensible lifestyle of good nutrition, stress management, rest, and exercise can often prevent the need for any chemicals or drugs when illness hits.

   
What herbs can I use for my migraines?

Feverfew for migraines

Feverfew is an herbal remedy sometimes recommended for "cold migraines"; the type involving a tightening of the cerebral blood vessels and eased by apply a hot towel to the head.

   
Where can I find herbal health information?

Finding Herbal Health Help

Look in the Phone Book. No listings for Herbalists? Check Holistic Practitioners, Chiropractors, or Naturopaths.

Ask Your Friends. Sometimes nothing beats word of mouth. Don't forget your local health food store.

Ask Your Doctor: Don't assume your physician will laugh when you ask about alternative medicine. Many doctors are taking alternative medicine into condsideration these days.

If you are still having problems finding help, or need a question answered - drop me a line! It would be my pleasure to assist you.

   
What are St.John´s-wort and other medication problems?

St. John's wort - Cautions

Don't mix St. John's wort with Certain Medications:

St. John's-wort can increase the effects of antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Luvox. This can cause weakness, fatigue, or incoherence.

St. John's wort can also reduce the effectiveness of cardiac medication. This herb can have a useful place in your treatment life, just use it with caution and don't use it internally if you are using antidepressants or cardiac medication.

St. John's Wort may also make the birth control pill less effective if you are taking both.

   
What herbs can I use for my migraines?

Feverfew for migraines

Feverfew has long been used in folk medicine for relief from fevers, menstrual disorders, arthritis, and migraines.

In an Israeli clinical study, data indicated feverfew relieved migraine pain and other discomforts which go with migraines.

   
What are Licorice Root and other medication problems

Licorice Root Cautions

LICORICE CANDY is OKAY, but licorice root as an herbal therapy does not mix well with drugs which cause potassium loss (diuretics/ water pills) or Oral Contraceptives and some cardiac medications.

A woman on The Pill who uses licorice root may retain water and risk hypertension.

Someone using diuretics or digoxin (cardiac)who takes licorice root may experience excessive potassium loss with increased risk of drug toxicity.

People taking corticosteroids (for skin disorders, colitis or Crohn's disease, among others) should avoid licorice root because it may interfere with the drugs' effectiveness.

There is not enough licorice in licorice candy to cause these problems.

   
Is ma huang safe?

Avoid Some Natural Stimulants when Seeking Fatigue Relief

Health food stores often carry a variety of products advertised as energy boosters. They may be natural, but may still NOT be good for you.

In general, it is wise to avoid stimulants containing ephedra (also known as ma huang) or caffeine (kola nut, guarana). Ephedra and caffeine based stimulants may give a temporary boost, but in the long run, they increase fatigue by overstimulating the body and exhausting the adrenal glands.

Chronic health problems, including symptoms that resemble chronic fatigue syndrome, have been observed in people who use these products long-term.

   
What herbs are good for headhaches.

Homeopathy for headache relief

Homeopathic remedies for headaches include the following:

Nux Vomica - for migraine or hangover
Bryonia - for head accompanied by nausea
Belladonna - for violent, throbbing pain that comes on suddenly.

Follow dosage directions on the package.

   
What can heal me overnight?

Magic Pills or Potions?

Neither herbs nor prescription drugs will HEAL you overnight. Only God can move that fast.

Herbs which have a quick effect are only masking symptoms. Calming herbs don't solve the problems which are making you upset. Chemical tranquilizers don't either.

Most herbal treatments take up to 30 days to see any firm results and then you may not really see anything.

Research anything you are going to use to self-medicate carefully, especially if you are recommending for others', everyone has their own experiences when mixing herbs and chemicals.

   
Is St. John´s Wort good for alcoholism?

St. John's Wort may curb Alcohol Cravings

Evidence in tests conducted on rats by A. H. Rezvani, Ph.D. suggests that St. John's Wort related compounds that can alter brain chemistry safely may lessen the severity of alcoholism in people motivated to change.

Citing the variety of factors--including biological and environmental causes--that add to the complexity of Alcoholism, Rezvani cautions that counseling and therapy should be an important part of any treatment plan.

   
Will feverfew help relieve headaches?

Headache relief

The herb, FEVERFEW, eases headaches. You can chew the leaves,take capsules, or tablets.

Avoid using feverfew when pregnant!

Other helpful herbs include tincture of Meadowsweet.

Teas made with chamomile, lime-blossom or peppermint can bring some relief as well

   
Are tonic wines a good way to enjoy herbs?

Herbs in Tonic Wines

Tonic wines can be a fun, unusual way to enjoy many different herbs. Tonic wines are simple to make. Some of the medicinal benefits of the herbs are lost in the fermenting process. When using herbs for specific medicinal purposes, you shouldn't use tonic wines exclusively.

To make a tonic wine, you need three ounces of dried herb leaves or two teaspoons of powdered root and one liter of red wine. Place the herbs into a vat or ceramic jar and add the wine. Let the mixture sit in a cool place for at least two weeks.

Strain off the herbs and drink a small glass before dinner. Herbal wines made with dried roots such as ginseng are especially effective. Or try a blend of herbs such as a bitters formula for digestion. These formulas often include gentian, ginger and orange peel.

Store finished tonic wine in a cool, dark place (the refrigerator would be perfect) for up to four months. Check for mold before drinking. If any mold forms, throw the wine away. Mold may be opaque, whitish disks floating on the surface of the wine.

   
What is horseradish useful for?

Horseradish for Sinus Relief

A popular condiment that can bring welcomed and quick sinus relief.

Start with small amounts and work your way up.

CAUTION: Use horseradish and similar Japanese wasabi carefully if you have ulcers or other digestive problems.

   
How do herbs and chemical drugs react to one another?

Use Herbs with Caution

Herbs have medicinal strength just as chemical drugs do. Some herbs do not mix well with some chemical medicine prescriptions. If you want to try herbs for anything and you are using prescription drugs, check with your doctor, research on the internet, ask questions all over regarding possible mixture reactions. If after all of your research you are still determined to mix them, use small doses at first and note any changes in your body and mind.

If negative changes occur, however small, stop using the herb while you are using the prescription drug and for a few weeks after the doctor takes you off of the drug because your body will need time to use up all of the presription leftovers. Mixing drugs and herbs when they are opposed gives both treatments a bad name and will not help your health.

   
When should I grate black pepper?

Freshly ground spices

The best flavor comes from whole spices ground at the moment you need them. Black pepper is one of the most widely used spices that loses its flavor very quickly after being ground. For the richest flavor, keep black peppercorns whole, and grind them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder used exclusively for grinding spices. White pepper is also good, as it's milder than black pepper and can add pepper flavor to dishes where you don't want black flecks to spoil the presentation (such as in pureed cauliflower). Other spices best saved for grinding at the last minute are nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.

   
What herbs can be eaten to reduce my risk of cancer?

Basil protects from environment

Some recent studies show that Basil may deactivate cancer-causing substances that sneak into the body from pesticides, pollution, and other threats in our environment.

   
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