By Christy Milan
The outside cold can bring a bodily chill that feels like icicles are hanging from your bones. The cold rips through leaving vibrations of the chill deep within your muscles. Aches and pains become more cumbersome and you feel like old man winter, or old woman winter for that matter. Jack Frost has taken up residence and will not be leaving for some time. How to melt that chill and get toasty is a priority. Turning to spices as a chill breaker leaves you with many options and perhaps unexpected health benefits.
Spices have many healing properties such as the ability to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. They are also powerhouses of antioxidants, which protect the body from damage. Below are a few warming spices that will help you toward feeling warm and cozy and also provide health benefits naturally.
The aroma of Nutmeg is flavorful and has been said to provide pain relief as well as relief from arthritis, and soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function and help the body rid toxins. Other benefits charted include, boosting skin health, reducing insomnia, increasing immune system function and improving blood circulation.
Most everyone is familiar with cinnamon. It is one of the most popular and well known spices in the world. For medicinal purposes many use the Ceylon and not the more popular store-bought Cassia. Research at the Wheeling Jesuit University has shown that the scent of cinnamon boosts brain activity. It also is used for nervous tension and memory loss. Cinnamon is known as a blood purifier that helps the blood circulate. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are said to help headaches caused by a cold. Other noted benefits include help with indigestion and diabetes.
This spice is the most ancient spice worldwide. It has been used for inflammation and diarrhea for 2,000 years. It’s benefits are said to boost bone health, strengthen
immune system and even prevent various types of cancer. Among other benefits, ginger may improve digestion; respiratory conditions and may help with arthritis, and excess gas. It is used as a pain reliever for menstrual cramps, relieving nausea and helping with the flu.
TURMERIC w/ BLACK PEPPER
These spices both have unique flavors. The pairing of black pepper enhances bioavailability of Turmeric. Turmeric is considered to be an anti-inflammatory. Both black pepper and turmeric show benefits in helping to protect against cognitive impairment and may help improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients. Turmeric is also used for digestion, flu, and pain, including headaches and muscle pain. Turmeric is heralded for boosting the body’s natural immunity, reducing inflammation and clearing excess fat in the digestion tract. Add to smoothies, stir-fries or put it into cooking water for grains or rice.
You can also make a great Toddy that incorporates all the spices and their benefits all into a warm, spicy healing elixir. Play with the ingredients and make your own healthy toddy.