My wife gave me a book for Christmas, Danish Cookbooks: Domesticity and National Identity, 1616-1901 (New Directions in Scandinavian Studies). As you may have guessed, I’m of Danish descent. One thing that I found unexpected was that the use of spices and herbs greatly decreased from the earliest 1616 cook book until the middle 1800’s. Spices were heavily used to control unhealthy bacteria on food before refrigeration became common. Spices appear to have significant health benefits,
“They found that people who ate spicy foods one or two days per week had a 10% reduced risk of overall mortality, compared to those who had a spicy meal less often than once per week. Eating spicy food more than two days per week was only linked to a slight additional increase: Those who ate spicy foods three to five times and six to seven times per week all had a 14% reduced risk of dying.” [Forbes]
The following is a list of spices and herbs which have antibacterial and/or antiviral characteristics which appears to impact the bad bacteria a lot more than good bacteria. The list is not exhaustive, just the ones that I so far found via pubmed.
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Salvia officinalis (common sage)
- Japanese Knotweed
Many of these are also neuroprotectors! That is help with brain fog!
There are also at least one “backup” – which hammers both good and bad, for example Haritaki.
As a FYI: I know someone that suffers a mild herx from taking a second cup of tulsi tea in a day. One cup is fine, the second one is what triggers the herx. If you are fragile or overwhelmed by the response, consider teas as a starting point.
My rule of thumb is to make my own “OO” capsules from bulk (often organic) powder. A “OO” capsule is typically 4-500 mg. The cost is typically around $20/lb (454 gm) which equates to some 900 capsules. Each one acts against different bacteria which translates into some likely causing die-off/herx and other with no apparent impact.
My typical pattern is 1 on the first 2 days, if no issues, move to 2 for 2 days, then 4 for 2 days and 8 for 2+ more days. Easing the dosage if significant / discomforting herxing starts. I usually take them 1 hr before bed because they tend to result in a bit of sleepiness.
When you add the next one is really a matter of personal choice, I tend to wait until I get up to 4 capsules before adding another spice/herb. I avoid staying on any herb for more than 14 days, that’s the typical length of an antibiotic prescription. Either it has done its work or it has not. Time to move on to the next.
As always, consult with your knowledgable medical professional to insure there are not risks from any of the above before starting.