For centuries herb and spices have been used not only to give a boost of flavor food but used as an alternative medical treatment. While most herb and spice are harmless and can even promote health, there are some that not recommend to be taken because they came be harmful when eating or may react with medications. It is important to speak with your doctor before using an herb or spice as an alternative medicine.
Common uses: Used to treat peptic ulcers, heartburn, menstrual disorders, arthritis, common cold, fungal infections, type 2 diabetes, kidney disorders and high blood pressure. Used as an appetite stimulant.
Possible side effects: Skin irritation, upset stomach, weight gain
Cautions: Do not use in large amounts during pregnancy, Do not use to treat peptic ulcers, excessive intake of cinnamon oil can cause increased heart rate, lightheadedness, facial flushing and shortness of breath.
Recommended dosing: varies due to type and formulation
Research: There is limited evidence to support the use in diabetes. Evidence does support the use of cinnamon to help in the treatment of low of appetite.
Common uses: To enhance sport or exercise performance and to increased muscle strength and size
Possible side effects: renal dysfunction, diarrhea, cramping, dehydration, weight gain, gastroenteritis
Cautions: Do not use if you have impaired kidney function or use a diuretic
Recommended dosing: For a loading dose use 20-30g per day for 5 days to 5 weeks. For maintenance does 5g per day. Creatine is better absorbed if taken with a high carbohydrate diet.
Research: Evidences supports use when exercise is done in short bursts to increase anaerobic muscle performance. Creatine should not be used long term. Creatine is not recommended to be used in those under the age of 18.
Common uses:To treat constipation, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, reduce cancer risk. Is a high source of omega 3 fatty acids and lignans.
Possible side effects:Possible renal effects. Flax seed may impair the absorption of medications.
Cautions:Do not use if at risk or have intestinal obstruction or thyroid insufficiency
Recommended dosing:Varies based on type. It is best absorbed when taken with food.
Research:Evidence supports the use of flax seed to treat metabolic syndrome and to reduce total cholesterol and LDL. It is recommended to take flax seed with food but separate from other medications.S
Common uses:To reduce intestinal distress. Reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy, pregnancy and motion sickness. Ginger is used to treat osteoarthritis and migraine headaches.
Possible side effects:Gas and bloating. High doses may cause irregular heartbeats and central nervous system depression.
Cautions:Do not use ginger if you have had or are susceptible to gallstones. Not recommend to be used if pregnant. Do not use if at risk for hemorrhage or taking a anticoagulant.
Recommended dosing:For treating nausea due to chemotherapy: 1.5g per day, for motion sickness: 1g taken 30min prior to travel and then 0.5-1g every four hours as needed.
Research:Evidence the support the use of ginger to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy or motion sickness. It is to be used with extreme caution if pregnant and should not be used if at risk for hemorrhage or if taking an anticoagulant.
Common uses:To treat cerebral vascular insufficiency, dementia, Depression, sexual dysfunction, and inner ear dysfunctions.
Possible side effects:Allergic skin reactions, headaches, upset stomach
Cautions:Do not use gingko if taken aspirin or other anticoagulants. It is not recommend to be used when lactating.
Recommended dosing:Varies based on type
Research:Evidences shows that gingko may be effective in treating cerebral vascular insufficiency and mild impaired mental performance.
Common uses:To help control type 2 diabetes, increase physical and mental endurance and to treat symptoms of menopause.
Possible side effects:nervousness, increased blood pressure, upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, euphoria, vaginal bleeding, skin irritation, decreased blood sugar.
Cautions:May interact with MAOI and diabetic medications, may increase blood pressure
Recommended dosing:Dose varies by on type. It is recommended to take with food
Common uses:To prevent cancer, heart disease, teeth decay, and to treat diarrhea
Possible side effects:nervousness, insomnia, irritability, anxiety
Cautions: No recommend to be used by pregnant women or if taking Warfarin. Black tea may increase cancer risk.
Recommended dosing:300-400mg daily
Research:Green tea may prevent cancer. For not the use of children or pregnant women
Common uses: It is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, common cold, digestive disorders, and rheumatic pain.
Possible side effects:Heartburn and irritation of skin if used topically
Cautions:Do not use if allergic to peppermint, menthol or mint. Not to be used if a person has a biliary duct occlusion, gallbladder inflammation or severe liver damage. Not to be used in topically in children or infants.
Recommended dosing:0.2ml/capsule three times a day and should be taken between meals. If used topically apply 3-4 times per day.
Research:Do not use if pregnant.
Common uses:To treat minor digestive disorder, improve circulation, prevent cancer, stress, fatigue and to improve physical stamina. Used topically to treat muscle pain, arthritis pain, stimulate hair growth, heal bruises, sprains and wounds.
Possible side effects:skin irritation when used topically
Cautions:Do not use is high does when pregnant. Pregnant women are ok to use rosemary as a spice in cooking.
Recommended dosing: 2g leaf in 150ml water or 10ml extract twice a day
Research:May prevent cancer, approved to be used topically for the treatment of rheumatic disease and circulatory problems.
St. John’s Wort
Common uses:To treat depression, anxiety, bacterial and viral infections. Used topically for wound healing.
Possible side effects:photosensitivity, upset stomach, hypersensitivity, restlessness, fatigue, neuropathy, anxiety
Cautions:Not to be used if pregnant, Interacts with many medications
Recommended dosing:To treat depression 300mg three times a day
Research:may help treat mild depression. Do not use if taking an antidepressants. Check with doctor before starting because it interacts with many medications.