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Do herbs that taste good to me have more benefit to me?

 
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I'm laboring under the very optimistic hopes that if I like the taste of an herb, that might mean it's good for me (specifically me, maybe not you).  Might I be on the right track with my little hopes and dreams?

For instance, I love oregano and I hate coriander.

Counterpoint is that I love brownies and I'm pretty sure they aren't good for me...
 
pollinator
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um, no.

herbs I know which really saved very close friends of mine:
-teasel root (lymes disease);
-bitter melon from India /not Japanese version (type of colon cancer).

I can hereby certify that neither of these taste like brownies (and kids I know would spit them out and say "Kak-ca").

There are people, so I'm told, who can sit with plants, get to know them, how to prepare them, and what diseases they can heal.  Sounds crazy? Yep. but there are plants in both South America and in Indonesia which are poisonous but natives process them through 3 to 7 processes to make them edible.  Until the final process the plant remains poisonous.....now does this sound so crazy?

So you're not wrong, you might just be asking the wrong sense organ.

Last and final note on this subject from me:  Tom Brown Jr. points out that in North America (excluding Mexico), there are only a handful of poisonous plants which will kill you dead with one bite/taste. If you learn these handful of North American plants which will kill you with one bite, then you can literally eat all other North American plants (excluding Mexico).  Those North American plants which are less poisonous will burn your tongue, your throat, and make you throw up/run at the other end.  -but this methodology will not work in the rest of the world and it isn't really based on taste either.
 
Mike Haasl
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Darn.  Oh well, I'm glad I still like oregano and it's not bad for me
 
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As for hating cilantro, how cilantro tastes to you seems to be genetically determined. I love it, but according to this article 1 in 5 people perceive the taste as soap.

https://www.nature.com/news/soapy-taste-of-coriander-linked-to-genetic-variants-1.11398

I think flavors can grow on you easier if they are beneficial. Like if you try something gross, but you feel better afterwords. The bad taste could be associated with feeling better and over time become a good taste that you crave when you need it.

This sentiment is the basis of a popular commercial anyone who has been to Japan has probably seen. It for "green drink" (青汁), a health drink made of mostly kale and barley grass. The slogan, mazui mou ippai (まずいもう一杯), means, "Gross! Gimme another."

This is the commercial through the years:

 
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Nooooo, no no no no no. I wish.

As for as I can tell, human tastes are too crude to tell that kind of thing, and are keyed to identifying calorically significant food sources. That's why we like fats, starches and carbs, and sugar.

We will crave salt when we need salt, because for the longest time, it was one thing that we needed to seek out from our food, or else die, seeing as how we essentially evolved to run down game at the height of heat of the day on the savannah. That requires water and all the minerals that we'd sweat out during such endeavours. I have even craved protein-rich sources when I was working out, or just working and protein-starved.

Other than that, I'm sorry to say that while we might be able to learn what specific tastes mean biochemically, so as to assess medicinal value, in terms of what our tastes are looking for, it's still how much energy the food can produce, because before we learned to cook, and to harvest so much of our food from animals, we had to spend most of our time eating just to get the calories we needed, just like anything else relying upon nutrient-dense but calorically deficient food.

-CK
 
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This sentiment is the basis of a popular commercial anyone who has been to Japan has probably seen. It for "green drink" (青汁), a health drink made of mostly kale and barley grass. The slogan, mazui mou ippai (まずいもう一杯), means, "Gross! Gimme another."

Ohhh my gosh this is great! =D
 
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Well YES. But it is as if we had 2 senses of taste.

the normal taste will tell us that something is not what we are used to (cultural differences and habits since young, as for fermentation) or that is can be dangerous (rotten...)

the other kind of sense of taste will work only with natural foods as a stand alone, so this is why you can put cookies out of its scope!
I'd better give examples.
- I have noticed since long that I like sulfur tastes, so garlic, onion, cauliflower, radish and even nasturtiums.
It just happens that I will eat some of it, just to think "Oh gosh, why do I want to eat this, I don't like it, t is too strong!"
There was a time I forgot about eating those, but I became fond of "coffee + coconut oil + egg" just to find out one day that all free are rich in sulfur!

- Who likes bitters? We don't but we do! It really does not taste good but I like the cleaning effect on the mouth and I just like to imagine taking bitter more than I can imagine eating a piece of pie!

So I found out that a taste I crave is a taste I spontaneously IMAGINE to take.

But we have never practised the use of our senses at this "second level", so even if I have experienced enough to notice how it works, I am a baby compared to what I can imagine native people could do... They had life long experiences at the same level of our university levels!

For me, I have noticed that this second level of senses use comes on line when I live a challenging situation. I am sure it comes from the vagus nerve and the use of all the autonomic nervous system, which is a form of intelligence and not just instincts and reflexes. When you realize that people could make edible some non edible raw stuffs, or make a poison that kill animals but not the eater, and made to make monkeys not hold to high branches but fall on the ground... Well I don't believe in extraterrestral informations but I believe in the possibility to develop our senses at a very superior level.
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:Darn.  Oh well, I'm glad I still like oregano and it's not bad for me



Mike, not only is oregano not bad for you, it has amazing beneficial properties, of its own! It's a great immune booster; it's antibacterial, so fights infection; antiviral, so fights cools and flus; is thought to fight cancer; is high in antioxidants; it's anti-inflammatory; it's good for your heart; it's good for digestion. So, I think yes, sometimes we're drawn to herbs or bodies find great benefit from. Obviously, not everything we are drawn to is beneficial, but even those brownies, made with healthful ingredients, actually **can** be good for you, too! I even have brownie recipes, many from health blogs, that are very good for you.
 
Carla Burke
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Let me pursue this a bit further. When we think of a typical 'brownie', we think of S.A.D. brownies. But, cacao is good for us, with serious health benefits, so are eggs, salt, & vanilla. So, what makes them less than a healthy choice? For me, that would be sugar and wheat flour. So, if I make them with almond flour and honey, maple syrup, or another healthy option - you might be surprised at how many there are - suddenly, brownies aren't so bad, after all, and might even have a boatload of health benefits. Someone else might have issues with tree nuts, so if wheat isn't a good choice for them, and neither is a nut flour, maybe a better option for that person would be chickpeas or chickpea flour.

So, yes - this, along with a ton of other herbal information I've collected in the back of my brain, over the years, tells me that our personal physiological constitution  actually **can** help guide us, in finding the foods that work best, for our own bodies. I do firmly believe that our bodies will tell us what we need, if we learn to pay attention, and educate ourselves to our body's language. Some things, I'm sure you've already thought about - without thinking about it, lol. When you're cold, you put on warmer clothes, and white possibly go make yourself something warming, to drink. Tea or hot cocoa are a natural choice, right? Why? Not just because they're hot, but they're also energizing. They don't only warm you through their temperature, but also at a deeper level, through the caffeine and antioxidants they both contain. Ginger tea doesn't have the caffeine, but it also warms you at a deeper level than just the temperature, too. This is incredibly basic, barley even glossing over all the reasons why our bodies crave things, or reject them, and why we are wise to get in tune with those cravings. But, yeh, Mike - maybe there is some reason for a deep love of a specific herb, spice, or food. Mine? I'm very cinnamon oriented! It's warming, and has its list of health benefits, too. So, as long as I don't combine it with wheat &/or sugar, it's good for me. I'm good with that!


P.s. S.A.D. - standard American diet
 
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I remember reading a book about an area in Africa. There was a plant whose berries tasted too horrible to eat unless you had a gastro bug, then they'd taste edible. Both indigenous humans in the area, and at least the indigenous primates would seek out the plant if they were ill (I recall intestinal parasites were included in "ill"). The visitors tried tasting the berry and all but one spat it out - the one who didn't had been fighting a gut bug.

I feel the same way about Oil of Oregano. If I'm perfectly well, it tastes *really* gross, but if I feel I'm fighting something, it doesn't taste nearly so bad. I normally only take it if I think I really need it, but if I know I've been exposed to someone sick, or if I have to travel by airplane, I will choke it down prophylactically.

So maybe it's not if something tastes "good", but just that something tastes "less bad"?  (Personally, cilantro tastes like soap. I'm OK with the seeds crushed in things though, so maybe I'm an edge case!)
 
Carla Burke
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Jay Angler wrote:I remember reading a book about an area in Africa. There was a plant whose berries tasted too horrible to eat unless you had a gastro bug, then they'd taste edible. Both indigenous humans in the area, and at least the indigenous primates would seek out the plant if they were ill (I recall intestinal parasites were included in "ill"). The visitors tried tasting the berry and all but one spat it out - the one who didn't had been fighting a gut bug.

I feel the same way about Oil of Oregano. If I'm perfectly well, it tastes *really* gross, but if I feel I'm fighting something, it doesn't taste nearly so bad. I normally only take it if I think I really need it, but if I know I've been exposed to someone sick, or if I have to travel by airplane, I will choke it down prophylactically.

So maybe it's not if something tastes "good", but just that something tastes "less bad"?  (Personally, cilantro tastes like soap. I'm OK with the seeds crushed in things though, so maybe I'm an edge case!)



I make a tincture with oregano (I prefer Greek, for health benefit), rosemary, sage, and thyme. It's super strong, and if I used it to season a marinara, a single teaspoon would be good, for a quart or more. Needless to say, it's a bit overwhelming to the senses, straight up, lol. But, if I'm sick? That's what I want to add to a hot toddy, and typically feel better, by the next morning.
 
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I think Xisca is onto something.  I used to eat cookies, donuts, candy, McDonald's, etc  as long as it was cheap/free.  
I started to notice the effect upon my body. These foods make me feel terrible.
I think with healthy herbs, there is a delayed but positive impact.  Over time, the positive becomes a habit.

I have read more recent info on cilantro. It is known as one of the most potent detox herbs.  These people were saying that the reason you think it tastes gross is mostly because you are tasting the toxins as they leave your body.

I have found two ways to turn bad tasting healthful herbs into better tasting ones: Hummus and fermentation.
I either grind something up and put it in hummus, like amla powder, horsetail, raw garlic, or matcha,
or I ferment it, like amla slices, moringa, bitter gourd, dandelion flowers, or for me, beets. With hummus, they taste like hummus. Or I ferment them.  Then they taste like pickles.
An exception for me is elderberry jam.  I take it when I have a virus, but now I don't like the flavor.

John S
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