A few weeks ago I began a series highlighting some common herbs and how they can assist in healing or keeping the body in balance. This week I'll focus on several choices available at local grocers, herbs that can be taken with food as part of your regular diet. (If you're under a medical doctor's supervision, consult with him or her before taking any supplement.)
Black Pepper: The dried berries act as a stimulant and an expectorant. They aid the digestive, circulatory and respiratory system. Black pepper is one of the most powerful digestive stimulants, making it appropriate for chronic indigestion, toxins in the colon, obesity, sinus congestion, fever and cold. Black pepper most readily is taken with food and is particularly effective with the digestion of raw foods and salads. It can also be used nasally in ghee (clarified butter) to relieve sinus congestion and headaches. Not indicated for those suffering from inflammatory conditions of the digestive organs.
Cardamom: This common herb is one of the best and safest digestive stimulants. Used frequently in Indian cuisine, it's recognized for its ability to stimulate the mind and heart and gives clarity and joy. In treating disorders of the body, it's used for colds, bronchitis, asthma, hoarse voice, loss of taste and indigestion. Added to milk it detoxifies caffeine in coffee. Cardamom is especially good for nervous upset in children. When combined with fennel, it helps to stop vomiting, belching or acid regurgitation. Don't use if ulcers are present.
Cinnamon: A wonderful herb for strengthening and harmonizing circulation, it's a good expectorant for colds and flu. It's indicated for sinus congestion, bronchitis and dyspepsia and is a pain reliever for toothache and muscle tension. It strengthens the heart and warms the kidney. Like ginger, cinnamon is almost a universal medicine. However, it's not indicated for anyone with bleeding disorders. ©