The Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices

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Open your spice cabinet and you will find a pharmacopoeia of ancient wisdom. You may also find yourself on the way to the hospital. Herbal medicine is not something to embark upon uninformed. Self-medication, in any form, can be risky. At the same time, there are many herbs and spices that you can use to spice up your life, your diet and your health.

We all know that knowledge is power. When taking herbal supplements, you need knowledge about your personal state of health. See a doctor to identify any medical conditions you may be experiencing. During your visit, be sure to tell your doctor about any and all herbal supplements you are taking. Some of them, such as St. John's Wort, contain enzymes that interfere with the absorption of over half the drugs prescribed today.

There are literally thousands of herbal supplements to choose from, but there are a few that warrant your attention. Most herbal supplements come in capsule form, although teas are a pleasant way to enjoy many of them such as chamomile, peppermint and Echinacea. Purchase your herbal supplement with individual ingredients, instead of buying mixtures, to ensure dosage, and buy the highest quality you can find. As with any plant material, herbal supplements have a limited shelf life. Check the expiration dates regularly.

One of the simplest supplements you can add to your diet is capsaicin. You can buy it at any grocery store in the form of red pepper flakes. Surprisingly, capsaicin soothes stomach ailments, Crohn's Disease symptoms and joint inflammation. You can sprinkle a little, or a lot, into nearly all supper dishes, scrambled eggs, pasta, beans, even on vegetables.