Many spices offer as many powerful medicinal benefits as some herbs. Not only can they be used in cooking, they can also be blended into teas to create delicious blends that do your body a lot of good. Here's a few ways that spices can be beneficial to your health.
1. Certain spices can help balance blood sugar.
Cinnamon is popularly used to control blood sugar, as it's believed to help reduce insulin resistance. Ginger is another herb that may be helpful in controlling blood sugar. Because both of these spices taste great, it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet. The simplest way is to drink spiced teas, like Go Chai, Lucky Morning Spice, and Sugar Balance. You can also stir in the powdered spices into your tea or coffee.
2. Spices can help reduce inflammation.
Turmeric is gaining popularity around the world in playing a role in relieving inflammation naturally, and without the side effects of steroid medications. But turmeric isn’t the only player on the field in this category. Ginger is another must-have in both kitchen and medicine cabinet, as it helps to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ginger is not only helpful on its own; it also increases the effectiveness of other remedies. Rosemary and sage are powerful antioxidants, and play a role in helping destroy certain free radicals that can cause inflammation. Rosemary and sage are both popular cooking herbs, but they also taste refreshing in teas, such as An Elephant Never Forgets. If you grow rosemary and sage in your garden, cut a sprig of each one, roll them between your palms, and place in your water bottle to get their benefits as drink your water throughout the day.
3. Spices can help your immune system.
Throughout recorded history, spices of all kinds were used around the world to keep sickness at bay, aid recovery, and provide relief during times of respiratory and digestive illness. In the Mediterranean, spices like thyme, fennel, and anise were used as a tea for bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Thyme and oregano contain powerful disinfectant compounds that kill bacteria, fungus, and other germs that cause illness. In India, spices like cumin, coriander, and black pepper were used to stimulate the immune system and help the body heal itself. Sinus Relief tea contains both thyme and oregano, as well as cinnamon and ginger, and packs a punch for sinus congestion, runny nose and cough. Naked Chai is a blend of Indian spices that can boost the immune system during cold and flu, and may also help to relieve nausea.
4. Spice up your love life
Fun fact: certain religious groups forbade their followers from eating spices based on the belief that spices might incite passionate behaviors. Ancient cultures revered spices for their reputed aphrodisiac effects. The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament has passages about the love-promoting virtues of cinnamon and saffron. Ancient Hindu texts list nutmeg and cardamom as libido boosters. Romans used coriander and cinnamon in their love potions, and Chinese people valued ginger to heat things up. While I can’t promise anything, spices will certainly improve circulation and warm things up from the inside. You might want to share some Chocomaya Chai on your next date night just to see if the rumors are true!
5. Spices in your beauty routine
The antioxidant properties of both spices and cooking herbs are not just great for your palate, they also provide awesome benefits for your skin. Rosemary, sage, thyme, and mint can be brewed into a tea for use as a refreshing astringent facial rinse. These fragrant culinary herbs work wonders at killing bacteria that cause blackheads and breakouts. For dry skin, you can make a moisturizing and exfoliating paste of ground fennel seeds and sunflower seeds blended with a little honey. Simply spread over the face while gently massaging, and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry for a refreshing rosy glow.
Do you use the spices in your cabinet for more than just cooking? We'd love to hear your own stories!