Annatto: a beneficial seed, Uses, Side Effects, and Precautions

You might have seen reddish or yellow color in Caribbean cuisines; this is nothing else but an annatto.

Annatto, Common name “lipstick plant” or “poor man’s saffron” and botanical name Bixa Orellana. The seeds formed in pods of Bixa are famous all over the world but in different names: achiote, jarak, atsuete, Orellana, arnato. Fruit is heart-shaped covered with hair; when opened, there lie beautiful red seeds of annatto.

Hairy fruit along with pyramid-shaped seeds

 

Ten surprising benefits and uses of annatto seeds:

Flavonoids, carotenoids, and alkaloids present in annatto seeds exhibit a wide range of activities. Many of its benefits are due to these compounds, which I enlisted as follows:

1: Annatto as coloring agent:

 The specific red color of these seeds is due to carotenoids present in seed coating. More Bixin (chemical present in the pericarp of seeds), more orange color, and more norbixin chemical tilts towards yellow color.

You may have seen yellow color in stews or soups in South America or Filipino cuisines. It is due to annatto seeds. In the Philippines, people use annatto seeds paste in marinating chicken as it makes it more flavourful.

In coconut, it is slightly yellowed to give a light yellow color.

2: Use in the dairy industry:

There is no stable alternate to annatto in the dairy industry, mainly used in ice creams, margarine, and the cheese industry.

3: Use in bakery items:

Many companies use annatto seeds in bakery items like waffles. You can use it as a healthy diet source. 

4: Alternative source of vitamin B:

A known fact is that our bodies don’t produce vitamin E, vital for our body. We have to take it as a supplement. You will be surprised to learn that annatto seeds are the primary source of vitamin E. 

Tocotrienols in large amounts, present in annatto seeds. This chemical is a form of naturally occurring vitamin E, present in extracts that exhibits highly neuroprotective activity. 

5: Use for healthy skin:

The use of annatto on skin dates back to ancient times. People used it to color the face and body for insect repellent.

The antioxidant activity of annatto enhances the production of healthy cells and tissues reduce damaged skin. 

Annatto paste reduces wrinkles and inflammation on the skin. However, the ancient people used it as sun cream. Peroxides present in seeds prevent DNA mutation in U.V rays.

6: Use against diseases:

 Rich in fiber, it may:

  • Boosts digestion decreases heartburn.
  • Suitable for stomach activity. 
  • A cure for cancer. As Bixin is an antioxidant, it may save tissues from damage due to cancer drugs. 
  • Increases eye health, decreases chances of cataracts.

Not only annatto seeds but the whole plant has its benefits. We use leaves as a tea drink known to cure hepatitis, fever, and dysentery.

7: Good for bones:

It has calcium in it, hence suitable for weak bones, increasing durability. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of tocotrienols for women in post-menopause, a significant component of these beneficial seeds in bone strength.

8: In the Cosmetic industry:

Famous as a lipstick tree, we use annatto to give beautiful shades to lips. It is also used in shampoos to give your hair smoothness. Hair dyes that give attractive colors to hair. 

9: Annatto as Herbal medicine:

People use it as herbal medicine to treat many disorders in the form of a drink. In Asian culture, these beneficial seeds are an essential part of Ayurveda.

10: Beneficial as anti-parasite:

Anti-parasitic activity is also present in annatto seeds. It is 100% proven. Experimental use of annatto on fish shows removing the outer membranes of helminths (a parasite), causing their death.

How to harvest annatto plant:

These plants were founded in central and South America. It is harvested mainly in tropical countries like Mexico, Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Peru, etc.

It can be grown both on a commercial scale and in small gardens. The soil must be organically rich and well-drained; the sun is a must. Before planting in soil, seedlings are grown in polythene bags in the nursery. These bags contain a mixture of soil, sand, and manure. Monsoon season (June to September) is ideal for farmers to spread these prepared seeds in the soil. 

The condition of capsules decides the harvesting stage. After being ready, they spread them on spreadsheets. It takes around one week to get them dried. Once dried, they remove the seeds from pods. These seeds are then collected in bags and stored. Indias use this method of harvesting.

Annatto seeds in powder form:

Annatto in powder form

 

How many times have you used yellow or orange food color to enhance the color of your food? It comes from nothing else than annatto seeds. It makes food visually pleasing. If you have great taste buds, you will like its sweet and peppery taste. Annatto color seasoning is part of many Mexican and American cuisines.

Do you know one more amazing historical fact? Before being used as a coloring agent, people used it as body paint for its healing powers.

Like the Mayans, many tribes of ancient times used these beneficial seeds as a blood symbol, and it holds a very sacred place there. 

Annatto seeds in oil form:

 Achiote oil, oil of annatto seeds, is made by simmering them in any oil. But on slow flame. Within a few minutes, the oil is ready to be used. Some uses and benefits of achiote oil are below:

•        Indian and Mexican culture, people used to flavor and give color to many foods.

•        Oil is used in the butter and cheese industry and offers many shades of yellow to cheese.

Where to buy these beneficial seeds:

Although, these are readily available in supermarkets. In America, you can find them in Spanish stores and Asian stores. You can also order annatto seeds or powder online from amazon or any other online shop.

 

Annatto powder in the online store

 

How to preserve or store them:

You can use these beneficial seeds for years. There are two simple tips:

  • Please place them in airtight containers.
  • Keep them away from light.

Substitute of annatto seeds:

Hibiscus powder

Hibiscus powder, beet powder, paprika powder, turmeric are all substitutes for annatto seed powder. Although, these spices or herbs will not give the same taste and color. Turmeric spice is tilted towards yellow color and has a powerful aroma. The Asian people use it in their cuisines

Precautions in use of annatto seeds:

Although incredibly beneficial seeds, there are some precautions for using them:

  • It can’t be used in soft drinks in Europe according to their legislation.
  • If you are new to cooking and learning, then don’t put whole annatto seeds in curry. It will take the seeds hours to soften.
  • Some people get allergic to it. If you are allergic to any color, then avoid it.
  • If you have diabetes, please do not use annatto because your health care provider can observe your fluctuations in blood glucose levels. People should not use it along with diabetic medicines.
  • You should avoid annatto if you have scheduled your surgery. It is admissible not to use annatto two weeks before and after surgery.
  • It also decreases the effectiveness of some medicines. As medicines break down in the liver, it alters the breaking rate of chemicals in treatments.

Stability of annatto:

On a commercial level, due to its stability, it is 2nd most used dye. It is stable at high temperatures and other physical conditions.

Conclusion:

For centuries till now, the world is exploring its uses. Annatto is a fantastic plant, with lots of benefits in many industries. Many of its properties make it of great worth commercially, and in the medical field, there is room for a lot of research. But we must know that natural things also have side effects. Everything comes with its pros and cons. 

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

 

10 excellent benefits and uses of Carob Powder

Image result for carob powder

Carob Powder is a powder driven from the dried, roasted pods of its tree. It is an alternative form of Cocoa powder, but both are different from each other. 

Carbo powder is a sweetener used in baked items because it has a beautiful, sweet taste. It contains chemicals and fibers that are helpful for you. Here, you will know about the 10 excellent benefits and uses of Carob Powder.

Benefits of Carob powder:

Carob powder is beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels. It consists of fibers and antioxidants but contains no caffeine. If you want to know about the detailed benefits, then you should continue your reading. These are some benefits of Carob powder.

Recovers from diarrhea:

If you get diarrhea, you will feel unpleasant, vomiting due to water dehydration. If you want some natural remedy to recover, you can use Carob powder. Studies have revealed that it is helpful for the initial stage of diarrhea, especially in children of 3-21 months.

Tannin is a large amount of Carob powder, thus used as the natural medicine for diarrhea. Tannins are polyphenols that have a binding property. These are water-soluble and bind with the mucous membrane of the intestine. 

Fiber-rich powder:

Fiber is beneficial in maintaining your body safe and sound. Besides Tannin, Carob powder also contains fiber in a large amount. Two tablespoons of it consist of almost 5 grams of the powder. We use fiber to control constipation, blood sugar level, and control cholesterol. 

A study revealed that there are antioxidant polyphenols in these fibers that maintain cholesterol levels in patients with high LDL.

Source of essential minerals:

Carbon powder contains calcium, an essential mineral of your body. Two tablespoons of it contain calcium, and this is 4% of the recommended daily use. According to studies, calcium helps maintain body weight. 

This powder also consists of other essential minerals: iron, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel, barium, and cobalt.

Source of phytochemicals:

Carob powder consists of phytochemicals that play an essential role in your body. It helps reduce the chances of cancer and tumor. Besides, it also has some other properties, as it is antitumor and proapoptotic in its activity. 

A phytochemical called quercetin has the property of killing leukemic cells. Different studies have been practiced on animals to check the phytochemicals that prevent you from cancer.

Maintain Blood Sugar Level:

Carob powder plays a vital role in maintaining your blood sugar level. This powder consists of Inositols, a vitamin-like substance that is essential for controlling diabetes. This inositol consists of Myo-inositol and d-pinitol for diabetes control. Health care personnel use Myo-inositol as insulin resistance for patients with high sugar levels.

Weight loss:

Carob powder is popularly known as a weight-reducing tonic through stimulating the body’s absorption, improving digestion, and effectively burning and removing fats.

Antioxidant.

It is rich in antioxidants and also repairs and prevent damage to cells by free radicals.

Gluten-free powder:

This powder contains no gluten, and it proves helpful in your health. Gluten is a protein that enhances your immune system. This immune system attacks your intestine and causes celiac disease. As this powder is gluten-free, you can use it if you have celiac disease.

Contain no sodium:

To live healthily, you should maintain your diet as per need. If you are Considering sodium, then you should take it in less amount. An excess amount of sodium may cause various diseases such as kidney problems, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Carob powder contains no sodium that makes it healthier for people who take less sodium in their diet.

Low in Fat:

Carob powder consists of no fat, and it is good if you want a low-fat diet. Besides, it has a higher sugar level than cocoa powder. Only two spoons of it contain 6 grams of sugar. But if you see the fats, it will benefit you as a healthy diet.

Uses of Carob powder:

Carob powder is mainly used in food, especially in sweets, due to its sweet taste. You can use it in your chocolate milkshakes and smoothies. It has other uses that I will discuss further.

Used as food:

Carob powder is widely used in diet to keep your body healthy. Here are other ways by which you can use this powder in your diet:

● You can use it in making bread dough or pancake batter, which gives you a unique sweet taste.

● As it has a special role in baking, you can use it in making brownies called Carob Brownies.

● You can add it to your smoothies, beverages to make them healthier.

● You can also add it to your chocolate drink.

Used for digestive issues:

Carob powder consists of tannins that may help you in resolving gastric issues. If you have digestive problems, you may use it as it helps in the elimination of toxins. It also helps in controlling the growth of harmful bacteria.

Conclusion

Thus, Carob powder is a healthy diet in its use as compared to cocoa powder. You have read the ten excellent benefits and uses of Carob powder so that you can use it for your desired purpose.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

Mountain Rose Herbs

500X500_BulkHerbs

 

Mountain Rose Herbs is dedicated to carrying a diverse range of certified organic and fair trade products.

Mountain Rose Herbs have various organic botanical products such as herbs, spices, teas, essential oils, and beauty and personal care items. 

You can find all you need for a well-stocked spice cabinet from their A-Z list of dried herbs and spices, specialty seasonings, gourmet salts, peppercorns, seaweeds, and sprouting seeds. 

 

 

10 Amazing Coriander Essential Oil Benefits & Uses

Coriander essential oil

Coriander oil is unique oil that is distilled from seeds of coriander by steam distillation. This nutrient-rich coriander oil consists of many beneficial compounds important to your body. It also has some medicinal importance that will surprise you when you will go through the benefits. This oil is used for many purposes internally. It is used to enhance digestion, relaxation because of its aroma, and people use it for healthy skin.

Here, you will get the 10 amazing benefits and uses of coriander essential oil.

Benefits and uses of coriander essential oil

Let’s discuss the amazing benefits of this oil that is also important to your body:

Weight Loss:

You must think along as you know that everyone wants to become slim and smart. People use many ways to reduce their fat, but I will tell you how to get rid of fat. Coriander essential oil has the property to enhance lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids and fats. That means the more you use this oil, the more you will lose weight.

Reduce blood sugar level:

Coriander essential oil has specific compounds that can reduce the blood sugar level of a diabetic patient. A study on this oil states that it lowers the blood sugar level of a diabetic rat. Studies revealed that the beta cells of the pancreas work actively with the use of this oil. Beta cells produce insulin that maintains the blood sugar level. Thus, this oil is beneficial in reducing blood sugar levels.

Protect from brain’s internal injury:

Coriander oil contains chemicals that nourish the neurons of the brain, and it has an anti-inflammatory property. A study on rats revealed that this oil protects the neurons from nerve damage.

Beneficial for stomach and proper digestion: 

Your body needs proper nutrients for proper functioning, and these nutrients came from the digestion of food. If you have a problem with improper digestion, you can use coriander essential oil to boost your digestion. Coriander oil has the characteristic of increasing the appetite that will help in fast digestion.

Has antioxidants benefit:

The food industry uses antioxidants to increase the shelf-life of the foods. Coriander contains antioxidants, which could delay or prevent the rot of food.

The extract and oil of seeds and leaves of coriander had powerful antioxidant activities, thereby preventing the oxidative worsening of food.

Essential oil has an excellent antioxidant action, which we can substitute for synthetic antioxidants.

Protects the skin:

When it comes to protect your skin, consider the coriander essential oil because it consists of antioxidants that will safeguard your skin from free radicals. It also protects against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Uses of coriander essential oil

Coriander essential oil has many uses that will prove helpful to you. Besides its uses and benefits, you should consult the health instructor for better results. Here, I will provide you some of its services that will help you a lot. It also has the property to use as an inhalant due to its relaxing aroma and refreshing quality. We use it during a warm bath.

Breathe freshener and deodorant:

The manufacturing industry uses coriander essential oil in deodorant products for refreshment. After sweating, an unpleasant odor results due to the bacteria around your sweat glands. To prevent this unpleasant odor, you should use the deodorant having coriander oil. This oil fight bacteria and reduce foul odor. Due to its sweet and excellent quality, the producers use it in mouth fresheners, which will make your breath pleasant. Thus, Coriander oil provides refreshment to you.

Pain relief:

Coriander essential oil has the property to reduce the pain of all types. It can relieve headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, tooth pain, even the pain of any injury. If you are suffering from any pain, apply it to the affected area and reduce your pain. The itching on the skin reduces by using this amazing coriander essential oil.

Used to change the mood:

Whenever you feel down, you need some fresh air to make you feel better. Coriander oil has the same effect on the mood. It has some specific properties of aromatherapy that will help you to calm down. It relaxes your brain and maintains your emotional health and, ultimately, your mood. Whenever you feel down, you should try it.

Used as Preservative:

People use the oil in various ways, e.g., in foods as flavor and preservatives in pharmaceutical products, the same as in perfumes and lotion. It is helpful in food preparation and preservation also in helping to prevent foodborne diseases and food damage.

Used to remove gases from the body:

If someone is suffering from gas issues, he knows the pain and discomfort of this condition. Many people die due to gas problems every year because these are toxic gases that should be eliminated from the body. It is more dangerous when it is going upward. This coriander oil will help you to eradicate gas problems. When you have such a problem, take a spoon of this oil, and you will find comfort.

Used to clean blood toxins:

 We consider coriander essential oil to be a detoxifier as it removes toxins from the blood. These toxins may be uric acid and heavy metals, along with many other types. This oil helps to eliminate these toxins from the blood.

Conclusion

You have known about the 10 amazing coriander essential oil benefits and uses; you can use them wisely. But before going to rush into it, seek a piece of advice from a health consultant to get its good benefits.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

Coriander Seeds: Uses and Health Benefits

The round, tan-colored seeds obtained from the coriander plant are a part of everyday shopping. In addition, these seeds are added to many dishes to give them a sweet and floral aroma. Not only flavorful, but the Herb is beneficial to your health as well. People incorporate the herb into several remedies.

Want to know more about this unique plant? Then keep reading because this article will guide you on all the essential aspects of herbs.

Coriander Seeds

The coriander plant bear leaves and seeds. The plant usually seeds when there is late spring to the early summer season. The coriander seeds are light brown, hollow, and round in appearance. People use them as a seasoning, and we can convert them into various forms such as powdered, oil, unprocessed form, etc.  Coriander seeds are among the significant Middle Eastern, Indian, Latin, Asian, French, Greek, and Caribbean cuisines.

How to grow and harvest Coriander?

It is easy to grow the coriander plant in your kitchen garden. This fragrant and anti-oxidant-rich plant can also be grown in trays and pots containing nutrient-rich general-purpose compost. In this Guide to Coriander Uses and Health Benefits, we will mention some of the most straightforward steps to plant and harvest it.

  1.  The best seasons to plant coriander seeds are the late spring and fall. If you plant it in the summer, then there are chances that the plant will bolt and turn out to be bitter.
  2. Look for a sunny site in your garden to grow this plant.
  3. Make sure that you plant the coriander seeds in well-drained soil with a PH of 6.2 to 6.8.
  4. Sow the seeds separately at a distance of 1 to 2 inches.
  5. Don’t forget to water the plant regularly.
  6. If your encounter any insects on the plant, then use insecticidal soap.
  7. When the harvesting season comes, cut the plant’s stem and shake it in a bag to automatically fall off the ripened seeds. If you don’t wish to continue harvesting, then remove the entire plant.

How to Store and Preserve the Seeds?

You can store the whole seed for a year and the ground seeds for around two to six months with proper preserving methods.

If you want to store coriander seeds, then keep them in an airtight container. Exposure to air can lead to the reduction of the shelf life of these seeds. Please store it in a cool location because volatile substances such as the essential oils of Coriander are known to evaporate when the temperature rises. Avoid keeping it in an area where the light can start the photodegradation phenomenon, resulting in loss of flavor and aroma of the seeds.

If you want to store the coriander leaves, more commonly known as cilantro, then freeze or dry them. Put the cilantro leaves in a container or a resealable bag and keep them in the refrigerator. For the drying method, hang the leaves in a hot area until they are thoroughly dried, and then keep the cilantro leaves in a container.

What is the difference between Coriander and Cilantro?

Both the coriander seed and cilantro are from the same kind of plant called Corian drum sativum. However, it cannot be obvious when somebody refers to Coriander because it is usually associated with the leaves and the dried seeds.

The Cilantro word is derived from the Spanish language. It is used only for the herbaceous leaves obtained from the coriander plant. In contrast, people use the phrase Coriander for both the seeds and plant leaves and stems.

What is the taste/flavor of Coriander?

Although the coriander seeds and leaves come from the same plant, they differ in their flavors. We use coriander seeds in curries, soups, and rice dishes because of their warm and spicy taste. When toasted, they give out an earthy, tart, and floral flavor.

In contrast, we use the fresh green leaves of the coriander plant called cilantro for garnishing because of their refreshing, citrusy, and herbaceous flavor. However, some people have also said that these green leaves taste like soap and metal.

Can you Substitute Coriander with any other herbs and spices?

Suppose you are not a coriander person and are searching for some suitable substitutes. In that case, your search is over because you can replace coriander seeds and leaves with many other herbs and spices available in the market.

In exchange for coriander seeds, the options available include cumin, caraway, fennel, garam masala, and curry powder. All these spices blend nicely into your dishes and can leave a delicious taste in your mouth.

Instead of using coriander leaf or cilantro, you can use parsley, tarragon, dill, basil leaf, and herb mixtures. When properly cut and garnished, all these substitutes give various dishes a bright and refreshing, tangy flavor.

Uses of Coriander

Some people use it in the cooking of everyday dishes. For example, you can use it to prepare soups, curries, pickles, masalas, baked goods, etc. The leaves are used mainly in the unprocessed form. In contrast, We roast the seeds, grounded, or dried them before adding them to the dishes.

Does Coriander closely resemble flat-leaf parsley?

Yes, the coriander leaf or more commonly known as cilantro, does closely resemble parsley. There is a reason behind this resemblance because both the plants belong to the same botanical family Apiaceous.

Other than the appearance, there is a way to differentiate between parsley and cilantro. The coriander leaf has a significantly strong taste; in comparison, the parsley has a milder and subtle flavor and scent.

Forms of Coriander

The Coriander can be converted into different forms according to the need. Follow mentioned are some of the ways the plant can be transformed, stored, and used:

●   Purees and pastes: Keeping the herb fresh in your kitchen for a long time is challenging, so many people tend to convert it into pastes and purees. We can prepare the pastes with chilies, garlic, yogurt, and any ingredient of your choice.

●   Coriander Powder: You can obtain the powder by grinding the seeds. You can prepare the powder at home, but it is also available in the markets. We use it as a spice.

●   Dried Coriander fruit: The dried fruit is the seed.

● Coriander oil: You can obtain it from the coriander leaves by boiling and blending them with other oils such as olive oil. It is perfect for digestion.

●  Essential oil: It is prepared from coriander seeds by the process of steam distillation. It is very beneficial for health and is used in the treatment of various skin diseases.

●   Fresh leaves: They can be obtained from the plant and utilized in garnishing cuisines.

●   Processed and unprocessed forms: The coriander plant is withered and dried artificially in many countries. Most often, people use unprocessed herb plants as a whole.

What are the Health Benefits of Coriander?

The coriander plant carries many health benefits; that’s why it is recommended to incorporate this plant into your everyday cooking. The herb is an anti-oxidant-rich plant, so it boosts immunity and fighting radicals in the body.

It is highly beneficial for diabetes patients because it helps in lowering blood sugar levels. It is also known to improve brain and heart health.

The recommended amount to be taken

There is no such recommended amount because the daily serving size of the herb depends upon the person’s health, age, and many other factors. Usually, it is safe to use Coriander daily, but too much can cause allergic reactions.

Where to buy them?

You can buy Coriander seeds and leaves because they are readily available in every other grocery store.

Conclusion

It would be great to add Coriander to your dishes because it gives a pleasant flavor to them. While looking at all the health benefits, you can also grow it in your kitchen garden.

Essential Oil

Seed

Seed Powder

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·                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

10 Best Herbs and spice that reduce anxiety.

Whether it is chest tightness, feelings of agitation, sweating, and losing control over our mind, we are all well aware that anxiety is no fun. Those who suffer from it can be highly debilitated from its effects. In 2013, 8.2 million anxiety incidents had been reported in the United Kingdom, with women being two times as likely as men to be dealing with mood disorders.

Although with the growing advancement in science, there are countless medicines that can reduce your anxiety in a matter of minutes, but these synthetic medicines have their side effects.  

If you are looking for a natural solution, herbs have been proven to have a soothing effect, whether it is an anxiety attack or just general nervousness. Below is a list of 10 natural herbs and spices that will bring relief to your anxiety. 

Ginger


Ginger acts as an excellent treatment for general anxiety.

Besides adding taste and freshness to your dishes, Ginger acts as an excellent treatment for general anxiety. This is because the antioxidant gingerol tends to combat the harmful chemicals generated by our bodies while we are anxious. For example, stress can lead to an upset stomach when stomach acid processing, which is essential for digestion, is hindered. In this situation, Ginger saves the day by enhancing the synthesis of stomach acid. 

How to use Ginger in your everyday life to reduce anxiety

  1. Take a pot, add two cups of water to it. 
  2. Boil the water for some time. 
  3. Add 1tsp of chopped Ginger and let it boil for some time. 
  4. Strain and add 1tsp of honey and lemon juice according to your taste. Now, wait till this magic herb starts showing its magic! 

Ashwagandha: 

Ashwagandha is a revitalizing herb that enhances your body’s natural ability to deal with mental and physical discomfort. Usually, when a person is stressed, the cortisol levels of the body start skyrocketing. Other hormones also become unbalanced, leading to irregular sleep patterns, mood swings, and depression. This miraculous herb enables your body to reduce cortisol production, also known as the stress hormone.

 Regular intake of Ashwagandha can make one feel less stressed and mentally calm. 

How to use Ashwagandha in your daily life to reduce anxiety:

  1.  Take one cup of lukewarm milk an hour before bedtime. 
  2. Add 1 ½ tsp of Ashwagandha powder to your cup. 
  3. Mix and enjoy a peaceful sleep. 

Brahmi: 

Brahimi, AKA the brain booster, is a unique herb found 4000 ft above sea level. It is the anti-anxiety properties of this small herb that makes it the Ayurvedics’ favorite. A study has shown that Brahmi increases serotonin levels, also known as “the happy chemical,” that aids in relaxing. It has a one-of-a-kind capacity to improve brain performance while also assisting the body in coping with stress. It brings in the sense of calm and relieves irritability. It’s a gentle sedative that improves mental control and concentration rather than dulling the mind. 

How to use Brahmi in your daily life? 

  1. Take one cup of lukewarm water or milk. 
  2. Add 1tsp of Brahmi powder and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add 1tsp of honey (if required) and enjoy your drink. 

Lavender: 

Lavender is much more than just an aromatic plant. Today, people use it to fight physical and mental problems, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. According to the studies, massaging Lavender oil soothes your stress and brings a sense of positivity and freshness. In addition, the herb is known to reduce the stress-causing hormone- cortisol. 

How to use Lavender in your daily life to reduce anxiety

1. Boil 2-3 cups of water. 

2. Add 2-5 drops of Lavender oil. 

3. Start inhaling its vapors. 

Holy Basil: 

Inflammation, free radicals, and oxidative stress are also possible outcomes of extreme stress. Holy Basil boosts antioxidant levels and function, allowing them to safely associate with free – radicals and combat their harmful effects. This miraculous wonder of soil is successful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Ayurveda also recommends Tulsi as a protective measure for helping the body respond to both physical and emotional stress and preventing the onset of stress-related diseases.

How to use Holy Basil in your daily life? 

1. Take 2 cups of water and let it boil. 

2. Add a few Tulsi leaves. 

3. Allow it to boil for a few minutes and strain. 

4. add 1tsp of honey and lemon juice as per your taste. Enjoy! 

Lemon Balm: 

Belonging to the mint family, lemon balm is named after the Greek term for “honey bee.” While this herb is native to Europe, humankind cultivates it globally to obtain its benefits. The individual has long use lemon balm to help with mood and cognitive performance. Still, the magical benefits of this herb don’t end here.

It is said to relieve the effects of stress. It improves the mood and also aids in lessening the symptoms of anxiety that include muscle twitching, nervousness, and nausea. 

How to use lemon balm in your daily life? 

1. Take a few lemon balm leaves and chop them. 

2. Take 2 cups of boiling water and add lemon balm leaves (chopped) 

3. Let it boil for a few minutes. 

4. Strain the boiled water; now add 1tsp of honey and enjoy! 

Valerian: 

Individuals know valerian root as nature’s valium from the earlier civilizations because of its mind and body calming properties. People use Valerian root to treat insomnia, which is frequently exacerbated by stress lead by anxiety. A plethora of research proves its ability to cure restlessness by promoting peaceful sleep. This natural herb contains isovaleric acid along with different compounds that promote sleep and dizziness, so make sure you do not consume it when driving or during work. Not only anxiety, but research suggests it can help with other neurological disorders like Parkinson’s too. 

How to use valerian in your daily life to reduce anxiety?

1. Take 2-3 roots of dried valerian roots.

2. Soak it in warm water for 10-15 minutes. 

3. Strain the water, enjoy your tea.

Ginkgo Biloba: 

Ginkgo Biloba is well-known for its memory-boosting properties, particularly among the elderly. However, this herb’s benefits are not limited to that. Ginkgo Biloba is also beneficial for anxiety. This plant has been listed as one of the most effective herbs for curing or avoiding anxiety and depression. It contains antioxidants like flavonoids and terpenoids that reduce free radicals’ impacts, resulting in anxiety relief. In addition, ginkgo has been proven for its capacity to alleviate fear, stress, and other symptoms linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment.

How to use Ginko Biloba in your daily life?

1. Take 2-3 fresh Ginko Biloba leaves. 

2. Add them into 2 cups of boiling water. 

3. Let it boil for 5 minutes. 

4. Strain it in a cup; you can add 1tsp of honey as a sweetener if you want. 

Passionflower: 

Benzodiazepines are one of the most often used anxiety medications. Researchers used Passionflower in a study on people suffering from anxiety. They discovered that it performs almost as well as synthetic medicines but without the side effects. These synthetic medications have drowsiness as a side effect, but there is none for Passionflower. Passionflower promotes the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid that aids in regulating mood. 

How to use Passionflower in your daily life?

1. Take dried passionflower herb.

2. Add into 2 cups of boiling water. 

3. Let it boil for 5 minutes. 

4. Strain it in a cup; you can add 1tsp of honey as a sweetener if you want. 

Rhodiola: 

Otherwise known as the golden root, Rhodiola has been serving humankind for centuries. Research suggests that consuming Rhodiola for 10-14 days can decrease the stress-causing hormone cortisol levels. Herbs like Rhodiola boost the body’s stress tolerance, helping you deal with complex, tense situations. The herb aids in relieving stress, hormonal as well as blood pressure issues led by anxiety. 

How to use Rhodiola in your daily life?

1. Take dried Rhodiola roots. 

2. Put them in 2 cups of hot boiling water. 

3. Let it steep, strain the water and enjoy your tea. 

Conclusion: 

It is essential to consider that excess of everything can be harmful. Where these natural herbs tend to fight your anxiety, excess intake of them can promote it. If you’re thinking about using a herbal remedy to treat anxiety, consult your doctor first — particularly if you’re on any other treatments. Any natural medications and drugs can interfere and cause severe side effects.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

10 Best Herbs and Spices for Seasonal Allergy Relief

You are worried because it is the time of the year when molds, trees, and grasses release spires and pollen particles, and you are prone to getting a seasonal allergy. So, here we are to relieve you out with herbs and spices for seasonal allergy relief.

This article will mention the ten best herbs and spices for seasonal allergies with their usage. So keep reading!

GARLIC

Raw garlic is a common ingredient found in almost every household. Besides adding taste to your dishes, garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It contains histamine lowering Quercitin that is known to improve immune function. People tend to use garlic to combat spring allergies.

Extraction: 

  1. Take several cloves of garlic.
  2. Peel off the papery skin covering each clove.
  3. Press each garlic clove and put it in a food processor.
  4. If you want to get 1g of concentrated garlic extract, use 1 pound of garlic cloves.

Preparation: The preparation methods depend on whether you want to use garlic as a whole, powdered, or oil form.

How to use garlic for seasonal allergy relief 

One of the easiest ways to use it is to add fresh garlic to your meals, such as soups, stews, pasta, etc. You can also sprinkle powder as a seasoning or garlic supplement.

Recommended amount and precautions: 

The recommended dose for an adult is 1-2 cloves of garlic per day. People allergic to garlic should take precautions because overdosage can lead to nasal congestion, wheezing, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Where to buy it? You can purchase garlic at any grocery store

ROSEMARY

This herb contains Rosemarinic acid, which detoxifies free radicals and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. Rosemary is used widely for seasonal allergies.

Extraction:

● If you have this herb growing in your garden, then pick and rinse it properly.

● To collect rosemary needles, remove the entire stem.

● Place it in a tight jar for 4-6 weeks so that fermentation can take place.

Preparation: You can prepare the rosemary by either removing the needles, mincing it, or as whole sprigs.

How to use it: 

Fresh and dried rosemary is widely used in dishes such as stew or roast. Rosmarinic supplements are also available in pharmacies.

The recommended amount of Rosemary for allergy Relief and Precautions: 

It is recommended to use 1-2 grams of rosemary per day. It could help if you took proper precautions because rosemary overdosage can lead to seizures, vomiting, coma, stomach, and intestinal irritation.

Where to buy it? You can keep rosemary plants in your garden or purchase rosemary oil from any supermarket.

STINGING NETTLE

Although stinging nettle is known to contain histamine, it helps decrease allergy-related inflammation and histamine.

Extraction: 

● During the spring season, pick the young leaves from the tips by using a rubber glove so that you don’t get stung.

● Please put it on a tray to wilt.

Preparation of Stinging Nettle For Seasonal Allergy Relief: 

You can prepare nettle for usage by putting it in a mason jar with boiling water. Let it keep remain for 4 hours or overnight, and then strain and drink it.

How to use it? We can utilize Stinging nettle as a tea, tablet, tincture, or extract.

Recommended amount and precautions:

 There is no recommended daily dosage of stinging nettle, but it would be great to talk to some herbalist before using it. If not taken in moderate amounts, it can lead to stomach problems, sweating, urine issues, etc.

Where to buy: All the nettle-related products are available on amazon

BUTTERBUR

If you are looking for an herb that can improve your allergy symptoms and avoid antihistamine’s sedative effects, Butterbur is a perfect choice.

Extraction:

Professional obtain Butterbur leaf and root extracts having prior knowledge about this herb because this isn’t a do-it-itself task.

Preparation and usage: 

It is prepared into an oil or pill form and consumed in both ways.

Recommended amount and precautions:

The dosage recommends for allergic rhinitis is 50 mg extracts containing 7.5 mg of pertains twice daily. Overdoing it leads to bleching, headaches, and digestive problems.

You can buy Butterbur from any herbal store

HOREHOUND

It is also called Marrubium Vulgare and is a member of the mint family used for inflammatory conditions.

Extraction:

● Pick the portion of herb which is present above the ground.

● Put in a bundle and dry it indoors or outdoors.

● Placed dry leaves and blooms in an air-tight container to store for one year.

Preparation: 

They can add Horehound leaves and flowers to salads, soups, and other meal preparations.

How to use it? We can use Horehounds in tea. The supplements are also available.

Recommended amount and Precautions: 

Adults usually take 0.8-1.3 ml (25 to 40 drops) of horehound three times daily. Consult a doctor if you find any skin sensitivity, allergic reactions after taking the herb.

You can buy Horehounds from any herbal store.

TURMERIC

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that inhibits allergic responses. Like garlic, turmeric is also found very commonly in every household. There are endless benefits of this spice.

Extraction: 

Turmeric is cleaned and grounded into powder.

● You can mix the solvents and powder in fixed portions.

● Separation is carried out to get curcumin.

Preparation:  We can prepare turmeric into juice, oil, and powder form.

How to Use Turmeric for Allergy Relief: 

 Add turmeric powder and honey into warm water or milk, mix it and drink it twice a day.

Recommended amount and precautions:

 The daily dosage recommendation is 500 to 2000 mg of turmeric. Please don’t overdo it because it can lead to dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea.

Where to buy: Turmeric is available in almost every grocery store.

FENNEL SEEDS 

Fennel seeds contain antioxidants, Quercetin, and flavonoids that help in reducing allergic reactions.

Extraction and preparation: 

● Take 4 grams of dried fennel seeds

● Mix it with 8 ounces of vodka in the jar

● Keep the lid of the jar tight and shake it once a week

● You can use Fennel seed extracts for 2 to 3 months.

How to use it: 

We use fennel seeds in 3 ways. One of the methods is to eat raw fennel seeds. You can also make fennel tea or add grounded fennel seeds to your meals.

Recommended amount and Precautions: 

In the shape of a capsule, you can take three pills that are 480 milligrams per day. However, it is healthy to eat fennel seeds, with some side effects, such as hives, rashes, and vomiting.

You can order fennel seeds online or buy them from any supermarket.

NIGELLA SEEDS 

Nigella seeds are commonly known as black cumin or black sesame seeds containing thymoquinone and protein kinase C. these substances help treat allergic reactions.

Extraction and Preparation of Nigella Seeds for Seasonal Allergy Relief

● Buy nigella seeds and cold press oil extraction machine.

● Clean the seeds, so there are no contaminants present.

● Put the seed in the machine to get nigella seed extracts.

 Keep the nigella seeds in a tight container, just like any other spices.

How to Use It: 

You can spread Nigella seeds on your fried vegetables, grind the seeds and add them to your soup.

Recommended amount and precautions:

 Daily, you can take 1-2 teaspoons of Nigella seeds. Usually, there are no side effects, but overdoing can lead to constipation and an upset stomach.

You can order Nigella seeds online or buy them from any supermarket.

CAPERS

It is rich in natural antihistamine agents and Quercetin. Capers help in relieving the inflammation in the respiratory airways.

Extraction and preparation: 

● They pick Caper while their buds are still tight.

● The fruits, young shoots, and leaves are used fresh in dishes.

How to use it: You can add caper into salads, pizza toppings, and omelets.

Recommended amount and Precautions: 

The recommended amount depends on the Capers’ size; it can be 8-10 or 15-20 capers. The capers are also known to cause skin rash and allergies in some people, so you should take precautionary measures.

Where to buy it? Capers are available in marts and grocery stores.

THYME

Thyme contains Vitamin C and flavonoids. It helps in treating sore throat, cough, and congestion.

Extraction and preparation: 

You can extract thyme essential oil via steam distillation, steam diffusion, and hydrodistillation processes.

How to use Thyme for seasonal allergy relief? An individual can use thyme can as a condiment for pasta or rice. You can also use it in the preparation of meat, poultry, and fish.

Recommended amount and precautions: 

It would be better to consult with a healthcare professional because there is no such recommended amount. The side effects of overdosage include dizziness, headache, and upset digestive system.

CONCLUSION

Natural ways are always the best ways to fight any seasonal allergy, but excess of everything is terrible. So, before using any herbs and spices for treatment, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

10 Best Herbs and Spices that Boost the Immune System Naturally

Herbs and spices that boost the immune system

We should all be looking at some alternate natural ways to boost our immune systems, particularly at this time. Many natural products are quite functional in this regard. One category is herbs and spices. Some herbs and spices add flavor to our food and assist when we are not feeling well. Spices and herbs have been used for quite a long time as solutions for some brief illnesses and help in recovery. You can mix them in smoothies, soups, and baked items to keep your mind and body strong, healthy, and fresh. This list contains some beneficial herbs and spices to boost up your immune system.

1. Cinnamon

Sticks/powder cinnamon

Cinnamon’s brightness and spiced smell make it an invite expansion to several dishes, from sweet to appetizing. Cinnamon has many anti-inflammatory uses, absorbs numerous antioxidants, has a complete package of valuable vitamins, and protects the body from free radicals. But, unfortunately, it can also deal with significant heart diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and many bacterial infections.

How to Use Cinnamon to Boost your immune:

A daily intake of a quarter teaspoon of Cinnamon combined with one tablespoon of honey can help you fight many bacterial and viral infections.

Precautions:

Cinnamon does not have any adverse effects; when used with other medications for curing, some illnesses can cause problems. So, always ask your doctor before adding it to your diet.

2. Ginger:

Whole and sliced ginger root

Ginger, the most ancient herb, was first used in Southeast Asian countries. However, its unique health benefits have been used in traditional medicines for a long time. Ginger contains many vitamin B numbers that help treat flu, nausea, muscular pain, maintain blood sugar levels, treat chronic indigestion, and promote blood circulation.

How to Use:

There are a lot of uses for this precious supplement. One of the best is the immune-boosting Ginger Turmeric tea.

  • Add a cup of water into a teapot and place it on heat.
  • Add fresh slices of ginger into it.
  • After a minute or two, add some turmeric.
  • Don’t forget to add black pepper, which makes it more beneficial.

Precautions:

Try not to use more than 4 grams of ginger on whatever day in any form. Individuals with heart conditions, diabetes, and gallstones should mainly communicate with their physician before taking ginger as a boost.

3. Turmeric:

Turmeric root whole and slice on the floor and turmeric powder in a bowel

The next awesome source of Boosting your immune system is turmeric, commonly called Curcumin. Turmeric is an all-in-one package for enhancing the strength of your immune system. It is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant ingredient that heals wounds, repels insects, releases mucous, eases inflammation, and fights against many infections. 

How to Use Turmeric to Boost your Immune System:

Turmeric can be a part of many recipes, but the best way to consume turmeric can be warm spiced turmeric milk.

(For one cup only)

  • Take one cup of low-fat milk and heat it.
  • Add ¾ tsp. of honey, ½ tsp, ground turmeric, ¼ tsp, ground cardamom, and ¼ tsp, and ground ginger to it.
  • Additionally, you can add one dash of vanilla extract, one dash of black pepper, one pinch of ground cloves to it.
  • This excellent remedy can help you a lot to make your bones strong and heal wounds.

Precautions:

A higher dose of turmeric can cause severe gastrointestinal diseases like constipation, diarrhea, distension, yellow stool, stomachache, and many others. Therefore, a normal daily dose should be equal to 500 mg twice a day.

4. Garlic:

Fresh raw garlic bulb

Garlic is the most active ingredient in the kitchen, or we can say that this spicy bulb acts as a staple in most kitchens. It is enriched with many anti-viral and antibacterial substances that mainly reduce the extremity of flu and cold and increase the number of cells that fight against diseases. 

How to Use:

As garlic is readily available in almost every kitchen, its consumption is quite much easy. You can consume many dishes, or taking a bite of fresh garlic daily on an empty stomach is more than perfect for enhancing your immune system. 

Precautions:

Taking too much garlic per day can cause many gastrointestinal diseases like bloating, diarrhea, bad breath, and body odor. So do not consume it in a higher quantity.

5. Black Pepper:

Whole black pepper in bowel and spatula and grounded black pepper on the board

A robust immune system can also be sustained by the intake of Black Pepper, a precise spice in your kitchen cabinets. Black Pepper is characterized by solid anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative substances that boost white blood cells to fight against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. In addition, it may maintain cholesterol levels, blood sugar and improves brain and gut health.

How to Use:

Black pepper has, for some time, been a piece of the eating routine—a reasonably fundamental one at that. The flavor of black pepper is loaded with antibacterial and mitigating properties that help keep contaminations under control and relieve the distress caused by wounds and swellings. One of the best and easiest ways to consume this excellent ingredient is black pepper tea.

(For one cup only)

  • Take a cup of water, place it on the stove and boil it.
  • After turning the gas off, add half tsp, crushed black pepper, half tsp, lemon juice, and half tsp chopped ginger to it.
  • Please leave it in it for five minutes.
  • Strain the tea and consume it.

Precautions:

Black Pepper does not have any adverse side effects in general. However, it can cause burning of the mouth after tasting it. Please do not take it in higher amounts as studies have proved that it can cause lung diseases when taken in higher doses.

6. Coriander:

Fresh coriander

Coriander is the most precious and widely used herb due to its beautiful aroma and taste. The spice is also known as the Chinese parsley; mostly use to garnish soups, curries, and chutneys. It has many benefits regarding health and aids in lowering blood pressure and overcome the cellular damage caused by free radicals. These sweet-smelling leaves also help in managing anxiety.

How to use:

The all-in package of this priceless herb is delicious coriander juice, which can greatly impact your immune system.

(For one cup only)

  • Chop the coriander leaves.
  • Heat a cup of water in a teapot.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and heat them for 10 minutes.
  • After placing it away from the stove, let it cool.
  • Strain the juice and add lemon and salt to it.
  • Enjoy the best version of coriander.

Precautions:

Coriander is a green-leafy vegetable that does not have any adverse effects.

7. Cardamom:

Cardamom seed pod

Cardamom is another delightfully flavored ingredient to boost the immune system. Its blissful aroma and taste make it an essential component of Pakistani cuisine. Cardamom has many health benefits, including preventing respiratory infections, coughs, flu, sore throat, and asthma. The flavorful pod is also studied to enhance certain enzymes’ fighting actions to fight off against cancer. 

How to use:

The aromatic spice cardamom is the powerhouse of many antioxidants and minerals necessary to consume daily. The best and easiest way for its consumption is the Cardamom water.

(For One cup only)

  • Take a glass of water and heat it.
  • Take some cardamom pods and crush them.
  • Add the crushed cardamom into the water upon boiling.
  • After placing it away from the stove, let it cool.
  • Drink the water at night or in the morning on an empty stomach.

Precautions:

Cardamom intake is relatively unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it can cause miscarriage. It is also not safe for people with gallstones.

8. Elderberries:

Fresh elderberry fruit on the tree

People have used the Elderberry bush as an immune booster for thousands of years. This precious plant’s berries and flowers are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which are huge supporters of a healthy immune system. As a result, they are pretty helpful in curing inflammation, dealing with stress, and protecting the heart. Additionally, they are also found to be an excellent source to prevent cold and flu

How to use:

Individuals have used the elderberries in a wide range. However, the best version is the consumption of the fruit itself. Its other forms are syrups, pills, gummies, and teas. 

Precautions:

We should consider not consuming this herb’s roots and stems as they contain cyanide and glycosides, which can rapidly cause nausea and vomiting.

9. Clove:

Clove seed

Clove is another spice that is characterized by excellent immunity-boosting properties. In addition, cloves are highly rich in certain vital nutrients and antioxidants that help fight cancer, kill bacteria, improve liver health, regulate blood sugar, promote bone health, and reduce stomach ulcers. 

How to use:

There are numerous ways to use cloves in your diet. You can make them useful in several dishes. For example, adding two cloves to your morning tea is an excellent way to consume cloves that will make you feel relaxed.

Precautions:

We should know that taking too many cloves can cause fluid imbalances and liver damage. So, one should consume 2-3 cloves daily.

10. Green tea:

Green tea leaves/powdered and a cup of green tea

Green tea is another exceptional natural immunity booster. It can remove acne, aids in weight loss, and makes you look younger. The most highlighted characteristics are its enrichment in antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids. All these substances have an excellent and healthy impact on the immune system and help increase immune cells, suppress autoimmune disease, and protect against cold and flu.

How to use Green Tea to Boost the Immune System:

In addition to many other spices and herbs in it, Green tea is more than a perfect beverage for a healthy immune system. Adding ginger, turmeric and peppermint is an outstanding combination.

Where to buy

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

Jarrow Formulas Herbs

Aloe Vera: Uses, Preparation and Recipe.

Aloe Vera Plant

For many centuries, the aloe vera plant has been known and used for its beauty, medicinal, health, and dermatological properties (History of Aloe, 2021). Botanically, it is referred to as Aloe barbadensis miller, belonging to the Asphodelaceae family. Aloe vera is a shrubby, perennial, succulent, xerophytic, pea-green color plant that grows mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Europe, Asia, and America. Aloe vera has over 75 potentially active constituents, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, aspirin, lignin, saponins, amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, hormones, and salicylic acids. 

Historically, aloe vera is one of the oldest mentioned plants commercially grown for the health and moisturizing benefits found inside its leaves. An adult aloe vera plant attains maturity at 3-4 years and may reach a height of 30 inches along with up to 21 leaves (“The Aloe Vera Story – Lily of the Desert,” 2021). Countries like Africa and other ancient cultures believe that the aloe vera is the epitome of protection, spiritual upliftment, and good luck. The benefits of aloe vera cannot be understated. Consequently, knowing how to harvest and preserve the plant for the maximum benefits is very vital.

Harvesting aloe vera is not just about the acquisition stage, but it also extends greatly to the preparation stage. After harvesting an aloe vera plant:

  • Hold down the cut end to allow the aloin to run out.
  • Wash the leaf with water, lay it flat on the table, and cut the serrated edges.
  • Begin on one side and filet off the skin on all the sides, including the yellowish layer, until you expose a clear to white, translucent flesh.

This flesh is the good stuff you are looking for that is ready to use after a quick rinse. It makes no difference if you want to use a store-bought aloe vera gel or a fresh aloe vera plant in the long run. With the store-bought aloe gel, preserving may be pretty easy as the commonly added preservatives do the work for you. For whole leaves, however, keeping the harvested gel fresh may be a little challenging. It is possible to extend the entire leaves’ lifetime by storing them in your refrigerator or freezer; otherwise, the leaves will start going bad after 1-2 days.

Types of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Powder

Aloe Vera Powder is a valuable addition to most cosmetics and self-care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, conditioner, skin salve, face scrub, hand sanitizer, and makeup.

Aloe vera leaf powder comes in two variations: leaf powder and inner leaf powder (2021). Distinguishing between these two variations is essential in ensuring that you get a product that suits your needs best. Leaf powder, sometimes referred to as 100X, is made from the entire aloe leaf and may omit aloin. Aloin, also known as aloe latex, is a substance found beneath an aloe leaf’s skin. In preparing aloe vera powder, the filtration process, where most of if not all of the aloin is removed, is very vital. So important is the process that if not performed, the product fails to be California Proposition 65 compliant and is listed as carcinogenic. Since this type of powder is less labor-intensive, it is generally less expensive. Additionally, you can obtain more aloe powder from the liquid than the inner leaf product due to its higher matrix.

On the other hand, inner leaf powder uses only the gel taken from the leaf’s interior, meaning that the aloin is generally left unused. The quality of the inner leaf powder highly depends on how well the leaf is skinned. Inner leaf powder, obtained from inner leaf juice, has a lower brix level meaning that more liquid is used to produce the same powder quantity. Comparably, it is more labor-intensive. These two attributes result in powder being generally expensive.

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera powder

To make aloe vera powder:

  • Take 1-2 fresh aloe vera leaves. 
  • Wash it thoroughly to remove the yellow resin from the leaves.
  • Slice it into a tiny piece.
  • Place the slices on a tray.
  • Dehydrate them using a dehydrator or place them under the sun to dry.
  • Once dried, then ground into a fine powder.
  • Transfer the powder into a container and use it when needed.

Aloe vera powder is a valuable addition to most cosmetics and self-care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, conditioner, skin salve, face scrub, hand sanitizer, and makeup.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel is good for hair growth

While you can quickly get aloe gel from stores, most of these commercially prepared aloe gels contain additives that may be potentially harmful. Preparing aloe vera gel at home is easy provided you have the needed equipment, including a knife, a small spoon, a blender, an airtight container for storage, and an aloe vera leaf itself.

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Gel at home, 

To obtain the aloe vera gel

  • Use a fresh aloe plant leaf cut from the plant’s base. Alternatively, you can buy it from a local store. 
  • Wash the leaf well and allow it to stand upright in a cup or bowl for about 15 minutes to allow the yellow-tinted resin to drain out of the leaf. 
  • This resin contains latex that is a skin irritant, so completing this step is vital.
  • Follow this step by washing off any remains, then peel off the thick skin using a small knife or vegetable peeler. 
  • Peeling the leaf will expose the natural aloe vera gel, which you can easily scoop out with a spoon being careful to exclude any pieces of the aloe vera skin. 
  • Place the gel in a blender and mix until it is frothy and liquefied. Your aloe vera gel is now ready for use. 
  • If you plan on keeping the gel for more than a week, make sure to add preservatives in the form of Vitamin C and E to extend the shelf life.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice provides health benefit

Aloe vera juice, a thick liquid made from the aloe vera plant leaf’s flesh, is commonly used to treat sunburns. Drinking this healthful elixir in the form of juice will provide you with several health benefits. 

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Juice

To obtain the aloe Vera juice: 

  • You crush or grind the whole aloe vera plant leaf, then subject it to various steps of purification and filtration process.
  • You can easily prepare the aloe vera juice at home by following some simple steps. 
  • Begin with taking an aloe leaf and cutting it from the stem, then wash it properly. 
  • Use a sharp knife, cut the leaf into tiny cubes being careful about the thorny edges. For the best results, always go for a green aloe leaf.
  • The next step is to extract the gel by removing the aloe leaf’s outer layer to slice through the leaf’s latex. You can use a spoon or knife to scoop out the gel. Ensure you remove the latex so that the gel is free of laxative properties. 
  • Finally, to make the juice, you will need a blender. Add two tablespoons of aloe juice and water to make a natural aloe juice. 
  • Usually, accentuating the taste and the health quotient of your healthy aloe juice is a perfect idea. You can accommodate your choice of ingredients such as honey, ginger, and lime juice, making sure to drink the mixture the same day you blend it.
  • Because of its mild and tolerable flavor and the fact that it mixes easily into smoothies and shakes, aloe vera juice is a practical whole food supplement.

Aloe Vera Oil

Aloe Vera Oil is added in skin moisturizers, anti-acne agents, hair-growth boosters

While the aloe vera may be considered a wonder plant on its own, it does not produce any oil. However, preparing aloe vera oil is not a difficult task, and you can achieve this in the comfort of your home. 

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Oil

To prepare aloe vera oil to use at home,

  • You will need aloe vera plant and coconut oil. 
  • Place this aloe leaf on a flat surface and cut off the sharp thorns from the leaf’s sides. 
  • After you cut open the lead from the top, scoop out the aloe vera gel. 
  • Add the aloe vera pulp to a mixer grinder, then take out the crushed aloe vera and keep it inside. An alternative to this is purchasing natural aloe vera gel from the market.
  • Place your pan on medium heat, add coconut oil and crushed aloe vera and keep stirring until the oil starts turning brown. 
  • Allow the oil to cool down, drain the mixture and store it in a dry bottle.

Aloe vera oil is added in skin moisturizers, anti-acne agents, hair-growth boosters, hydrating and anti-aging solutions, and stretch mark healers.

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

11 Herbs and Spices that Aid for Cold and Flu

Herbs and Spices

The rows and rows of colored spices and herbs lining your kitchen cabinet are not only good for bringing life to bland food but are also powerhouses of antioxidants and disease-fighting compounds. Spices, known famously for just their flavoring abilities, have exceptional medicinal properties such as that Aid for Cold and Flu. And as the winter months approach, bringing about flu and cold for everyone around. But what if it were possible to ward off these infectious viruses with your spice cabinet? Keep reading to learn how to combat the common cold and boost your immune system simultaneously.

Elderberry to Aid for Cold and Flu

For centuries, elderberry has been used in traditional medicine to treat influenza, colds, and sinusitis, and it has antiviral activity against the flu. Studies were carried out on the effectiveness and safety of oral elderberry syrup as a treatment for influenza A and B infections. Individuals who got elderberry syrup 15 ml four times a day for five days have their symptoms relieved on average four days earlier. Thus, its extract appears to offer an effective, safe, and cost-effective therapy for influenza.

Conclusions contained in the report have not been confirmed in more extensive research. However, black elderberry helps decrease the seriousness, duration, and complications of the flu. In addition, it played a vital part in the active prevention of the common cold.

Elderberry syrup that Aid for Cold and Flu

How to use:

  1. Cook the berries with water and sugar.
  2. Drain it.
  3. Boil the liquid until reduced.
  4. The syrupy is ready.
  5. Take one teaspoon or a tablespoon of the syrup as needed.

Turmeric

The bright yellow hue of turmeric is mainly used to brighten and flavor curries, but it can seldom ignore its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it contains vast quantities of the compound curcumin, which is a potent antiviral and, if used regularly, can be a preventative for the influenza virus. Turmeric is also an excellent antimicrobial agent which helps suppress coughs and clear up respiratory infections left behind by a heavy cold. 

How to use Turmeric to Aid for Cold and Flu:

An immune-boosting elixir that has been around for centuries, golden milk is one of the best ways to consume turmeric. Golden milk is a beautiful addition or swap for your regular caffeinated tea or coffees, providing vital energy and antioxidant boost along with an exciting flavor. A daily dose of this truly makes a difference.

(For one cup)

1. Combine 1 cup of the milk of your choice (we prefer almonds). 

2. Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a saucepan. 

3. Heat up to a slight simmer. 

4. Pour into a cup and enjoy your golden milk latte! Again, we recommend a sweetener for optimal taste (try ½ teaspoon of honey).

5. The yellowish color of turmeric can stain when used topically

6. Use a paste of baking soda and water to eliminate the color on your hands or teeth

Licorice

If you are getting a fond flashback to your childhood candy shop, this may be the wrong licorice you are reading. Licorice root is an age-old and much trusted herbal substance for dry and productive coughs and chest congestions. It is a strong expectorant that helps relieve even the mightiest coughs and soothe irritated throats by aiding the disturbed mucus membrane during a cold. In addition, it treats cough and viral and bacterial infections.

How to use:

The uses of licorice root are extensive, but the most effective way to reap its benefits is by turning it into simple cough syrup. Therefore, cough syrup is the most common and valuable use for this aesthetic herb.

(For one cup of syrup)

1. Add 3 cups of water into a pot (preferably a glass pot).

2. Add 5 to 6 pieces of licorice root to it (fresh or dried).

3. Simmer it until it reduces to approximately one cup. 

4. Add three tablespoons of honey when cool and store it in a bottle. 

Excellent for use whenever your throat feels sore or when you can’t sleep due to excessive coughing.

Cinnamon to Aid for Cold and Flu

Apple pies and scented candles? These are two things that define aesthetics! 

Cinnamon is undoubtedly a delectable spice, but the health benefits outweigh the aesthetic side of it. Cinnamon helps warm up the body from within, preparing it better for facing the bitter cold months, as it contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde.

Cinnamon also has remarkable properties that help prevent mucus in the respiratory tract within a few days of usage. It also has antiseptic properties for the body.

How to use:

If you are looking to extend your immunity tenfold without taking anti-flu medication or supplements, a warm glass of cinnamon honey water is just right for you. Drink it whenever you feel under the weather or if your throat needs some care and attention.

(For two cups)

1. Boil two cups of water.

2. Add two cinnamon sticks and turn off the heat.

3. Let it cool down slightly before pouring yourself a cup, and we recommend stirring in some honey before downing it for optimal benefits.

Ginger

Rather than rooting problems, ginger is the root for all solutions and the answer to all your flu-related issues. It is a diaphoretic, a substance that induces sweating, helping break fevers, and even painkillers don’t seem to do the job. Another attractive characteristic is how ginger reduces inflammation quickly and effectively, which soothes sore and itchy throats. Painkilling properties also add to the plethora of traits this specific herb contains.

How to use:

Ginger is a mild yet effective analgesic, so using it as a gargle is highly recommended for your post-flu throat itches. Yet, an intense chicken broth with a dash of grated ginger and a teaspoon of garlic may be a delightful flu remedy as well.

For the gargle:

1. Pour half a cup of warm water into a glass. 

2. Add in 1 tablespoon of ginger powder. (use freshly grated ginger if the powder is not available).

3. Use this mixture as a gargle as often as needed for easing an itchy or sore throat.

Mint

This particular herb is one that you may already be expecting to be on this list due to its exceptional and extensive abilities. Mint is widely known and is a tried and tested remedy for providing instant relief for stuffy noses and constant coughs, mainly to make decongestant balms and oils. The pain relief properties of mint are also spectacular, as the menthol compound in mint leaves is helpful for immediately soothing and relaxing both the mind and muscles of the body, and the aromaticity helping in the clearing of phlegm and mucus from the nose and chest.

How to use:

(For one cup of mint tea)

1. Add 1 ½ cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Add a handful of mint leaves to boiling water and adjust the amount according to the required concentration.

3. Put one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a saucepan to let the tea brew.

4. Pour out the tea and drink immediately for maximum relief

Thyme

An often-overlooked herb, thyme is associated strongly with Italians and their pizza. But this small-leafed herb is packed full of nutrients and has vitamin C within its stems, which has a high rank in immunity boosters. Thyme, like mint, contains aromatic oils, which help in decongesting after a bout of flu or bronchitis. In addition, it aids in the expectorating process if you have a productive cough. 

How to use Thyme to Aid for Cold and Flu:

(For one mug of thyme tea)

1. Add two teaspoons of dried or fresh thyme leaves to a cup.

2. Add in freshly boiled water and cover with a lid.

3. After five minutes, uncover, squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice and drink away to your health!

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a herb that barely needs any introduction for the people of East and West India, and now, the world has started to recognize just how vital this excellent root can be! Along with the anti-inflammation ability, lemongrass can help relieve stress, anxiety, and pain. It is also an antioxidant which is a plus point on its own. Lemongrass is proven to protect from infections as well, and the research done on it might not be that extensive yet, but it goes on to demonstrate its usefulness.

How to use Lemongrass to Aid for Cold and Flu:

Lemongrass is taken chiefly in the form of tea. Lemongrass can be a fantastic addition to your diet, beneficial for your health and taste buds. After buying it, follow these steps-

1. Boil a cup of water.

2. Immerse the stalks in it for a little while.

3. Now, strain out the water from the stalks.

4. Pour that water into your tea. You can also add ice to it.

Black pepper

Black pepper is probably one of the most commonly used spices in your kitchen cabinet. But it also contains insurmountable amounts of vitamin C, making it a natural immunity supplement used in everyday cooking. Black pepper, surprisingly, also works as an organic form of antibiotic, which makes it an indispensable front-line spice for the cold and flu season. The antiviral properties contained in it are immense and works wonders on coughs that won’t go away.

How to use Black Pepper to Aid for Cold and Flu:

(For natural cough medicine)

1. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of honey in a small saucepan over a low flame.

2. Turn off the flame as soon as bubbles start to form along the sides.

3. Add in 2-3 pinches of black pepper and salt into the honey.

4. Store the honey in a jar and eat it anytime you face stubborn flu.

Cardamom

The tiny green pods you’ve probably seen in masala chai recipes are the most significant source of antioxidants nature has to offer. Cardamoms are known as anti-mucus pods due to their oils, which help decongest and fight off flu and colds while also acting as strong antiseptics to get rid of germs multiplying in your throat, which are inevitable in winters.

How to use cardamom to Aid for Cold and Flu:

While a good strong cup of masala chai will do a whole lot of good to your body in cold months, you can get the most out of cardamom pods by chewing them whole. 

1. Bite into a pod and chew the seeds inside it. 

2. When you swallow them, they will give an instant soothing effect to your throat and combat your cold quicker.

3. However, you can always mix it up with something else or grind them and add them to your tea. Suit yourself because you should take it your way than not at all!

Nigella seeds

Looking at the small and unimpressive black seeds, you may not hold them up too much. But once you delve into the chemical properties of these seeds, you might think differently. The nigella seeds are actual powerhouses of nutrients and compounds that are frontline fighters against colds and flu and effective in almost every sphere of medical issues. In addition, they hold remedies for numerous disorders and diseases. These seeds are supplements that can have their ground in terms of vitamins and minerals, and rather than cures, they act more as vital preventatives.

How to use Nigella Seeds to Aid for Cold and Flu:

1. The most effective way for incorporating nigella seeds for cold and flu is by drinking a tablespoon of its cold-pressed oil every day in the morning

2. The phytochemicals in it will help with allergies, infections, and sinuses as well.

Where to Buy:

You can buy these Herbs and Spices online as well at any grocery store, or Mountain Rose Herb, or read more.

Note: Seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medications.