In the mid 20’s the scientists started to discover how many vitamins, metals, amino-acids, lipids, enzymes, endophrines and neurotransmitters are required to maintain optimal function of the human brain which gives the orders for all biochemical body processes. However even today many people do not comprehend that mental and physical health depend greatly on the adequate concentration of basic natural components in our bodies.
Apart from the main nutritional groups, especially rich sources of such useful nutrients are herbs and spices.
Their initial use was mainly therapeutic and ancient civilizations (mainly Egyptians and Greeks) had expanded their trade activities until the far depths of Asia in order to obtain local goods. As cooking evolved herbs and spices lost their clearly therapeutic role and were used to offer new pleasures to demanding palates.
Greek nature offers a variety of herbs and spices that could be used in your food as well as your home pharmacy. Antiseptic and sedative chamomile (ideal for stomach and intestinal problems, sensitive skin and tired nerves), maternal milk enhancing fennel, detoxifying oregano, antidepressant clary sage (or St. John’s wort), pressure regulators garlic and rosemary, insulin regulator cinnamon, mental booster basil, rich in vitamin C parsley and many more…
Also, many herbs and spices from all over the world are easily available nowadays. Ginger, which is used as a complementary treatment against arthritis, cayenne pepper and many others. Most herbs and spices give excellent essential oils too, from which you can benefit through an enjoyable, relaxing massage!
You will find many useful books referring to their beneficial properties, their ways of use and counter-indications. I am suggesting you the “The Complete Medicinal Herbal Guide” by Penelope Ody. This book contains easy to use charts which describe a wide range of ailments and their appropriate herbal home remedies. It also includes excellent instructions and enlightening photographs about the use and preparation of herbs.
In order to make sure that you are enjoying the best herb quality without pesticides and harmful fertilizers, an excellent idea is to create your own little herb garden at home. If you are living in a Mediterranean country like me it will be very easy to find seeds or young sprouts of basil, lavender, chamomile, rosemary etc. If not I suggest you start with basic collections of different kinds of seeds which contain useful guidance about their cultivation and advanced growing systems.