Healing Herbs: Beginner’s Guide

Are you interested in incorporating herbal health into your daily routine? There are a lot of easy ways to do this with friendly herbs that you know well and probably have lying around your kitchen anyway. I used to buy fresh herbs for a certain recipe and then watch, helplessly, as they disintegrated in the freezer or turned bad in the fridge. These are some ways that I incorporate healing herbs and below is a great table to refer to! I’m excited to share an intermediate guide next week!

1. One clove of garlic every day. Either pop it into your mouth or include it in your morning smoothie/juice. This is incredibly important for anyone with heart disease/stroke in the family.
2. Turmeric sprinkled on EVERYTHING- not a strong taste to effect your spice profile, but so many benefits!
3. Cardamon is warming, like cinnamon, but much better for digestive health and liver detox. I use it when I bake to replace sweetness of sugar, honey, or cinnamon, and sprinkle it on all my sweets.
4. Peppermint oil drops are excellent if you have any acid reflux or heartburn issues. Please try this before using any over-the-counter option. You can apply directly to tongue or take in capsules.

When you’re using herbs and spices for health, make sure they are fresh and quality. You won’t get anything out of a stale or processed herb. Penzey’s is a great resource for spices. And check out your local farmers markets for fresh herbs!



  1. For garlic and ginger: Raw vs picked vs powdered? I like ’em all, but we used a lot of pickled, and I am *hoping* it has some of the same benefits. Also — do you know anything about freezing ginger and other roots (horseradish) and if that affects them?

    • Great questions, Erin! Raw is always best. I adore picked ginger; just be aware of the sugar/salt content of anything that is pickled, since that is part of the process. http://www.livestrong.com/article/536144-does-pickling-vegetables-take-away-the-nutrition/ Does a great job of explaining nutrients gained (yes, some are boosted) and lost in the pickling process. The problem with powders is not in the fact that they are powdered. Getting, let’s say, powdered garlic from a reliable source or making it at home is a great way to get the benefits of fresh garlic. the problem is actually in the packaging process, the de-stabilization of temperature, and the aging of the powders we can easily pick up at the store. For something as cheap and easy as garlic, i always recommend fresh. My favorite way to freeze herbs to retain more nutrient is to go ahead process them into a paste with olive oil and pour into freezer trays. To freeze a root, however, i recommend an air-tight container (preferably glass) for no longer than 6 months. Hope this helps!

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