Cloves: Helps Arthritis Pain
HOW IT WORKS: According to Chinese medicine, cloves have hot and moving properties that relieve arthritis pain caused by cold and stagnation. Cloves contain a phytochemical that interrupts the pathways of a protein complex in the body that’s been linked to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. TRY TO GET: 1/2 teaspoon a day. USE IT: Saute 1 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped), 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon cloves in 1 tablespoon olive oil. After 3 minutes, add 4 cups shredded rhubarb chard, and fry until soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with chicken or fish.
Turmeric: Curbs Inflammation
HOW IT WORKS: An ancient spice that gives curry its deep golden-orange color, turmeric reduces the inflammation in the body that causes pain. Curcumin, a component in turmeric, inhibits cell enzymes that contribute to inflammation. TRY TO GET: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day. USE IT: Add a dash to organic canned soups, such as tomato, lentil, or black bean varieties.
Thyme: Eases a Cough
HOW IT WORKS: Thyme is an antispasmodic, which helps with bouts of nonstop coughing. Thyme’s antiseptic properties also make it very effective against inflammation of the throat, which can cause coughing. TRY TO GET: 2 to 3 teaspoons a day. USE IT: For a simple vinaigrette, whisk together 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
Recipe ideas from Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook (Rodale, 2008).
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