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Nature's best.

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Over 5,000 years ago, the Sumerians were the first to study and document the health benefits of plants such as laurel, caraway and thyme. Their discoveries continue to influence modern medicine. Today, there is an increasing trend towards combining natural remedies with mainstream pharmaceuticals to help regenerate the organs, detoxify the body and aid the immune system. There are many ways in which we can incorporate herbs and spices into our daily routines, including teas, tinctures, capsules, and herbal baths. Here, we take you through some of our favourites.

Revamp your spice cabinet

During the cold winter months, soups and vegetable stews can be refined with culinary herbs and spices to make them more flavoursome and healthy. Consider using garlic, particularly in tomato and chicken-based dishes. With its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, garlic can help the body to fight off infections and is proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Add a sprinkle of fresh pepper to the dish before serving to improve your digestion and to reduce fever. For a touch of something slightly more exotic, use ground ginger in vegetable soups to combat motion sickness and nausea--or to relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Whether you visit a specialised health shop or simply see what your local supermarket has on offer, we recommend you stock up with a number of different complementing herbs and spices to add to your daily meals.

Toast to your health

Next time you feel thirsty, refrain from reaching into the refrigerator for another glass of Apfelschorle (apple juice with sparking water). Instead, flip the switch on your kettle and pour yourself a mug of delicious herbal or spiced tea. If you drink herbal tea regularly, you will soon observe improvements in your complexion, mental clarity and even sleep patterns. Did you know, the taste and benefits of herbal tea can be enhanced even further if you let the boiling water cool a little to around 80 degrees Celcius before you pour it onto the tea bag?

Girlfriend Guide recommends the COOP Naturaplan line of bio teas, ranging in price from CHF 1.20 to CHF 5.30. The herbs inside each tea pouch are cultivated in Switzerland, and are not over-processed--ensuring the herbal benefits are preserved. Flavours include peppermint, chamomile, alp tea, and fitness tea.

Key benefits of herbs

Do you have a persistent cold? Or spend every day feeling tired? Below is a selection of important herbs that you can incorporate into your diet as a tincture, tea or capsule to cure your ailments and keep you healthy year-round:

* Echinacea--fights colds, flu and other infections; believed to be a 'cure-all'

*Chamomile--anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic

* Ginseng--boosts energy, reduces stress and increases stamina

* Nettle--diuretic and laxative, while easing muscular and joint pain

* Oregano--antifungal and antibacterial properties

* Peppermint--strengthens the immune system, reduces gas, bloating and nausea

* Sage--powerful antioxidant, memory enhancer, reduces inflammation

* Thyme--increases liver and kidney function while calming the central nervous system

Girlfriend Guide

Co-founders Angelica Cipullo and Deja Rose launched Girlfriend Guide to help women explore local events, establishments and lifestyle offerings.

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Title Annotation:lifestyle: healthy living by girlfriend guide
Publication:Swiss News
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:517
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