Digestion 101

10 Culinary Herbs & Spices to Improve Digestion

October 12, 2015

Not only do herbs and spices have specific roles in the culinary field, each has its own immense nutritional benefits. In fact, a number of over-the-counter drugs are concentrated forms of chemical extractions found in plants. So, we definitely should not underestimate herbs and their ability to heal.
10 Culinary Herbs & Spices to Improve Digestion

Today, we’ll be exploring herbs and spices that are specific to the Gastrointestinal tract. Aromatic culinary herbs contain Volatile Oils have carminative properties that help to soothe and relax the gut lining.

You may find dried or fresh herbs. Where dried varieties are more intensely flavoured and therefore, used in smaller amounts. You can even grow fresh ones in your patio or on your kitchen windowsill.

Herbs for Gas, Bloating, and Indigestion

Basil
Potent and refreshing in taste, this Mediterranean herb is packed with antioxidants that protect at a cellular level. Basil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and contains heart-healthy nutrients beta-carotene and magnesium.

How to use Basil? Use it in soups, smoothies, salads, tomato dishes and pesto.

Cilantro (coriander) leaves and stalk
Used in many Mediterranean and Asian dishes, cilantro (coriander) contains one of the highest levels of vitamin K, which is important for healthy bones, as well as vitamin C and A for eye health and repairing the gut. This herb is known to have antibacterial properties. People love or hate its distinctive flavour.

How to use Cilantro? It is good in soups, juices, fish dishes, vegetables and many Asian and Mexican dishes.

Mint
This herb has a fresh, cleansing flavour and possesses gut-soothing, antibacterial and anti microbial properites, helping ease indigestion, stomach pain, and bloating.

How to use Mint? Drink it as a tea infusing in drinking water, or use with lamb, fish, soups, and salads.

Try using mint in your drinks in this Thai Mango Mint Water Infusion Recipe.

Rosemary Leaves
A pungent aromatic herb that stimulates the nervous system, creating alertness and concentrations; too much, however, may cause anxiety. It increases blood flow to the heart, head, and brain, and its anti-inflammatory properties help people with asthma and breathing difficulties.

How to use Rosemary Leaves? Use with fish as well as meats, and as a flavouring for water and dressings.

Rosemary Flowers
As well as being delicately flavoured, the flowers provide an intense array of antiseptic, anti-allergic and anti-fungal compounds.

How to use Rosemary Flowers? Use in salads or herbal teas or as beautiful garnish for topping soups.

Cooking Spices for Gas, Bloating, and Indigestion

10 Culinary Herbs & Spices to Improve Digestion

 

Black Peppercorn
These stimulate hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, improving digestion and preventing the formation of intestinal gas, diarrhea and constipation. They can also promote sweating and urination, removing toxins from the body.

Cardamom

Excellent for easing indigestion and digestive problems. It helps combat infections by eliminating waste and toxins through the kidneys.

Cinnamon
Regulates blood sugar levels by enhancing the effect of insulin. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is good for joint pain, irritable syndrome and skin problems.

Fennel Seeds
With their sweet anise flavour, fennel seeds can reduce menstrual cramps and help regulate hormones. They contain numerous flavonoid antioxidants, which remove harmful free radicals from the body, protecting it from cancer, infection, ageing and degenerative neurological diseases.

Ginger
A warm, aromatic spice which is known for its ability to soothe the respiratory tract and treat common colds and coughs. Gingerols, the potent anti-inflammatory compounds found in ginger, help to reduce arthritis, joint, and muscle pain while preventing gas formation and aiding digestion. Ginger is believed to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Try this Honey Spiced Ginger Turmeric Tea that is deliciously packed with amazing healing spices.

Herb and Spice benefits adapted from Gut Gastronomy by Vicki Edgson and Adam Palmer.

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