Oregano wasn’t commonly used in the U.S. until after World War II, when returning soldiers heightened the popularity of pizza. Wild Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has a long history of medicinal use dating back to ancient Greece, where it was used both internally and topically. Its active ingredient, carvacrol, is largely responsible for oregano’s strong anti-microbial properties. Oregano has potent antioxidant properties; in fact, it has been shown to be a more effective antioxidant than synthetic antioxidants — BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole) — commonly added to food. Oil of oregano extract may be helpful against yeast, molds, and Candida, and is thought to support healthy immune, digestive, and upper respiratory health.
What would pumpkin pie be without it? This delightfully pleasant spice has been used for centuries in India and Asia. Cinnamon (Cinnamomi cassai) is actually a small evergreen tree, and most of its healing properties are drawn from essential oils found in the bark. It supports healthy digestion and has antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Clinical research has also demonstrated that a specific water extract of cinnamon (Cinnulin PF ®) leads to improvements in several features of metabolic syndrome (fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure, and body composition).
A key flavor in Indian cookery, a traditional dye for Hindu robes, and an herbal ant repellant for your garden — all rolled into one! Long used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an anti-inflammatory agent that supports cardiovascular, digestive, and liver health, and can also be applied topically to relieve pain and inflammation. Current research has focused on the active ingredient curcumin, which may prove to have antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties.
Ah, the stinking rose! Garlic (Allium sativum) has a long and odiferous history as both a food and medicine in many cultures. Research shows that garlic supports for the cardiovascular and immune systems, and exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and antitumor properties. There are more than 200 chemicals in garlic, including the active ingredient allicin that is released when raw garlic is crushed or chopped. In research studies, allicin has been shown to be effective in combatting colds, flu, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast, and even powerful pathogenic microbes like tuberculosis.
Lemon-Garlic-Oregano Salad Dressing
Whisk all ingredients together until well blended. Store in the refrigerator and shake well before using.
Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa
Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with walnuts. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.
*While the quinoa cooks, roast the walnuts in a 350°F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
What Is Herbalism?
Today’s modern herbalists can be found in research, development of supplements, and in forward-thinking pharmacies (like Village Green Apothecary) where integrative healthcare is practiced. They dedicate their lives to working with medicinal plants and giving you professional assistance in choosing the herbs most appropriate to your needs.
In addition, an experienced herbalist can help make sure the herbs you use are safe, of consistent quality, and proportioned appropriately. Possible interactions between herbs and pharmaceutical medications, can also be addressed by consulting an educated and experienced herbal practitioner.