New research on the health benefits of herbs and spices

The cures hiding in your kitchen cabinet.

By Stephanie Castillo for



You know that cilantro can work wonders on an otherwise plain bowl of rice and noodles. But did you ever suspect that it might also pack a medicinal oomph?

That’s a fact, according to a recent article published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, which found that people in Middle Eastern countries like India, Pakistan, and Morocco successfully use the herb to treat digestive disorders, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, urinary tract infections and more.

The conclusions piggyback on earlier research from the University of California, which found that a compound in cilantro, called dodecenal, is nearly twice as effective at killing salmonella bacteria (commonly found in raw meats) compared to commercial antibiotics.

That’s not all. Despite a dearth of scientific research, cilantro is widely believed to help rid the body of metals and toxins. “While there is no evidence that coriander leaf has the ability to remove heavy metals already in the human body, there is some preclinical evidence that…cilantro leaf can reduce toxin absorption and toxic effects,” says lead study author Kathy Abascal, BS, JD, RH, executive director of the Botanical Medicine Academy in Vashon, Washington. “[It] suggests that coriander should be emphasized, given the increasing contamination.”

Keep reading for six herbs and spices with medicinal benefits…

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