The Healing Power of Spices – NIH Article

This isn’t the first post I’ve composed strongly recommending that we increase our use of spices in all cooking.  Study after study is confirming the incredibly powerful healing and disease prevention qualities in spices.

For some cancers, studies show that using Ceylon Cinnamon was more powerful than chemo drugs in their therapeutic effect.

The beneficial health effects of Ceylon or ‘True’ Cinnamon identified were; a) anti-microbial and anti-parasitic activity, b) lowering of blood glucose, blood pressure and serum cholesterol, c) anti-oxidant and free-radical scavenging properties, d) inhibition of tau aggregation and filament formation (hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease), e) inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis, f) anti-secretagogue and anti-gastric ulcer effects, g) anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity, h) wound healing properties and i) hepato-protective effects. The studies reported minimal toxic and adverse effects.

It’s also an immeasurable kindness to teach  our children to learn to love a variety of these healing foods, for the sake of their future health.

This PubMed article, published in Oct. 2011, is yet another declaration that upholds the importance, in fact critical nature, of adding spices to your dishes.

Neuroprotection by Spice-Derived Nutraceuticals: You Are What You Eat!

“… the incidence of certain neurodegenerative diseases among people living in the Asian subcontinent, where people regularly consume spices, is much lower than in countries of the western world.0
Extensive research over the last 10 years has indicated that nutraceuticals derived from such spices as turmeric, red pepper, black pepper, licorice, clove, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cinnamon target inflammatory pathways, thereby may prevent neurodegenerative diseases. How these nutraceuticals modulate various pathways and how they exert neuroprotection are the focus of this review.”

The article outlines several common degenerative diseases like Alzheimers’, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, MS and others, and discusses spices and spice extracts that are proving to be highly therapeutic.

The prevention of neurodegenerative diseases has been one of the primary goals of researchers, but to make prevention feasible, two objectives must be accomplished: (1) individuals at high risk for the disease must be identified before the symptoms become evident, and (2) compounds that are safe and effective in either reducing or slowing the disease progression need to be developed. Unfortunately, to date, no such safe preventive agents are available. Therefore, there is an urgent need for agents that are pharmacologically safe, cost-effective, and immediately available with minimal side effects.

“.. Unfortunately, to date, no such safe preventive agents are available. Therefore, there is an urgent need for agents that are pharmacologically safe, cost-effective, and immediately available with minimal side effects.

“Spices are one such source that has been used in cooking to add flavor and color to the food.

“Modern molecular tools have shown that spices have active components, called nutraceuticals that contribute to the plethora of properties. Extensive research over the years has also identified the molecular targets of most nutraceuticals [79]. During the past decade, a number of nutraceuticals have been identified from spices (Fig. 1). These nutraceuticals are chemically diverse (Fig. 2) with a plethora of effects.”




6 thoughts on “The Healing Power of Spices – NIH Article

    1. Excellent, Layla. I also take the active ingredient (Curcumin) in pills, because we would need to eat two big bowls of curry ..everyday.. to get the recommended amount. :0

  1. I would like to gently say Hoda that I am a bit skeptical of scientists that recommend amounts of foods higher than we can intake in our meals or naturally occurring. I believe their science must be off a little somewhere. 🙂 The most promising thing is that spices may help with regeneration and healing. It’s easy to eliminate the enzyme-modified foods that cause neurodegeneration and stop using products that cause it, but it’s healing from the effects of the toxins that really has me curious about effectiveness. I love reading your posts and hope you are not miffed at my thoughts on recommended amounts. 🙂

    1. I hear you.
      The problem is since our soil is not deplorably low in the vitamins and minerals we used to get, and produce that was once allowed to develop properly and ripen on the vine is now picked too soon and stored too long to develop/preserve nutrients… so we are all deficient in health-essential nutrients.
      Our immune system needs a little help, as does our digestive and detoxification systems.
      If our cells are deficient in one tiny necessary ‘raw material’ to manufacture the hundreds of thousands of life supporting chemical processes going on every minute.. something breaks down and we get sick.
      So I am all for helping replenish what ‘progress’ has stripped from our food supply … in any way we can. 🙂
      Thank you so very much for commenting. Cheers!

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