Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. They are everywhere this time of year. The smell they create reminds us of all our great memories starting with autumn and continuing right into Christmas. I’ve often asked myself what these great spices can do for us? Why are they so great? Here are some of the great ways they affect our health and body.
Though many say allspice is a combination of other spices it is actually a spice itself. Allspice is the dried fruit of the evergreen myrtle plant. Allspice is anti-inflammatory. Allspice aids in digestion by increasing the motility of the digestive tract as well as improving gastric juices. Eugenol, an essential oil found in allspice has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It is also high in vitamin A, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.
Cinnamon emits such a lovely smell. Of course, it is one of the main ingredients to create that thanksgiving feel. It has also been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. Cinnamon acts to lower cholesterol, ease digestion, and stabilize blood sugar. I love adding cinnamon to hot chocolate. It’s also part of a morning basic for me…toast with butter, honey, and cinnamon…(cinnamon toast).
No pumpkin pie would be complete without cloves. They also have great health benefits. They help remedy cold and skin problems. Cloves help with clearing up a cough. Combine cloves with honey to make a homemade facial remedy to balance your skin and fight breakouts.
Nutmeg has powerful antibacterial properties. This can be used as an antibacterial in the mouth to prevent cavities and sickness. Use it as an oil to prevent toothaches. This can also be mixed with honey to prevent nausea, indigestion, anxiety, and depression.
Although we often see this year round I couldn’t help but add it. Ginger is such a great medicinal herb. Ginger has been shown to provide gastrointestinal relief, and is anti-inflammatory. It is protective against certain kinds of cancer and in some cases even causes cell death of certain cancers. Ginger also helps relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. And if you need more, it is also a great immune boosting herb.
So now is the time to get a little crazy with the spices. Go season up your beverage, or season up your pie, and enjoy the fact that it will benefit your health!