Categories
Foods and Vibration General Health Lifestyle Super Foods

Herbs & Spices: Health Benefits

I’m a big fan of herbs and spices for good reason. They’ve been used for generations both as food and to treat all sorts of ailments, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to support their medicinal properties.

Medicinal Properties

Over the past decade or so, research has shown a diverse range of health benefits from herbs and spices, that is due to their bioactive constituents, including flavanoids, polyphenols, sulfur-containing compounds, tannins, vitamins and minerals. Spices and herbs such as clove, rosemary, sage, oregano and cinnamon are incredible sources of antioxidants due to their high phenolic content and it is evident that frequent consumption of these herbs and spices is linked to a lower risk of death from cancer, ischemic heart disease and respiratory diseases (1).

There is also a growing body of research demonstrating that commonly used herbs and spices have particular antimicrobial properties i.e. they kill off bacterial, viral and other microbial infections (2). This also means they are a good way of keeping a healthy balance amongst the beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in our gut. As a nutritionist this is of particular interest, as the microbiome really is the centre of our physical health. You can download a handout at the bottom that gives you an idea of which herbs and spices help with which kind of microbes.

Dried or Fresh?

I know lots of people who dedicate a whole area of their cupboards to herbs and spices, and use them haphazardly when cooking. But lets face it, how many of them remain at the back of the shelf collecting dust! It really does takes a concerted effort to add them daily to your food, but I promise you it is worth it.

Aim for fresh herbs wherever possible, as they retain more of their medicinal properties than dried ones. Spices are usually the dried or ground variety – so just try and find organic if you can. With herbs, you can even grow your own – even if you cheat and start with a ready grown pot and just keep it going. They look really pretty in the kitchen! Some are easier than others – I find parsley, mint, chives and rosemary good ones to start with. When you grow your own and make a connection to them, they grow according to your own needs – so will always be better than anything you find in a shop. But if that’s not possible, then just show appreciation for the herbs you have bought and this will still be beneficial. Think of all those reiki experiments, and the effects that showing love has on food and water – the more love and gratitude you hold for the foods you grow and eat, the more the energies of those foods mesh with your own energies – the Law of One in action!

With any herbs and spices – particularly the dried ones, it’s best to start with the ones you know, then slowly branch out and experiment with other flavours. It may mean actually following the odd recipe or two (yawn), but once you understand how the flavours work in cooking, it shouldn’t be too much effort. As I’ve discovered on a number of occasions, you can overdo it with some. Once when I was going through a particular cumin and coriander craze, my poor dad suffered (ever so politely) through a pretty revolting bowl of soup. So definitely its true that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

The Wonders of Garlic!

Probably the two top herbs and spices from my point of view are coriander and garlic – I’ll do a separate post on coriander at some point as there is much to say. But for now I’ll just mention a bit more about garlic – which most people seem to like unlike coriander! Garlic to be fair is hard to classify as either a herb or spice, as technically it’s a vegetable. However, it’s usually listed when we talk about herbs and spices and is used in tiny amounts due to it’s incredibly powerful flavour.

Garlic has always been used for both its culinary and medicinal purposes since the ancient Egyptians. Hippocrates even mentioned using garlic for many conditions, including parasites, respiratory problems, poor digestion and low energy.

So what is it about garlic that makes it such a powerful medicinal food? A whole head of raw garlic doesn’t have a strong smell. However, if you crush or chop it then you really get a powerful odour. In fact, it’s really important to crush garlic before using it. What happens when you crush it is that the cells of the plant are destroyed, which causes a release of a compound called alliin. If the garlic is left for a few minutes, the alliin will react with an enzyme to create another compound, allicin. Allicin is what gives garlic its pungent taste and smell and is thought to be responsible for its healing properties. The strong smell and taste might be off-putting for some people, but don’t forget, the strength of these chemicals is what keeps the bugs away too! When garlic is heated in cooking, or undergoes processing of any sort, some of the active ingredients are lost. The best way to use garlic is to crush the cloves and leave for 6-8 minutes and then add at the end of cooking. Of course there are issues with this, as the odour remains pretty strong. Nice if you are single, not so great if you aren’t!

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30651162/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15180577/

Categories
Foods and Vibration Mind Body Connection

Solfeggio Frequencies & Health

I discovered the Solfeggio frequencies a number of years ago when I needed some help with motivating myself with meditation! At the same time I was reading up on the chakra system and how this links to our physical health.

History

The Solfeggio scale originated centuries ago, coming from sound frequencies in Gregorian chants. They have since been modernized by Dr Joseph Puleo, a naturopathic physician and leading American herbalists, who began researching them in the 1970’s. Basically he translated the sounds into ascending electro-magnetic frequencies using various complex mathematical equations (something to do with Pythagoras apparently). These then became the Solfeggio scale. They are used to put together pieces of music which resonates at different Hertz.

Healing effects

Why is this so important in terms of healing? Well sound is vibrational, so will affect the energetic field. Humans are also vibration and energy, so the power of the Solfeggio frequencies comes from how they affect us on a vibrational, energetic level.

The exact frequencies are thought to correspond to certain emotional blockages and negative thought patterns, many of which may be subconscious. They are also used to balance chakras (energy centres in the body), so I’ve also put down which chakra they correspond to.

396 Hz – helps with turning grief into joy and letting go of fear and guilt liberating guilt & fear – Base Chakra

417 Hz – for cleansing traumatic experiences from the past and facilitating change – Sacral Chakra

528 Hz – for transformation and miracles (DNA repair) – Solar Plexus Chakra

639 Hz – to support with reconnecting and finding balance, harmonising relationships – Heart Chakra

741 Hz – for increasing self-expression – Throat Chakra

852 Hz – to support spiritual awakening and intuition – Third Eye Chakra

Additional research conducted by Dr. Leonard Horowitz claims to have revealed three more Solfeggio frequencies:

963 Hz – this tone awakens any system to its original, perfect state and reconnects you with spirit – The Crown Chakra

174 Hz – the lowest of the tones is believed to be a natural anaesthetic

285 Hz – helps return tissue into its original form

You can find plenty of meditations on YouTube that use the Solfeggio Frequencies, some of which use all of them. Power Thoughts Meditation Club is a good YouTube channel. They are often very long, so don’t feel you need to sit there for an hour! Just do 10 minutes and see how it feels. It’s best to listen with headphones and make sure you are in a comfortable position.

I’m aware that many people will only be interested in them in terms of making it easier to meditate, as they are often pleasant to listen to. But for those of you who are interested in the more spiritual aspects then they really are fascinating as after a while you can actually feel how the different frequencies affect your chakras. You may feel tingling, heat, rushes of energy, feelings of expansion and many others – each unique to that individual. Don’t worry if you don’t feel any physical sensations, it doesn’t mean it’s not having an effect. I don’t know how many people actually feel their chakras, it’s not something that comes up in daily conversation! But it can help give you a focus to your meditation when you know you want to work on a specific area. Or if you simply want to switch off to some beautiful sounds for 10 minutes, then that is just as meaningful!

For those of you really interested in meditation, then I’d also recommend Dr Joe Dispenza – I use his meditations within my own practice and often advocate their use with clients. I talk about it a little more here. They aren’t for everyone, but his directed and powerful information can be pretty life-changing.

Happy Relaxing