One of the best things about being a Master Herbalist is in helping my family stay healthy. I don’t necessarily mean with outlandish herbs only I know how to use, but common everyday items that you probably have in your kitchen right now. That does require a little special planning when making menus, but the results are worth it. Here are a few ideas:

Basil: Whether fresh or dried, this aromatic herb is popular in the cuisine of many Mediterranean countries. It’s also beneficial for your health. It can soothe an upset stomach, even that of morning sickness. It is also a good insect repellent. It’s often kept in doorways and windowsills to discourage flies.

Cinnamon: Both true cinnamon and cassia offer many benefits to this spice. Much of the stick cinnamon purchased in the U.S. is from the cassia tree. It is gently stimulating, both of the mind and the appetite. It may also help improve digestion. Three recent well designed studies indicate it may be beneficial to diabetics who need help controlling their blood sugar. For that purpose, it’s best to work with your doctor.

Garlic: This is one of my most favorite herbs, because it can do so many things. It may lower blood pressure and is considered an antibiotic. People suffering from yeast infections may also find relief with the use of garlic. Fresh, raw garlic is the most potent, but garlic supplements are also useful.

Sage: Despite the rather pungent aroma of the flowers, bees adore this herb. People with IBS may also come to love it. It’s often used for that purpose and does seem to work. You may want to consider using broth over water in your preparation, though. Breastfeeding mothers also have reason to appreciate sage. When it comes time to wean the baby, sage can help dry up the milk.

It’s always best to speak to your doctor and/or pharmacist before starting a new supplement. There is always the possibility of side effects or drug interactions. Some herbs can’t be used during pregnancy, so be double sure to check if you are expecting.

For more information about home remedies, you can visit my site: There are blogs and articles about many herbs and the conditions they may help. Subjects include stress, back pain, the flu, gout and cholesterol. You can also download my free report, the Top Ten Herbs. The report discusses the uses, side effects, precautions and interactions of popular herbs. My eBooks, also found on the site, contain information about foods and herbs that can help you deal with the problems life throws our way. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: [email protected] Mary Bodel

Photo Credit: Sam Mugraby/

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