Tweak a Week #6 - Spice up your diet and spice up your LIFE!!  Better living through Spices!

OREGANO – This herb is so powerful in its healing qualities that Dr. Cass Ingram wrote an entire book entitled “The Cure is in the Cupboard” about oregano. This herb has the highest antioxidant activity than any other by far. It has 42 times the antioxidant power than apples, 30 times potatoes, 12 times oranges, and 4 times blueberries.

It is full of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, vitamins C & A and niacin.

Oil of oregano is an essential oil that contains thymol and carvacrol, compounds that have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiparacitic properties. It inhibits the growth of over 10 microbes including CANDIDA ALBICANS (yeast overgrowth which is associated with numerous health issues).

It contains rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary) which is an antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic compound. It aids in digestion and is a very powerful anti-inflammatory.

I prefer a version of oil of oregano which contains a compound called P73, Oregonal. When feeling like I am catching cold or other virus I start putting a few drops of this oil or oregano under my tongue and hold there for as long as possible (1-2 minutes). It is not a pleasant experience, but you get used to it, and it works!!!!

PARSLEY – Eat the Garnish! Parsley is most often seen on your plate as a garnish and few think to actually eat it or use it in cooking. But parsley is actually quite good for you. Chewing on parsley serves as an excellent breath freshener; but it not only freshens the breath, it freshens the whole system! It’s strong detoxification and deodorizing properties come from chlorophyll which purifies and rejuvenates and is also responsible for the green color.

Parsley is full of iron for energy, calcium and magnesium for bones, vitamin E and manganese for free-radical scavenging (antioxidant) and tryptophan that promotes sleep.

BASIL – Not only does basil have a great taste when used both fresh and dried, but it is also loaded with antioxidants, is an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory herb. It is full of Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, Vitamins A & C and Manganese.

SAGE – this is a purifying herb that Deepak Chopra recommends for its “excessive accumulation of toxic, morbid emotions”. It is actually a part of the mint family and has antimicrobial and antiviral properties due to its volatile oil, a compound called thujone. This compound is effective in treating salmonella and candida.

Sage also contains rosmarinic acid which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, known for fighting gingivitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research has shown sage to work as a memory enhancer! If that weren’t enough, it is used for combating sore throats, indigestion, excessive sweating, and menopausal night sweats!

THYME – Thyme’s primary oil is thymol and is a powerful antiseptic. It is a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Thyme aids in digestion and relieves chest and respiratory problems. It is used in vapor rubs, cough drops, Listerine, and natural toothpastes.

Thyme is most often used to flavor soups or stews that are slow cooked. Try adding 3 tablespoons of dried thyme to boiling water and honey for a homemade cough syrup.

CAYENNE & RED CHILI PEPPERS – These spicy peppers are rich in antioxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene and capsaicin. Capsaicin is a phytonutrient with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. It has also been credited with providing heat that helps to burn excess fat! Capsaicin has also been found to reduce tumors, break up mucus congestion in the nose and lungs. It is also associated with a reduced risk of stomach ulcers. The beta-carotene helps to support the immune system.

Cayenne Pepper may reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and dissolve fibrin, a substance used in the formation of blood clots.

These peppers may aid in weight loss and management because they speed up the metabolic rate and may be a mild appetite suppressant. They are full of Vitamin A, C, and B6, manganese and fiber.

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