Winter may feel like the perfect time to hibernate from
the cold – and potentially avoid catching one! However, you don’t have to hide
with the bears to ensure you stay healthy this season. Ancient Chinese cultures
have been using herbs and spices for both culinary and medicinal purposes to
heal a wide array of ailments. It’s easy to make your own delicious blend or
experiment with individual spices to boost your immunity and longevity all
Immunity Spice/Herb Blend
This blend will boost the strength
of your immune system. Dried herbs and spices contain nutrients that are
concentrated, and can potentially help heal the body. Best of all, you can
easily make this blend yourself! There’s no need to measure these spices/herbs
exactly, but I recommend using equal amounts of each spice in dried and ground
forms. You can grind up your herbs and spices with a mortar and pestle or take
the quick approach by grinding in a coffee grinder (that you only use for
grinding spices). After grinding, store the blended spice powder in an
airtight, glass jar in a cool place to protect the volatile oils for six months
up to a year.
• ground star anise
• dried basil
• dried oregano
• dried cilantro
• garlic powder
• onion powder
• dried thyme
When you feel in need of an immune zoom, add this blend
to your meals just as you are finishing cooking the dish – about one minute
before you turn off the heat. You can add to your soups, stir-frys, fish and
veggie dishes, and bean and grain dishes.
Spotlight On Three Immunity-Enhancing Herbs
1. Star Anise
If you are a fan of licorice, then you will love the
flavor of star anise. Shaped like an eight-pointed star, this medicinal herb is
native to tropical and subtropical areas of China and Vietnam, and often used
to flavor dishes in Chinese and Indian cuisine. Traditionally, star anise is
used to treat digestive issues such as abdominal cramps, bloating, and
constipation. A strong and healthy digestive system equals a healthy immune
system. In fact, in its natural form, star anise is thought to help the body’s
immune system fight off the flu.
Word to the wise: Take care to get
the right spice. Star anise should absolutely not be confused with the toxic
Japanese star anise. Star anise is also different than regular “anise,” so do
Often used in Italian cuisine, this fragrant herb is
delicious in just about any dish. As a fresh herb, basil may be mixed into your
favorite raw salads or sandwiches. However, don’t neglect to incorporate dried
basil into your food, as it contains a trove of nutrients and a punch of
flavor. Dried basil is chockfull of the antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamin B6,
magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamin C. Basil also has potent anti-bacterial
and anti-inflammatory properties, which are important especially during cold
and flu season. Sprinkle some dried basil into your favorite soup, stew, or
casserole to give a boost to both your taste buds and immune system!
Known for its abundant use
in Mediterranean cooking, oregano is featured prominently in the sauces and
salads of Greek and Italian cuisines. But it’s more than just a delicious
seasoning! Oregano’s health benefits include high levels of antioxidants as well
as antimicrobial properties. It is traditionally used to benefit the digestive
and respiratory systems, improve circulation for cold hands and feet, aid
restful sleep, and to build immunity.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni,
best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and
board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake
Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post.
Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his
associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena.
Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than
25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey.
To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or
you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his
tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.