Vegan Chana Dal with Cauliflower & Split Peas

When I started eating more plant-based, I quickly realized that Indian cooking is a great way to incorporate more veggies.

And I stand by this today! If you want to add more plants to your meals, google some Indian recipes!

They are packed with flavor and often times are one-pot meals, like this one! There are so many different variations, so take a look and let me know what you think!

Today, we are focusing on a quick Chana Dal with cauliflower and black rice! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Check out the video below as well as the written recipe!

Cook and Prep Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

You Need

  • 2 cups Chana Dal (split chickpeas) or Split Yellow Peas
  • 1 cup Shallots, chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 4 cups Water or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 head Cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 5 oz. can Coconut Cream
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Cloves
  • 1 tbsp. Allspice
  • 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 3 tbsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Turmeric
  • Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak the chana dal overnight in water.  Then, rinse and strain, and set aside in a bowl.  Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. In a pot, add the chana dal and vegetable stock.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 25-30 minutes, until tender.  Add more water if needed.
  3. Set a larger pot to medium heat.  Once hot, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  Then, add fenugreek seeds.  Cook them for 45 seconds, until fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning. 
  4. Add garlic, shallots, and ginger to the pot with the seeds, and stir to combine.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until shallots are translucent.  Stir frequently.  Then, add celery and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Add cauliflower, and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring to combine.
  6. Add chana dal (with remaining liquid) to the larger pot, and add coconut cream and spices.  Stir to combine, and bring to a boil.  Then, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 5-8 minutes, until desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Plate chana dal, and serve with rice.  Garnish with cilantro and scallion greens.  Enjoy!

Vegan Stovetop Vegan Caponata

A couple of classics transformed into a new dish!

You can check out the video on YouTube here:

Cook and Prep Time: 50-60 minutes

Serves: 5-6 cups

You Need

  • 2 Eggplants, diced (½ inch pieces)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 15 oz. Diced Tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a large pan or skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Then, add eggplant, bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic to the pan.  Sauté until softened and onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper slightly.
  3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, olives, and vinegar to pan with sautéed vegetables. Mix well, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Once done, add oregano and salt & pepper if needed.
  5. Serve on baguette slices, crackers, or fresh bread (traditionally).  You can also use this to top a salad or as a sauce for pasta.  It is also used as a dip.  Can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!

Plant-Based Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

One of many different variations you can do on a loaded sweet potato. This one is a little more Middle Eastern, but you can put whatever flair on it that you like!

Today, we are making a loaded sweet potato. This dish can be made a variety of ways, with the basic steps being the same.

Today, our filling is going to include chickpeas, spinach, and a bunch of spices.

We are then going to top it off with this delicious tahini-mustard-coconut nectar sauce and some broccoli sprouts.

You can check out the Youtube video below!

Cook and Prep Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

You Need
  • 4 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • ½ cup Alfalfa Sprouts, for Garnish
  • 1 large can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups Spinach, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Curry Powder
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

For the Dressing

  • 2-3 tbsp. Tahini
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • ½ tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water (if needed)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Line 1 baking tray.  Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. With a fork, poke holes in the sweet potatoes all over the skin.  Place the potatoes on the baking tray.  Coat the skin of each of the potatoes with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Once the oven is hot, place the potatoes in the oven, and allow them to cook for 45 minutes, until they are able to be easily cut with a fork.
  3. Make the filling.  Set a pan to medium heat, and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add garlic and red onion.  Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add chickpeas to your pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for additional 4-5 minutes.  Add curry powder, garlic powder, and onion powder, and toss to combine.
  5. Add the spinach to the pan with chickpeas.  Add it in bunches until all spinach has wilted, 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Then, set aside until Step 7.
  6. Make the dressing.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and set aside for serving.
  7. Cut a potato down the middle.  Add about 1 cup of filling to the potato.  Garnish with alfalfa sprouts and tahini honey mustard.  Enjoy! 

Vegan Chana Masala

Here is a quick Indian-inspired dish that is very easy to put together and is a great option for cooking in bulk.

Not only that, you get a great deal of flavor into one pot, as well as a variety of healthy foods that will keep you satisfied and coming back for more!

Check out the YouTube video and recipe below!

Cook and Prep Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 3-4

You Need

  • 1 Red Onion, halved and cut thinly into half-moons
  • 1 large can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large can Pureed OR Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock OR Water (add more if you want a thinner dish)
  • 1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro, for garnish
  • 2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander
  • 1 tbsp. Turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a pot to medium heat.  Once hot, add coconut oil.  Then, add ginger, garlic, and red onion, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Cook until onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Add chiles, and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, and chickpeas.  Add all spices and bring mixture to a boil.  Then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until thickened, 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.  Serve with rice.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.  Enjoy!

Vegan Root Vegetable Soup

Another flexible recipe here. You can use a variety of different vegetables here as susbtitutions. Today, we stuck with some soup basics, like carrots and celery

You can check out the YouTube video below!

Cook and Prep Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6

You Need

  • 1 head Cauliflower, chopped
  • 3-4 Sweet Potatoes, chopped
  • 5-6 Carrots, chopped
  • 5-6 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 5-6 cups Vegetable Stock OR Water (add more if needed)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh Ginger, chopped
  • 2 Turnips, chopped
  • 1 large can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Allspice
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Cloves
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a large pot to medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil.  Then, add garlic, onion, and ginger.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion has softened, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  3. Add carrots and celery, and stir to combine.  Cook until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes more.
  4. Add turnips, sweet potatoes, and cannellini beans.  Toss to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add vegetable stock.  Add enough liquid to cover all the vegetables. 
  6. Add spices and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until all vegetables can be cut with a fork, 25-30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove soup from heat.  With an immersion blender, blend the soup thoroughly.  Alternatively, you can add portions of the soup to a blender, and pulse until smooth.
  8. Plate soup.  Garnish with scallion greens, sesame oil, or sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Miso Mushroom Risotto

This is one of my favorite dishes that I have ever made!

Try out this awesome, tasty, rich, and nutritious risotto dish! Risotto is a classic comfort food dish.

There are also a variety of different risotto recipes. While I really enjoy it, it is tough to find one that is not loaded with cream and cheese.

This is obviously a problem for those who are lactose intolerant or want to be dairy-free. That’s why I wanted to make one for this channel.

Risotto is not something I normally make because it is a lot of work. However, I learned this hack in making the rice that makes the process MUCH easier.

Since this is a plant-based version, we are going to add mushrooms to give the dish a meaty texture, and cannellini beans to add some protein and fiber.

We’ll also throw some spinach in to get some greens in a dish that normally does not include any. Hope you enjoy the recipe! !

You can check it out in the recipe and YouTube Video below!

Cook and Prep Time: 75-90 minutes

Serves: 4-5

You Need

  • 1 ½ cups Short-Grain Brown Rice or Arborio Rice
  • 3-4 cups Chopped Mushrooms (any kind or mushroom or a combination will work)
  • 5 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1-2 bunches Spinach, roots removed and chopped thinly
  • 1 tbsp. Ghee OR EVOO (to make this recipe 100% WFPB)
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Chopped Parsley, for garnish
  • 1 small can Butterbeans or Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 3 tbsp. White or Yellow Miso
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Sage
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Thyme or Leaves of 2 Thyme Sprigs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat an oven to 375˚F.
  2. Set an oven-friendly pot or Dutch oven to medium heat on a stove top.  Add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add garlic and onion, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Cook until onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Add rice, 4 cups vegetable stock, and half of the white wine to the pot with the onions.  Add thyme, sage, black pepper, and 1 tsp. salt.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil. 
  4. Once boiling, cover the pot and place it in the oven.  Allow the rice to cook for 60-70 minutes, until tender.
  5. Cook the mushrooms.  Set a pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add chopped mushrooms.  Cook until all water has been released, about 3-4 minutes.  Then, add the rest of the wine, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. miso.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.  Add cannellini beans and spinach, and stir to combine, cooking until alcohol has burned off, another 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and then set aside until Step 6.
  6. Remove the rice from the oven.  Add the final cup of vegetable stock, ghee, and miso to the pot with rice.  Stir to combine fully and mixed evenly throughout. 
  7. Distribute rice, and top with mushroom mixture.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

Vegan Barbecue “Pulled Pork”

Pulled pork is always a favorite. Today, we switched it up, and are trying a plant-based version.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of jackfruit, so we are going to try something different…

We’re using mushrooms and beans! Beans for the protein, and mushrooms to get that meaty texture we’re looking for.

The key to pulled pork, however, is the sauce. Now there are a bunch of different barbecue sauces out there, but many pre-made ones are loaded with added sugars and other crap. So today, we’re making our own. This one has freshly squeezed orange juice as the base.

Check out the video below!

Cook and Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3-4

You Need

  • 2 small cans Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 lb. Oyster Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, halved and cut into half moons
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Dry Red Wine (optional, can use vegetable stock)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

For the Sauce

  • 4 Oranges, juiced
  • 1 Lime, juice
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly. 
  2. Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine, and set aside until Step 5.
  3. In a large pan set to medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add garlic and onion, and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms, and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Then, add pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and red wine.  Bring mixture to a boil and allow the alcohol to cook off, 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Add barbecue sauce to the pan with mushrooms and beans.  Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook until some of the liquid has reduced, 4-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place “pulled pork” on a bun and serve with homemade slaw.  Enjoy!

Vegan Orange Tempeh and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Tempeh is one of my favorite plant-based proteins. Personally, I prefer it to tofu not only because the texture is better, but also because it is a less processed version of soy. You can actually see the soybeans in each tempeh block!

With that said, you can easily substitute tofu into the recipe if you prefer.

Nothing like a play on one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes!

Check out this recipe video on YouTube, or use the recipe below if you want to give this a shot!

Cook and Prep Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 3-4

You Need

  • 1 block Tempeh, chopped
  • 2-3 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 bunch Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, halved and cut into half-moons
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Scallions, chopped, greens & whites separated
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • 2 cups Water or Vegetable Broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Seeds, for garnish

For the sauce

  • 3 Oranges, juiced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 2 tbsp. Arrowroot Flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly. 
  2. Cook the rice.  Add rice and 2 cups of water or vegetable stock to a pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until rice is fully cooked, about 40 minutes. 
  3. Sauté the aromatics.  In a pan or wok, set to medium-high heat, and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add garlic, red onion, and scallion whites.  Stir frequently to avoid burning.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is slightly tender.  Then, remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Sauté the carrots and tempeh.  In a pan or wok, set to medium-high heat, and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add the carrots and tempeh.  Stir occasionally.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly browned.  Then, remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Sauté the broccoli.  In a pan or wok, set to medium-high heat, and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add the broccoli.  Stir occasionally.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly browned.  Then, remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Make the sauce.  In a bowl, combine, orange juice, lime juice, and tamari.  Stir to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine water and arrowroot powder, stir to combine, until a white, thin liquid is formed.  Set a small saucepan to medium-high heat.  Once hot, add orange juice mixture.  Cook until liquid is reduced by about half, 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then, add arrowroot slurry and reduce heat.  Allow sauce to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Stir to avoid burning.  Remove from pan and place sauce in a bowl.  Add sesame oil, and stir to combine.
  7. Set a large pan or wok to medium-high heat.  Once hot, return aromatics, carrots, tempeh, and broccoli.  Add sauce and toss to combine, about 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Plate rice and top with orange tempeh and broccoli.  Garnish with scallion greens and sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Plant-Based Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a Fall and Winter staple. So we’re going to put a healthier spin on it!

In this plant-based version, the ground meat is swapped with lentils and mushrooms.

Sweet potatoes add a sweetneed and warmth you simply don’t get with your regular white potatoes.

Check out the full recipe below!

Cook and Prep Time: 75 minutes

Serves: 6-8

You Need

  • 2 cups Lentils
  • 6 oz. Button Mushrooms, diced
  • 5-6 Sweet Potatoes, chopped
  • ¾ cup Dry Red Wine
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth or Water
  • 1 bunch Carrots, chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Scallions, chopped, greens and whites separated
  • 1 Yellow or Red Onion, diced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup Oat Milk (or other milk alternative, or 1 small can Coconut Cream)
  • Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat your oven to 425˚F.  Fill one large pot with water.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes to the pot with water, and bring the water to a boil.  Boil the sweet potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove them from the water and set them in a bowl.  Save until Step 5.
  3. Start the lentils.  Set another large pot to medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add garlic, scallion, and onion.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until onions begin to soften.  Then, add red wine, carrots, and mushrooms, and bring heat to medium high.  Stir occasionally, cooking for 3-4 minutes more, ensuring alcohol has burned off.
  4. Add lentils, tomatoes, tamari, and vegetable broth to the pot with the carrots.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and cloves to the pot.  Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and allow lentils to cook, about 20 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and lentils are tender.
  5. Add oat milk, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt to bowl with the sweet potatoes.  With a masher or a fork, mash them until combined evenly. 
  6. In a deep dish, oven-friendly tray or pan, add lentil mixture and spread evenly across the bottom.  Then, top with mashed sweet potatoes.  Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes have slightly browned.
  7. Remove from the oven, and distribute among serving plates.  Garnish with scallion greens.  Enjoy!

Boosting the Immune System: Herbs to Help Fight Infections

Boosting the Immune System: Herbs to Fight Infections

There are a variety of different herbs out there that can help fight viral infections, boost the immune system, and can even be used as flu remedies. They can also have many other health benefits, like supporting digestive and cardiovascular health.  They also a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds. 

With that said, let’s take a look at some effective herbs used to combat viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.  Bear in mind the exact nutritional composition of each can vary due to the environment and climate they grow in.  In no particular order, let’s get started.

Echinacea


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Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs out there, and for good reason!  Echinacea supports immune system function.  There is a good deal of evidence out there to support using Echinacea against viral infections and tumors.  A compound called echinacein inhibits bacteria and viruses from affecting healthy cells, protecting them from ever getting infected in the first place.  Other health benefits from Echinacea include alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, improving skin health, treating upper respiratory issues, and improving mental health.

Studies have found Echinacea is able to reduce the risk of developing a cold by 58% and reducing cold duration 1-4 days.  Another found that Echinacea extracts can slow down tumor growth, inhibiting its ability to spread.  It also has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects, and has been suggested as a treatment for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and other inflammatory conditions.

Garlic

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Garlic contains two substances, known as allicin and alliin. Both of these are sulfur-containing compounds that have antibiotic properties.  In addition to this, studies have shown garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-yeast properties as well.  Some studies suggest garlic can be protective against certain forms of cancer.  Alliin and allicin are thought to prevent the formation of carcinogens in the body and by blocking them from reaching sensitive areas.

Another proposed mechanism is that these two substances inhibit the transformation of healthy cells into cancerous cells. Garlic has also shown the ability to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.  LDL cholesterol is used to bring fats into your arteries and deliver them for storage in the body, while HDL particles ship them out.

One year-long study on aged garlic (or garlic that has been fermented) showed it can reduce plaque buildup in arteries and also lower levels of homocysteine, which, according to the American Heart Association, is an independent risk factor for heart disease.

Licorice Root

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Licorice root, Glycyrrhiza glabra, has been a useful, adaptogenic herb for hundreds of years.  Licorice root can be helpful when combatting heartburn/acid reflux, leaky gut, and improving immune system function.  Licorice has been shown to be effective in aiding against functional dyspepsia (lack of stomach acid), nausea, and indigestion.  A 2010 publication found licorice has antioxidant properties.  This means it can be helpful in providing sore throat relief, and can be used as a natural remedy for coughs.  When searching for a supplement, keep an eye out for deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), as it can be used long-term if needed.

Research shows that licorice is helpful for aiding those who have peptic ulcers, gastritis, or acid reflux (GERD).  Licorice root can also stimulate adrenal gland function, promoting the healthy release of cortisol.  Interestingly enough, some holistic health providers suggest applying licorice to the teeth to kill bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

Oregano

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High quality, professional grade oregano extracts are incredibly powerful and difficult to procure.  Oregano oil has been shown to be as powerful as some antibiotics without the side effects.  Oregano and oregano oil are known to have great amounts of antioxidant, according to studies.  Two powerful compounds found in oregano are carvacrol and thymol, which have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. Carvacrol reverses the disease processes of viral infections, allergies, tumors, parasites, and other microbes that can cause inflammation.  In fact, one study showed carvacrol inactivated a norovirus, which can cause stomach pains and diarrhea, within one hour.

One study found oregano oil helped stunt the growth of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two strains of infectious bacteria.  Due to its high antioxidant content, oregano oil has anticancer properties, as another study showed that it can help kill colon cancer cells in humans.  It also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.  One study found a mixture of oregano and thyme essential oils reduced inflammatory markers in mice suffering from colitis.

  • Olive Leaf
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Olive leaf contains compounds that destroy invading organisms and don’t allow viruses to replicate and cause an infection.  This makes it an effective option for the common cold, candida symptoms, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis.  It has also been used to treat dental, ear, and urinary tract infections.  Olive leaf extracts have been useful to combat a number of bacterial and viral infections.

Olive leaf extract contains the active ingredient oleuropein, which is the compound thought to give olive leaf its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Oleuropein has been helpful in lowering blood pressure, improve insulin secretion in diabetics, and support healthy weight management.

Cat’s Claw

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Cat’s claw has been around for a long time, more commonly used in South American countries.  It has been used to treat digestive conditions like dysentery, leaky gut syndrome, IBS, colitis, stomach ulcers, fevers, and other conditions like herpes and arthritis.  It also has many anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. 

Cat’s claw can also help boost immune system function.  One study found that taking 700mg of Cat’s claw for 2 months increased white blood cell counts.  It can also help relieve pain in those with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Astragalus Root

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Astragalus root has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years.  Studies have found that astragalus has antiviral properties and can increase immune system function.  Therefore, it can help prevent simple colds and fight the flu virus.  Astragalus also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is used on the skin for wound care. It is also an adaptogenic herb and can help lower cholesterol levels.

Some of the active compounds found in astragalus root strengthen the immune response and aid in inflammation reduction.  While the research is limited, there are promising results in treating heart conditions, kidney disease, seasonal allergies, chronic fatigue, and more using astragalus root.  Additionally, astragalus has been using to alleviate some pain associated with the side effects of chemotherapy.  It has also been shown to improve kidney function in those diagnoses with kidney infections or proteinuria (protein in the urine). 

Elderberry

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Elderberry has been around for centuries.  Almost all parts of the elderberry plant can be used.  The flower, berries, bark, roots, leaves, and juices have been used to treat a variety of health conditions.  Historically, dried berries or elderberry juice has been used to treat influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart pain and nerve pain, and as a diuretic.  One study found elderberry could be a viable treatment for influenza types A and B.  Another study found that elderberry extract used within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms had reduced flu duration.

Elderberry is high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins.  All of these compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.  One study found elderberry reduced the length and severity of the flu. It can also be helpful in fighting harmful bacteria, support the immune system, and even help fight cancer.

Ginger

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Ginger’s health benefits have been known for centuries, and it is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine.  The great part about ginger is that you can easily add it into your cooking! In Ayurvedic medicine, they believe ginger can help break down toxins in organs and act as a cleansing agent for the lymphatic system.  This is what is thought to give ginger its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.  Aside from these benefits, ginger can be helpful for alleviating pain and can be used as an anti-nausea remedy. 

Gingerol is the main active compound found in ginger.  It is thought gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Ginger may also improve the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.  Ginger can also be useful in lowering heart disease risk factors, like fasting blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol levels.

Ginseng

Ginseng is known to help regulate immune system function and fight infections.  Ginseng regulates different types of immune cells, including B-Cells, T-cells, macrophages, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells.  This is important because excessive immune responses are hallmarks of autoimmune conditions.  It also contains antimicrobial compounds, useful for fighting against bacterial and viral infections.  In addition to being a stimulant for the immune system, ginseng also exhibits anti- and chemo-protective effects.

Ginseng has been shown to be helpful in improving brain function, memory, mood, and general behavior.  Ginseng has also been shown to prevent abnormal cell production and growth, meaning it can be a useful as a cancer therapy adjunct.  Panax ginseng also reduced physical and mental fatigue compared to those taking placebo.

Disclaimer

Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. The information is designed for educational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.  Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.  Neither the publisher nor the author takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person reading or following the information in this book. All readers, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition or supplement program.