Traditional cures from plants and herbs have been used by herbalists and apothecaries throughout the centuries. Herbs do more than simply adding flavour and colour to your favourite dishes, their healing and restorative powers are pretty impressive too…
According to the UK’s leading organic herb grower Jekka McVicar the healing power of herbs is grossly underestimated: “We are what we eat. We don’t doubt that fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts contain a range of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting properties, yet the nutrient content and medicinal properties of herbs are often overlooked.”
Often it is only when herbs are heated that their full aroma is released – that’s what makes your mouth water. This aids the release of saliva, which prepares your stomach for food. It’s the enzymes in saliva that trigger the digestive process, helping the body to break down fats and starches. If this doesn’t happen before food reaches the stomach, then it isn’t processed properly and digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, wind and irritable bowel may result.
Many herbs contain flavonoids; nutrients widely available in fruits and vegetables and thought to help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to Dr Winston Craig, Professor of Nutrition at Andrews University in the United States, flavonoids help vitamin C work more efficiently as an antioxidant, mopping up the free radicals that cause cancer.https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/basil