One taste of turmeric and you’ll know why this vivacious root vegetable has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to cleanse the liver, reduce arthritic inflammation, and improve energy levels. This powerful plant is a close cousin of ginger and has the same kind of super-concentrated flavor.
Achiote, otherwise known by its Aztec name of achiotl, comes from the Annatto tree (Bixa orellana), and is known for the brilliant saffron color its seeds exhibit after the pods split open to reveal their tiny inhabitants. The intense vermilion hue comes from the high concentration of bixin that the annatto seed contains.
If you experience regular acid reflux, don’t ignore it – it could become chronic and turn to GERD and become a permanent condition by wearing away at the necessary mucous linings of your stomach and esophagus. Consider, as I did, a fundamental diet change. Cut down on your meat intake and eliminate processed and cured deli meats and hams.
Pu’erh tea hails from the Yunnan province in China where it has been cultivated for over 1700 years—that’s some serious history. Pu’erh is made from fermented tea leaves and comes in three basic varieties: black, green, and white. Pu’erh teas are known to have some pretty amazing effects on the human body.
I’m always surprised when I find that a common ingredient I keep around the house anyway has an undercover health benefit. In our spice racks, we have many potent flavoring agents – sweet, salty, and bitter – but only one of them, Cinnamon, has been in the news lately as a natural preventative agent against high blood sugar and cholesterol.
Fennel, with its mild, sweet, and pleasant licorice flavor, helps to freshen the breath after all those onions and spices. Also, fennel has some other very useful food-related effects: it can help to relieve bloating and gas, stimulate the digestive system, and aid in general food absorption.
Pennyroyal Oil is an essential oil that has many benefits. Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) is a member of the mint family and thereby related to spearmint, peppermint, and thyme. It was reportedly useful against gout, headache, and stomach trouble, as well as repellent to snakes and insects when worn as a garland or in a satchel around the neck.
Oil of Oregano, or Oregano oil, derived from the “wild oregano” or Origanum vulgaris plant, is one of the most potent natural antibiotics on the market. Its most well-known use is as a digestive: simple oregano flowers from your garden, when put into boiling water and brewed into an infusion, can settle an upset digestive system in no time at all.
Most Americans have little concern about contracting parasites. However, the idea that parasites are only something to be worried about if you travel overseas is not entirely true. Parasites are becoming a leading cause of food borne illness in the United States, for which there was no shortage of in recent years.
Aloe Vera has long been known to be wonderful for healing cuts, scrapes, and burns. But did you also know that aloe vera is just as effective with wounded interior skin? Aloe Vera juice, when taken internally, can soothe the most irritated stomach conditions – even those as severe as peptic ulcers.