Spice up your life

To fight off High Blood Pressure and then some… High blood pressure isn’t a disease, it’s just a noticeable symptom of a physiological imbalance with a biological cause. One of the most common biological causes of this symptom is a mineral deficiency. Potassium is a crucial mineral for restoring healthy blood pressure balance in your body, and when you don’t have enough potassium, symptoms can start to emerge that may eventually be diagnosed and labeled as “high blood pressure.”

In a published study featured in the Journal of Medicine, it was revealed that common spices can protect from heart disease and the deterioration brought about by aging. In the said study, researchers discovered a connection between the phenol content of certain herbs and spices and their capacity to prevent glycation and formation of AGE compounds that are responsible for premature aging and heart disease.

As a way to manage your blood pressure, herbs and spices are a fantastic way to increase the medicinal value of your food. Below are some herbs and spices you may have been enjoying with no idea as to their value:

1. Basil – In addition to its natural flavonoids and volatile oils, basil also contains a number of vitamins and minerals that make it effective at promoting health. The herb contains beneficial amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, copper, vitamin C and other nutrients. All of these factors combined, make basil an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions.

7lovejohnson-spices-cardamom2. Cinnamon – Cinnamon not only prevents heart disease, it can also prevent diabetes. The Center for Applied Health Sciences in Ohio conducted a study of 22 subjects, half of which were given a 250mg of water soluble cinnamon daily while the other half were given placebo. It was discovered that those who drank cinnamon had a 13 to 23 percent increase in antioxidants connected with lowering blood sugar levels.

3. Garlic – Garlic contains allicin, a substance which has antibacterial, antioxidant, lipid lowering and anti-hypertension properties. In a pilot study made at Clinical Research Center of New Orleans on whether garlic could lower blood pressure, nine patients with severe hypertension were given a garlic preparation containing 1.3 % allicin. Sitting blood pressure fell with a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure only five to 14 hours after the dose. Moreover, it was proven in a 2009 study that fresh garlic has more potent cardio-protective properties than processed garlic.

3. Onions – Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke. In a research study published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects with hypertension experienced a decrease in their blood pressure by 7mmHg systolic and 5 mmHg diastolic as opposed to those who were taking placebo.

4. Olives – This herb is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, recognized to be one of the healthiest in the world. Oil made from olives has been found to reduce blood pressure. In a study conducted on the importance of olive oil, Dr. L. Aldo Ferrara, Associate Professor at the Frederico II University of Naples in Italy discovered that the daily use of 40 grams of olive oil reduced the dosage of blood pressure medication in hypertensive patients by about 50 percent. Polyphenols in extra-virgin olive oil was credited for the significant reduction of blood pressure.

5. Oregano – This herb contains the compound carvacrol which has been proven to be effective against blood pressure. In a study conducted on animal subjects, by researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey, carvacrol was found to reduce heart rate, mean arterial pressure as well as the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

6. Hawthorn – This herb has been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure. In one study conducted in Reading, UK, 79 type-2 diabetic patients were randomized to receive 1200 mg of hawthorn extract while another group received medication for high blood pressure. Results revealed that patients taking hawthorn by the end of the 16th week showed a reduction in their mean diastolic pressure.

7. Cardamom– considered the “Queen of Spices” rightfully because of it’s many wellness properties. Native to India and Sri Lanka, belonging to the ginger family is beneficial volatile oils, vitamins and minerals. Aids digestion, Detoxifies, Calms muscle spasms and soreness, Heals urinary tract infections, Lowers blood pressure, is an antiviral, and an antioxidant, help in preventing blood clots, an anti-inflammatory, calms stress, antibacterial, diuretic, aphrodisiac, Reduces acidity, anti-fungal and one of my favs… reduces acidity (in coffee as such).

Taking advantage of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of spices and herbs is an excellent way to boost your body’s health. Herbs have low calorie content, increase the medicinal value of your food and allow you to use natural forms of lowering blood pressure. Mix them up with your soups, salads, fish and meat and vegetable dishes. It’s a healthier and cheaper alternative to keeping bottles of prescription drugs and synthetic supplements.

7lovejohnson-turmeric8. Turmeric An orange-colored spice imported from India, is part the ginger family and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years. There are a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, anti mutagenic but more so anti-inflammatory properties. It is also loaded with many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.

9. Coriander– The health benefits of coriander include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation , high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders, while also benefiting eye care. Coriander seeds contain an unusual array of phytonutrients. They are a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of calcium. It’s leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene. The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

10. Limes– The original miracle fruit! Limes are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Limes are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on you liver, kidneys and blood. An overworked liver in particular has an influence on how good you feel so having a simple way to cleanse it each morning can make a big difference to your daily energy over time. For any and everything, Limes are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients from digestion aid to fatigue buster… limes are a great alkaline base natural remedy.

11. Ginger–  Has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent substance to promote the elimination of intestinal gas and a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract.

12. Anise– The Asian fruit Illicium verum, commonly called star anise, has been given recent prominence in the natural health world. The star anise has a characteristic licorice, anise-like flavor, although it is not related to the anise plants native to the Middle East and Mediterranean. Discover the great super health power found in the star anise plant. This fruit can be used as a spice in a variety of dishes and taken as a supplement or in an organic fermented herbal tonic drink. Star anise is a culinary superstar, a powerful antimicrobial, is a great digestive aid and acts to improve hormone function in women. This fermented herbal botanicals go through a two to four month process that activates the full nutritional potential in an organic acid base with live enzymes and probiotics. This is a revolutionary way to take in superfoods and herbs such as star anise.

13. Thyme is an herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses. The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, as a diuretic to increase urination, skin problems, hypertension and lowering blood pressure xo~ seven GOD speed extracting oils is as simple as adding a fresh stem to a hot cut of soup or even a cold glass of water.

by Seven Love Johnson

7LoveJohnson, Seven Lovaste': Executive Creative Director; Organic Positive Living Wellness Sage