Some of the seeds I’ll be talking about are probably in your spice rack right now. Seeds can be very useful as flavoring agents, though many have to be ground to be useful. They also have properties that might be a bit surprising.
Aside from being used in some Asian cuisines, allspice can be found in many pumpkin pie recipes. It has a couple of properties that can be useful in herbal remedies. Eugenol can be found in it, though not as much as is found in cloves. Eugenol is a topical dental anesthetic, numbing the area it touches. It can also help with a sore throat and an upset stomach.
If you have an upset stomach, dill seed may be useful. It can be used in children over two. Nursing mothers should avoid dill as it can cause some serious problems in children under two.
If you don’t like to take fish oil or you are a vegetarian, don’t worry, you can still get your Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain them as well. It can also help heal an upset stomach. Flax seeds are very hard, and must be ground or pressed before you can get any benefits from it.
Compounds in grape seeds may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It may also be useful for edema (swelling) and prevent cancer. You can use the seeds, supplements and/or grape seed oil. In fact, it can be used along with olive oil. If you are taking anticoagulants, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting supplementation.
This spicy seed is often used in plasters. They can be put on the chest or on the feet, depending on the problem being addressed. It is wise to remain awake or have someone with you if you apply it to your skin. If left on the skin for too long, it can cause burns. The longest time allowed should be twenty minutes, but if you feel it burning before then, take it off immediately.
You may know the seeds of this plant by a different name; psyllium. It is used as a bulk laxative, providing fiber and helping with regularity. Don’t use licorice if you are taking psyllium, as it can cause some serious medical conditions. Make sure to drink a lot of water with it. Don’t take medications or other herbs with it, as it could prevent absorption.
Aside from providing some good nutrition and a tasty snack, pumpkin seeds may provide a major health benefit. Like saw palmetto, they may be good for the prostate. It isn’t known if it will mask PSA tests, so make sure your doctor is aware if you take them.
It is always a good idea to speak to your doctor before start using any herbal remedy. This can help you avoid dangerous side effects and interactions. Make sure to give the doctor a complete list of everything you are taking, including supplements and herbs.
Mary Bodel has been a master herbalist since 2004 although my training began long before I reached that level. I believe that health encompasses more than taking care of our bodies. It involves everything from what we eat to what we read. It involves our spirit as well as our body.