Kitchen Spices for Health

Discover how you can use these kitchen spices for health, includes a description of each common herb and its medicinal uses.
By James A. Duke, Ph.D.
December 2002/January 2003
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Consider using common kitchen spices for health like this allspice herb.
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Learn how to benefit from these spices for health using these common kitchen herbs.

Kitchen Spices for Health

In addition to the many herbs you can buy in bulk or standardized form, many spices double as medicine. You probably already have some of these in your spice rack. With the exception of capsicum, garlic, ginger and turmeric, most spices are not available in the United States as standardized extracts. Except for garlic, most are tropical plants that don't grow well here, so you'll probably have to buy them in bulk or powdered form.

Allspice. This tropical herb has a complex aroma and is useful for indigestion.

Cardamom. An expensive spice, cardamom can be a mild stimulant.

Cinnamon. This tasty spice has potent antimicrobial action and can settle an upset stomach.

Cloves. Cloves have proven pain relieving and antiseptic properties.

Garlic. Called Russian penicillin, this pungent bulb is useful in preventing our major killers heart disease and cancer.

Ginger. The world's best nausea preventive, ginger also is useful in treating arthritis.

Red pepper (capsicum)
. This spice, which is native to America, works on pain by three different mechanisms.

Sesame.
The seeds of this plant are a great source of antioxidants and other therapeutic chemicals.

Turmeric.
This yellow spice shows great promise in treating arthritis and diabetes.


One of the world's leading authorities on herbal healing, James Duke is author of The Green Pharmacy. Active in rain forest preservation, he leads ecotours in the Amazon.


Read more about health and herbal medicine: How to Benefit From Herbal Medicine.








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