(NaturalNews) As a previous article noted, the popular Simon and Garfunkel song of years gone by had a famous line which included four very healthy herbal spices. Besides the first two herbs (parsley and sage) featured in a previous article, rosemary and thyme also have a host of health benefits - which are detailed below:
Rosemary contains caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, both of which are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary is also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and other important antioxidants.
In addition, rosemary contains 19 chemicals with antibacterial action and a number of volatile oils which reduce the airway constriction induced by histamine - the chemical culprit of asthma and other allergy symptoms. Notably, rosemary has long been used to treat asthma.
The volatile oils in rosemary also help reduce inflammation that contributes to liver and heart disease. Herbalists think that rosemary may also help ease breast pain by acting as a natural drying agent to fluid filled cysts.
Some other important health benefits for rosemary are:
*Due to its antioxidants, rosemary can help prevent cataracts.
*The natural acids present in rosemary help in protecting the body`s cells and DNA from free radical damage.
*Rosemary stimulates liver enzymes which help inactivate estrogen hormones, which can cause breast cancer.
*Rosemary extract helps prevent age-related skin damage such as wrinkles.
*Rosemary encourages enzymes which flush harmful toxins out of the liver and the body.
*When consumed on a daily basis, rosemary extract can improve kidney functions, increase urine flow and preserve essential minerals such as sodium and potassium.
*Rosemary oil is used to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and pain, and reduce disorders in menstrual cycle, menstrual cramps, peptic ulcers, urine flow, prostate, gall bladder, intestine, sperm mobility, leukemia and kidney stones.
*Medical professionals have recommended to not exceed two 400 mg rosemary capsules up to three times a day.
*Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid large quantities of rosemary. Rosemary has been known to affect the fetus and lead to miscarriage.
*Rosemary oil can be allergic, thus it would be advisable to consult with a qualified naturopathic professional before using it.
*People who suffer from high blood pressure or epilepsy should not take rosemary supplements.
Thyme has a long history of use for chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion. It is an excellent source of iron and manganese, and a good source of calcium and dietary fiber. Thyme contains a variety of important flavonoids and volatile oils, including the important volatile oil thymol.
Thymol increases blood-flow to the skin and some herbalists believe that the increased blood-flow speeds healing. Thymol has been found to protect and significantly increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures. Dietary consumption of thyme has been shown to increase the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes.
Thyme has many beneficial antibacterial actions similar to another important herb, basil, which can help prevent contamination and decontaminate previously contaminated foods. For example, researchers reported in 2004 that thyme was able to decontaminate lettuce inoculated with Shigella, an infectious organism that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage. Washing produce in a solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at a low concentration of only 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella bacteria below the point at which they could be detected.
Notably, the German Commission E agency which evaluates dietary items has endorsed thyme for treating bronchitis. In addition, aromatherapists say that thyme`s scent is an effective mood lifter.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".