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Five plants whose benefits have been proven by science

Masha SerdyukLS Food
medicinal plants
The beneficial properties of some plants have long been proven by science. Source: theawesomegreen.com

Despite the fact that science is developing rapidly, and scientists can invent a vaccine against a new disease in a matter of months (the story of the coronavirus is a vivid example of this), more than half of the world prefers to be treated with folk remedies. And, we must admit, for good reason. The beneficial properties of some plants have long been proven by science.

The FoodOboz editorial team talks about plants that, when eaten, not only saturate our body but also protect us from various diseases.

Turmeric

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer's disease, and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. At the same time, all these features of turmeric root have been proven only in laboratories: experiments with curcumin were conducted only on mice or in a test tube. Therefore, although turmeric root has been used in folk medicine for centuries, many scientists still argue about the beneficial properties of turmeric.

What to cook with turmeric: golden milk or, as it is also called, turmeric latte. Turmeric can also be added to rice dishes, omelets, meat dishes, sauces, and marinades.

Ginger.

Scientists have long proven that ginger root helps with colds. This is true because ginger essential oils have an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition to oral consumption, it is also recommended to grind the root into powder and apply it to sore joints.

What to cook with ginger:

  • Ginger tea
  • Ginger lemonade
  • Candied ginger fruit
  • Meat with ginger
  • Curry sauce

Cinnamon

Despite the fact that cinnamon is perceived exclusively as a seasoning for baked goods, cinnamon bark (i.e. cinnamon sticks) has a very good effect on the body. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects thanks to just one component called cinnamaldehyde. Studies have shown that consuming the spice on an empty stomach can reduce blood sugar levels by 10-29% in diabetics.

What to cook with cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon coffee
  • Cherry jam with cinnamon
  • Cinnamon rolls with cinnamon
  • Baked apples
  • Mulled wine
  • Cookies with cinnamon
  • Cocoa with cinnamon
  • Ketchup with cinnamon and garlic
  • Apple jelly with cinnamon

St. John's wort

This herb is rich in hypericin and hyperforin, which at one time showed good results in the issue of "mood stabilizers". During the research, scientists noted that patients with depression have a biochemical imbalance associated with a malfunction of neurotransmitters, the so-called chemical signal transmitters between neurons and executive cells in the brain. It is neurotransmitters that make it possible to unite individual neurons into a single brain and allow it to successfully perform all its diverse and vital functions. During experiments with rats, it was found that St. John's wort can have a positive effect on this imbalance caused by a malfunction of neurotransmitters.

What to cook with St. John's wort: tea. Put a handful of dried St. John's wort in a teapot, add a couple of lemon balm sprigs, and pour boiling water over it. Let it brew. Serve with honey and lemon.

Hawthorn

Another useful plant that can be found in any nearby pharmacy. For many centuries, hawthorn fruits and flowers have been part of traditional Chinese medicine: they were used as a cure for heart failure and high blood pressure. Hawthorn really improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of arrhythmia. And hawthorn berries, which are taken together with medicines by people with chronic heart failure, improve heart function, and prevent the development of shortness of breath and fatigue.

What to cook with hawthorn: hawthorn flower tea. The drink has a good effect on the state of the nervous system and is recommended for insomnia.

Pour a tablespoon of dried flowers with 300 ml of boiling water, and leave for 20 minutes. Strain and drink 100 ml three times a day.

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