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Five Surprising Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Three You Should Be Using Now… and Two to Watch

As you probably know, I’m a big fan of herbs and spices. Not only do they make plain food delicious, they offer an amazing array of health benefits.

Today I’ll share three of my old favorites, plus two that you can expect to hear more about in the near future. Our first entry has a terrific story…

Detoxify With a Heavy Metal Heavyweight

Mercury, lead and aluminum are toxic when they build up in your body. And getting them out can be difficult. But that job is easier thanks to a Vietnamese soup recipe.

In 1995, a researcher was looking for a way to effectively eliminate tissue deposits of mercury. He accidentally discovered his answer… in a bowl of soup. Soup that contained Chinese parsley, also known as cilantro.

Further research led to the discovery that cilantro also speeds the elimination of lead and aluminum from your system.1 Since these three metals can lead to a host of health problems, that’s terrific news. Loading up on cilantro may just be the tastiest way ever to detoxify.

Speaking of eating, here’s an underappreciated spice that makes eating more pleasurable in two ways.

Improving Taste… and Digestion, Too

Many of us love the punch black pepper adds to our food. But what most people don’t know is that shaking on the pepper can also improve your digestion.

You see, piperine – a chemical found in black pepper – stimulates the production of digestive enzymes. It also speeds up food transit through your system.2 In other words, it improves digestion two ways.

Add in the fact that piperine is a powerful antioxidant, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it freely in your cooking.

But as good as pepper is, I think you’ll like our next subject even better.

The Holiday Spice That Delivers Better Health

Imagine if a delicious spice could lower blood sugar, cut blood pressure, help you build lean muscle… and even get rid of a little extra fat. Now that would be one terrific spice!

And it is. It’s cinnamon.

Researchers at Ohio’s Wadsworth Medical Center tested cinnamon on a group of people with blood sugar trouble. Within 12 weeks, their blood sugar levels dropped… their systolic blood pressure was down nearly 4%… they added lean muscle… and they even lost fat.3

I don’t recommend eating sugary cinnamon-flavored treats, though. But do try adding some pure cinnamon to all-natural applesauce for a healthy snack.

Now let’s move on to some promising research that may benefit you in the near future.

Two Herbs to Watch

Rosemary adds wonderful flavor to soups and meat dishes. The essential oil of this herb also has potent anti-bacterial powers.

And a Chinese team discovered that rosemary oil is particularly effective against a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This is great news, because P. acnes is a major cause of acne.

The researchers found that applying diluted rosemary oil killed P. acnes within 8 hours.4 I feel it’s too early to recommend using topical rosemary oil for acne. But this study shows it has promise. (Note: Never take rosemary oil internally.)

Finally, there’s good news about celery seed. Most people think it’s tasty in soups and cole slaw. But there’s one group that doesn’t like it at all.

Mosquitoes.

That’s right. Some day, you may find celery seed extract on store shelves as a mosquito repellent. A recent Thai study found it was as effective against these pests as the best commercial brand they tested.5

Nature Provides an Answer

It’s been my experience as a doctor that there’s a natural answer for nearly every health concern. And ongoing research is leading many skeptics in the same direction.

Today we know that cilantro, black pepper and cinnamon can provide tremendous health benefits. Who knows what “new” discoveries we’ll make about the wisdom of Nature. Or where we’ll make them.

One thing I do know… I’ll never look at a bowl of soup quite the same way again.
Stay Healthy!

Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals

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1 Omura Y and Beckman SL. Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995 Aug-Dec;20(3-4):195-229.
2 Srinivasan K. Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(8):735-48.
3 Ziegenfuss TN, et al. Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006 Dec 28;3:45-53.
4 Fu Y, et al. Investigation of antibacterial activity of rosemary essential oil against Propionibacterium acnes with atomic force microscopy. Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(12):1275-80. Epub 2007 Sep 24.
5 B. Tuetun, et al. Celery-based topical repellents as a potential natural alternative for personal protection against mosquitoes. Parasitology Research, Volume 104, No. 1, December, 2008.

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