• Kitchen Medicine

    by Kami McBride

    Most kitchens have a spice rack. Did you know that many common kitchen herbs and spices keep away colds and flu, support digestion, and help with relaxation? There are many nutritional and healing benefits from the herbs and spices that most everyone has in their kitchen cupboards.

    Kitchen Herbs:

    Basil – Calms the nervous system and helps alleviate cold and flu symptoms

    Black pepper – Helps to reduce nausea and constipation

    Cardamom – Alleviates gas and bloating and calms headaches caused by indigestion

    – Antibacterial against cold and flu, dissolves sinus mucus and congestion

    Cinnamon – Antibacterial against colds and flu, strengthens digestion and increases warmth and circulation throughout the body

    – Relieves intestinal cramps and spasms, helps with anxiety and nervous tension

    Cumin – Supports digestion, relieves coughs and helps with insomnia

    Dill – Alleviates cramps and gas, calms an upset stomach

    Fennel – Stimulates digestion, calms the nerves and increases the flow of breast milk

    Ginger – Reduces coughing and cold symptoms, relieves nausea and motion sickness

    Parsley – Reduces premenstrual bloating and provides antioxidant action as a rich source of Vitamins A and C

    Peppermint – Rids colds and flu, promotes digestion and cools the body on hot days

    Rosemary – Promotes circulation, provides headache relief and is very calming to the nervous system

    – A rich source of calcium it also helps alleviate coughs and sore throats

    Thyme – A strong antiviral and antibacterial herb that helps to heal sinus and throat infections

    Oregeno – Antioxidant in food preparation helps to preserve meats

    One of the keys to kitchen medicine is having all of your culinary herbs and herbal blends organized and easily accessible so you can add them to your food as often as possible. Have a variety of herbs next to your cooking area as well as on your table. You can put powdered herbs in salt and pepper shakers or in tiny bowls with miniature spoons for sprinkling herbs on your food.

    Food is one of our most powerful medicines. We create a million new cells every second and what we eat is what we make those cells from. Most of the culinary herbs promote digestion and assimilation, thereby helping to increase the quality of the cells that make up our tissues and organs. Adding culinary herbs to food is a great way to bring the healing qualities of herbs into your everyday life.

    Food contains lots of pathogenic bacteria that our mouth saliva works very hard at getting rid of. The antibacterial properties of the kitchen herbs kill a lot of bacteria before it even reaches the mouth. When you look at all the antibacterial and digestive support properties that the kitchen herbs contain, you realize that by cooking with herbs you are practicing preventive health care while you eat.

    Beyond salt and pepper: Add some spice to your life and have herbal mixtures on your dining table along with the salt and pepper. Powdered ginger is a favorite on cereals and salads. The Garden Salt Substitute is delicious on grains, potatoes and fish. Plain fennel seeds provide such great digestive support that they are always on our table to sprinkle on just about anything.


    Antibacterial Sprinkle

    1 tablespoon powdered rosemary
    1 tablespoon powdered thyme
    1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
    Consider it preventive medicine when you add antibacterial herbs to your spaghetti and meatballs. The antibacterial sprinkle goes into almost all of my meat dishes. Whenever I add the antibacterial sprinkle to my cooking, I think of its healing powers and how it benefits my family. Your thoughts can potentiate the actions of the herbs. The next time you are adding some spices to your food, see your family in your mind’s eye and imagine them healthy and happy. Adding your thoughts to your food is another simple and powerful way to promote healing in your everyday life.

    Digestive Support Sprinkle
    1 tablespoon powdered ginger
    1 tablespoon powdered cardamom
    1 tablespoon powdered cinnamon
    We always have Digestive Support Sprinkle to put onto toast, hot cereals or to mix into yogurt. The digestive support herbs help us to more efficiently digest the nutrients in our food and are very supportive to daily health and well-being.

    Garden Salt Substitute
    3 tablespoons dried powdered rosemary
    3 tablespoons dried powdered parsley
    3 tablespoons dried powdered basil
    3 tablespoons dried powdered thyme
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder

    Herbal Marinade Mixture

    1 tablespoon powdered basil
    1 tablespoon powdered rosemary
    1 teaspoon powdered black pepper
    1 teaspoon powdered thyme
    This mixture of powdered herbs goes into practically every salad dressing and marinade we make.

    There are countless other variations on what you can mix together from your spice rack. Just realize what a great pharmacy you have right in your kitchen and let your senses be your guide!


    Kami McBride is the author of The Herbal Kitchen and has helped thousands of people learn to use herbs in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe and fun. She is the director of Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within, an experiential training in using herbs in the home for everyday health. An intuitive and inspiring teacher, Kami works to revive the cultural art of home herbal care and teaches herbology as a relationship with the Earth and a way of life. For a schedule of classes or herbal consultations Kami can be reached at (707) 446-1290 or sign up for her free herbal e-newsletter at: www.livingawareness.com

    The Herbal Kitchen: Book Signing Event

    Friday, April 8th

    The Herbal Kitchen: 50 Easy-To-Find Herbs and Over 250 Recipes to Bring Lasting Health to You and Your Family
    Join author and herbalist Kami McBride as she celebrates the publication of her latest book The Herbal Kitchen. The book signing will be accompanied by a free reception, with samples of teas and a feature recipe from the book.

    Location: The Avid Reader
    617 Second Street
    Davis CA 95616
    Time 7:30-9:00 pm, Cost: Free

    • Love this as a concept. But you have to cook to have these things in your kitchen. My problem is not having my shelves stacked with all these good herbs, it is actually switching it up to make something with them. My preference since I live alone is to eat when my DIL makes a great meal or try and get away from my usual PBJ on whole grain breads which is my go to food (at least all organic). I go out a lot and usually order great foods with herbs and then eat leftovers. I cooked for so many years I want Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s prepared food.

    • Kami,
      I showed this one to my wife.

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