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Medicinal Herbs Such As Thyme, Scallion, Onion, Garlic And Pepper

Updated on March 5, 2014
Cardisa profile image

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

pictures of scallion, thyme, pepper and garlic
pictures of scallion, thyme, pepper and garlic | Source

Introduction

So you are a skeptic. You may ask what on earth is Cardisa saying? What has thyme, scallion and peppers got to do with medicine. We all know that garlic is the 'spice' of life. Some may know what value onions have but as I speak with other persons I realize that many persons do not know that these regular cooking herbs add more than just flavor. Thyme, scallion, onions, garlic and pepper are the five of the most popular herbs used in cooking around the world. Did you know that with these in your kitchen you do not need to spend so much money at the doctor or the pharmacy? I will try, in my layman way, to tell you their medicinal values.

Benefits of Onions

Onion Medicinal Value

There are different types of onions that we know. The three most common kinds are the brown onion, the red onion and the white onion.

Onion is a bulbous herb that is mainly grown for culinary purposes. But recently studies have shown that onions are more than just herbs that make your food taste good. It is said to aid in several ailments especially in thinning of the blood. This prevents clot and eventually prevent heart diseases and will also lower high blood pressure.

There are flavinoids contained in onions which are said to mostly be in the outer layers of the edible part. So it is advised to peel as little as possible when ready to use. The sulfur compounds and quercetin found in onions are very powerful antioxidants that fight against free radicals. Minerals contained in onions include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium and phosphorus.


Leeks are similar to scallions

Scallion Medicinal value

The scallion is from the same family as the onion. As a matter of fact the scallion is also known as green onions and spring onions. This family also consists of leeks and chives. The scallion has similar properties as the onion and can be used in the same way. In Jamaica we use scallions mostly for soup and onions for meats. We never put onions in soup!

Using the Onion or scallion for medicine

  • Do not cook onion or scallion for more than 3 minutes.
  • For onion broth - boil water, diced onion and salt
  • For scallion broth - same as onion
  • For onion soup - you can dice onion and boil for three minutes then puree in blender. Add salt to taste
  • By far the best way to have the onions - slice them somewhat thickly but not overly so, sauté onions in a little olive oil for no more than 3 minutes. Use as addition to your steak, fish or any thing you like. At this time you can also eat them as is. The toxicity has been reduced.

Thyme

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Thyme medicinal value

Thyme is a shrub that is very aromatic and bears pink flowers and has tiny leaves. Usually thyme is cultivated for culinary purposes and harvested before it blooms. Thyme is said to have antibiotic properties and is used to aid in the healing of infections. Thyme also strengthens the immune system and to relieve upper respiratory ailments. Used externally thyme relieves muscle pain and heals scabies, thrush and gets rid of lice. It is also believed that thyme gets rid of intestinal parasites.

To use thyme as medicine here are three tips:-

  1. Wash one small bunch/a good sprig/a medium stalk of thyme, place in a teapot and pour 2 -3 cups of boiling water. Let steep for 2-3 minutes. Sweeten (optional) and have a cup for stomach cramps, stomach or intestinal infections. Have it stronger for more serious ailments like gastrointestinal problems
  2. Put water to boil, add thyme, scallion and a pinch of salt. Let boil for no more than 3 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Enjoy as broth.
  3. You will need a mortar and pestle for this. Use fresh thyme. Use the mortar and pestle to bruise thyme, add a few drops of water to moisten. Continue to beat thyme in mortar until it becomes a bit mushy. Add water if needed. The consistency should be that of a poultice. Use poultice on affected areas:- for muscle pain, scabies, lice or thrush.

garlic

Garlic Medicinal Value

There are quite a few uses for garlic including flavor. Garlic is a very powerful pain reliever and also has antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Research has shown that garlic could be more effective than some broad spectrum antibiotics. This bulbous herb is also a blood thinning agent and too much may caused the blood not to be able to clot.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic has shown to be effective in the prevention of cancer and heart related diseases. This research, however is not conclusive.

In another study known as the Iowa Women's Health Study, it was discovered that 41,000 women who regularly had garlic, fruits and vegetables had a 35% less risk of developing colon cancer.

In yet another study it showed that garlic helped reduce Chemotherapy side effect by offering relief from fatigue and lack of appetite.

The major component in garlic is called Allin which is sulfur based and odorless. When we crush garlic the allin is converted to allicin and this is what gives garlic that pungent odor.

The best way to have garlic is in it's natural state, however many may experience nausea or upset stomach (including myself). Here are a few tips.

  • Slice garlic and sauté for no more than a few seconds, sprinkle on food and enjoy (This is the method that is most recommended by scientists)
  • You can also add sliced garlic to your food. That effect it has on the stomach will be significantly reduced (I found that this method did not upset me at all)
  • Boil water and pour 1 cup over sliced garlic, enjoy as broth
  • Let sliced garlic steep in a glass of water for 5 minutes and drink. I tried this method to help reduce my blood pressure and it worked. I suggest drinking this at night. The water may taste a bit spicy.
  • Most people will dice the garlic and have them as tablets. I find this very hard to do as it also upsets my stomach.


Hot peppers

Hot Peppers Medicinal Value

The first thing that might come to mind when you think of hot pepper is...."hot, hot, hot". Not all hot peppers are unbearably hot and they have been used for various ailments including hangovers. One of the major scientific breakthroughs when it comes to peppers is that it is known to aid in digestion. Here in Jamaica, I know for a fact that food with hot peppers relieves gas faster than that without. When I am feeling a bit gassy I can make some broth and add pepper to it and in no time...off with the gas!

Other medicinal benefits of peppers include relief of sore throats and colds, assisting with poor circulation. There is also the belief that peppers are a great heart stimulant that strengthens the arteries thus regulating blood flow. The major medicinal ingredient found in hot peppers is capsicum.

The difference with the peppers and the other herbs is that the effects of capsicum is not reduced through cooking. So pepper can be had in food or by themselves so long as you can bear it. I suggest starting with mild peppers and gradually building the intensity until you reach your tolerance level.

Comments

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    • tapasrecipe profile image

      tapasrecipe 

      6 years ago from Spanish tapas land

      My pleasure, i love learning my mind is like a sieve lately, i thought it was supposed to shrivel up and stop functioning the older you get. lol Carrie

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Tapasrecipes, many people don't know the values either. It was during my food and nutrition studies a few years ago that I picked up some of this stuff. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • tapasrecipe profile image

      tapasrecipe 

      6 years ago from Spanish tapas land

      Hi Cardisa,

      i use these most weeks and never knew any of this stuff, nada, zilch,

      Thanks so much, will need to share this for sure.

      Carrie.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      So right Softhard, whenever I take the garlic like that I get nauseous.

    • softhard profile image

      softhard 

      6 years ago from Kathmandu

      Garlic is one of my fav. I usually take 2 with water in the morning. Garlic is also beneficial for diabetes.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Rasta, bird peppa good fi gas and pain. Jah Bless.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      jah know, This is very good, I love herbs, never cook without garlic and bird pepper

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you Crescentmoon, glad you enjoyed it.

    • Cresentmoon2007 profile image

      Cresentmoon2007 

      7 years ago from Caledonia, MI

      I loved this hub! It was not only a great read but gave me information that I didn't know already. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Viking, your grandparents were half right. The flavinoids in the onions when inhaled help to clear the airways like the nostrils and the lungs, relieving the congestion.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      That was a very interesting hub. I knew onions had healing properties but was not aware that Thyme and peppers had.

      My Grannie and father always used to cut an onion in four pieces and leaves two in each room when a member of the family had a cold. They say the raw onion attracts the germs to it and therefore protects those in the house.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very interesting. I love garlic, onion and peppers, not hot peppers. Thank you. Good info. shared.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Pamela. I sometimes think that if we did not use so much of these items daily we would be suffering from much more ailments and diseases than we already are.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very interesting hub that I am bookmarking because this information is very useful. I knew these items were good for you but didn't know some of the particulars. Rated interesting and useful!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Flora, you worded the sentence just fine. I suppose the sulphur that is deadly does not derive from plants but some other element. I need to add something to the garlic section, I totally forgot. No more than three cloves/pegs per day or it could have grave effects on the body.

      Scallion taste like onions but not as pungent in odor or taste. It doesn't water your eyes like onions and it is more fibrous than onions.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      7 years ago

      hmm. not sure if I worded that sentence correctly and as I've submitted it I can't fix it. I meant to say "may be harmless in one form and deadly in another." I seem to think I used two synonyms for harmful.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      7 years ago

      I have never had a scallion. What do they taste like compared to onion? I ask because I have never been an onion fan except as some onion powder added to say spaghetti sauce with other herbs. I need to try thyme in its natural form. I've only ever had thyme powder. Garlic I already kne about. I'm not a fan of hot peppers. It is ironic you keep talking about sulphur. As a gas, sulphur is poisonous. Funny how thing can be totally harmless in one form but deadly in another.

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