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10 Spices That Heal: Cancer, Diabetes, and More

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10 Spices That Heal: Cancer, Diabetes, and More

By Vicky Uhland, Natural Solutions

There’s good reason to season: Doctors and dietitians agree that your spice rack can be just as essential as your medicine cabinet when it comes to preventing and treating disease. Research consistently shows that many spices and herbs have medicinal qualities and can help prevent everything from cancer to the common cold. We asked two experts–Glen Aukerman, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, and Ruth Knill, PhD, LAc, a Chinese herbalist–about the spices and herbs that best improve overall health. Here are their picks, plus easy ways to work them into your diet.

Cumin: Prevents Cancer
HOW IT WORKS: It’s no surprise to many spice researchers that cancer rates are lower in India, where cumin is a diet staple. Studies show that the curcumin in this spice inhibits the enzymes that help cancer cells invade healthy tissue and also keeps tumors from developing the new blood vessels that help them grow. TRY TO GET: 6 teaspoons of seeds or 1/2 teaspoon of powder a day. USE IT: Toss a bowl of root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, and turnips, with olive oil and 1 teaspoon cumin powder. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender, and add salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro to taste before serving.

Ginger: Calms Nausea
HOW IT WORKS: Chinese medical texts dating back to the fourth century BC tout ginger’s antinausea properties, and modern clinical studies offer scientific proof that it works–a substance in ginger shuts down a nerve receptor in the body that triggers the vomiting reflex. TRY TO GET: Juice from 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger four times a day. USE IT: Add 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger and a few drops of toasted sesame oil to your usual tuna salad recipe for an Asian-style flavor.

Basil: Combats Colds
HOW IT WORKS: Basil is rich in antioxidants, which help boost immunity. It’s also an antimicrobial, which fights the germs that can cause colds. TRY TO GET: 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. USE IT: Toss 1 tablespoon chopped basil into a shrimp stir-fry during the last 3 to 5 minutes of cooking. Or slice strawberries, toss with honey, and set aside for 15 minutes until juicy. Then top with a few tablespoons of finely chopped basil.

Next: Diabetes, Memory, Cholersterol and Blood Pressure

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Read more: Arthritis, Cancer, Cholesterol, Cold and Flu, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, , ,

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Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


+ add your own
11:31AM PDT on Jul 10, 2014


12:33PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014


3:21AM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

I eat all these lovely spices and herbs because I love their flavours, and since they are apparently also good for me, it is a double bonus. Thanks for the article.

1:15AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

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5:04AM PDT on Jun 12, 2014


5:57PM PDT on May 25, 2014

Yes interesting but not all herbal remedies work that well.Ginger might though.

7:31AM PDT on May 24, 2014

Very interesting and I know what will be on my grocery list!

10:59AM PDT on May 21, 2014


2:10AM PDT on May 8, 2014

Very useful info, thank you Mel :)

12:52AM PDT on May 8, 2014

Thanks for the excellent summary!

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Thanks for sharing , we all could be a bit kinder and more understanding after all nobody is perfect…

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good but better under supervision at first.

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