Informative Posts, Spices and Condiments

5 Medicinal Must Have Spices

Spice up your life with these flavorful delicious must have spices and improve your health as well.   Herbs and spices do more than just add wonderful flavors to our foods.  They have many healing properties as well.   In many cases, certain ailments can be prevented by just making use of certain herbs and spices.   In this day and age, when something ails us, we go to the doctor for help.  Many times prescriptions are written and many times the drugs that are prescribed produce worse side effects than the original ailment we’re trying to heal.    Thousands of years before pharmaceutical drugs, ancient doctors used herbs, and spices and essential oils to heal their patients.   Here are just five of the most potent must have spices.   Use these must have spices more often in flavoring your foods to reap their flavorful as well as medicinal benefits.

1.  Cardamom

Cardamom is famous for its ability to improve digestion, help with stomach cramps and provide relief to those suffering from flatulence. Cardamom is an Indian seed that is known to give Turkish coffee its distinctive flavor.  When crushed with a mortar and pestle or ground up in a grinder, it can be added to coffee, ginger tea with raw honey, or to a rice dish to release its ability to aid with digestive issues.

2.  Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a staple spice in just about every kitchen.  I love it sprinkled on my oatmeal.  As I’ve posted in a previous post, make sure you use Ceylon cinnamon to avoid the liver-damaging effects of the coumarin found in Cassia cinnamon. Compounds in cinnamon, such as eugenol and cinnamaldehyde have pain relieving and sedative properties.  Add cinnamon to healthy recipes that do not have inflammatory sugars and hydrogenated oils.  Cinnamon is very healthy and healing, but eating it with refined sugars and hydrogenated oils, defeats its purpose. Many have used cinnamon for diabetes for a long time.  Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity, thereby helping the body to regulate blood glucose. Cinnamon is a natural cancer fighter and studies have shown it to kill cancer cells. Check out this resource for more on the benefits of cinnamon.

3.  Cloves

Cloves (Syzygium Aromaticum) are the best natural antioxidant.  Cloves contain high levels of phenolic compounds, which contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties. Since cloves are so high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties, it is a great ingredient to add into home remedies for arthritis, congestion, indigestion, toothache, and even Athlete’s foot.  Brew clove tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of cloves in boiling water for several minutes.  Add honey, milk, or lemon juice to taste.

4.  Turmeric

Known for its ability to positively influence over 586 diseases according to peer-reviewed research from leading universities, turmeric is possibly the king of spices.   In various studies and continuously conducted research, turmeric has been shown to be a powerful fighter of cancer,  possessing both preventing and healing properties.   One study shows that curcumin, a powerful active compound in trumeric, is a naturally powerful anti-cancer compound that has been shown to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81 percent in more than 9 studies.   Researchers at UCLA have even found that curcumin is able to block cancer growth.   Turmeric has also been shown to:

  • Positively effect diabetes
  • Prevent breast cancer
  • Promote healthy fat loss
  • Act as a natural anti inflammatory painkiller
  • Detox the liver


5.  Ginger

Ginger is a close cousin of turmeric.  Ginger’s popularity dates back thousands of years to Asia and India. For centuries, ginger has been used as an effective cure when it comes to common cough and cold.  Even when the symptoms become severe, using this as tea will alleviate sore throat, itchiness, coughing and even blocked nasal passages.  But on an even more serious note, its many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a possible treatment for cancer. Ginger also calms upset stomachs and nausea, so drink ginger tea with honey and milk (try coconut milk for a vegan option) to help with morning sickness, motion sickness, and hangovers.  The health benefits of ginger are truly abundant, and should not be overlooked.

Well, there you have it.  These five must have spices certainly pack a powerful punch not only in flavoring our food, but also in having positive effects on our health.

So spice up your health as well as your food with them.

Bon Appetit!

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