How To Use Kitchen Herbs To Boost Your Health

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for meat.”

— Genesis 1:29 (KJV)

Once upon a time, home remedies in the form of herbs were the first line of defense against aches, pains, and various forms of ailments.

However, not so today, as people now resort to the use of synthetic drugs and consultation with their medical doctors for the maintenance of their health and fitness.

Photo credit: Zak Greant/
Photo credit: Zak Greant/

That said, given the potential side effects of prescription drugs, a new trend is developing — more and more people are returning to the use of natural remedies.

People are discovering that some of the old remedies are much more potent in the healing process without some of the negative side effects brought about by modern medicine.

Writing in the, Dr. Arlene Rose, the head physician and proprietor of the Jamaica Centre for Advanced Medicine (JCAM), proffered advice and listed a number of natural herbs that can easily be used to boost one’s health.

These include the following:


Something as simple as thyme, which is used to season meats, has been proven to have antiviral properties and can be used as a tea to help kill cold and flu viruses.

Though it is especially good for coughs, it can be used to assist in boosting the immune system and eliminating parasites, thus helping in many other conditions.

It is also such a powerful antiseptic that it has been known to kill the ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria. It is even a major component of Listerine.

Thyme, as a tea, should be used in moderation and not for prolonged periods of time. It is quite safe to cook with plenty of thyme in your chicken soup whenever you have a cold.


Oregano is another extremely powerful herb. It is known to give pizzas their characteristic aroma and flavor. As an oil, it behaves like a nuclear bomb against almost all viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, and just about every pathogen the body can have. There is a caution; however, because it kills practically everything, one may have to take Acidophilus or probiotics in order to ensure the continuation of the good bacteria in the body.

Please do not mix this with other medications, or let it replace a doctor’s visit if you are really sick. In my home, we use two well-stirred drops of oregano in a glass of water for about two days at the first sign of a cold, and we often don’t get the cold after all. We follow-up with probiotics afterwards.


Cloves have anti-parasitic functions, and by adding them to every meal you may help keep intestinal worms under control. It may also help to destroy the eggs left behind by worms. They also help digestion and may act as an aphrodisiac.

As a tea, it is excellent at loosening up phlegm, soothing coughs and relieving sinusitis. It helps in detoxing the body.

Cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties and can be ground and used in a compress for arthritis pain.


There is scarcely a Jamaican pot that doesn’t contain onions. But did you know it can help protect the heart and blood vessels from disease?

It is chocked full of antioxidants and can even boost the immune system. They are more potent when fresh. A cut onion can be used as an air purifier reducing paint fumes significantly if placed with cut surfaces facing upwards in the recently painted room.

Similarly, they can help a cough when placed overnight on the soles of the feet held in place by socks. Try it, it works. I suspect the Chinese may know a lot more than we do when it comes to how the body is connected.


Garlic is a well-known health aid. It kills or discourages most organisms and is a known cancer-fighting aid. It fights inflammation in the body and aids in detoxification. It may be taken as a mosquito repellant.


Did you know that scallions help improve bone density and help lower the risk of heart disease? It is again potent against cold and flu viruses and is a great help in maintaining good eyesight well into old age.

It also helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Scallions may also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. It may be had as a tea or in soups.


Turmeric has potent anticancer effects and has been shown to cause the destruction of prostate cancer cells when used together with cauliflower.

Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory root used by people with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It boosts immunity as well. This must be used in moderation, but must not be used by people with liver or gallbladder disease. Its absorption is enhanced by a pinch of black pepper.


Cayenne is well known to assist in cardiovascular health, and it is said by emergency health workers that it may be used to stop a heart attack in minutes. It has been proven to limit the damage to the heart done by a heart attack.

It is also said to have stroke-preventative properties when placed under the tongue at the onset. Please do not just take cayenne and sit at home with your heart attack or stroke in progress, but you may try this on the way to the nearest emergency room.

It is beneficial for the pancreas, prostate, and lungs. Cayenne also improves insulin sensitivity in diabetics and in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome, according to studies.


Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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