Spices as Natural Medicine

Course Objectives

Participants completing this program should be able to identify selected spices indicated for preventing or treating:

1. Disorders of the GI tract,
2. Pain and inflammation,
3. Respiratory disorders,
4. Cardiometabolic disorders, and
5. Disorders affecting the brain and behavior.

Spices Cover Photo

Spices Complete Bibliographies

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Understanding Spices
•• Medicinal Spices: edible, aromatic and dried from the root, bark, stem, bud, leaves, flower, fruit, or seed.
•• Key Properties: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with unique medicinal characteristics; classification of spices.
•• Spices with Medical Characteristics: protective properties of selected plants have powerful and selective actions.

GI Tract
•• Bioavailability: disorders of the GI tract impair absorption of spices.
•• Stress and Digestive Disorders: Capsaicin (chili), Curcumin (from turmeric), Gingerol (ginger), Quercetin (e.g., garlic), and Resveratrol.
•• Gut-Brain Connection: most serotonin is synthesized in the GI tract; inflamed gut, inflamed brain and mood.
•• Celiac Disease: gluten- and casein-free diets; role in autism.
•• Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Cinnamon, Coriander, Mint, Peppermint; adding spices to probiotics.

Pain and Inflammation
•• NSAID Effects: Cherry, Curcumin, Ginger, Willow, Wintergreen.
•• Steroid Effects: Basil, Curcumin, Licorice, Mint, Quercetin, Rosemary.
•• Steroid-Related Osteoporosis: Cumin, Quercetin, Sesame, Tomato.
•• Dental Disorders: periodontal disease, Chamomile, Curcumin, Mint and Pomegranate; tooth decay, Thyme and Mint; Clove and oral sensitivity.
•• Rheumatoid Arthritis: Bay Leaf, Black Cumin Seed, Celery Seed, Curcumin, Fennel Seed, Ginger, Pomegranate, and Rosemary.
•• Osteoarthritis: Bay Leaf, Capsaicin Celery Seed, Chili, Curcumin, Fennel Seed, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Pomegranate, and Rosemary.

Respiratory Disorders
•• Allergies: Black Cumin Seed, Curcumin, Mint, and Onion.
•• Rhinitis and Sinusitis: Black Cumin Seed, (e.g., cardamom) Cineole Oil, Horseradish, and Sage.
•• Influenza: Asafoetida, Garlic, Juniper Berry, Pomegranate, and Thyme.
•• Asthma: Black Cumin Seed, Cardamom, Curcumin, and Ginger.
•• Chronic Inflammatory Lung Disorders: Almonds, Curcumin, Green Tea, and Resveratrol.

Cardiometabolic Disorders
•• Hypertension: Almond, Black Cumin Seed, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Curcumin, Fennel Seed, Garlic, Green Tea, Juniper Berry, Onion, Oregano, Pomegranate, Saffron, Sesame Seed, and Tomato.
•• Platelet Aggregation: Cardamom, Chili, Garlic, Rosemary, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Thyme.
•• Triglycerides: Almond, Basil, Blueberries, Cinnamon, Curry Leaf, Fenugreek Seed, Garlic, Ginger, Lemongrass, Oregano, Pumpkin Seed, and Sesame Seed.
•• Insulin Resistance: Almond, Blueberries, Casein, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Fenugreek Seed, Mustard Bran, Oregano, and Sweet Potato.
•• Type 2 Diabetes: Almond, Basil, Chili, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coriander, Cumin, Curcumin, Curry, Fenugreek Seed, Garlic, Green Tea, Juniper Berry, Lemongrass, Onion, Pomegranate, Rosemary, and Sage.
•• Diabetic Neuropathy: Capsaicin, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.
•• Coronary Artery Disease: Almond, Cumin Seed, Cardamom, Chili, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Curcumin, Fennel Seed, Garlic, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame Seed, Tamarind, and Tomato.

Brain and Behavior
•• Chronic Stress: cortisol regulation and Basil, Cocoa, Curcumin, Mint, Quercetin, and Rosemary.
•• Appetite Control: Almond, Apple, Black Pepper, Chili, Cinnamon, Coconut, Curcumin, Fenugreek Seed, Kokum, Oregano, and Pomegranate.
•• Anxiety and Insomnia: Chamomile, Coriander, Ginger, Hops, Lemongrass, Mint, Rosemary, Saffron, and Sage.
•• Depression: Black Cumin Seed, Curcumin, Rosemary, and Saffron.
•• Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Blueberries, Cocoa, Curry Leaf, Rosemary, Saffron and Sage.
•• Stroke: Almond, Celery Seed, Chili, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Curcumin, Fennel Seed, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, and Rosemary.
•• Vascular (Multi-Infarct) Dementia: Cocoa, Fennel Seed, and Garlic.
•• Alzheimer’s Disease: Curcumin, Cocoa, Garlic, and Resveratrol.

Preparing Spices to Optimize Their Benefits
•• Sources: finding the best common and rare spices.
•• Storage: preventing spoilage.
•• Preparation: how to grind and cook spices; using oils to enhance medicinal effects and flavor.
•• Combining Spices: combinations indicated for specific conditions, e.g., Curcumin absorption is enhanced by Black Pepper.
Spices Complete Bibliographies

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