Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Herbs and spices for a healthy body and mind

Owing to their healing properties, herbs and spices have been used for centuries as holistic remedies for physical health. But it’s only been in more modern times that studies have shown their benefits on mental health. As well as being used to season food and treat aches and pains, they are now more commonly used to improve cognitive ability and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.

Benefits of herbs and spices

Many herbs and spices contain antioxidants and other powerful properties, and they have a wide range of health benefits such as:

  • Helping to promote weight loss
  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving heart health
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • Easing stress and anxiety
  • Aiding insomnia

Herbs and spices and their healing properties


One of the most popular spices used for its health benefits is turmeric. A study published by Science Direct showed that this spice is most effective as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It’s also often used to minimise free radicals and reduce the physical symptoms of stress on the body. More recent research shows that turmeric may improve brain health and ward off Alzheimer’s disease.


Used by ancient civilisations for thousands of years to treat illnesses, cinnamon is still popular today owing to its therapeutic properties. It contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and provides many health benefits including reducing blood sugar levels and improving cognitive ability.


As well as being a popular aromatic spice used in cooking, cumin is rich in antioxidants and is used to assist weight management, lower cholesterol, and manage the effects of stress. Studies have shown that cumin has antidiabetic properties and can reduce blood sugar levels following a meal.


While peppermint is often consumed for its vibrant flavour, it also has a wealth of health benefits. It can relax the digestive system and reduce pain from bloating and indigestion. It’s often used to lessen the symptoms of IBS and prevent nausea and vomiting.


Packed with antioxidants and healthy compounds, this vibrant spice is used for both mental and physical health. Ginger is great at fighting off stress, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing the risk of heart and lung disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties also mean that it is often used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


This sweet-smelling herb is more than just a pretty flower, it’s used for a whole host of mental and physical health benefits. As well as promoting better sleep, lavender is also widely known for alleviating the effects of stress, anxiety and depression as it can help to reduce blood pressure and lower the heart rate.

Popular herbs used to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Turmeric
  • St John’s wart
  • Lemon balm
  • Passionflower
  • Basil
  • Nutmeg
  • Kava kava
  • Peppermint
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
Note: herbs and spices can be potent and some can interfere with other medications or can exacerbate medical issues. Please check out any contraindications before taking any remedy. 

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