Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Health Benefits of Spices

If variety is the spice of life, there is also an enormous variety of spices brimming with health benefits. 
 
Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and helps circulation, nutmeg and ginger help with nausea, cardamom soothes indigestion and chilli eases pain.

Cumin for Flu and Colds
An important medicinal herb in Middle Eastern, African and Oriental cultures, cumin seeds are rich in iron and are used to treat a wide range of ailments from cold and flu symptoms to allergies. Research on the oil from black cumin seeds has shown it significantly reduces allergy symptoms.


One study found it was also effective in neutralising certain breast cancer cells. This may be due to the fact that it contains limonene, a phytochemical currently being studied for its cancer-blocking properties. Another study at the Cancer Institute in Madras showed cumin blocked 83 percent of chromosome damage created by cancer-causing chemicals.

Ginger for Digestion and Sickness
Well-known for its ability to prevent nausea and vomiting, ginger also helps with digestion and improves circulation. In studies at Brigham Young University ginger outperformed Dramamine in preventing motion sickness. Researchers at Svensborg Hospital also showed ginger was as effective as over-the-counter drugs while dealing with motion sickness. They also found that almost 75 percent of pregnant women who used ginger were relieved of their morning sickness symptoms without the possible side effects of drugs.
It helps increase the concentration of amylase in the saliva and improves carbohydrate digestion. It also increases intestinal muscle tone and aids digestion, particularly for fatty foods. Ginger contains powerful antioxidants from the gingerol family which include: zingerone, shogaol and gingerdione.

Cloves for Bad Breath and Indigestion
A traditional remedy for toothache, cloves are also used medicinally to treat indigestion, bad breath, parasites and nausea. They contain eugenol, a powerful anaesthetic used by dentists and a disinfectant. These antibacterial properties make cloves effective against staphylococci, the bacteria that can cause pneumonia. Recent studies have also shown clove oil may have an anticarcinogenic effect. Researchers found a chemoprotective effect of a water solution of cloves on skin cancer.