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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Healing Spices Every Kitchen Should Stock

James Colquhoun at Food Matters writes, "that food is medicine, but this goes much further than just your main ingredients. What spices you choose to add to your dish can make a world of difference as spices have many powerful healing benefits. 

With herbs and spices being the key to healing for thousands of years, which healing spices are best kept close at hand in your kitchen? Here is a list of the top ten healing spices you should have well-stocked at home!

1. Turmeric

Why it’s good for you; Turmeric can help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. One study in healthy middle-aged volunteers showed that taking 80mg of curcumin, a component of turmeric, a day for four weeks reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.
How to eat it; Turmeric highlights teas, juices and smoothies, it is great in a healing nut milk latte, as a dip that you can put on practically anything, and how about in scrambled eggs!

2. Cumin
Why it’s good for you; Cumin is a delicious spice that can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism. It also aids in relieving congestion and indigestion.
How to take it; You can purchase cumin as a powder, but it's nice to buy cumin seeds whole and grind them in a mortar and pestle. There’s something wonderful about smelling freshly ground cumin and knowing how much good it will do for your body when you consume it. Cumin is a staple in most curries and Indian dishes, but is also great in scrambled eggs and healing teas.

3. Cayenne
Why it’s good for you; Cayenne is yet another powerful spice that has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Made from the cayenne pepper, the key ingredient in this spice, capsaicin, boasts many health benefits. Capsaicin is known to help boost the metabolism, lower blood pressure by relaxing the vessels, and even helps with osteoarthritis.
How to eat it; Though you can purchase capsaicin creams, it’s much easier to add a sprinkle of cayenne to your food to receive the benefits, and because this is such a powerful spice, it doesn’t take much! Just give this Metabolism-Igniting Pumpkin Juice a try - it only takes ¼ tsp of cayenne to make a world of difference.

4. Paprika
Why it’s good for you; Paprika is a pepper-based spice full of antioxidants that helps fight a range of diseases due largely to its ability to fight oxidative stress.
Paprika helps reduce inflammation and may be able to prevent and fight autoimmune conditions and some cancers.
How to eat it; Paprika is most popularly known as a key ingredient in Hungary’s signature dish, the goulash. It's also nice to eat paprika in healthy snacks, and this recipe for Smoked Paprika Rosemary Almonds is not only delicious but makes for a great gift!

5. Garlic
Why it’s good for you; Garlic is an antioxidant, antibiotic, and an aphrodisiac… despite the garlic breath, it can create! Garlic boosts the immune system, helps destroy free radicals and helps prevent heart disease by reducing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
How to eat it; For the greatest health benefits, after you chop or crush it, leave your garlic to sit for 5 minutes before cooking or eating to allow the health-promoting allicin to form. Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways including pan-fried in a stir fry, included in your mash potato (or low carb vegetable swap), or roasted and eaten whole.

6. Black Pepper
Why it’s good for you; Not just a great addition to any meal, black pepper has great antidepressant properties as well as being an antioxidant with antimicrobial potential and gastro-protective modules. Additionally, black pepper activates free-radical scavenging and is also thought to be helpful in chemoprevention and controlling the progression of tumour growth. As if that wasn’t enough for this humble table seasoning, black pepper is also attributed to improving cognitive brain function, boosting nutrient absorption, and improving gastrointestinal functionality.
How to eat it; Black pepper is complementary to most savoury dishes, with most recipes suggesting a pinch of this healing spice to finish a dish. It can be incorporated into dips, dressings, salads, snacks, and dinners, preferring freshly ground black peppercorns.

7. Ginger
Why it’s good for you; In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is known as a ‘natural medicine chest’ because of its time-tested digestion-friendly properties, as well as its ability to improve the absorption of essential nutrients in the body, clearing sinuses and congestion, relieving nausea, and assisting with joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 
How to eat it; Ginger has a multitude of ways to be enjoyed, from tea to juice to baked goods, even pickled meal accompaniments, sweet treats, and in a stir fry, there’s plenty of options to get the health benefits from ginger. Some may like to drink ginger with water or in a juice perhaps a great way to start each day! 

8. Cinnamon
Why it’s good for you; Sweet, delicious cinnamon is a spice you can enjoy guilt-free as it is a powerful antioxidant and can have a positive effect on your blood sugar levels, digestion, and immune system, as well as reducing blood cholesterol. When taken in strong doses, cinnamon has been known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
How to eat it; Cinnamon can be enjoyed with sweet and savoury dishes as well as in hot and cold beverages.

9. Cloves
Why it’s good for you; Cloves are great for curing cold-natured problems that affect the central nervous system as well as aiding digestion through increasing heat in the stomach and liver. Consuming cloves can aid in functions of the throat and speech, and strangely enough, cloves can help reduce hiccups!
How to eat it; For the hiccup cure, warm up a few cloves in a spoonful of butter or ghee and drink it. For other ailments, or to enjoy the strong flavour notes, try adding cloves to smoothies and hot chocolates.

10. Nutmeg
Why it’s good for you; Nutmeg has been used for centuries to alleviate pain, gastrointestinal disorders, heal skin wounds and infections, and it has a great calming effect. It’s also been reported as an aphrodisiac. Caution must be taken when consuming nutmeg, as too much can lead to unpleasant hallucinogenic effects.
How to eat it; You only need a little ground nutmeg as this spice is very flavoursome and its benefits can be found in just a sprinkle. Nutmeg is often used in festive baking and egg-nog drinks, but nutmeg can be used to spice up a number of food and beverages with a sprinkling on your fruits and vegetables." 
The above article can be seen in full, with all relevant links here 

Do you have any go-to spices for health remedies? 

Dear reader, we bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Every one of these spices are in my kitchen. I use them all, except all colors of pepper. Pepper and I don't get along well together. Loved the informative information verifying why I use these spices in my meals. They make food taste better, too!

Sandi said...

I love all of these!

Tom said...

...I think that we have most of them, maybe!

Catarina said...

I should use more turmeric and garlic.

Thanks for reminding me of these benefits.

Herbs and spices!.... here I come!

Dewena said...

I love and use all of these! Good to know I'm doing something right! I try to put tumeric in anything I possibly can.

Ygraine said...

I actually have all of these in my kitchen at the moment, except cumin!
I have to admit, though, I had no idea of all these super health my sincerest thanks for enlightening me...I will add these to many more of my meals.😊😊

Hugs ❤❤❤

Valerie-Jael said...

I love all of these spices and use them regularly. Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

I knew the benefits of some of these spices, but not all of them. Thanks!

Jeff said...

Whisky, honey and mint for a cough/sore throat?

Lost this list... I had a nice harvest last year of turmeric and have more growing this year. I wonder about growing cumin?

Phil Slade said...

All but ginger are in our kitchen. I recommend roasting half a garlic in foil with olive oil and using it as a
side dish. Too bad about the breath but it's gone after a day.

Chatty Crone said...

My stomach has some trouble with spices. I want to take them.

This N That said...

I don't consider myself a spice girl because I pretty much don't cook..I'm sure I would benefit from some of them..Thanks for sharing..

Lisabella Russo said...

Thank you for this list of spices! They sound nutritious and delicious!

Elephant's Child said...

We have, and use them all. Regularly.

Rose said...

You do have some of the most interesting articles...the only ones we really use regularly are black pepper and garlic. And the garlic not all that often but the black pepper every day. I cannot eat eggs without black pepper! LOL

Debbie said...

i only knew some of this...i found it all to be very interesting!! i do use most of these wonderful herbs!!

happyone said...

I love the picture of the wooden spoons!!!
We use all of these.

William Kendall said...

Very informative!

Evi Erlinda said...

I use almost those spices in my cooking.

Pam said...

Wow....I am doing great. I have all those in my kitchen in powder form. Now to see if they really work.

Lorrie said...

I have all of these in my kitchen and use most of them. The one I'm most unfamiliar with is tumeric - I've just used it in pickling, nothing else.

peppylady (Dora) said...

All these season I like.
Coffee is on

Iris Flavia said...

My empty bag of cinnamon sits on the stove - and I´m soon off to the city.

Jo said...

So interesting, I should definitely use more spices in my cooking.

Sami said...

I had no idea of all the benefits of these spices. Except for ginger which I'm not a fan of except in ginger biscuits and occasional ginger and lemon tea and pepper that makes me cough, all use all the others.

My name is Erika. said...

Interesting article. I knew bits of this but certainly not as much as you mentioned. And I knew spices and herbs were often good for you in the right amount, but not all the reasons why. Thanks for sharing!

kathyinozarks said...

great selection-

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I've got the pepper

Should add Cajun spice to the list

carol l mckenna said...

Great list! and their benefits ~

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

RO said...

I love my spices, and have these and even more in the cabinet. I always like to try to experiment when I can to make food more tasty, and your recipes help too! Hugs, RO

Jeanie said...

I had a perfect score here -- all of these are in my pantry and used often!

lian said...

que post maravilhoso !!
eu amo tudo isso !!
adoro estes perfumes , e na hora do cozimento espalha-se pela casa toda esta alegria mágica.
seu blog sempre maravilhoso !!
grande abraço.

R's Rue said...


Carla from The River said...

I enjoyed this post, thank you. Ginger is a favorite of ours.

Snowbird said...

Fabulous post!xxx