Using spices for health benefits is nothing new. In fact, in many ancient cultures, various spices were used for their capacities to support health before they became commonly used for flavoring food. Different spices have different benefits. Here’s information on some of the most popular.
When it comes to health benefits, not all spices are created equal. Here are some of the standouts when it comes to helping your body beyond your taste buds.
This earthy herb sage was used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages, even for help in combatting the plague! Today, the main interest in sage is around its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help combat cell damage caused by free radical molecules. As more studies are illuminating the dangers of free radicals, there is more interest in antioxidants.
One primary area is for brain support.* In one study, young and healthy people given a dried sage preparation had overall improvements in both mood and memory.1
These antioxidants also lead to a variety of other potential benefits, primarily in the beauty realm, like supporting skin health and appearance via slowing the breakdown of collagen fibers.2 Other applications include immune support and even heart health, but more study will be needed to determine how much sage can do in these areas.3
Turmeric is one of the most popular spices, and it has several great applications, including support for our cardiovascular system and joint health. These benefits stem from the compound called curcumin – which exemplifies the antioxidant properties of spices. Heartburn is one of the most common digestive issues that people encounter occasionally. Around 60 million Americans deal with it once a month. In one study, a teaspoon of curcumin supported improved esophagus and colon function. In addition, the properties of curcumin may help support stomach relief.4
One interesting thing about curcumin is its potential application for mental health. Some studies suggest it may help boost certain brain neurotransmitters. One small study showed levels of improvement in mood, but more studies will be needed to make a concrete conclusion.5
In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was a gift fit for a pharaoh. Today, we’re starting to understand part of the reasons why. One of its major benefits is in heart health. One study showed that a 120 mg daily dose of cinnamon increased levels of HDL cholesterol, known as “the good cholesterol.” 6 Combined with the fact the fact that it has plenty of antioxidants, and you have a one-two punch to support the heart.
Cinnamon may also have potential with regards to healthy blood sugar levels. It can help indirectly by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity, according to studies. As it bears mentioning, this cannot be said to cure or treat any disease or condition.7
You can find cinnamon inside a comprehensive formula for blood sugar support in Enzymedica Reduce™.
Ginger is the MVP of spices in a lot of ways. In one study, people performing elbow exercises took ginger as a part of their post-workout regimen. Over an 11-day period, they reported feeling significantly less discomfort in their muscles.8
Another area where ginger does a lot is digestion. Ginger helps lower amounts of intestinal gas, while soothing and relaxing the digestive tract. It’s important to note that that the biggest cause of digestive issues is the natural digestive process being disrupted. This could be something as simple as material taking too long to move through the tract or the stomach taking too long to empty out. In one study, ginger played an important role in cutting down on the amount of time it took for the stomach to empty its contents.9
Ginger is included in Purify™ Activated Coconut Charcoal, which is designed to promote natural detoxification in your body.
Utilizing Your Spices
One great thing about spices is that you can use them in a variety of ways. Simply using them as a part of your meal is easy enough, but you may want a method that can quantify how much spice you get. A great way to do this is through supplements made with spice extracts, like Enzymedica’s Digest Pregnancy™, which combines organic ginger with an enzyme blend. The nice thing about supplements is that they can combine spices with ingredients that complement their common goal, like ginger’s ability to support digestive health.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
- Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, et al. Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) enhances memory in healthy young volunteers. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75(3):669-74.
- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Antioxidant To Retard Wrinkles Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830102601.htm>.
- Sá CM, Ramos AA, Azevedo MF, Lima CF, Fernandes-ferreira M, Pereira-wilson C. Sage tea drinking improves lipid profile and antioxidant defences in humans. Int J Mol Sci. 2009;10(9):3937-50.
- Dulbecco P, Savarino V. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in digestive diseases. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2013;19(48):9256-9270. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i48.9256.
- Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014;28(4):579-85.
- Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(5):452-9.
- Adisakwattana S, Lerdsuwankij O, Poputtachai U, Minipun A, Suparpprom C. Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011;66(2):143-8.
- Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, O'connor PJ. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2010;11(9):894-903.
- Hu, M.-L., Rayner, C. K., Wu, K.-L., Chuah, S.-K., Tai, W.-C., Chou, Y.-P., … Hu, T.-H. (2011). Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG, 17(1), 105–110. http://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v17.i1.105