Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, C. burmanni) The pungent taste is full of aromatic
herbs that tend to be spicy and stimulating. We use them to promote healthy
digestion and get things moving. Cinnamon is a deliciously aromatic spice that
does all this wonderfully! It can improve digestion, regulate blood sugar, and
is commonly used to treat various symptoms of both colds and the flu.
Oatstraw (Avena sativa) The salty taste often contains herbs that are deeply
nourishing as these herbs are high in vitamins and minerals. While some salty
herbs can taste like table salt (i.e., seaweed), most of these herbs have a
dense mineral taste, kind of like kale. Oatstraw is one of my favorite
nourishing herbs for the nervous system. Research has shown that chronic stress
leads to inflammation, which is believed to make you more susceptible to
illness, including the common cold.1 Regularly using herbs, like oatstraw, that
nourish the nervous system can be one way to address chronic stress in your
Sour Taste: Rose Hips (Rosa spp.)
Sour herbs are wonderful protectors. Often filled with antioxidants and
flavonoids, these herbs are trusted allies for countering systemic inflammation
and oxidative stress. Remember how chronic inflammation can lead you to getting
more colds? Regularly eating herbs high in antioxidants can play an important
role in modulating inflammation. Rose hips have been the focus of several
studies demonstrating their ability to modulate inflammation and decrease
pain.2 To date, several studies have shown that the daily consumption of rose
hips can reduce pain and improve general well-being in patients with
osteoarthritis in the hips and knees and also benefit patients with rheumatoid
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) The bitter taste is cooling and draining and
is often used to stimulate digestion. Dandelion roots are both bitter and
nourishing, something herbalist jim mcdonald calls a nutritive bitter.
Dandelion root has a special affinity for the liver, helping to nourish and
strengthen it. Considering the thousands of tasks your liver performs every
day, keeping it happy is a powerful way to stay healthy.
Sweet Taste: Astragalus (Astragalus
propinquus) Our sweet tasting herbs rarely taste like honey, but often have
just a hint of sweetness hiding within their complexity. Sweet herbs are often
adaptogens and immunomodulators. Astragalus is one of my favorite examples!
This rooty wonder broadly supports immune system function, helping you to be
stronger and more resilient. I used to get colds and the flu every year, but
once I started regularly using astragalus, my frequent illnesses have been a
thing of the past. Astragalus is also a wonderful herb for addressing long-standing
fatigue. You get the best results with astragalus when you use it regularly and
in food-like quantities.