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I needed the radio to keep me company on the long drive home from my parents' house. As I scanned channels I found a talk show hosted by a dentist. He gave a fascinating talk about the healing effects of certain herbs. Because I was driving alone, I couldn't take notes, but I wrote down his name. This morning I called his office to ask if the information was posted. His assistant told me that it was in the current issue of Family Circle magazine. Here are a few of the interesting things he talked about.
Cinnamon lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar. Sprinkle it on cereal, bake in breads, or add it to meat loaf.
Fennel, a licorice-flavored spice, prevents gas, heartburn and upset stomach Chew Â½ teaspoon of the seeds after a meal or make a tea .
Ginger may be good for your joints as well as your stomach. In a UCLA study patients had less knee pain with a ginger supplement than those who took a placebo. Researchers said that ginger had almost as much benefit as arthritis prescription drugs. Ginger can be added to soups, salads, veggies and entrÃ©es.
Oregano may be protective against breast and ovarian cancers, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington D.C. In addition, oregano has antibiotic and antifungal properties. One study showed that oregano oil was as effective as antibiotics in treating staph infections in mice, without danger of developing resistance. Oregano can be added to spaghetti sauce, poultry, fish and veggies such as mushrooms and green beans.
Rosemary could help fight cataracts, and is a rich source of carnosol, a compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. (Specifically against skin and lung cancers) Add to fruit salads, soups, lamb and fish.
Sage may boost your memory. It is tasty on fish or in salads.
Thyme acts as an expectorant by loosening phlegm. Its lemony flavor is a good addition to salads, soups, sandwiches, meat, fish or poultry.
The article answered a recipe substitution question that I had wondered about for years: Which is better dried or fresh? One food scientist said that you get more antioxidant value from the dried version (except for garlic) because the dried version is more concentrated. If a recipe calls for fresh herbs and you want to use dried, cut the amount in half.
To read the full article, which includes warnings for using too much of certain herbs, go to: http://www.familycircle.com/home/homepage.jsp
I'm going to add rosemary to tonight's lamb and ginger to tonight's carrots.
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