There are many reasons people use spices though taste probably tops the list. If you have a particular spice that you just like the taste of, you probably use that spice often and tend to search for recipes that use that spice. But as long as man has been able to reason, he (or she) has searched for spices that have particular powers. In some cases, those powers were all in the mind of the users. But in many cases, spices can be used to enhance health and well being. Just a take a look at some of the spices that perform in specific ways.
Is it cold outside? Or maybe you've just been chilled and can't seem to shake the shivers. Either way, it may be time to warm up and there's no better spice to perform this task than pepper. Red seems to be preferred though it seems that any kind of pepper will work to some degree. Just add a liberal dash of red pepper to your meal and feel the warmth seep into your body.
Cayenne pepper is also said to be good for colds. This spice is rich in vitamin C and is thought to have a positive effect on those suffering from pain.
There are several spices that simply smell good and those smells can be alternately soothing or exciting. Lemonbalm and rosemary right from your spice rack (or herb garden) can be used in your potpourri burner. If you use wood heat, a small kettle of water with one of these spices will spread an inviting fragrance throughout your entire house. On the other hand, ginger is said to be a stimulant and the smell of ginger could be just what you need to pep up your mood. If you're looking for a comforting smell, try cinnamon or vanilla.
Tumeric is thought to help fight some specific kinds of infections. Nutmeg is good for the digestive system and may be just what you need to help your body deal with gastric pressure or indigestion. Fennel is believed to be a good spice to use if you're dieting. It reportedly increases energy to help you start slimming down more quickly.
Are you looking to eat better, including cutting down on your salt intake? Spice up your meals with dill - a natural source of mineral salts. Dill has been said to be good for women suffering from menstrual cramps. While curry with its strong fragrance may not sit well with some people, some believe that curry and caraway can each help with digestion.
Over the centuries, certain spices have been said to heal every infection, disease and malady known to man. From freckles (cured by nutmeg) to cancer (several spices), natural ways to heal have always been sought. Some of those have merit while others are merely folk tales. But there's no doubt that spices do have value far beyond enhancing the taste of food. Take a look at the curative powers of spices and start incorporating more into your diet.
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