Pungent Herbs & Their Benefits
Pungent herbs taste aromatic, spicy, and hot and offer a strong sensation. They help in settling down that digestive fire in your stomach and also help you sweat that could help you get rid of fever and also improve the blood circulation. They help in getting relief of cold by drying the mucus and also relieves bloating, gas and nausea. But, it’s good if you know that excess of pungent herbs can damage your sensitive mucus membranes and can also overheat you if you’re already a hot constitution. So, keep in mind the famous saying about not having anything in excess or it’ll just be bad for you.
This post covers availability of pungent herbs in winter and summer seasons and how these hand picked pungent herbs can help us in our day to day lives.
How does pungent herb taste?
The term pungent describes the stuff that has a sharp and strong taste or smell. Here, it describes the herb that has a strong taste. The pungent herb has the taste which is the hottest of all the five tastes( sweet, sour, salty, umami, bitter) and is found in a number of vegetables, spices or herbs. People often mistake pungent for spicy as the difference in their tastes is negligible. Pungent taste can also be described as dry hot taste that spicy food has and also many spices and herbs as well. How pungent taste gets created is duly because of the presence of oil and resins that stimulates the mouth tissues leaving a sensation of heat.
To understand pungent herbs better let us understand them according with the seasons they’re grown and consumed in.
Summer Pungent herbs:
There is a huge number of spring herbs available to us that help to thin the mucus. All the summer herbs are different from each other but except for the fact that they’re all very beneficial to us in terms of digestion, and cleaning the blood along with providing great help to lungs. Some of the spring/summer herbs are:
- Ground ivy: ground ivy can be identified as kidney-shaped flowers with round edges and obviously by its pungent smell. While being really beautiful, ground ivy also acts as a cough medicine, because of its beneficiary actions on mucus membranes. It also works for mild lung problems and joint pains. Stomach problems would not be a longer issue to you once you get adapted to this herb. Also, for those pretty women out there, give it a try for your menstrual pain problems.
- Garlic: garlic comes from the species of onion and thus carry the pungent taste and smell that all of them have ( you might have witnessed it while chopping/slicing the onion or eating raw onion slices ). The fact about it having the pungent flavour is that it has been used for it for a long time as a seasoning or condiment. With it’s spicy, hot and pungent flavour, it has the power to make your food definitely more delicious and fragrant. It has some rich amount of manganese and phosphorus which helps to snatch that stubborn cold off your nose and also with the stomach cancer as per reports. But I’ll suggest you mind that disgusting smell it leaves after being consumed or applied.
- Mustard: mustard carries its pungent smell and taste by its family having it in its pungent seeds. The most beneficial part of the mustard plant is its leaves, which are very rich in calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and protein. Mustard is great for your skin and also reduces the risk of asthma attacks. If blood pressure is an issue for you, try considering mustard seeds in your diet.
- Ginger: ginger might have that pungent smell that troubles you at times but its powerful bioactive compounds have numerous benefits. It contains gingerol that has powerful medicinal properties such as being anti-inflammatory and having antioxidant effects. If you’re the one that wakes up with that nausea in the head, try having some ginger in your diet and notice the changes.
- Black pepper: there’s no doubt that along with you, everybody calls this spice “the king of spices” because of the presence of chemical compounds. You should trust people that have been using it for very long for its anti-inflammatory properties. Those of you, who have digestion problems, definitely need to try it as it helps in digestion because of its active principles of peppercorns.
Winter Pungent herbs:
The winter is not favourite weather for everybody(though it’s mine) because it arrives with a handful of diseases and not vast options for food. But there are some herbs that could help you like the winters for its essence without those diseases holding you into your house. Some of the winter herbs are:
- Thyme: This herb is really good for you if you have cholesterol problems because it contains very low sodium and cholesterol. It has a rich amount of vitamin E, zinc, and copper. You can find it as one solution to all your problems like diarrhoea, stomach ache, arthritis, and especially that sore throat in winters that troubles you all day and night.
- Capsicum: capsicum has been serving as a vegetable in all our homes for very long. It is really cheap in winters and can be accessed easily anywhere in the market. Besides being crisp and flavour to all our dishes, capsicum has numerous benefits being anti-inflammatory and even has anti-cancer properties. Do you have diabetes? What about trying this tasty herb in your routine and help lower them down. This also prevents our skin by repairing cell tissues.
- Horseradish: it is a plant basically used as a condiment and its root is used for medicinal purposes. If anybody’s body part is swollen or have muscle aches because of the winter cold, horseradish comes as a saviour to them. It prevents all you lovely ladies from that urinary tract infection troubling you down there. Also, for some of your serious problems like kidney stones and gallbladder dysfunctions, horseradish could be a great solution.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is used generally in a form of oil in all our homes especially in winters. Some of your serious skin problems like arthritis and skin ulcers have one solution and that is this oil. It is used as a medicine to prevent numerous diseases such as nasal congestion and asthma. But, be careful with those skin infections that its overdosage could give. Also, it’s oral usage can be really harmful as it can even lead to shortness of breath.
- Basil: talking about winter herbs and not considering this herb is not an option. Be it its leaves or seed, the whole of it is considered as a tonic for the body. Different parts of it have different uses, such as flowers can be used for bronchitis, the whole plant for nausea or diarrhoea or essential oils distracted from leaves for insect bites. It is all because of the vitamins, calcium, and zinc it contains in a rich amount. But remember talking to your doctor before taking its supplements.
Evidently, with all the benefits of pungent herbs listed above, you know that not all those things that taste or smell bad can’t be consumed. Try having these herbs and getting rid of those diseases stuck with you. Here, I’ve listed the herbs according to the seasons they are most appropriate taking in, with all the benefits they hold upon.