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Because of its eugenol content, allspice has attributes similar to clove. It is a digestive and carminative. The oil is classed as rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. The tannins in allspice provide a mild anesthetic that, with its warming effect, make it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.
Called “Tut-te See-Hau” by American Indians, meaning “it expels the wind”, anise’s carminative properties have been known since antiquity. It helps with digestion and sweetens the breath, so it is chewed after meals in parts of Europe, the Middle East and India. It is a mild expectorant, anise often being used in cough mixtures and lozenges. It is also antiseptic, antispasmodic, soporific and a few seeds taken with water will often cure hiccups.
Annatto was once used to control fevers, dysentry and kidney diseases, though is now used mostly as a dye in medical preparations such as ointments and plasters. In India the pulp is used as an insect repellent.
Celery Seed was traditionally used as a sedative for nervousness or to promote sleep. It reduces swelling and was used to treat gout and arthritis. In India, it was taken as a remedy for rheumatism.
Chervil is often made into a tea and ingested to reduce blood pressure. The active constituents of Chervil include its volatile oil, which has a smell similar to Myrrh. Chervil is also a rich source of bioflavonoids, which aid the body in many ways, including Vitamin C absorption. As with most herbs, chervil is an aid for digestion.
Aside from their eye-opening flavor, perhaps the most surprising feature of chile pepper is their vitamin C content: 91 milligrams in 1/4 cup of fresh chilies. Though we don’t eat chili peppers in large quantities, the amount of vitamin C is still significant. Red chiles are full of beta-carotene.
Chives have been used to help lower blood pressure and aid digestion. They also stimulate the appetite and possess some antiseptic properties.
Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites.
Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation, and also to start the flow of breast milk.
Bay leaf has many properties which make it useful for treating high blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial and fungal infections, and gastric ulcers.
It is helpful to chew caraway seeds after a heavy meal. It has been used for colic as it is a light sedative and it can be used to settle a queasy stomach (antispasmodic).
A stimulant and carminative, cardamom is not used in Western medicine for it own properties, but forms a flavoring and basis for medicinal preparations for indigestion and flatulence using other substances, entering into a synergetic relationship with them.
Cilantro is considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices. The essential oils of the cilantro leaves contain antibacterial properties and can be used as a fungicide. Rich in vitamin C.
Consuming as little as one-half teaspoon of Cinnamon each day may reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by as much as 20% in Type II diabetes patients who are not taking insulin it is mildly carminative and used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is also used alone or in combination to treat diarrhea.
Cloves without chewing or swallowing them helps to curb the desire for alcohol. They are said to have a positive effect on stomach ulcers, vomiting, flatulence, and to stimulate the digestive system. It has powerful local antiseptic and mild anesthetic actions.
Cumin is a good source of Iron, Manganese, and other vitamins and minerals. Some research shows that cumin can stimulate the production of pancreatic enzymes and help digestion. One study found that cumin was protective against memory loss and the damaging effects of stress on the body.
Traditional curry powder is filled with spices that help your digestive system. Black pepper, a common ingredient in most curry powder blends, promotes stomach acid secretion and reduces intestinal gas.
Dill has been known to stimulate the lining of the esophagus and assist with removal of acid that normally causes the burning associated with heartburn. It does not actually rid the tube of the stomach acid that comes up but rather invigorates the muscles to work a bit harder to ingest the agitating acid back into the stomach.
Fennel is often used for colic, wind, irritable bowel, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, suppressing appetite, breast enlargement, promoting menstruation, improving digestive system, milk flow and increasing urine flow.
Fenugreek contains an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which appears to increase the body's production of insulin when blood sugar levels are high.
The smooth muscle relaxant Adenosine is found in Garlic and this seems to help lower blood pressure. Garlic is also used to help prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries causing blockage and possibly leading to heart attack or stroke), reduce colds, coughs and bronchitis.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.
Juniper is normally taken internally by eating the berries or making a tea from them. It is useful for digestive problems resulting from an underproduction of hydrochloric acid, and is also helpful for gastrointestinal infections, inflammations, gout, palsy, epilepsy, typhoid fever, cholera, cystitis, urethritis, rheumatism, weak immune system, sciatica, to stimulate appetite, helps eliminate excess water, and cramps.
Lemon peel contains even more vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits than the lemon juice. Lemon peels contain about 5 to 10 times more vitamins than lemon juice. Remember, organic will be your best when consuming the peel to avoid eating any pesticides.
Essentially employed as an aromatic agent, mace spice greatly enhances color, taste and flavor of foods. Nonetheless, it contains some of the anti-oxidant compounds essential oils, minerals, and vitamins.
Mustard seeds are an excellent source of essential B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine (vitaminB-6), and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.
Mustards are rich source of health benefiting minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals especially concentrated in these seeds. Calcium helps build bone and teeth. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for the red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism.
Nutmeg and mace spice contains many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. The active principles in nutmeg have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions.
Onions are very low in calories (just 40 calories per 100 g) and fats; however, rich in soluble dietary fiber. They are an also good source of antioxidant flavonoid quercetin, which is found to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic functions.
Herbs & Spices
Orange Peel is often used to enhance other flavors in desserts, gravies, sauces and meat dishes and can also be used as a garnish. It is a tasty addition to herbal tea blends, salads and veggies. Add orange peel to smoothies, baked goods or to marinating meat for bold, citrus flavor.
Their unique nutty aromatic flavor is because of many fatty acids and essential volatile oils, which comprise about 50% of net weight. The seeds are especially rich in oleic and linoleic acids. Oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol" levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Rosemary herb contains very good amounts of vitamin A, 2924 IU per 100 g; about 97% of RDA. A few leaves a day in the diet, would contribute enough of this vitamin. Vitamin A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A is known to help the body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
This colorful spice has many non-volatile active components; the most important of them is α-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives pistils their characteristic golden-yellow color. It also contains other carotenoids, including zea-xanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotenes. These are important antioxidants that help protect the human body from oxidant-induced stress, cancers, infections and acts as immune modulators.
Fresh sage leaves are a good source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C; contain 32.4 or 54% of RDA. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of structural proteins like collagen. Its adequate levels in the body help maintain integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.