Did you know that your spice rack is loaded with amazing natural remedies for everything from aches and pains to the common cold? Read on to learn all about healing spices and how to use them to support a healthier and happier lifestyle!
If you spend any time keeping up with new health trends, I’m sure you’ve heard of healing spices. They’re super popular natural remedies right now, and for a good reason. Healing spices can safely (in most cases) be used to treat everything from the common cold to inflammation. Plus, just about everyone already has them on hand! If not, most are relatively cheap and found in your grocery store.
What exactly are healing spices? Do all spices have healing properties? Which give you the most benefits for your buck? That’s what we’ll be discussing throughout the next few sections!
- What Are Healing Spices?
- Ways to Use Healing Spices
- Home Remedies Using Healing Spices
What Are Healing Spices?
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Do all spices have healing properties?
Yes and no. Most spices do have some healing benefits, but obviously some more so than others. If I had to narrow it down to just four spices to keep in your cabinet, I’d go with:
These are just a small selection of healing spices you’ll want to keep in your cupboards.
Are all healing spices made equal?
No, of course not. While you don’t need to get the most expensive cinnamon, ginger, etc, keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. For example, some non-organic spices often have nasty preservatives in them. Other manufacturers just care more about mass production than quality, meaning they may be using sub-standard spices to boost their profit margin.
So, if you want to ensure you’re getting the best quality, most effective healing spices, do your research. Check ingredient labels. The spice should be the only thing on it. Read the Q&A on Amazon listings as well as the reviews (I learn more in the Q&A than the reviews, honestly). Organic spices are definitely better, and could even stay fresher for longer due to their production and cultivation method.
What types of things could healing spices help with?
Healing spices can help you in a variety of ways. Each has its own specific healing properties, but generally speaking they all contain a high level of antioxidants. These antioxidants can help fight off free radicals, protect against heart disease and other serious conditions, and keep you looking and feeling younger for longer.
They also contain great anti-inflammatory properties which can help with allergies and even help to combat Alzheimer’s Disease. They can also be used to boost the metabolism, which really aids in weight loss, while also helping to provide a delicious kick when added to your meals.
So, now you have an idea of what healing spices are and how to choose the right one, let’s dig deeper.
Ways to Use Healing Spices
The most obvious way to use healing spices is, of course, adding them to your favorite recipes. However, if you really want to reap the benefits, go a step further! Check out some of the best ways to use healing spices and the best foods to pair them with if you are adding them into your diet.
1. How to use Turmeric
Turmeric is mostly used in Indian dishes, so it’s easiest to use in homemade curry. However, there are other ways to use it. You can either use either ground powder or the fresh turmeric root. The powder is easier to find, though.
The best foods to pair turmeric powder with include rice, cauliflower, chicken and warm nut milk. Try adding half a teaspoon to some warm nut milk as a unique, soothing refreshment.
2. How to use Cinnamon
You can purchase cinnamon as a whole bark, or in dried powder form. If you’re buying and using the powder, you’ll notice it has a stronger taste than the whole bark does. Also, even though it’s more expensive, try to stick with Ceylon cinnamon versus cassia, as it not only has the best flavor, but also more health benefits.
3. How to use Ginger
Ginger is typically bought in root form and it can be grated into numerous dishes, however you can also find ground ginger root in the spice section. While it’s great in smoothies and added to curries, the spice can also be used in numerous other ways.
4. How to use Paprika
Paprika is used a lot in savory dishes and there’s a wide variety of ways it can be used to boost the health.
Some of the best methods for using this popular spice include adding it to a meat rub and using it to season corn on the cob. It can also be sprinkled over popcorn.
5. How to use Cumin
Cumin is best used in Mexican style dishes. However, it can also be used in other great ways.
The cumin seeds can be added to muffins and bread mixes. It is also great to use in falafels, or into a cheese omelet. You can even mix it into oil and use it to fry vegetables.
Home Remedies Using Healing Spices
While there are literally hundreds of homemade remedies you can make with healing spices, here you’ll discover 5 of the best.
1. Natural UTI-prevention remedy
Cardamom has a variety of awesome health benefits. It can also be used in numerous ways and to treat a large range of ailments. For example, boiled Cardamom can be used to boost kidney function and treat urinary tract infections.
All you need to do is boil a little Cardamom powder, pour it into a glass and then drink. Do this daily if you tend to frequently suffer from urinary tract infections.
2. Healing spices for blood sugar control
If you’re looking to lower your blood sugar, below you’ll discover some of the top healing spices to invest in.
- Ginger – One study showed that ginger significantly reduced blood sugar in subjects with diabetes.
- Cinnamon – Again, stick with Ceylon. It has less coumarin in it, a substance that has been linked to liver damage.
- Fenugreek – Studies show Fenugreek is great at lowering blood sugar levels. It’s also known to improve insulin resistance in women with PCOS and boost good cholesterol.
- Tumeric – There it is a again! Seriously, if you use can only use just one healing spice, turmeric is the way to go.
Warning: If you’re currently taking medication to lower your blood sugar, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Some of these spices combined with the meds can cause blood sugar to plummet to dangerously low levels. These spices are NOT a substitute for medication.
3. Ease anxiety with cumin
Cumin is one of the best healing spices you can use to help you relax. It contains great calming compounds which are known to combat anxiety.
If you do suffer with anxiety, there’s a couple of ways you can use it to ease your symptoms. Firstly, you can add it to water and simply drink it. Or, you could use cumin oil to massage onto the skin. Once absorbed, it really helps to leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
4. Fenugreek heart remedy
Fenugreek is great for the heart. Studies have shown that when consumed regularly, Fenugreek has a fantastic positive effect on heart health. It can lower the blood pressure and protect against blood clots. So, how do you use it?
The best home heart remedy with Fenugreek is to boil it in water for approximately five minutes. Then, strain it into a mug and drink it once it’s cooled down.
5. Soothe a dry cough with Ajwain (aka Carom)
Dry coughs can be extremely frustrating to get rid of. They can linger around for weeks, causing nasty uncomfortable symptoms such as a sore throat. However, Ajwain has shown to be extremely effective at soothing a dry cough. All you need to do is boil Carom together with turmeric, pepper and ginger for 5-10 minutes. Leave it to cool and then drink. If you do have a sore throat, add honey to the mix, too.
6. Pain-relieving healing spices
Whether you’re dealing with an acute injury like a toothache or pulled muscle or living with chronic pain, healing spices can really help to reduce the inflammation and ease the symptoms of these conditions. So, which spices are better at treating inflammation?
- Cloves – Although there isn’t much scientific evidence available to reveal the anti-inflammatory effects of cloves, they do seem to be very effective. They’re largely used to reduce inflammation of the throat and mouth. I’ve used clove oil as a remedy for an awful tooth ache and it really helped.
- Turmeric- Once again, turmeric makes it onto the list! This powerful healing spice has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. This time, though, it’s the curcumin aspect of turmeric that does all the hard work.
- Ginger- When it comes to treating inflammation, few things can beat ginger. Studies have actually indicated that ginger is better than certain pain medications at fighting inflammation. When taken regularly, it can also help to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. It is the Gingerol and Shogaol contained within the ginger which helps to block the inflammation pathways.
- Black Pepper- Yep, the most common household spice is also great for helping relieve pain! It contains a chemical known as piperine. This chemical has been shown to reduce inflammation, even in very small doses. It can also help to reduce the pain of arthritis.
- Cinnamon- The cinnamic acid and cinnamaldehyde contained within cinnamon, help to combat the damage caused by free radicals. It contains anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, making it a healing powerhouse!
The above are just the top 5 healing spices to aid inflammation. Most of the spices on the list are great for treating general inflammation, but cloves should largely be used for inflammation in the throat.
7. Healing Spices to Boost the Immune System
If you’re looking to give your immune system a boost, the answer may lie in your pantry! Healing spices have long been used to enhance the immune system and combat numerous ailments. These are the top 5 to try.
- Turmeric- You shouldn’t be surprised to see turmeric pop up yet again! It is the active ingredient, Curcumin, that helps to boost the immune system.
- Cinnamon– This tasty spice has an impressive mix of antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. All work together to protect the immune system, as well as fight off numerous illnesses.
- Cayenne – It contains a lot of Vitamin A and antioxidants. These don’t just protect the immune system, but they also ensure the body is better able to fight off any illnesses which may develop.
- Cumin– Cumin seeds are often used in traditional medicine to improve a weakened immune system.
- Cloves– They contain an exceptional level of antioxidants which help the immune system fight off free radicals, as well as oxidative stress.
8. Give your brain a boost with these spices
Did you know you that healing spices can also prove beneficial to the brain? If you’re looking to boost your brain health, here you’ll discover the best healing spices which can help.
- Turmeric – Surprise! Turmeric won’t just boost your brain, but it can also help patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. This is because it contains compounds which can boost Macrophages, which are immune cells which help to destroy foreign particles. Patients who suffer with Alzheimer’s often find that their Macrophages aren’t able to do their job due to a buildup of beta-amyloid plaque. The compounds in turmeric can help potentially clear up the plaque buildup, helping the macrophages to work properly.
- Garlic – It is the anti-inflammatory properties contained within garlic which are said to be good for the brain. It can help to prevent the loss of brain function, as well as boost cognitive function and the memory.
- Black Pepper– The Piperine contained in black pepper is said to prove beneficial at boosting brain function. It can also help to ease the symptoms of depression. When combined with other brain-boosting healing spices such as turmeric, it also provides increased benefits. This is because it can enhance the bioavailability of the nutrients in foods, ensuring you absorb a lot more nutrients.
- Saffron – If you’re looking for a healing spice that’s renowned for its mental health benefits, saffron is just what you need. Studies have shown that when given in supplement form, saffron can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression.Unfortunately, it’s kind of expensive.
Of course, all of the spices listed also have additional health benefits too. If you don’t have them already in your cupboards, now’s the time to stock up!