Greetings health fans. As many of you may know I’m a big advocate of the “let your food be your medicine” approach to living. And while grapes and almonds can be supportive of health, it’s also necessary to consume plants and compounds known to have powerful medicinal properties. There a thousands of these plants and compounds out there but not all of them are easily accessible. Below I list 5 of the most accessible medicinal plants on the planet. I encourage you to do a deep dive on each of these and explore how you can integrate into your daily lives.
Garlic a great culinary ingredient that is a staple in many traditional recipes. It also has a long history of usage for its medicinal properties as well. Garlic has shown to be effective against a variety of parasites, bacteria, fungus and viruses.
Oregano is another culinary herb that has myriad of health benefits. The extracted essential oil of oregano is what has been extensively studied for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral and anticancer properties. Oregano essential oil has also been shown to be effective in combatting diabetes.
Licorice is one of the most widely used and most widely studied herbal plants on the planet. It commonly known for its unique sweet flavor that it imparts to candy. It historically has been used to treat colds, coughs and chills. It has also been used for ailments effecting the chest and lungs. The list of pharmacological activity licorice is known for includes: antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antitumor, antioxidant, liver protective, skin protective, antidepressant and antidiabetic. Licorice can be consumed as a tea or as an extract. Compounds in licorice root make it naturally sweet yet it does not impact blood sugar in a negative way.
Echinacea is a flowering plant widely known for its immune boosting properties. It is also one of the most well known and herbs used by the public. Studies have show its efficacy in protecting cells from viruses and bacteria. Echinacea has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Common forms of Echinacea are tinctures and extracts.
Elderberry is a wild plant that grows in ditches and low lying areas where there’s standing water. It puts out a cluster of white flowers that eventually turns into dark berries. Elderberry is a known antiviral, immune booster, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s easy to find and collect elderberry in many places in the United States and around the world. Elderberry can be found in stores as a tincture, syrup, extract and even as gummies.
I hope you found this article useful. I’d love to hear about the healing herbs you use in your daily lives. Please leave any comments and questions below.
Keep It Live! Chef Adam