Jewish Journal

Vigor Triggers: Spring Herbs

by Elana Horwich

May 1, 2013 | 12:00 pm


Mint is perfect for an after dinner herbal tea. It:

  • aids digestion
  • is beneficial for nausea and flatulence
  • can help headaches or migraines. (Hint: take a little peppermint essential oil and rub it on your temples and scalp when you have a headache)

Parsley is no longer just that nasty curly thing on the Passover table. We now have easy supermarket access to the delicious Italian flat-leaf parsley which I like to remind my pasta class students is a "cooling herb." Cheese is taboo on top of spicy pasta or seafood pasta, but parsley is more than welcome as it cools the flavors, creating a perfect palatable balance. Beyond its culinary wonders, parsley:

  • freshens breath.
  • has diuretic properties.
  • is high in iron.
  • helps to flush out the glandular system.
  • contains myristicin, a chemical known for preventing tumors.  (in fact, the National Cancer Institute includes parsely in a specialized group of vegetables with high anti-cancer activity.)

It’s unbelievable to me that fresh basil is not only a seemingly magical herb that transforms tomatoes into renaissance heaven, it’s working for your health too. Basil:

  • contains many anti-bacterial compounds, fighting “bugs” that have become immune to antibiotics.
  • just two tablespoons contain 60 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin K.
  • includes anti-inflammatory properties that sooth both arthritis and intestinal conditions.

According to my high school bio teacher, Mr. Miller, liking or hating cilantro (as some unbelievably do) is a genetic trait. In the alternative health world cilantro is:

  • known as a chelator, which helps remove metals, such as mercury or aluminum, as well as other toxins from our bloodstream, and hence is important for any of us living and eating and breathing in this modern world.
  • is rich in chlorophyll, the molecular structure of which is nearly identical to that of our blood. Chlorophyll builds blood  and hence it is no surprise that in Asian traditions cilantro is used to cure anemia

To see more Vigor Triggers, click here.

If you live in LA and would like to take cooking classes with Elana, please visit mealandaspiel.com.

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Elana Horwich is the founder of Meal and a Spiel, a boutique Beverly Hills cooking school and online recipe resource based on the philosophy that anyone can learn to cook. Her...

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