Way before commercial pharmaceuticals existed as big business, even before the dawn of patent medicines so called cures by doctors or chemists people used herbs and other healing plants to combat sickness, and disease, treat wounds and infections, and help to ease pregnancy and childbirth symptoms!
Herbs not only offer culinary taste bud pleasure, but they also provide a form of healing called phytomedicine, which dates all the way back to ancient eras. These holistic healing practices are resurfacing after so many people are realizing doctors are not there to cure but to treat.
Herbs are generally defined as plants with leaves, seeds, or flowers that are used to flavor food, provide scent, and treat disease. Some or even all the plant may be utilized (root, stems, flower, fruits, and seeds).
Essential oils are distilled from these plants and contain concentrations of beneficial compounds as well as vitamins and minerals. Western Medicine felt if people continued to be educated on holistic healing, they would not need a doctor. Money is the root of all evil and the reason herbal cures were pushed under a heavy rug with loads of junk piled on top. Recently I was digging around and stumbled upon that heavy rug and with all my dedication and research; I was able to lift it up to uncover the contents underneath.
Another form of healing botanicals are spices typically made from dried leaves, stems, seeds, roots, bark, or other parts of the plant. Originally, they were used to provide flavor to food dishes and to prevent food spoilage. Once healers learned they were super loaded with antioxidants which clean the toxins off cells, plus had anti-inflammatory powers, as well as some curative effects they were sold!
By the early Middle Ages, numerous spices were in such high demand they had become high-value items of barter, some worth their weight in gold.
Here are 3 great culinary herbs that begin with “B” to help you get started using food as medicine.
Basil is the king of herbs with its earthy spicy, sweet flavor it can be found in kitchens worldwide. You can eat it raw, cooked, sauteed, blended into pesto, and used to make sauces, soups, and salads. Effective at treating stomach irritations, nausea, and flatulence. It acts as an appetite enhancer, increases the flow of bile, and helps to clear nasal passages of mucus and harmful bacteria. Dried basil provides calcium, magnesium, and iron.
- Bay Leaf
Bay leaves either fresh or dried are added to soups, stews, tomato sauces, and casseroles to provide an earthy flavor. The leaves are rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin A, folic acid, B complex, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, and selenium. Natural healers used bay to cure stomach ulcers and gas. The essential oil can treat arthritis, reduce congestion, and help the body to process insulin more efficiently.
Raised as an agricultural crop besides its many culinary uses. The seeds are rich in nutrients and it’s the world's leading source of beneficial gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Natural healers use borage to treat diabetes, stress, decrease inflammation, ease pain, protect the heart, ensure female health, treat skin disorders, aid in weight loss, calm hyperactivity, and control the blood pressure.