Common Spices and Herbs with Amazing Health Benefits

The thought of another night of grilled chicken may sound boring and repetitive, but if you spice it up a bit, it’ll be rewarding both for your taste buds and your health. Adding a variety of spices to your meals will not only enhance the flavour of your food, but you’ll also give a boost of antioxidants and vitamins to your body.

Luckily, you don’t have to go on a massive hunt in search of exotic spices and ingredients. Most of them can be found at your local shop and market, and these are some of the most common ones that are also very beneficial for your health.


Since ancient times of 2,800 BCE, people have used cinnamon for anointing, embalming, and treating various health issues. Today it may not be as widely used for its therapeutic properties as it was back then, but cinnamon still provides numerous health benefits as a spice with anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

Recent studies show that cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels, regulate glucose in the body, have cognitive enhancement effects, and possibly even be an effective aid in treating Alzheimer’s disease.


This versatile spice is packed with antioxidants, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. One of the components of turmeric is curcumin which relieves joint pain, prevents cancer and has healing properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have been imperative in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The antioxidants also play a part in overall health as they destroy the free radicals in the body that cause cell damage.

Black pepper

The next time you have second thoughts about using black pepper when cooking, think again. This humble spice offers more benefits than most people imagine. It’s a part of the Piperaceae family and can be processed in various ways to yield different kinds of peppers.The piperine it contains can be credited with the prevention of cancer, and double its powers when used with turmeric.

It also has vitamins A and C, flavonoids, carotenes and other antioxidants, so it helps ease digestion, and metabolism, and stimulates the stomach. Its phytonutrients help to break down fat cells and are antibacterial in nature so they help to treat colds and coughs.Various research shows that piperine in black pepper also stimulates the brain by increasing its activity.


Ginger is a tropical plant widely used in Asian cultures for several thousand years as a remedy for upset stomach, diarrhoea and nausea. In western countries, it can be found in a variety of convenient forms such as candies, lollipops, capsules and teas. You can also buy dried ginger powder among the spices at the grocery store, or you can use it fresh to make teas or grate into dishes.

Research has shown that ginger can be quite effective in alleviating pregnancy-related nausea and even reducing the severity of motion sickness. It may even offer some relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting when taken together with anti-nausea drugs.


From ancient times, garlic has been used widely in cooking as well as a medicine due to its anti-microbial properties. Consuming garlic regularly can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well as lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin.

As our bodies age, it’s normal that arterial walls harden which can lead to atherosclerosis  – fatty deposits of cholesterol and other substances build up on the inside of artery walls. Because of that, artery walls become narrower which can make you more susceptible to stroke and heart attack. Various research studies have linked the consumption of garlic with keeping blood vessels flexible, particularly in women.


Cayenne is a type of chilli pepper that can be found in South-western American cuisine as well as Mexican, Creole and Cajun cooking. These peppers contain a substance called capsaicin which gives them the spiciness but it can also provide pain relief. It functions so that it reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain so you only register some discomfort. This is why it’s excellent for managing pain caused by arthritis and diabetes-related nerve damage.  It also has anti-bacterial properties, helps digestion, stimulates blood circulation, and may help in weight loss as well.


Parsley is a herb originating from the Mediterranean region which has been used through the years for both flavouring and therapeutic treatment. It provides a range of health benefits, including regulating high blood pressure and alleviating allergies. This herb is packed with antioxidants, carotenoids, and other beneficial vitamins that boost the immune system. One of them is vitamin K, an essential nutrient and a key ingredient for bone health.


Oregano is another herb that’s prevalent in the Mediterranean diet, and besides its flavour enhancing abilities, it’s also used as a supplement and aromatic oil.  It has a strong antioxidant effect which contributes to its strong taste and aroma and offers many beneficial qualities, such as strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, regulating blood sugar, improving insulin resistance and alleviating urinary tract symptoms as well as menstrual cramps.

Spices and herbs are delectable additions to our meals, but they also hold great power as essential nutrients that offer amazing benefits to our bodies. By incorporating these spices into your cooking routine, you may experience numerous health improvements but bear in mind that you should rely solely on them for a full treatment of your conditions. Make sure you always consult your doctor first.

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