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By now it’s no surprise that spices have more uses than just adding flavor to your food.
We’re going to look at five of the most popular spices with proven medicinal properties.
NO 1- Clove
Cloves originally come from eastern Indonesia, and they were probably the first all natural breath fresheners.
In China, during the Han Dynasty, everyone on the court had to chew cloves before coming to the emperor.
Clove, this popular winter spice, is obtained by drying the buds that are harvested just before the flowering of the tree from family Myrtaceae.
Its name comes from the Latin word clavus, meaning nail.
Although it is said to have originated from Indonesia, clove is also cultivated in Zanzibar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and India.
Its incredible healing substances (eugenol, carriofilen, tannin, etc.) have strong anti-microbial properties and kill tiny parasites, their eggs, and larvae.
A lot of doctors and healthcare professionals all over the world are aware of the exceptional health properties of cloves.
It has been used as a traditional remedy for digestive problems and the destruction of parasites and fungal infections.
Among more than a thousand of ingredients that were studied at the University of Oslo, clove contains the most antioxidants per gram, which means that less than 1 gram ( about half a teaspoon ) of clove contains roughly the same antioxidants as 1/2 cup of berries.
It can be used for calming flatulence.
A fruit salad with a pinch of cloves will not only have excellent taste, but it will subside your digestive problems.
Today clove oil is used in medicine, especially in dentistry, because it acts as an analgesic and as an anesthetic.
It is also used to treat depression and to boost sexual power, to treat rheumatism and bronchitis.
2 Clove Remedies
For upset stomach
- 1-2 MINCED CLOVES
- 2DL OF WATER
Cloves pour with boiling water, cover the cup and strain after one hour.
USE: Drink in small sips 2 -3 cups of tea before and after meals.
- 20 grams of cloves
- 1dl of 70 percent spirits
Preparation: Coarsely chopped cloves pour over with alcohol, close and leave for two weeks and then strain it.
USE: With 2-4 drops of tincture in a glass of water rinse your mouth and throat.
Other medicinal uses of Cloves
The medicinal properties of cloves can be used in different ways in our kitchen using it as a spice – enriching our food.
However, it must be used in prescribed doses to avoid any adverse effects.
- It destroys internal parasites.
- It is a local antiseptic and mild anesthetic.
- Successful in fighting with fungal infections, including Candida.
- Clove oil is effective against streptococcus, staphylococcus, and pneumococcus.
- Clove oil is used to massage the gums to relieve a toothache.
- Cloves contain eugenol, the most potent antimicrobial substance.
- It kills all kinds of microscopic protozoa (invisible to the eye, the tiniest forms in the animal world that live in all waters, moist soil and on animals and men)
- one of the most essential properties of cloves is that it kills the parasite eggs, which is very important in preventing the propagation of parasites
NO 2- Turmeric ( Curcumin)
India has one of the lowest rate of colon cancer in the world, and turmeric is one of those ”culprits” for this good news.
Numerous studies have revealed that Turmeric is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antitumor activity.
Turmeric has been used in traditional Indian, Thai, and Chinese medicine for a variety of health problems.
What can Turmeric do for you?
It prevents the growth of metastases in many cancers.
It is a natural painkiller, regulates metabolism and helps in weight loss.
For long Turmeric has been used in China as a treatment for depression.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural remedy for arthritis and rheumatism.
Turmeric speeds up the healing of wounds and quickly restores the injured skin .
It helps in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases.
You can buy turmeric in almost all the healthy diet shops, local Asian grocery stores, and online in powder or capsules.
It can be used as a natural dye for food or purely for medical purpose.
TIP: In the morning on an empty stomach, stir one teaspoon of turmeric in 1dl of water. Drink it up and after that eat one tablespoon of honey.
Turmeric is one of the most frequently used spices in Eastern cuisine and is also used to treat diabetes, diseases of the blood and blood vessels, skin diseases and respiratory diseases.
When it comes to cooking…
As a spice, turmeric is used for preparing Pilav (Pula), to which provides a beautiful, golden, yellow color and subtle aroma and taste, while at the same time neutralizes slimy and sweet properties of rice.
It’s a mandatory ingredient in the preparation of all kinds of beans (dal), it prevents gasses and bloating.
Turmeric is the main ingredient in curry spice, the color of curry mainly comes from turmeric.
Vegetables cooked with turmeric will have increased nutritional value because its medicinal properties will soak into the food and significantly contribute to digestion, absorption, and adoption of the meal.
Traditional medicine and modern science are full of praises for turmeric.
The medicinal value of turmeric is that it possesses a spicy and bitter taste which kills germs and parasites, destroys the mucus deposits, fat, sticky toxins, stimulates blood circulation and the whole process of digestion.
The bitter taste is the best remedy against poisoning, skin and blood diseases, all kinds of inflammation and fever.
Also removes adhesive residues and toxins, ulcers, fat, sweat, itching, it cleans breast milk and uterus.
Medicinal uses of turmeric in different countries
In traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is used for centuries, primarily for the meridians ( energy channels ) of the spleen, liver, and stomach.
Chinese use it for cleansing and strengthening the blood, reducing high blood pressure, for the removal of stagnant CHI( chi-vital energy ) and pain which is the result of stagnant chi.
They consider it an excellent herb for women as it stimulates the uterus and removes menstrual delays caused by a lack of energy.
Unani is the name for the traditional Persian medicine.
Unani was used as a bridge between East and West – between Ajur-Verda and the ancient Greek medicine.
In this system, turmeric is the premier resource for all blood disorders because it cleans, stimulates and produces blood.
Unani medicine classifies plants into four levels, according to their strength.
Kahuna in the Hawaiian language means ”connoisseur of the leaves” ( an expert in herbal medicine ).
These healers use turmeric juice to eliminate pain in the ears or nose (against sinusitis).
In Hawaii turmeric is called Olena and it is also used for the treatment of pulmonary disease and bronchitis.
Like in India, turmeric powder is used to make pasta, which is used to heal skin disease.
In Brazilian traditional medicine, turmeric is used to stop bleeding and as a potent anti-venom for poisonous snake bites.
How to use Turmeric
As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Regular use of medicinal herbs in the daily diet is excellent for preventive purposes.
Turmeric every day can be used as a flavoring for food.
We’re not saying that you use turmeric as a cure for everything.
But it’s a great alternative to be used alongside other professional treatments for more severe conditions.
Some Quick Turmeric Remedies
A sore throat- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric (5 grams) and a teaspoon of salt in half cup of warm water. Gargle this solution several times a day for improvement in a sore throat.
Sore palate- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric and one teaspoon of honey. Stir this mixture until it looks like a thick and sticky paste. Lick this paste until it wears out. This is an excellent tool for inflammation in the oral cavity.
Diarrhea – mix half a teaspoon of turmeric and half a teaspoon of ground Indian cumin with a cup of fresh sour milk.
Minor skin conditions – in a cup of warm cow or goat milk, add half a teaspoon of turmeric and half a teaspoon of unrefined sugar cane. Stir this well and let it cool.
Drink lukewarm, solely on an empty stomach – at night before going to bed and in the morning on an empty stomach. For dry eczema mix turmeric and ghee, and smear this cream twice a day on the infected spot.
For moist eczema use honey instead of ghee.
Minor injuries and wounds– Combine two teaspoons of turmeric, two teaspoons of ghee and a hot cup of cow’s or goat’s milk. Drink this, it stops internal and external bleeding and wound areas heal faster.
For cuts – if you cut your finger, add turmeric into a cup of coffee and then plunge the cut part in it and press firmly against the wall of the cup.
If cut or wound is elsewhere, pour turmeric powder directly on the wound and cover with a light gauze.
In most cases, the wound will heal even without scarring.
N0 3- Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices; it was used for embalming in Egypt 2500 years ago.
Most spices are seeds of various plants, but cinnamon is different – cinnamon in the inner layer of the bark of the tree, which is dried and rolled.
Traditionally, cinnamon is considered an excellent cough remedy; it is used to reduce the mucus in the lungs, and also useful for a runny nose.
It is helpful in weight loss because it reduces fluctuations in cortisol, which in return affects the level of blood sugar, energy levels, inflammation, and the immune system functions.
Too much cortisol causes weight gain, especially in the area around the stomach.
One research study conducted on obese diabetic patients found that cinnamon extract reduced inflammation, lowered oxidative stress and decreased the amount of fat.
Cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels and helps insulin to work more efficiently.
Lowering sugar levels in combination with increased levels of insulin not only helps to reduce body weight but it also helps in controlling diabetes.
Cinnamon diet for weight loss
If you’re interested in using Cinnamon for weight loss, mix half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water and give it a good stir.
Drink it before breakfast and before going to bed.
Consult with your physician before trying this out to make sure you don’t have any health issues that may interfere with it.
Did you know?
In ancient Egypt, Cinnamon was used as a medicine, for flavoring drinks and embalming, and was more expensive than gold.
In the medieval, cinnamon and ginger were the essential ingredients in cooking.
Today, the larger exporter of Ceylon cinnamon is Mexico, where it is used in beverages such as coffee, hot chocolate or tea.
The fine sweet fragrance of cinnamon is obtained from a small evergreen tree – like laurel.
Spice is its bark, peeled from thin branches. The outer bark is peeled off and thrown away.
Cinnamon is available in its purest bark form and powder form.
Research reveals that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces the amount of blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Some Quick Cinnamon Remedies
1- For stronger hair roots
In warm olive oil mix one tablespoon of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon.
Rub this mixture into your scalp and wait for 15 minutes before washing.
2- Increased metabolism
The use of honey strengthens the white blood cells to fight against any disease, and cinnamon in combination with honey improves digestion.
Eat a tablespoon of honey mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon.
3- Immune boost
Make a mixture of one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon and consume it on a regular basis.
With regular use, you will strengthen immunity, and you will be able to protect the body against viruses and bacteria.
4-To fight colds and flu
Regular use of honey and cinnamon reduces the possibility of colds and bladder infections.
In one large teaspoon of warm honey mix a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon.
Consume that three times a day for three days to treat cold and flu.
NO 4- Anise
In ancient Rome, at the end of holidays, cakes made with anise were served to soothe digestion and freshen breath.
In 1930, Margaret Grieve author of ”A Modern Herbal” said: ” stimulant and carminative properties of anise make it useful in flatulence and colic ”.
It soothes digestive problems, reduces nausea, gas and bloating .
Anise can also be used to help fight coughs and colds.
You can use it in vegetable soups and tea.
Anise is recommended for menopausal women because it contains phytoestrogens.
It’s one of the best remedies for sexual disorders in women. Anise helps people who have psoriasis.
It is a beneficial herb for cellulite removal.
Two ways to use Anise
2 liters of water boil for 5 minutes, then cool. When it’s cold, add 5 grams of milled ginger, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, one pinch of hot pepper and one pinch of anise.
This Tibetan tea drink in small sips throughout the day, or even better 1 cup before each meal.
2 liters of tea is enough for three people.
Massage oil for cellulite
- 200ml almond oil
- 40ml essential oil of anise
- 20 drops oil of sage
- 10 drops oil of lemon
Mix all ingredients, mix it well and store it in a clean dark place at room temperature. Massage the critical areas every night after showering.
More Interesting Facts on Anise
Anise seeds strengthen the stomach and improve digestion, and is recommended for cleaning the accumulated mucus from the lungs, stomach, bladder, and kidney.
It is used as a flavoring for cookies, cakes, and bread.
Anise is used extensively in Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Russia.
Anise was known in ancient Egypt 3500 years ago due to its pleasant smell and taste.
In ancient times it was used in Greece for flavoring wine, and then the Romans brought it to Tuscany, from where it continues to spread across Europe.
Anise is now mainly used as a flavoring for cookies, cakes, and bread.
In some places, it is used to season sauces, stews, and salads.
Medicinal parts of the plant are the fruit and ripe seeds, which contain essential and fatty oil, proteins and carbohydrates.
It possesses vitamins A and C, folic acid, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.
Anise seeds have to be collected exclusively when the weather is dry, in August and September.
Harvested seeds should be arranged in a warm, airy place.
This tea is especially recommended to improve the functioning of the respiratory tract and digestive organs.
Cover one teaspoon of anise seeds in half a pint of boiling water.
You leave it like that for 15 minutes, then drain.
Drink the tea three times a day, although the most effective is if you take it between meals and before bedtime.
Drink hot tea and in sips, sweeten with honey if you use it for respiratory problems, and without honey for digestive issues.
NO 5- Ginger
Ginger has been used as an effective traditional medicine for treating coughs and colds since ancient time .
Ginger tea helps soothe a sore throat, itching, coughing and even unblock a stuffy nose.
Ginger is a multitasker.
It is used for nausea and digestive problems, but it is also useful against a mild cough and colds .
Research says that ginger helps fight against ovarian cancer.
Ginger improves memory, acts as a mild aphrodisiac, reduces nausea in pregnancy without adverse effects.
It is an antiseptic and destroys microorganisms.
It is used against fatigue and exhaustion because it raises the energy in the body.
Ginger contains substances that speed up metabolism; it is a powerful antioxidant that improves liver function and is excellent for detoxification of the body.
A refreshing ginger soup recipe
- 100 grams of spaghetti
- One onion
- Three cloves of garlic
- Four small pieces of algae wakame
- a little chili powder ( optional )
- a little of white pepper
- One handful of parsley
- 1 handful of celery leaf
- Four teaspoons of soy sauce
- a piece of ginger root
Chop celery, carrot, and parsnip coarsely.
Cut onion into quarters.
Mash 3 cloves of garlic with shells and put them in a pressure cooker, along with prepared vegetables.
Pour 4 cups of water.
Add seaweed and soy sauce.
If you like spicy, add a pinch of chili powder.
Close the pot, and cook for 5 minutes, from the time when the pot reaches pressure.
Drain the steam from the pot and open it, then return it back on the fire to boil.
Crush spaghetti, and insert them in the soup.
Cook for about 10 minutes.
Peel and plane ginger and squeeze it with your fingers to get two tablespoons of juice.
Add ginger juice and serve the soup hot, sprinkled with parsley and celery.
Medicinal properties of ginger
In Britain and its colonies, ginger is used for making soft drinks and great ginger ale, and Christmas cake.
The medicinal properties of ginger have been known since ancient times.
Chinese use it for over 2500 years for healing colds, fever, headache, and muscle pain, while in powder form is used for circulation of the palms and soles.
Japanese use ginger oil for massage, to reduce pain in the spine.
In traditional Indian medicine, ginger is used to treat arthritis.
Ancient eastern rulers have left in their records from 3000 years ago that ginger has a magical effect.
Pregnant women used it to prevent nausea.
They would bake ginger cookies, or they would put ginger in bread and nausea would vanish momentarily.
Asian women drink ginger tea to relieve menstrual pain.
Ginger and honey remedy
Clean and grind two larger ginger roots, and then mix it with organic honey.
Consume it 3-4 times a day.
IMPORTANT: As with every remedy, always consult with your physician if you wish to try out any of the remedies on this page.
What are your favorite herbs and spices and how do you use them?
Share your tips in the comments below.