11.19.2007

cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves...oh my!


at this time of year we are so drawn to these scents, I thought it might be interesting for you to know what these spices help to support.

cinnamon
helps to ease allergies, relieves pain, fights bacteria (even e coli) and fungi (e.g. candida)...maybe that's why I have heard it's good for women...and it helps to relax muscles.
-you can sprinkle it on food or mix 1 tsp in a cup of hot water 2 to 3 times a day with meals. this one is not really for kids, but I do tend to add a stick of cinnamon when I give my kids hot apple cider and they really love it.

cardamom
perhaps the best source of cineole, an antiseptic phytochemical that kills the bacteria causing bad breath; breaks up chest congestion and fights bronchitis, colds, indigestion, inflamed mouth and sore throat...another chai tea please!
-select whole, not open, pods. break open and you will find the "seeds", mix about 15 seeds in a cup of hot water up to 5 times a day.

ginger
digestive aid, particularly for overindulgence or morning and motion sickness; contains anti-inflammatory zingibain and other compounds useful in arthritis and preventing arterial plaque (boy is that a good descriptive! yuk!)
-enjoy 3 to 10 g fresh ginger or 2 to 4 g dried ginger up to three times a day; mix 2 tsp of powdered root in a cup of hot water daily. (ask your OB as it could be good for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy). I put it in my kukicha tea in the morning when I am cold as well...keeps me warm, or so I think!

clove
contains eugenol, a powerful phytochemical that anesthetizes, kills bacteria and fungi, fights free radical oxidation, and helps thin the blood.
-take 100 to 300 mg of powdered clove daily; sprinkle a little over cuts to prevent infection. for toothache, rub on a little clove oil but don't swallow.

I found much of this information in a handout from my co-op. it also suggests that you should only use spices (and herbs for that matter) from your organic foods co-op as other spices can be exposed to irradiation, but this is not allowed with organic production. spices usually last about a year, so change when you can, if you buy from your co-op they are purchased in bulk and the prices are much cheaper.

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