Four Sweet Spices that are Good for your Health

Most spices are usually selected for theirflavouror aroma rather than their health benefits.However, many spices have a long history of being used for medicinal purposes.Here are four sweet spices you may already have in your pantry that could be used to enhance your health:

 

Cinnamon:

 

Cinnamon originates from Sri Lanka and today is cultivated in many other tropical regions such as South America. It is a popular spice that is used worldwide in both sweet and savoury dishes. In ancient times it is believed to have been a valuable commodity that was used for trade. Many studies have highlighted health benefits of cinnamon. These include maintenance of blood sugar levelsi, increased alertness and concentrationii, strong antioxidant propertiesiii, and treatment of upset stomachivamong others. Cinnamon oil can be used for massage treatments and is reported to ease arthritis although this evidence is not clinical.

 

Cloves:

 

Cloves have a pungent aroma and are often combined with other spices in cooking. Cloves display strong antiseptic properties and for this reason are often used as ingredients for mouth washes and antiseptic creams. Cloves have also been traditionally used to treat colic, indigestion and nauseav. Clove oil is also used to ease toothachevi. Cloves have strong anti-inflamatorypropertiesviiwhich can help boost the immune system and fight off disease.

 

Ginger:

 

Ginger is reported to have been used by Henry VIII as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. Indeed traditional medicinepractionershave been using ginger as a treatment for centuries for ailments such as nausea, digestion, circulation and even gout. Other applications include easing chest colds and respiratory infections and easing joint and muscle painviii.

 

Vanilla:

 

Vanilla is one of the most popular flavours for sweet confectionary and baked goods, yet few people are aware of its medicinal properties. Vanilla is known to have mood enhancing properties. This is one of the reasons it is widely used in perfumes. It is also used in traditional medicine as an antidote to fever. Vanilla is rich in vitamin B which aids in enzyme synthesis and body metabolismix.

 

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