Monday, February 7, 2011

Spice of Life

 I am interested in spices and how they can promote health and assist healing. Spice as seasoning is familiar ground but currently the health aspect is a talking point everywhere. Magazines, cooking shows, even Dr. Oz is talking about spices to use to reduce your risk of cancer or high blood pressure or to improve cardiac health. Post cancer, I'm eating foods high in antioxidants to ward off those nasty free radicals. I've  upped my vegetable and fruit intake, switched to whole grains, and eat organic whenever possible. I seek out antibiotic and hormone free meat and poultry. Now I am exploring how using the right spices can further enhance health and healing. Which spices for which reasons and in what amount?

Sterling Publishing 2011

This book was featured in a display at my local library. The sub title, How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease promised the information I was seeking.
And it delivered. After eleven pages giving the history of spice use and how to purchase and store spices, the next two hundred and forty five pages are devoted to the fifty spices. Information on each spice begins with the healing and health properties, then history and culture in "getting to know ___," then a "how to buy ___," and finishes with "in the kitchen with ____."  Each spice description includes an ink drawing of the plant, a "use and pairs with" chart, and a recipe.
The book concludes with how to make spice rubs and mixes and a resource list. Especially useful is a fifteen page A-Z list of health conditions, appropriate healing spices, and where available, research-tested therapeutic use dosages.
As a bonus, the book is printed on cream colored paper with sepia ink and sepia and green charts that are easy on the eyes. I love it when I find exactly the right book at exactly the right time.
In tomorrow's post, I'll take you with me on a spice buying excursion to one of my favorite foodie places!


  1. Judy, I'm writing about this on the Blood-Red Pencil in a series called Care & Feeding of the Writer. Turmeric is one of my favorite anti-inflammatories and I recommend it for writers who have pain issues in their hands and wrists, among other food medicines. Diet is so important. Look forward to your next post!

  2. Thanks Dani, it was my interest in turmeric and cinnamon that set me on this path. Finding a book with the information all in one place was a boost. I'm happily trying the recipes. There is even one from Dr. Aggarwal's wife using Turmeric in a wrinkle cream!

  3. No kidding? I'd be afraid to to turn permanently yellow!