What’s trending this year? Herbs are. Our world is clearly fo-cused on Immune health and it’s one of the most important top-ics today. Plant medicine has blended with mainstream medicine, and the myriad of new herbal products on the market proves it.
Herbs are no longer associated with “hippies,” or mainly identi-fied with marijuana. One example is the explosion of the supple-ment industry. Vitamins and minerals such as B, C, D, A, E and zinc, calcium and magnesium combine with herbs such as mush-room, elderberry, ivy leaf, turmeric, plantago, cranberry and ba-copa for added immune protection. Read the ingredients closely and you may even find borage, echinacea, saffron, fennel, ginger and horehound listed. Whichever form you prefer (capsules, gummies or soft gels), herbs are there.
The makers of Vicks products have a special line of children’s botanicals. They are drug-free multi-care cough syr-ups, containing mallow root, elderberry and ivy leaf. Used for centuries, black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is now a “star” in many products. Look also for many leaf extract powders, such as persimmon or spinach leaf, available for me-dicinal or culinary use.
Beauty products are heavily vested into herbs as never before. Rose hips and petals, birch bark extract, calming chamomile, calendula and lavender can be found in hair and bath products. Body wash now includes herbs such as eucalyptus and spearmint, while frankincense and myrrh are found in foot care lotions and creams. Insert a “shower pod” of your choice into the new Moen Aromatherapy showerhead and enjoy a scented oil-infused shower.
Our favorite cuisines have shifted into those not often considered before. Persian, Moroccan, Cambodian, Ethiopi-an, Middle Eastern, Japanese and Korean style cooking are more commonly appearing in households everywhere. We’ve learned our bodies benefit from healthy vegetables combined with the many different herbs and spices charac-teristic of these regions. International herb blends like Berbere, Za’atar, Ras El Hanout, Shichimi Togarashi, Dukkah and Baharat are turning up in chicken, fish, stews, lamb, flatbreads and veggie dishes.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make it another “star” found in many foods and drinks, including teas. Bigelow combines matcha tea with turmeric for a healthful beverage. This tea disappears fast from store shelves. The new pistachio milk, Táche, joins the still popular and healthy variety of nut milks. Goji berries, mushrooms, ginger, aloe vera, capsaicin and a new natural sweetener, grape molasses, continue to gain popularity.
Gardeners are planting more antioxidant-rich herbs in their gardens today. Look for plants containing the specific vitamins and minerals your body needs. Grow your own medicine. For example, Kritamo, or Rock Samphire, loaded with vitamins C, E, K, Omega 3, 6 and iodine is just one sought-after herb this year.
More than ever, people believe in the power of plants to protect and heal the body. Possibly Covid-19 has acceler-ated that belief. Be aware that herbs are a worldwide business today. Knowledge of what herbs you choose, along with medical advice, may help to maintain a healthy immune system.
(This article is not meant to promote or advise, only to educate)

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