All herbs and spices, culinary or medicinal are made of natural properties that have compatibility with our bodies. Our bodies do not make everything that we need to sustain life and health, plants process these substances for us and make them more readily accessible to our body than any of the chemicals man-made today.
Medicinal plants include such things as minerals, vitamins, and trace elements, all these materials are necessary for recovery and health. Medicinal herbs also include medicinal substances such as essential oils, bitters, alkaloids, and tannins that have natural affinities for certain organs and systems in our bodies that have therapeutic actions to heal and sustain us.
Herbal remedies, by definition, are any plants that have a therapeutic action, which also includes vegetables and fruits and even some spices. One such example would be celery seeds which have a cleansing action upon the urinary tract system as well as being an aide to arthritis, while the essential oils of the peppermint herb help to relieve the pain of headaches and aids in the digestive process.
Peppermint leaves can also be used as an addition to salads, to flavor water, or make tea, while celery seeds are often used for cooking such food as a roast as well as an addition to salads and many other uses. Cinnamon is more often used as a spice but also has many medicinal properties as well.
From ancient times through the present day we have eaten plants and our bodies have responded through the millennia in a way that can not be matched with any synthetic drug in spite of all the advances of modern medicine.
Spices, like herbs, may be dried from seed, fruit, root, or bark. They are used in nutritionally insignificant quantities for flavor, color, food additives, and even as a preservative. Spices in ancient times as in today are also used in cosmetics and perfume, as well as medicine.
A few examples:
A compress is sometimes made up to help relieve a headache using a combination of herbs
Soak a washcloth in as hot water as you can stand, apply 2 drops of therapeutic essential oil of peppermint and 1 drop of therapeutic essential lavender, place the compress over the forehead, sit back and relax. This has worked well for a sinus-type headache.
To relieve anxiety and stress
Lavender, like many other herbs, has many good properties for relieving stress; try this recipe below.
1 tsp of fresh lavender flowers (1/2 tsp of dried lavender flowers can be substituted)
1-2 tbsp of fresh mint leaves
1 cup of boiling water
Combine lavender flowers and mint leaves in a teapot, pour boiling water over the herbs and let steep for about 5 minutes. Strain liquid into a teacup and enjoy.
Pepper has been used as a spice since prehistoric times and appears to have originated in India. Black pepper is produced from the unripe drupes of the pepper plant, while white pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant. Many spices were used not only for seasoning but also for medicine. Black pepper was thought to aid with indigestion, joint pain, and liver problems. Today its use is more common for sore throats and coughs.
Understanding the difference between herbs and spices is just a matter of knowing your botanical plants and their properties. As spices like cinnamon, peppermint, and even celery seeds cross over into culinary and medicinal use, they all are plant-based, but their inherited constituents decide how they best are used and the quantities needed.
Orion Herbs Co. was established in January of 1998 and has been in business in our current Miami Beach Location since 2004. Our company was founded to provide the highest quality medicinal herbs and supplements, initially for a single acupuncture office, later developing a wholesale network to other healthcare practitioners. Over the years Orion Herbs has expanded with a signature line of herbal tinctures, developed by Daniel J. Atchison-Nevel and based on his 25 years of clinical experience.