This herb of the ginger family provides the yellow color in curries. It’s a powerful antioxidant and has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. Preliminary studies suggest it may help prevent or even treat Alzheimer’s disease. In some Indian villages where turmeric is popular, there are unusually low rates of Alzheimer’s. Turmeric also enhances immune function, improves digestion and may reduce your risk of heart attack. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, scientists are studying curcumin, one of the most active substances in turmeric, as a possible treatment for cystic fibrosis.
You may know that studies have demonstrated that ginger is effective in preventing the symptons of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In addition, it can be useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting brought on by pregnancy. To get the stomach-calming benefits, simply steep an ounce or two of fresh gingerroot in a cup of hot water. Ginger also contains an inflammation-fighting substance called gingerol, which may help reduce pain and improve function in people who have arthritis.
This common herb contains substances that have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may improve immune function and circulation, and reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Used as aromatherapy, it may enhance memory and cognition.
CorianderAlso called cilantro, coriander is rich in protective phytochemicals and is a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese.
One of the oldest spices known, cinnamon seems to reduce inflammation, and recent studies show that it may also be especially beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes. In one study, consuming less than a 1/4 a day reduced blood sugar in people with diabetes by about 20% and lowered triglycerides, LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol. In another, chewing cinnamon gum, or simply smelling the spice, improved attention and memory.