If you are like me, we like to stay away from the doctor and prescription medicine. We are always on the search for something purer, something that comes from the earth. So we research, we strive to find the best remedies. I like to think that I am pretty knowledgeable on the topic of holistic health. But honestly, with all of the information out there sometimes I get lost! Since starting my quest to balancing the mind, body, and spirt I have found a few thing I love having.
Here are 6 herbs that I can’t live without.
Some people think lavender is overrated. (It’s not!) Lavender has been used to combat stress, insomnia, anxiety and other adverse moods. It is mainly used in aromatherapy, working best when inhaled. In our demanding world, stress and anxiety are common ailments. Before our emotional state gets out of hand reach for some lavender essential oil.
To alleviate stress or anxiety try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your hair to keep you calm throughout your day.
If you suffer from insomnia fill a palm-sized cloth bag with lavender buds and place it under your pillow. It will promote a state of relaxation so you can get some much needed sleep.
Stevia is a plant used as a sugar replacement 200–300 times more sweet than sugar. The average adult consumes 3x more sugar than recommended, even worse, children are taking in 4x more than recommended. Too much sugar causes a slew of health problems including: diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, ADHD, depression, anxiety, gum disease and the list goes on. Sugar is added to all of our processed foods and is highly addictive. Does this not sound like a marketer’s dream?? Sugar Coated is a great documentary that dives into the sugar industry and surrounding politics.
Stevia contains glycosides, which taste sweet. Unlike sugar, stevia does not raise your blood sugar nor addictive. The stevia plant also has multiple healing properties outside of its use as a sweetener. It aids in digestion and is considered an antimicrobial.
Stevia is best for you in plant form. You can add the leaves to tea or water to add a little sweetness to your day. You can also purchase processed stevia. Beware, not all stevia is the same. Some stevia powders contain Erythritol and other chemicals. When making a purchase seek out Green Leaf Stevia. This is stevia in its least processed form.
Remember the week of standardized testing in school? We were greeted with a huge packet flipped upside down, a bubble in scantron sheet and a peppermint candy. How kind of our teachers to bring us candy for our long day. Wrong! The peppermint was only a ploy for better test scores.
Research shows that mint stimulates your brain allowing for better focus and increased memory.
Seneca, a stoic philosopher said, ‘There will never be a time when new distractions will not show up.’ He was right. Distraction is around every corner. Next time that deadline is approaching, take some mint essential oil and rub it behind your ears or add some mint leaves to your favorite tea. (If you are a true master at distraction and procrastination, do both.) This will help you stay on task.
Mint has many other uses. Next time you are faced with a stomach ache or indigestion, make boil some water and add mint leaves and lemon juice. This tea soothes the stomach and helps stimulate digestion. Also, if you need to freshen your breath you can rub mint leaves over your teeth 😄.
Aside from making any yard look great, echinacea works with your immune system to keep colds away. Echinacea raises your white blood cell count. White blood cells locate and ‘eat’ viruses and bacteria.
Next time you are going on vacation and you are worried about catching a cold on the plane try echinacea tea. Combining the flowers with your favorite hot tea and some honey will keep you protected on your trip.
Oregano is another great immune booster. If you feel a cold coming on reach for oregano. Carvacrol, a component of oregano, has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, it reduces inflammation and it helps rid the body of bacteria and fungus. Inflammation is the REAL cause of disease.
Oregano is delicious and you can never have too much. Sprinkle it over your meals and know that you are doing something great for your body. Recently I stated using oregano oil in my Waterpik to prevent bacteria forming in my gums.
Cilantro naturally pulls toxins from organs. Eating it regularly will keep keep the body clean. Cilantro also works as a heavy metal detox. Many household items contain aluminum, which is linked to dementia and Alzheimer's.
Eating cilantro regularly will keep your body in balance. When feeling like its time for a cleanse use cilantro pills to remove metals and other larger toxins from your system. So next time you are out grab a taco and make sure to add cilantro!