Spice

Cinnamon

     The sweet and spicy flavor of cinnamon has been used by many different cultures for its medicinal properties for hundreds, even thousands, of years. One of the most talked about benefits of cinnamon relates to type 2 diabetes. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group.Cinnamon’s other benefits include

  • Supports digestive function
  • Constricts and tones tissues
  • Relieves congestion
  • Relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort
  • Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
  • Helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
  • It’s a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. colic and other bacteria

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is another spice that has a variety of healing properties and can be used in a wide range of dishes during the holidays and all year long.

It is useful for:

  • Insomnia (nutmeg can produce drowsiness so it should be taken when you have a chance to relax or sleep)
  • Anxiety
  • Calming muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain and gout
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Male infertility and impotence
  • Improving concentration
  • Increasing circulation
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Toothaches (nutmeg oil) Please note that taking too much nutmeg (one to three nuts or less) can cause  side effects such as nausea, hallucinations, swelling and shock.

Clove

Cloves have a potent, sweet and spicy, aromatic flavor that makes a great complement to many foods. They have been consumed in some areas, such as Asia, for more that 2,000 years. Among clove’s most well-known healing properties is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.

Clove’s other benefits include

  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties
  • Relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis
  • Relief from muscle pains from injuries or arthritis and rheumatism
  • Eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria
  • May encourage creativity and mental focus

Ginger

Ginger is another spice with a potent flavor that is great for warming your body and adding kick to foods.

It’s medicinal properties include:

  • Soothes nausea, motion sickness and other stomach upset
  • Relieves morning sickness
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Eliminates intestinal gas
  • Relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Relieves dizziness
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Protects against bacteria and fungi
  • Encourages bile flow
  • Promotes cardiovascular health

Peppermint

The therapeutic effects of fresh peppermint leaves have been known since ancient times and  it aromatic aroma has come to symbolize hospitality in many cultures.

It’s healing properties include:

  • Soothing to the digestive tract
  • Relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • May protect against cancer
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus
  • Relieves the symptoms of allergies and asthma

While there are many benefits to be had by adding spices to your diet, don’t forget that these foods should not be taken every day or you run the risk of developing an allergy to them. Spices should not be looked at as a “cure” for your health problems, only by addressing the underlying causes of illness with a healthy diet and lifestyle will you be able to achieve  optimum.