Nine Spices for Health, Energy and Longevity
Spice is usually defined as an aromatic or pungent vegetable substance used to flavor food. Sometimes we forget that these substances like the cinnamon that spices up your chai latte, or the ginger you use to cleanse your palate between sushi rolls can have powerful medicinal properties and health benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of these spices and what contributions they can make to your overall wellness.
As far back as the Egyptians, garlic has been used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. The health benefits of garlic are truly exciting. Most studies done with the vegetable have sought to find a link between it and combating heart disease. It’s been shown numerous times in clinical studies to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), while not adversely affecting HDL cholesterol (the good kind). There is also evidence it reduces blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cloves are anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. They can be effectively used in a number of ways to treat things like toothaches, respiratory infections, and reducing inflammation. Although it may sting, cloves can be used to treat scrapes and bruises. The spice also can assist in healthy digestion. Cloves help relax the smooth lining of the GI tract so they help alleviate vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal gas and stomachaches.
Besides being extra delicious on buttered toast, cinnamon has tons of positive health benefits to offer. This spice has been used throughout the world for hundreds of years, particularly in India and Asia. Besides stimulating brain function, fighting bladder infections and detoxifying the system, cinnamon is also thought to help fight cholesterol.
4. Fennel Seeds
Fennel helps digestion in two ways. First, it stimulates the production of gastric juices. Second, it soothes the nervous system, regulating the actions of the muscles that line the intestine.
Cumin is thought to boost the immune system and also to improve liver function, reduce flatulence, and aid in digestion.
Found in curries, rice dishes, herbal teas, and breads, cardamom is the spice that gives chai tea its main flavor. In Asia, cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Considered an aphrodisiac in the Middle East, cardamom may also improve digestion, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis, and even help improve a bad mood.
A perfect compliment to vegetables, marinades, and sweets, ginger is also delicious in tea. Ginger may help relieve nausea, arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle soreness.
8. Star Anise
As the name suggests, star anise is indeed star-shaped. Though it is not actually related to anise, star anise shares a similar licorice flavor, due to its content of anethole. This spice frequently makes an appearance in Indian cuisine and is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. Star anise has been used in a tea to remedy rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.
Curry, a staple spice combo in Southeast Asian cuisine, contains turmeric, the yellow spice that gives curry its distinctive color. The active component in turmeric is called curcumin. If you are a fan of curry, you will be happy to know that this substance is associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-amyloid properties; amyloids are plaque-like proteins that build up in brain tissue, and are responsible for diseases like Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.
Health Concerns is proud to offer many formulas that take advantage of these natural remedies. From Channel Flow® formulated with cinnamon to treat aches and pains, to Astra 18 Diet™ with ginger to manage weight. Take a moment to stop by healthconcerns.com to see all the natural remedies we have to offer!