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10 Herbs for the Holidays

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10 Herbs for the Holidays

Cinnamon
From cinnamon sticks to grated cinnamon spice, this herb is found everywhere during the holidays. Add a stick to a warm mug of hot chocolate or sprinkle some ground cinnamon on sugar cookies for a special treat. Cinnamon can be taken in the form of capsules, extracts, essential oil, and herbal tea. Cinnamon aids in digestion and can help with nausea and heartburn.

Rosemary
A favorite among many for culinary uses, this fragrant herb can be found in the stores in November and December as a miniature Christmas tree. Bring one home and plant it outside to reap the culinary benefits later. Rosemary can grow to be very large. However, it can also be susceptible to freezing in very cold weather. Benefits of rosemary can be found here.

Orange Peel
Sprinkle some grated orange peel when cooking glazed carrots for a hint of citrus flavor, which is delicious! Perfect for a holiday side dish. Several studies have shown that increased consumption of orange peel in the diet lowers the risk of skin cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.

Sage
Added to stuffing or used on poultry while cooking for a delicious herbed flavor that is sure to please everyone during your holiday dinner. Sage also goes well with certain cheeses and can be added to macaroni and cheese if you use white cheeses in the dish. Sage contains numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Benefits of sage can be found here.

Cloves
Whole cloves can be used to stud a ham before baking. Cloves, in small amounts, can help the smooth lining of the GI tract. Clove bud oil is often used as a home remedy for tooth pain. Clove oil can be added to carrier oil for massaging sore muscles, arthritis and rheumatism.

Nutmeg
Ground nutmeg is a spice that can be added to several holiday desserts from cookies to cakes to French toast. Add a sprinkle to a glass of milk to help get a good night’s sleep. Nutmeg toxicity is possible so do not overuse and only a sprinkle is needed to achieve that delicious flavor.

Ginger
This ground herb is what gives gingerbread men that special flavor most of us recognize from childhood. Ginger root is most commonly use in cooking as a culinary herb. It can be taken in capsule form to help with nausea but it can also help lower the risk of infections.

Echinacea
We all know that the holiday season is when people tend to battle more illnesses. This root herb is commonly used in cold remedies to speed up recovery time. Keep some echinacea tincture on hand for use as soon as you start feeling ill. Learn how to make herbal tinctures here. Studies have shown than although taking Echinacea as a preventative measure is not as effective as using it at the onset of your illness. Benefits of echinacea can be found here.

Lavender
Lavender buds can be used to make a variety of holiday gifts. Lavender oil is used in home remedies as a stress reliever and bug repellant. You can even use culinary lavender in shortbread cookies and other sweets. Many people enjoy the calming scent of lavender so naturally scented lavender bath and body products may just be the perfect gift for someone on your list. Benefits of lavender can be found here.

Pine
Most of us are familiar with the scent of real pine Christmas trees and the natural pine wreaths adorning doorways during this time of year. Other uses for pine include herbal medicine. Pine needles can be made into an herbal tea, which is full of vitamins C and A. Pine essential oil has a very low toxicity for humans, so it is one of the safer essential oils to use. Pine essential oil is antibacterial, energizing and aromatic. What better scent is there during the holidays than fragrant pine? It is expected after all so let’s not disappoint.

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