Flavoring the season is age old wisdom, designed to ease digestion, promote health, and spread love. Spices form holiday memories centered on the candy cane, gingerbread man, and seasoned entrees. Perfectly blended, the memories are timeless. Beyond taste, these kitchen standards add a healthy zest. The following was found in several herbal research books and is meant for informational purposes only.
Licorice flavored Anise is helps with coughs, digestion, intestinal spasms, and flatulence. It acts as an expectorant and increases libido. Externally, the oil kills lice, and scabies. May cause photosensitivity or interfere with anticoagulant drugs.
Sweet Cinnamon kills bad breath; fights bacteria, botulism, and staph infections; and aids in digestion. When mixed with milk and honey, it relieves gas, diarrhea, and dysentery. It helps relieve coughs, lower back pain, cramps, and gout. Has anti-clotting properties.
Spicy Cloves relieves indigestion and diarrhea, but is traditionally used to relieve toothaches, disinfect root canals, or as a mouthwash. It lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels. As a natural stimulant, cloves increase circulation and warmth when soaked in olive oil and applied to the skin. Also cuts the sting of paper cuts. Anti-microbial. Naturally freshens the air; repels moths; and wards off disease.
The peppery warmth of Ginger relieves indigestion, nausea, and rheumatoid arthritis. As a mild stimulant, it lowers cholesterol; promotes circulation; and platelet aggregation. It has been used to prevent the flu and seasickness. Warnings: Interferes with anti-coagulant drugs. Therapeutic doses are not recommended for people with gallbladder issues. Not recommended for pregnant women though amounts in food are safe. Not recommended before bedtime. Wrap and refrigerate fresh ginger.
Uniquely its own spice, Nutmeg was used to relieve hangovers or create love. Small amounts on daily basis help to relieve chronic nervous disorders, heart problems, lower blood pressure, relieve indigestion, and nausea. Anti-bacterial. Promotes sleep when rubbed on the forehead or steeped in hot water. Large doses are toxic. Amounts in food are safe.
Peppermint calms nerves, muscles, and tension headaches; relieves, nausea, inflammation of the mouth, respiratory and digestive systems; and soothes intestinal ulcers. Controls food cravings and flatulence; opens sinuses; lowers fevers. When rubbed onto the skin may alleviate headaches or soothe inflamed skin. Warnings: Possible heartburn, headache, and skin flushing. People with low hydrochloric acid in the stomach; gallbladder or bile duct obstruction should avoid peppermint. Not recommended in any form to infants. Do not give peppermint tea to children because of choking. Do not apply oil directly to mucus membranes or add more than directed to bath waters.
Sweet, sensual Vanilla, historically, increases libido and reduces impotency. It’s an antioxidant, antidepressant, relaxant, sedative, and has anticancer properties. Used to reduce fevers; fight infections and inflammation, the oil relaxes hyperactivity in body systems, decreasing sensitivity to convulsions anxiety, stress, and allergens. Breathing in the essential oil relieves anger, restlessness, lowers blood pressure, and promotes sleep.
Happiest Holiday wishes to you and yours! May the memories created be zesty, joyful, and seasoned perfectly!
– Michele Dubel is a Wellness Educator and author; certified Arthritis Foundation exercise and self-help trainer with nearly two decades of experience as a geriatric and stress management specialist. She is has a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership, Geneva College; a Master’s in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health; and a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Slippery Rock University.