Cooking for Health

Serving medicine for dinner may not seem terribly appetizing, but most cultures traditionally eat much of their medicine. It may not be a coincidence that nature has provided so many of our medicinal needs in herbs that taste good. When you want to take herbs over a long period of time – either to treat a chronic problem or to fend off disease – incorporating medicinal plants into your meals makes a lot of sense.

The next time you add a pinch of this or that, consider that you are doing far more than flavoring your meal. Throughout these posts and other websites, you have seen many familiar kitchen herbs and spices mentioned as medicines. For example, ginger relieves pain, garlic is “nature’s antibiotic” and ginger and turmeric, two of the main ingredients in curry powder, improve liver function.

Almost every cookbook  is filled with recipes that rely on herbs for flavor. Once you decide to make herbs part of your diet, you can start by choosing recipes that use the herbs your body needs most – garlic for your heart and ginger to relieve your headache, for instance.

Our series “The Edible Herb” and “The Basics” provide many suggestions for herbs you can incorporate into your diet. For more ideas, see the book Cooking with the Healthful Herbs, by Jean Rodgers.

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