Your spice rack isn’t just your go-to to make your food delicious. Spices and herbs contain many nutrients and compounds that are beneficial to your health. And these same qualities are why spices and herbs have been used in natural medicines for centuries. The next time you need a treatment for something, instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, reach for your spice rack instead.
1. Black Pepper to Control Coughing
Black pepper is one of the best home remedies for chronic cough because it works as a decongestant and helps quell coughing when used with honey, which helps clear bacterial infections to soothe your throat. Just add a teaspoon of black pepper to a cup of tea and steep for 10 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of honey and enjoy this peppery tea twice a day to reduce coughing.
2. Ground Sage to Heal a Canker Sore
Drinking a couple of cups of sage tea twice a day is a perfect way of eliminating any bacterial or viral infection that may be the underlying cause of your canker sore. Add ground sage to a teacup and fill it with boiling hot water. Steep for 10 minutes only and rinse your mouth once it comes to room temperature.
3. Ground Nutmeg to Erase Acne
Nutmeg has compounds that contain strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. Simply mix equal parts of honey and ground nutmeg, and apply it directly on your pimples. Leave for 20 minutes and wash it off with cool, clean water to reduce inflammation and clear infection.
4. Sesame Seeds to Kick Constipation
Sesame seeds work as a great lubricant for your intestines, which makes it a lot easier for dry stool to pass through your insides. Grind a tablespoon of sesame seeds and sprinkle it on anything you eat, from salads and to cereals to yogurt and anything else to rev your digestive tract.
5. Rosemary Leaves to Get Rid of Dandruff
Those white flakes of dandruff look awful on your black dress. Washing your hair with rosemary will save you from all the embarrassment. Add rosemary leaves to a cup of boiling hot water and steep for 20 minutes. Strain it and leave until it comes to room temperature. Now, shampoo and condition your hair as usual, but apply the rosemary solution as a final rinse. Massage it gently into your scalp and don't rinse it out.
6. Garlic Powder to Patch up a Scrape
Thanks to its antiseptic and antibiotic properties, garlic paste (made by mixing garlic powder and water) will help disinfect and clean the affected area.
7. Basil Leaves to Prevent Flatulence
Basil is one of the finest home remedies to prevent flatulence in the gastrointestinal tract. Simply add a few basil leaves to a bean-heavy dish (bean salad, baked beans, bean salsa, anything with chickpeas or lentils) to avoid dealing the flatulence effects afterwards.
8. Fennel Seed to Avoid Bad Breath
Fennel seeds have special types of oils that improve your digestion and play a big role in deodorizing your digestive tract. Simply chewing 5-10 fennel seeds after every meal will help improve bad breath. Be sure to swallow those seeds for better effects.
9. Oregano Leaves to Heal Your Bruises
Oregano oil has healing properties which go to work on bruises. Add a tablespoon of oregano leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for about 10 minutes. Take out the leaves and place them in a clean sock packet made by cutting off the foot of a pair of sheer-toe-ended pantyhose. Tie its open end and place the packet on your bruise for 15 minutes to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
10. Ground Turmeric to Relieve Allergies
Turmeric contains certain antioxidants that help clear symptom-triggering histamines to relieve seasonal allergies. Stir a teaspoon of ground turmeric into an 8oz glass of water and drink it a couple of times a day for relief.
11. Meat Tenderizer to Prevent Itching
A paste made from combining a couple of teaspoons of water and a half-teaspoon of meat tenderizer will work great to take the itch out of insect stings. Apply this paste directly on the affected area and leave for half an hour. Meat tenderizer contains an enzyme called papain, which helps reduce the effects of venom by breaking down the proteins it contains.
12. Vanilla Extract to Reduce Arthritis Pain
Simply dabbing some vanilla extract on a tissue and sniffing it will do the trick. The aroma of vanilla activates parts of your brain that produce neurotransmitters called endorphins, which help make you feel better by lowering pain sensitivity.
13. Thyme Leaves to Heal Athlete's Foot
These leaves contain antifungal compounds that eliminate the fungus that causes athlete's foot. Add two tablespoons of thyme leaves to a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Strain it and leave until it cools down completely. Now, soak a cotton ball in this solution and apply between your toes for relief.
14. Ginger for Upset Tummy and Nausea
Ginger is one of the most powerful plants Mother Nature has gifted us. It is so powerful that it remains the subject of many scientific and medical studies which are testing its healing properties. It has been used for centuries for dealing with tummy upsets and nausea. Make your own ginger tea by cutting up some root and setting in boiling water – add honey to taste, if you like. You can use ½ teaspoon of ground ginger if you don’t have fresh.
Remember, spices and dried herbs do lose their potency (and flavor) over time so they should be replaced after 6 months of being opened. And also, if you prefer fresh herbs and spices, just use them in the same ways as above.
What’s in your spice collection? Do you have a go-to?