Healing Spices

by James A. Duke, Ph.D. from The Green Pharmacy

In addition to many herbs that you can buy in bulk or standardized form, there are many spices that double as medicines. You probably already have some of them in your spice rack.

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 common, tasty spice has potent antimicrobial action and can settle an upset stomach.

Cloves: Cloves have proven pain-relieving and antiseptic properties.

Garlic: Deservedly called Russian penicillin, this pungent bulb in useful in preventing our major killers - heart disease and cancer.

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

Red pepper: This native American spice 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.