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Rare & Well Articles

Spice up your life with Herban Cura

Rare & Well
Apr 9, 2018

Spice up your life with Herban Cura


every boy and every girl...

NYC native and co-founder of Herban Cura, Antonia Perez has had a longstanding relationship with plants, despite growing up in an urban landscape. She calls northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood home but has spent much of her childhood in her family’s Pennsylvania abode where she got to forage for healing plants and experiment with the wonders of nature.

The dichotomy of the two environments has allowed Antonia to develop a keen eye for foraging plant life, be it in a upstate field or an NYC park. From her fieldwork, to research, to learning from elders, Antonia explored at-home remedies for ailments from an early age.  For an upset stomach she would boil some rice with a lot of water and cinnamon sticks – a trick she learned from her grandmother. “We’ve forgotten how much our grandparents know and now put so much faith in doctors,” Pérez says.


We just buy spice and herbs and take them for granted. People forget there was slavery and war over these spices, because of their aromas and aphrodisiac qualities.

As “pharma” begins to break under constant scrutiny, many people are leaning towards more natural forms of medicine derived from nature itself. Many of us already have a medicine cabinet in our kitchen. “Kitchen herbs are the most accessible way to get medicine into our systems. You can get spices for less than a dollar, sometimes cents,” Antonia says. The herbs and spices we get from everyday grocery stores are actually highly antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial.

Antonia in her home

The aromatics of herbs open up our appetites, but also aid in digestion. “What do most people suffer from after eating? An uneasy feeling of, ‘Oh I ate too much.’” By adding spices and herbs to your daily life, you’ll experience less post meal discomfort/regrets.

Some of Antonia’s spice and herb staples you can always find anywhere are:

  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric

Mix and match to try different things out. Rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage also have antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial qualities. Unfortunately, everyone can’t always have fresh herbs. But there isn’t much difference between dried and fresh, as Antonia notes. “Because an herb is dried does not mean it’s dead. Infusing it with water brings it back to life. Of course its energy is different, but depending on the company you can still get really good dried herbs. Powder will lose some of its potency because it’s been ground up. So most times it’s better to get smaller quantities so you’ll actually go through it.”

Chatting with Antonia and having these alluring herbs out on the table, my senses were howling. Instead of wasting the herbs shown, we threw the leftovers onto massaged kale with vinegar and oil, making for a perfectly seasoned salad. Herb mixtures like chai and curry powder are actually beautiful blends that have enormous healing qualities.

'Golden Mylk' Recipe via Antonia 

A concoction to satisfy your palate and heal yourself through nature.

  • 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened  (Or nut milk of choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • Dash of ghee (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

Boil all for about 10 minutes and enjoy warm at any time of the day.