Cardamom “The Aromatic Queen of Spices”

Recently my husband and I were on a road trip, we stopped in a couple of Arabic shops in Israel.  They both served, as a free beverage, a very strong coffee with cardamom.  Culturally, Arabic coffee is served during family gatherings or when receiving guests, which must have been why they served it as a free beverage. This is the reason for this month’s spice choice.

Spices were incentives for war, voyages, expeditions, and romance and in shaping the course of world events and history. Cardamon has been used as a medicine and in cooking since ancient times. Its long and fascinating history dates back to Vedic times, about 3000 years B.C.

Which is it?

  • The Queen of Spices
  • The Aromatic Queen of Spices
  • The Beauty Queen of Spices

What do you think?  Let me know.

Cardamom is also sometimes the Seeds of Paradise or Ela “golden grains of paradise” in Sanskrit because of its very pleasant aroma and taste.

Cardamom, often referred to as the queen of spices, second only to black pepper, the king of spices. In the company of the King of Spices, black pepper, cardamom was an important commodity of the early spice trade that also transported frankincense, myrrh and other resins and precious aromatics. Caravans with as many as 4,000 camels would carry treasures of the East in the form of spices to markets in Babylon, Carthage, Alexandria, and Rome.  Later traders would sail ships along the Indian Coast and through the Red Sea into Egypt and thus through the rest of the world. The Spice Route was second in importance only to the Silk Road and the spices it transported were often as valuable, or more so than gold or precious metals.  Cardamom was considered a minor forest procedure and was a secondary crop to coffee plantations.

Why is it known as the “Queen of Spices”?

Maybe it is its association with queens. The large-leaved plant with purple and white flowers had a place in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The terraced garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife who was homesick. Cleopatra burnt cardamom incense whenever Mark Antony visited.

Here are a few other interesting facts about this spice.

  1. It is one of the most expensive spices from the beginning of time. Cardamom has always been able to hold its value due to its special medicinal and culinary value.
  2. Cardamom is considered more of a festive spice.  It is one of the most commonly used spices in the world – second only to black pepper – and valued only slightly lower than precious saffron and costly vanilla beans. Due to its high price. Cardamom ranks among the top three most expensive spices in the world.
  3. Spices were the symbols of royalty and luxury and cardamom was used in the manufacture of perfumes during the Greek and Roman times. (Prabhakaran Nair)
  4. Clears the mind from overthinking, creating a peaceful place to make decisions. (Green Cardamom)
  5. Cardamom plants are from the ginger family and are native to southern India. It takes about three years for the plant to mature and produce seeds.  Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance.  There are two types of cardamom both very valuable for health. With a taste that is both peppery and citrusy, cardamom has a bit of warmth to it, rating a 2 on the hotness scale.

Green cardamom is smaller than black cardamom.  It is one of the most expensive spices by weight and a little goes a long way because of its strong flavor.

    • Its aroma is much stronger and more refined than black cardamom.
    • It is used primarily in sweet dishes and drinks.
    • It is used in traditional both sweet and savory dishes such as treats, sweetbreads, sweet dishes, and traditional dishes.
    • Use as a flavoring in coffee and tea.
    • It brings its own qualities to a dish.
    • Cures piles (hemorrhoids) (Green Cardamom)

Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky aroma, though not bitter, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. It is largely used in savory dishes ranging from curries, stews, and daals (lentil dishes) to pilafs and meat dishes.

  1. Antibacterial – properties of cardamom oil are extremely effective in combating skin diseases.
  2. Antioxidant – high content of vitamin C and manganese in the composition of the oil has a powerful antioxidant effect, removing toxins from the body.
  3. Is a diuretic and is a carminative (relieves flatulence)
  4. Large cardamom seeds cure disease and pains of the anus and poisonous bites.
  5. Large cardamom seeds are hard to find.

OIL Pour into the container 3-4 tablespoon olive or sesame oil, add a few seeds of the plant, let it brew for 24 hours. This oil can be used as an independent mask against wrinkles and oily skin gloss.


NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEA TIME – Cardamom oil is endowed with completely unique characteristics.

First and foremost – start applying cardamom in small doses and do not get carried away with spices unnecessarily.

 

    • Tea: 2-3 pods (remove seeds and steep in hot water, do not boil), 3 to 4 cups daily.
    • Traditionally, the typical dose of cardamom is 1.5 grams of the ground seeds per day.
    • As a digestive, a tea prepared from 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed cardamom seeds infused in 1 cup boiled water for 10-15 minutes has been used.
    • Tincture: 1 to 10ml of a 1:3@45% tincture (Pole)
    • Essential oil: Use in mixture with other oils or on its own at .5 to 15% dilution in a carrier

Soothing warm milk with cardamom

    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, powdered or just the seeds will do too!
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
    • 1 to 2 cups milk (nut kinds of milk work too)

Warm in a saucepan. Once warm, let stand for a few minutes and then pour into cups. Enjoy. Good right before bedtime especially for little ones. In the winter months, if a cold is coming on, you can add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.

The second rule is to check whether there is an individual intolerance or an allergy to spice.

See a YUMMY recipe at the end!


MEDICINAL USES

Cardamom is also considered for its medicinal uses in Ayurveda and Greek medicine and Chinese tradition. Owing to its rich nutritional profile, cardamom offers the properties of a digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, antiseptic, antioxidant, and antispasmodic.

The beneficial effect on the nervous system and helps to improve mood. allows you to cope with neuroses and stress, cheer up and keep warm.  It helps to get rid of depression and apathy.


SUPERSTARS

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Promotes Dental Hygiene (C, Ca)

1. Improves Bad Breath (Green Cardamom)

    • It is common to see women as well as men popping cardamom pods to make their breath not minty fresh but “cardamom fresh”.  It is one of the only spices that can dissipate garlic breath.
    • An active compound in Cardamom is cineole.  It is a potent antiseptic known for killing the bacteria causing bad breath and other infections.
    • Effective against oral pathogenic bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.

2. Helps Treat Cavities

    • Chewing cardamom, a pungent spicy flavor promotes the flow of saliva.
    • It cures excessive salivation.
    • This encourages a cleansing saliva flow while the fibrous outer coating of the pod can provide a mechanical cleaning of your teeth. (effective antiseptic)

Anti-Carcinogenic (C)

  1. Two antioxidants named 3’-Diindolylmethane (DIM) and Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) in black cardamom, which combats breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer. The anti-carcinogenic properties of the spice also raise the amount of glutathione (an antioxidant) in the body and prevent the generation and growth of cancerous cells.
  2. It can be used as a chemopreventive agent or something that’s used to inhibit, delay or reverse cancer formation. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that it had a positive effect on skin health in animals. The study concludes that cardamom has potential as a chemopreventive agent against two-stage skin cancer.
  3. Phytochemicals, cineole, and limonene have shown an ability to take on a protective role against cancer progression.

Cardiovascular Health (B2, B3, C, Cu, K, Mg, Cu, Fe, P, Zn)

    • Your heart remains healthy with regular intake of black cardamom.
    • It reduces the probabilities of a blood clot.
    • It is very effective in protecting you from heatstroke or sunstroke during scorching summer.
    • A good remedy for the treatment of angina.
    • Its copper and iron content is important for cellular energy metabolism, accelerating the formation of red blood cells. Potassium is effective for maintaining the cardiovascular system.

Respiratory Health  (Zn)

1.  Asthma, whooping cough, lung congestions, bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, etc. can be treated successfully with this little spice. (cineole property) (Green Cardamom – cough)

    • A substance in Cardamom helps make breathing easier by dilating the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway, and increasing airflow to the lungs.
    • Fights inflammation, and soothing mucous membranes. The warm nature of cardamom also promotes the expulsion of phlegm and relieves chest congestion.

To ease the symptoms of asthma, use daily chest massage, and reflex points of the feet with two drops of oil, inhale the fragrance deeply, apply a small amount of oil under the nose.

With bronchitis, use inhalation with a few drops of cardamom oil. When cooking, add a few drops of oil to flavor the food.

    • Vitamin C – helps in the treatment of colds, relief of a sore throat, and coughing. helps to control cough, asthmatic spasms, and abdominal pain.

2. It warms up your respiratory tract so that the air circulation through the lungs becomes easier.

3. Works as an expectorant and helps you stay away from cough, cold, sore throat, etc. by alleviating the mucous membrane and normalizing the flow of mucous through the respiratory tract. (cineole property)

Seeds are soaked in hot water and can be used to rinse the throat. They cure pharyngitis, dry throat, hoarseness, and soften the throat.

Anesthetic Properties (B1, B2, Mg)

    • Highly anesthetic and sedative
    • Curbs acute pain like headache like migraine and provide immediate relief
    • Eliminating stress and fatigue

Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties (C, Zn)

  1. Destroy microbes of almost 14 different species
  2. Boosts your immunity
  3. Provides you protection against bacterial or viral infections (cineole property)

Helps Treat Diabetes (B1, B2, Mg, Zn)

The high manganese content in this spice makes it an excellent choice for diabetics and anyone struggling with blood sugar issues.

ANTI-Obesity

Cardamom contains anti-obesity properties.

  1. Clears Up The “Ama” Or Toxins – likened to a sticky substance that can block normal circulation and lower energy levels.
  2. Prevents Fat Deposition In The Abdomen
  3. Prevents Water Retention – Water retention and bloating can also result in weight gain. Dubbed a natural diuretic in Ayurveda, cardamom can help your body expel the extra water that’s being retained in the form of urine.
  4. Reduces Bad Cholesterol – its fat-busting properties help lower blood cholesterol levels. The anti-hyperlipidemic activity, in particular, is beneficial to those with cholesterol problems, a common complaint for those who are overweight or obese. Able to decrease the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby significantly lowering the total cholesterol levels. However, cardamom also lowered the good HDL cholesterol slightly.
  5. Reduces Bloating – Chronic indigestion can also lead to bloating, and cardamom is a popular treatment for gastrointestinal disorders. Has good antibacterial activity against infection-causing microbes like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bacillus pumilus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. With this activity against bad bacteria, cardamom can help the balance of gut flora to return to normal, enabling normal digestion. (Black Cardamom)
  6. It stimulates bile.

Quality Sleep

    • Tea with cardamom at night relieve anxiety and insomnia.
    • Improves the quality of sleep, promotes better tolerance of stress.
    • Regular use is useful for neuropsychic disorders.

Urinary Health (Green Cardamom)

  1. Cardamom is also a diuretic, so it detoxifies and stimulates kidney function
  2. Relieves urinary tract infections and inflammatory processes. (cineole property)
  3. It can facilitate urination and keeps your renal system healthy.

Mood (B2, B6, C)

    • Relieves depression, eliminates melancholy, lethargy, apathy, fears, headache.
    • It is also used when urinating is delayed.
    • Eliminate painful conditions before menstruation.

To raise the mood, with anger and depression, spray a few drops of oil in the room.

Heart

Cardamom is also an excellent tonic for the heart. It increases blood circulation and promotes the saturation of heart tissues with necessary oxygen. With the regular inclusion in food spices, the risk of developing a heart attack, and complications in the form of heart defects is reduced.  Peripheral circulation of the veins and arteries, not in the chest or abdomen

Flu Stages 

Promotes the healing of pharyngitis, dryness in the throat, hoarseness, softens the throat at the critical stage of the flu.

Strengthens and Stimulates Digestion (Black Cardamom)

Gastro-Intestinal Health: Black cardamom has a high positive impact on the gastrointestinal tract. It can stimulate the gastric and intestinal glands to secrete essential juices with the help of its stimulative properties.  This spice is better than many others and harmonizes and stimulates the digestive tract and spleen.

Take a look at all its helpful digestive benefits:

  • heartburn – It also helps in regulating and keeping stomach acids under control helping keep down gastric ulcers and digestive disorders significantly.
  • stomach cramps (Black Cardamom)
  • bloating
  • cleanse the gastrointestinal tract from harmful poisons and toxins acting as an antiseptic.
  • heaviness
  • flatulence
  • Indigestion (improves digestion)
  • binge eating
  • nausea
  • vomiting (Green Cardamom)
  • relieves Constipation
  • diarrhea
  • strengthens the musculature of the stomach
  • eases colic in children

Cardamom, rock salt, and ginger are taken in an equal amount and crushed into powder. Use the mixture in a dose of 1-2 grams (1.5 grams=4tsp) two or three times a day with warm water. This remedy calms the gases, bloating, and food poisoning.

Improves Appetite

  1. Cardamom works as a warm digestive tonic that can help you deal with indigestion, flatulence, and acidity, which can reduce your appetite.
  2. A little bit of powdered cardamom to your soup reactivates your appetite.

To increase appetite, apply a massage of the stomach area with two drops of oil.

Aids in Detoxification and Protects the Liver (VC)

It is capable of eliminating caffeine from the blood so that you can stay safe from the adverse effects of the alkaloid.

For Complexion (Black Cardamom)

1. Skin – it has the most optimal antiseptic properties and helps to get rid of acne.

        • Keeps your aging at bay, but it also helps you in getting a fairer skin complexion.
        • Natural remedy for ‘contact dermatitis’ or skin allergy.
        • A brighter, glowing complexion
        • Skin rashes (Green Cardamom)

2. Hair(Mg, K, Cu, Fe, ) – it has cell reinforcement properties that will give the hair all the vital supplements. From the roots to the finishes of the hair, everything will be reinforced. Anti-oxidative properties are helpful in providing nourishment to your scalp and hair strands.

        • As a result, you get strong, thick, and shiny tresses.
        • Dampness is retained in the hair.
        • Dry, dull, and coarsened hair will be a thing of the past.

3. Lips – It is additionally excellent for delicate, beautifully soft, attractive, lips

4. The high content of vitamin C and manganese in the composition of the oil has a powerful antioxidant effect, removing toxins from the body.

Vision

  1. Eating 4-5 black cardamom seeds every day with a teaspoon of honey will improve your vision, strengthen the nervous system, prevent the ingestion of harmful microbes.

            • sweet potato, peeled, chopped, and boiled (reserve the boiling water)
            • banana, ripe
            • apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
            • 1teaspoon cardamom
            • cup water (from the boiling sweet potato)
SWEET CARDAMOM SMOOTHIE by Food

If you have not included this spice into your cooking routine, maybe it is something to consider.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens and hope you are too.  If you enjoyed this post and learning about Cardamom, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on.  People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.


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The Spice Pantry: Queen of the Spices, Cardamon

Parsley “chemoprotective” plant

The History of Parsley

                                   PARSLEY

The name “parsley” comes from two Greek words Petroselinum (petrose) meaning “rock.”, and the other is selenium, which is an ancient name for celery. Literally, parsley means “rock celery.”  Rock celery because it thrives on rocks and walls.  The ancient Greeks and Rome believed parsley was sacred and also evil, where death and victory run hand in hand. Warriors fed parsley leaves to their horses to give them strength. The Greeks placed it on winning athletes and also on the tombs of the dead.  Parsley was closely associated with death, perhaps due to its look-alike “fool’s parsley”, which is poisonous. It was scattered over graves during funerals and planted on those sites as well. The saying “De’eis thai selinon”, or “needs only parsley” was the equivalent of today’s “one foot in the grave”.

A lot of us think that parsley only acts as a garnish for food, making the plate look more presentable and attractive. Some people just toss the leaf away or push them to the side of the plate. Not a lot of people actually eat them along with their meals.

There are two main types of parsley plants used as herbs in recipes:

            1. Curly-leaf parsley also called French parsley
            2. Italian, or flat-leaf parsley

Flat-leaf Italian parsley is more closely related to the wild parsley species that was first grown in the Mediterranean. Compared to curly parsley, it also has a stronger flavor and is easier to grow.

Some people prefer the curly-leaf variety because of its decorative appearance when it’s used on top of recipes. Both types taste very similar to someone who is not extremely familiar with them, and both offer similar health benefits.

Parsley can provide much more than a decoration on your plate. Parsley was used medicinally prior to being consumed as a food in the Mediterranean for 2,000 years before it was used for food.


 

 

 

 

It contains a range of protective vitamins and flavonoid antioxidants that are responsible for many of the disease-fighting parsley benefits being researched today. These antioxidants include luteolin, apigenin, lycopene, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene.


PARSLEY SUPERSTARS

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS

 

          Immune Booster

Vitamin C has many different functions.

  • Its powerful anti-inflammatory agent and its antioxidants help slow the aging process.
    • It perfectly helps to fight with edema, no matter where they occur: on the legs, face or in other places.
  • usefulness in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and needed for the healthy function of the immune system.
  • It may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vitamin C improves iron absorption.
  • Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy gut environment, where much of the immune system is actually located

        1. Pass the leaves and roots of the plant through a meat grinder and add the seeds in a glass bowl.
        2. Pour boiling water and wait about 7 minutes. After that, tea can be filtered and drunk.
        3. It is advisable to drink a cup of tea every two hours.
        4. To improve the taste, you can add lemon and honey.

          Important antioxidant

Vitamin A ~ helps reduce the risk for the development and progression of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer.

It is a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the “anti-infective vitamin.”

          Cancer prevention

  • Protecting your cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals
  • This herb is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells.
  • Folate is vitally important for cancer-prevention or inhibiting tumors due to high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds. It is therefore important for cancer-prevention areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells such as the colon and the cervix.
  • Apigenin has been found to
    1. …“inhibit the progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells
    2. …significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors,” according to research done in 2013 by the American Association of Cancer.
  • Myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene are powerful oil components that benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens.

          Heart Health (B, K, C)

  • K Promotes strong capillaries and is used for the prevention of spider veins.
  • B Reduces blood vessel damage lowering the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls).
  • K Just 10 sprigs improves bone health and improves calcium absorption.
  • K Proper blood clotting, which can help prevent excessive bleeding.
  • C Improves Heart Health
  • Carotenoids (A vitamins) contribute to lower rates of heart disease
  • B Folate is needed for heart health – it’s a vital B vitamin that plays a critical role in protecting your heart. Folate in order to convert homocysteine, a type of amino acid found in the blood. Homocysteine is a potentially troublesome molecule that can cause damage to blood vessels when uncontrolled, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Just two tablespoons (8 grams) of parsley deliver more vitamin K than you need in a day.
NOTE:  If you are taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin),
it is important that you do not suddenly begin to eat more foods containing vitamin K, which plays a large role in blood clotting.

 

Improves Oral Hygiene

Parsley is chock full of chlorophyll, which has antibacterial properties. You have all probably seen a sprig of parsley as a garnish to decorate your plate or on a display of dishes in a restaurant. What you may not know is that eating it after a meal fights oral bacteria that causes bad breath.

          Digestive Health

  • Parsley works as a natural diuretic.
  • Improves digestion of proteins and fats
  • Parsley’s high enzyme content contributes to improving overall digestion, and the effective elimination of waste.
  • Parsley stimulates digestion and the kidneys and helps eliminate toxins and kidney stones. It relieves water retention, bloating, indigestion, and flatulence (preventing the formation of gas).
  • It increases urine flow to remove infection-causing bacteria from the urinary tract.

“Parsley is used for inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, gravel, stones, and urine retention.”

“Parsley is remarkable for its ability to expel watery poisons, excess mucoid matter, [even] flatulence, reducing swollen and enlarged glands.”

According to Dr. John Christopher of the Herbal Legacy Group

  • Acts as antiurolithiatic drug through decreasing urinary calcium excretion, increasing urinary pH, dieresis, decreasing urinary protein excretion, and via its nephroprotective activity.”
  • It helps your body flush out more toxins such as heavy metals

According to a 2002 review done at the American University of Beirut.

  • It prevents the formation of kidney stones, benefiting digestive health because it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and draws excess water out of the abdomen, where it can cause discomfort and indigestion.
  • Regular consumption of parsley also speeds up the process of uric acid removal. This is a symptom of arthritis.
  • Help relieve water retention
  • And eases bloating
  • Treats a number of gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders:
    1. including gas
    2. constipation
    3. bloating
    4. indigestion
    5. nausea
  • It helps increase bile production and beneficial gastric juices that are needed for proper enzyme functions involved in food and nutrient absorption.

        1. Use 30g (or 3 tablespoons full) of parsley leaves per 4 cups of boiling water.
        2. Let it steep for 10 minutes and sip before meals to prevent bloating, or after to relieve it.
NOTE:  Parsley can cause serious issues for those who already have kidney or gallbladder problems.

Wound Healing

An essential amino acid found in parsley is needed to repair damaged tissues. Parsley juice works wonders to speed up wound healing after surgery.

Soothes Irritated Skin:

Rub dried or fresh parsley leaves on irritated skin or insect bites to soothe skin irritation. When dealing with boils, boil parsley leaves in water and apply it on the affected areas for a few hours. It also helps to fade freckles and spots.

Protects Eye and Skin Health(A)

  • Carotenoid and beta-carotene boost eye health. These antioxidants protect the retina and cornea from damage as someone ages.
  • Helping prevent eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Fights signs of aging on the skin.
  • Parsley benefits skin and dental health by fighting off infections and bacteria.
  • Protects eyes and skin from UV light damage, and may be able to help prevent skin cancer.

Bone Protecting (Ca, K, D, Mg)

  • maintaining bone density
  • fights bone breaks and fractures

Balance Hormones(B6)

  • for normalizing menstruation
  • treating amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle)
  • decreasing menstrual pain
  • important for fertility
  • prevents symptoms of PMS
  • prevents neural tube defects
  • important for a healthy pregnancy

Caution: Parsley is not recommended for pregnant women in large amounts, as it may cause uterine contractions, but used after delivery, it is said to tone the uterus.

Parsley Tea (uses 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley with 2 cups of water). This tea has been used in natural folk medicine as a remedy for treating gallstones, indigestion, kidney stones, constipation, and edema (bloating). Drinking ginger and parsley tea is also a great way to soothe nausea associated with pregnancy, stomach viruses, etc.

  1. Chop fresh parsley and tie up in cheesecloth. Place bundle in a teapot with lid
  2. Bring water to boil in a kettle or heavy saucepan
  3. Pour boiling water over cheesecloth bundle, cover and let steep for 10 minutes
  4. Warm 1 tablespoon honey for each cup of tea and serve while hot.
  5. It is advisable to drink a cup of tea every two hours.

Use 30g (or 3 tablespoons full) of parsley leaves per 4 cups of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and sip before meals to prevent bloating, or after to relieve it.


Many Christian groups also celebrate Passover. Christians tend to view the brilliant green parsley as symbolizing new life, the life they believe is promised by Jesus’ resurrection. Because of Parsley’s bitterness, it is done in remembrance of the enslaved Jews and the tears they shed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens.  If you enjoyed this post and learning about Parsley, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on.  People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.


Dr. Axe

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Yellow, The Vision Vitamin

I start this Color Me Beautiful series with the color yellow.

Yellow is the most visible color and is the first color the human eye notices!  Yellow’s stimulating nature and high visibility to the eye is the reason why many road signs are bold yellow (contrasted by black text).  This is another reason why restaurants use the color yellow in their signs.  It is known to stimulate appetite and triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness, warm like the sun.  Maybe this is why we feel so good when the sun is out.

th-9Likewise, I hope this Color Me Beautiful series stimulates you to introduce and increase your plate with more of the colors of the rainbow.
Imagine with me why certain fast food places use yellow and red colors;  Take Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s, Burger King and the other fast food establishments in the image on the left for instance.  These colors are just one marketing ploy that are eye-catching and get your attention to roll in to their establishment for that quick fast food.  Why not stick with real fast yellow food?  Here are some really good reasons why?

Yellows come from The Latin word Lutein lutes means “yellow”.

This plant chemical is geared to protect the eyes by modulating light energy.  The yellow color of the human macula lutea (literally, yellow spot) in the retina
(from Latin rēte, meaning “net”) of the eye is the third and inner coat of the eye which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue. results from the lutein and zeaxanthin it contains.

Lutein nicknamed “the eye vitamin,” is a carotenoid antioxidant phytonutrient (plant nutrient), which ranges from yellow to red pigments.  It is an essential nutrient for normal vision.

Eye protection – The central part of the retina, called the macula, contains macular pigments in which lutein is concentrated. The yellow coloured pigments protect the retina from damage of the photo-oxidative affect of high-energy light.

Heart health – Lutein can also reduce the risk for artery diseases. Studies have shown that persons with the highest lutein intake showed the lowest artery wall thickening.

Skin protection – Lutein can also reduce the risk of skin cancer and sunburn.

Digestion – Yellow foods are associated with digestion.  Proper digestion allows for the absorption and assimilation of nutrients, so your body can function and carry out the countless chemical reactions it needs to on an ongoing basis. Nutrients from foods you eat provide your body with the energy it needs to run, walk, eat, breathe, and read these words. When the process of digestion is impaired, nutrient imbalance and deficiency can result, leaving your body without the fuel it needs to function properly. Over time, there can be downstream effects of ill health such as lowering your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, constipation, and colon cancer..

Carotene is a pigment that absorbs blue and indigo light, and that provides rich yellows and oranges.

benefits-of-lutein-and-zeaxanthinLutein and Zeaxanthin (fat soluble) are carotenoids that are found in relatively high concentrations in the retina.  Lutein’s yellow color blocks blue (UV) light from absorption.  Because the macula is yellow in colour it absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light that enter the eye, and acts as a natural sunblock (analogous to sunglasses) for this area of the retina.  Both Lutein and Zeaxanthin helps protect the eye from ultra-violet (UV) damage, and prevents free-radical damage to the retina and the lens of the eye that is associated with diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.  Studies have also indicated that lutein improves heart health, protects our skin against UV damage, reduces diabetes induced oxidative stress, and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the liver, ovaries, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, testes, adrenals, and many eye tissues.

002f0eccb487f585c82aa61ff8e6be0cYellow foods are commonly considered the eyesight foods because they contain vitamin A. Beta-carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A, is a component of these foods as well.   Since eyesight is dependent on the presence of vitamin A, it is considered the “vision vitamin.”  Our eyes use the yellow pigment lutein as an antioxidant, especially in the macula, in the center of the retina at the back of the eye contains a lot of lutein.  This protects the eyes from the UV sunlight rays.    It also also seems to lower the risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  Vitamin A also help strengthen your immune system and prevent infections like the common colds. Moreover, this nutrient is also one of the best substances that can help you age gracefully.  In addition, they may have high levels of vitamin C, and some contain omega-3 fatty acids according to Kasik-Miller, a clinical dietitian at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

…Natural Sunblock (think yellow/orange-red like the sun) The yellow pigment, lutein, is also known to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight.  Our skin uses the yellow pigment lutein to recharge the antioxidants that protect the glands that make the oily lubricant that keeps the skin supple and wrinkle-free.  If we consume our leafy greens and other yellow pigment foods, these protective antioxidants protect our skin from oxidative damage.  This is why our ancestors most likely did not use sunscreen lotions.  Antioxidants reduce the risk of many health problems associated with aging, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others.

Avoid-sunburn-and-tan-more-easily-by-eating-real-food
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Sunlight is very important for our skin.  Americans tend to be deficient in Vitamin D3 because we are inside more than we are outside. Please visit my Vitamin D Council board for more information about this topic.  Americans are also afraid of the sun lathering up with all those sun screens.  If we are wise and respect the power of the sun, there is no need to buy all those chemically filled sunscreens that short-circuit the benefits of the suns rays that create an atmosphere that brings damage to the skin.  Here are other sunscreen options.

Yellow appears to have important antioxidant functions in the body including vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin E that guard the body from damaging effects that can destroy cells and play a role in many diseases

….Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body in light therapy treatment.

…The cream to light yellow crystalline solid (Ellagic Acid) may help protect against cancer by neutralizing the cancer- causing chemicals.  Surprisingly, Ellagic Acid is hidden under the red color of a number strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranates.  It also helps by reducing DNA damage and helps regulate blood sugar response.  But studies of this acid have mainly been done in the laboratory, so its benefits for human health is an unknown.
Yellow lutein may help protect against atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in arteries), the disease that leads to most heart attacks.
Yellow lutein is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties. It’s known to reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals in various organs, including your skin.
Yellow (under the color green) ~ Lutein

Another interesting fact about yellow is how it is hidden under the top layers of green serveimage-39in your leafy greens – they have 15-47% of lutein, but a very low content (0-3%) of zeaxanthin.  This is why we get the different colors of tree leaves in the fall.  This means that those leafy greens also contain this yellow pigment to bring you all of the great benefits of this beautiful nutrient.  The body cannot absorb lutein without the help of fat, so when eating your leafy green salads or smoothies, include a type of fat like Avocado, coconut oil, or a nut of your choice.

Zeaxanthin – xanthin, a yellow coloring carotenoid present in the retina of the eye and in many plants.

The two major carotenoids in the human macula and retina are lutein and zeaxanthin.  In our periphery vision, Zeaxanthin declines more rapidly than lutein.

On a Spiritual note:  There exists an old saying in American culture: “The eyes are a window to the soul.”  Matthew 6:22 (KJV) says, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”

Let your eyes feast on this yellow that can trigger the feelings of happiness and friendliness, warmth like the sun.

serveimage-38Take care in what you allow your eyes to see.  May the light of the Lord’s words help you to be a light bringing sunshine to someone else as Matthew 5:16 (KJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Yellow Fruits & Vegetables and some quantities of either Lutein or Zeaxanthin or both:

 

  1. Yellow bell peppers – low amount of lutein (12%) but no Zeaxanthin. The highest amount of Zeaxanthin (8% Lutein 37% Zeaxanthin = 45% total) was found in Orange Peppers.  
  2. Yellow zucchini (or vegetable marrow – 30-52%) These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals
  3. Yellow tomatoes (39%-sun dried)
  4. Maize (Sweet corn) – (60% of lutein and 25% of zeaxanthin)
  5. Bananas – the banana skin contains lutein.  Some people prefer to boil the peel for 10 minutes or so before eating it, putting it through a juicer or blending it with other fruits. In Asian countries, banana peels are cooked with their flesh or fried on their own.  Banana peels are packed full of serotonin which boosts your mood and helps you feel happy. Some studies have shown that in just three days, eating 2 banana peels can raise your serotonin level by nearly 15%. Plus, the banana peel can help you sleep easier because of the tryptophan found in it. Tryptophan is the sleep-inducing amino acid.  Bananas contain pectins and fructooligosaccharides(FOS). Pectins have been studied for their effects on blood sugar levels, and FOS is a prebiotic that provides food for the healthy bacteria in your lower intestine.

6. Lemon (10.344ug) – lutein may help protect against atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in arteries), the disease that leads to most heart attacks.

7. Squash – (2401.3μg/1 cup) listed in the top ten for lutein and zeaxanthin

8. Grapefruit (10.169ug)

9. Mellon – 27.058ug honeydue; 26.25ug cantalope

10. Apples with skin (28.985ug)

11. Pears – (78.32 mcg)

12. Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic substance that breaks down proteins, and it therefore can aid in digestion.  Look for pineapples that are heavy for their size, free of soft spots, bruises, and darkened areas, and they should have a fragrant, sweet smell at the stem.

NOTE: BEST FOODS FOR LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN: (As noted above, green leafy foods surprisingly contain these beneficial nutrients)  

Kale, spinach (47 mole% lutein), Swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens, beet greens, radicchio, summer squash (all varieties), watercress, green peas, persimmons, winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.), pumpkin, broccoli (22 mole%), brussels sprouts (27 mole%), lettuce (22 mole% – especially dark lettuces), asparagus, corn, green beans, okra, artichokes, green bell peppers.