There are morning routines, evening routines, and a hundred other healthy habits we’re ‘supposed’ to fit into each day.
You know herbs are good for you, but sometimes it feels like one more thing to fit into your day. You have to buy them, prepare them, take them. It can feel overwhelming, so we forego our herbs even though we love using plant medicines to enhance our daily lives.
Does this sound familiar?
The good news is that some of our most powerful herbal allies are likely already in your kitchen. With a few changes in your habits and mindset, you can up your ingestion of these potent plants and reap the myriad benefits with little extra effort.
An easy way to incorporate more herbs into your day is to include them into an activity you’re already doing. Eating is one such activity. As Hippocrates said, food is medicine, and eating is one of our prime opportunities to take in more medicine. Before each meal, ask yourself “How can I make this even healthier?”.
Building a strong immune system is always important, but it’s even more crucial this time of year when colds and flu are common. The following list includes 5 immune-boosting herbs and how to incorporate them into meals.
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb due to it’s rich phytochemistry, which includes compounds such as gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone. In addition to many other health benefits, it boosts circulation and has potent antimicrobial properties, which make it an ideal immune-boosting ally.
Ginger is easy to incorporate into any meal. Add raw or powdered ginger to your morning smoothie. Add ginger to your oatmeal. Drink ginger tea. Add ginger to curry dishes and homemade desserts.
With over 10,000 peer-reviewed studies, turmeric is one of the most researched herbs with several wide-ranging health benefits. A member of the same family as ginger, turmeric also has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, all of which contribute to it’s immune enhancing abilities.
Turmeric is a great addition to smoothies, and goes well with most soups and stews. It’s great added to eggs or sauteed veggies, and is a natural fit for rice dishes and curries.
Second only to turmeric in the amount of research supporting its health benefits is garlic. The antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties of raw garlic make it ideal for fending off colds and flus, largely due to the compound allicin.
Garlic is a great addition to any saute, homemade salad dressings and dips, soups and stews, or any meat and veggie seasoning blend.
Cayenne is packed with immune-boosting beta carotene and antioxidants. It increases circulation, and helps break up and move mucus out of the body, reducing flu and cold symptoms.
Cayenne can be added to any drink, sauce, or meal that needs a spicy kick. Adding it to eggs, veggies, nuts, dressings, and meat are all great options.
Cinnamon is at the top of the charts in terms of its antioxidant levels. Additionally, it has antibacterial, antiviral, and circulation stimulating properties. Its high content of the anti-inflammatory compound cinnamaldehyde make it essential for cold and flu season.
Adding cinnamon to oatmeal and smoothies is a great way to start the day. It also goes well in homemade desserts, chilli, curries, stews, and any dish needing a warming flavor.