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The Blog Spot

Using Spices for Flavor and Health: Part 1

Herbs and spices are very important for our health and they add wonderful flavor to our foods. This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on

herbs and spices that you can add to your daily cooking routine to enhance your health.


Culinary Uses:

Grilled fish, pork, turkey, roast beef, white beans, apples, polenta, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, all root vegetables, and Italian dishes. Keep it on the stem when used in soups and stews and remove it when done simmering. Lay it on hot charcoals while grilling to add flavor to meat. Can be used fresh or dried. Pair with fennel, garlic oregano, parsley, and thyme.

Health benefits:

Anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, chemoprotective, and rubefacient.* Rosemary may improve concentration, memory, blood flow and it may help to fight cancer.


Culinary Uses:

Kale, spinach, soups, stews, potatoes, salad dressings, Italian dishes, Mexican dishes, and Chinese dishes. Can be used as whole clove, granulated, minced, or powdered form. Do not use with fruits, sweet spices, sweets, or desserts.

Health benefits:

Anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, hypocholesteremic, and hypotensive.* Garlic may lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, and help to reduce the incidence of colds.


Culinary Uses:

White meats, lamb, turkey, roast beef, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, Italian dishes, and Greek dishes. Can be used as whole leaves, chopped, or ground. Pair with chives, cilantro, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Add at the end of cooking time or on a prepared dish.

Health benefits:

Anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative.* Basil may be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It may also help with lowering blood sugar.


Culinary Uses:

Curries, soups, stews, beans, and Southwest/Mexican dishes. Can be used as whole seeds or ground. Also acts as a substitute for saffron. Pair with allspice, cardamom, cilantro, coriander, curry, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, nutmeg, or parsley.

Health benefits:

Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, cholagogue, hepatoprotective, and hypolipidaemic*. Tumeric may have cancer preventative properties, inhibit platelet aggregation, and be helpful in wound healing.


Culinary Uses:

Apples, beef, chocolate, stews, curries, chickpeas, carrots, tea, coffee, and spicy dishes. Can be used as rolled bark (cinnamon sticks) or ground. Pair with allspice, ginger, and nutmeg.

Health benefits:

Anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, stimulant, tonic, and stomachic.* Cinnamon may be useful in lowering blood lipids and blood glucose.

* Health benefits:

· Anthelmintic (destroys parasitic worms)

· Anti-catarrhal (decongestant)

· Anti-depressant (reduces depression)

· Anti-fungal (prevents the growth of fungi)

· Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)

· Anti-microbial (destroys or inhibits growth of microorganisms)

· Anti-oxidant (inhibits oxidation)