4 Healing Powers of Spices

Spices are a great way to add flavor to your meals without adding calories or sodium. But did you know that many spices have been used traditionally for their multiple healing powers? Stock your pantry with these healing spices for head to toe wellness. Many spices can also be taken in supplement form for a convenient and potently healthy dose.

Anti-inflammatory Action

Turmeric, the sunny yellow spice that gives most curries their color, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice. Curcumin, the compound found in turmeric spice, is often comparable to some anti-inflammatory drugs that people take for the swelling and pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis. Research published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism has shown that when rats bred to develop rheumatoid arthritis were given injections of turmeric, their joint swelling almost completely disappeared. Turmeric has also been shown to help reduce walking time and morning stiffness in patients with arthritis.

Improve digestion

While herbs such as mint and camomile are often used to ease bloating and indigestion, some spices have also been shown to have the same effect. A study in the International Journal of Food Science Nutrition explains that cumin, turmeric, chili, and peppercorn increase pancreatic activity as well as bile volume. This helps improve the digestion of fats and carbohydrates found in most foods. These spices also decrease the time that food spend in the intestines, which offers some protection against gastrointestinal cancers. Adding a few of these spices to everyday dishes can help decrease uncomfortable digestion problems.

Ease dental pain

The essential oil extracted from the clove bud has been well known in dentistry. Often placed whole on the painful tooth, many Mediterranean cultures still use this natural spice to ease dental pain. A recent study in the Journal of Dentistry has shown that clove bud essential oil is as effective as the drug benzocaine for reducing dental pain.Store whole cloves or the essential oil somewhere dark and away from heat.

Reduce the risk of diabetes

Cinnamon might conjure up images of apple pie and warm cinnamon tarts, but this spice has also been associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes. A study in the journal Diabetes Care reported that 60 patients with type two diabetes given approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of cinnamon (1 gram) per day, showed reduced blood glucose by 20%. The same patients also showed lowered cholesterol and triglycerides. Cinnamon can be used as a natural sweetener in many savory and dessert dishes.

Copyright: Contain Health

 

References

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Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17 (S1). pp. 265-268. ISSN 0964-7058

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