Among the cooking herbs and spices in your kitchen cabinet, there awaits some powerful medicines. Three of the most popular culinary spices are also some of the most effective medicinal herbs: Ginger, Cayenne, & Garlic.
Nearly everyone has heard of using ginger ale for an upset stomach. But have you ever wondered why? It’s because of the ginger that used to be in it. Unfortunately, the ginger ale we buy today in the grocery store no longer contains any real ginger, so it is really of no help. On the other hand, fresh grated or dried ginger root tea is an excellent remedy for nausea. It is so effective that it is often recommended for the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. It is also safe and effective for morning sickness. Ginger’s remarkable healing abilities do not end with nausea. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, fever reducer & circulatory aid shown to reduce cholesterol & inhibit clotting.
Another potent cooking/medicinal herb is cayenne pepper. Of its many healing properties one of the most overlooked may be its ability to heal ulcers. It accomplishes this due to its ability to kill a specific bacterium that has been shown to cause ulcers. Once this bacterium is gone, the ulcer heals. However in large quantities it can irritate the esophagus and mucous membranes. Cayenne is unequaled in its ability to improve circulation and has been used as an excellent heart tonic as documented in the book Left for Dead. Externally, a cream containing capsaicin (the active ingredient in cayenne) has been shown to reduce pain by blocking nerve endings from the protein which acts as a pain messenger to the brain. It may take several days of applying the cream for effects to be felt.
Finally, one of the most powerful of all medicinal herbs is garlic. During WWII, garlic was used extensively to treat amoebic dysentery, infected wounds and even gangrene, but with the advent of antibiotics, garlic fell out of favor. Today it is gaining popularity once again. The American Cancer Institute is currently investigating garlic’s anti-cancer properties as it appears that garlic is toxic to some forms of cancer and may act as a preventative. Garlic’s ability to lower triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol has been well documented. In at least 40 different scientific studies, garlic was shown to lower cholesterol levels by at least 10% in nearly all participants. In another study of 432 heart attack survivors, garlic reduced the chances of a second heart attack and also reduced the number of deaths. It has also been shown to be an effective herb for the treatment of high blood pressure.
Combining these three herbs along with two others in the following recipe is one of my all time favorite herbal remedies. Without exception every person I know who uses this combo faithfully maintains excellent health throughout the cold and flu season. It combines all the above mentioned attributes with a potent immune stimulating effect. Mix this recipe up and take 1-3 Tbs once or twice per day.
1 meduim minced onion
1 large minced bulb garlic
1 large fresh grated ginger root
1 small section (11/2” – 2”)grated horseradish
2TBS powdered cayenne pepper or 3TBS fresh
Place all ingredients into 1 qt of organic apple cider vinegar. Let steep 10 days. Strain if desired.