Christmas time is approaching and we enjoy the introduction to all the wonderful things Christmas has to offer – smells, tastes and moods. In addition to the fresh scent of fir, many also associate Christmas to those familiar and wonderfully warming spicy scents – perfectly suitable for the northern winter, the cold and the dark. The wonderful aromas and flavours of our Christmas spices, e.g. cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are other great features. In fact, they are filled with good health benefits, because the richest antioxidant products to be found in the earth are spices.
Cinnamon is one of the most beloved spices from around the world. In addition to the lovely taste it has e.g. mitigating effects on pain and inflammation. Cinnamon’s best-known health effect is perhaps it’s beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It is important to remember to use Ceylon cinnamon, which does not contain coumarin which is harmful to the liver. At Christmas time sprinkle cinnamon on top of porridge. It can also be used in tea, the recommended consumption is one to four cups a day. Cinnamon has one of the world’s highest antioxidant ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), at 265,000 it is about five times higher than e.g. Inonotus obliquus, Chaga (52,000).
Cardamom has numerous health effects, the first that comes to mind is its ability to aid in digestion. Cardamom can be used to support a number of gastrointestinal disorders, e.g. acid difficulties, flatulence and stomach cramps. Cardamom is also a good body cleanser, and it provides support to the body’s circulation. I think the most wonderful way to use cardamom is to add it in the coffee before brewing it. In this way, the cardamom coffee deliciously fools the senses and you don’t need the cake at all!
The aroma and flavour of cloves are very strong. One of it’s features is that it is a powerful cell protector. The ORAC value of ground cloves is a staggering 290,000. Cloves are known as a good supporter of the digestive tract, and also relieves inflammation and inflammatory pain. In addition, the clove also supports liver function and is a stunning immunity support. During the cool winter evenings or after a long hiking trip, make it a habit to rub your tired leg muscles with an oil blend, which includes Clove essential oil. You can add a few drops of 100% pure essential oils to a base oil and rub on the skin. It is particularly good for osteoarthritis or arthritis caused by muscle and joint pain, it also provides relief after heavy exercising.
Nutmeg is a wonderful source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It can be used to aid digestion and to help in overcoming yeast infections. Nutmeg is suitable as a coffee cardamom spice. Just the tip of a teaspoon in your coffee is enough. A tiny hint of the spice in a fruit smoothie gives a delicious, exotic nuance.
Ginger root is used worldwide as a medicinal herb in complementary Natural Medicine. Ginger soothes an irritated stomach. Furthermore it can be enjoyed for muscle and joint pain treatment. I love ginger in all its forms – freshly grated in tea or smoothies, powdered food oriental spice or seasoning in cookie dough. During flu-time, chuck a piece of ginger on the bottom of your mug, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of high-quality honey and pour over with hot water. Drinking warms and gives impetus to recovering from the flu.
Wishing everyone an atmospheric and fragrant Christmas time!
Tiina – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches
Try making your own delightfully spicy Christmas cookies – http://www.annisvitalshop.com/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=cookie+spice&submit_search=