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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Herbal Condiments to Traditional Medicines

We do love cooking. And cooking uses a lot of ingredients to prepare a cuisine that is mouth-watering and delicious to our taste. But not all of us know that a some ingredients in our food can treat a minor illnesses at home. Most herbal condiments we used have their unique action to help us cure and mitigate some home illnesses. Such as garlic, onions, ginger, rosemary and alike contain special properties. As below listed and discussed, what could be the possible action/s and active constituent/s that associated to each herb.

1. Ginger - known to produce a very strong, aromatic and spicy flavor, that can mass the unwanted taste of the meat and fish in food.Traditionally used to mitigate sore throat using a decoction of the rhizomes as tea or chewing a raw piece of rhizome. It contains gingerol, zingerone, and zingiberone that can be involved to its action. Such other uses are antiseptic, relieving rheumatism and gas pain. Antiseptic property can be done by preparing a tincture of dried rhizomes with 70% alcohol and apply on superficial cuts and wounds. For rheumatism, pounding a roasted rhizome that mix with oil can be applied locally. Gas pain or tympanism, in children and adults, can be taken the decoction of the rhizome as tea.

2. Garlic - The most useful condiment in sauteeing and preparing of food. Garlic is oxidized by heat to produced a sulfurous odor that gives a very delicious small to the cuisine. But garlic is not only to be used for preparation of food, but also has an important medicinal action. Expert found out that garlic contains allicin, that manifests many activity. It is been found out that taking garlic everyday can reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure. When cloves are crushed and rubbed in affected areas, it can relieve arthritis and rheumatism.

3. Onion - One of the most used herbal condiment in cooking. It could make a person cry without doing something because of the enzymes, alliinases. Onion can be used to treat cough by infusion of bulb and leaves with sugar. Having ingesting it regularly can benefit the lowering of bad cholesterol. Also applying as poultice either the boiled or roasted bulbs may be used.

4. Paprika - A spicy condiment used to flavor cuisines. It contains capsaicin and capsaicinoids that give spicy flavor. Capsiacin contributes an anti-arthritis and anti-rheumatism by adding the paprika powder into oil and applying on the affected part. It could relieve dyspepsia, but no known scientific basis is done.

5. Rosemary - Can be used to relieve cough by inhaling steam of strong decoction of herb, and taking decoction of herb as needed for diuretic and gas pain use. For rheumatism, soaking the affected area to a decoction of herb can relieve pain.

6. Turmeric - A yellow like custard color powder, most often used in Persian, Thai and Indian in their cuisines such as curry. Its smell and flavor is distinctive. Turmeric had been studied that prolonged use of it can help to lessen the occurrence of cancer in the future. Also anti-arthritis property and other diseases can be cured.

7. Annatto  - Used mainly as food coloring in culinary arts. But some people used the bruised leaves and applied on forehead and temples. It contains bixin and ethereal oil.

8. Cacao - Powdered form of beans can be used as chocolate drinks. Cocoa powder contains tryptophan, that stimulates mood regulatory neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is linked to cause well-being and happiness of humans. Phenylethylamine which is a love chemical. The cacao oil or theobroma oil is exploited in pharmaceutical industry as good base for suppositories, because of its racemic property, and does not melt in a normal room temperature, but liquifies in body temperature. 

9. Citrus fruits - Made into juices, flavors and food. It is a good source of Vitamins, mainly Vitamin C, minerals, citric acid and volatile oils. They can be used as aromatic bath, bleaching agent by cutting fruit and apply directly on the darkened areas. Used to inhale by individuals who faints and nauseated. Eating of these fruits can help strengthen your immune system.

10. Oregano - Contains volatile oils and carvacrol. Oregano is used in coughs by expressing the leaves to produce juice, mix with sugar and drink. Bruised leaves are directly applied on the abdomen, temple and abdomen, to relieve tympanism and headache, respectively.

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