Spicing up against colds
Spices and herbs can come in handy for fighting off viruses when the temperatures drop and winds blow across the snowy streets.
Pepper has a high content of the alkaloid capsaicin and therefore has an invigorating effect on the nervous system. It also invigorates the blood vessels and stimulates the secretion of gastric juice. Pepper irritates the mucous membranes. Persons with gastritis, gastric ulcer and diseases of esophagus should not take pepper.
Paprika “cleanses” the blood vessels. It slows down the coagulation of blood and prevents the formation of blood clots, a very important property to use in subfreezing temperatures. Persons with hypertension and atherosclerosis are recommended to add paprika in a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.
Ancient Greeks call basil “the herb of longevity.” Basil kills disease-causing bacteria and stimulates the growth of leucocytes. Has a beneficial effect on immunity. Basil also acts as a stimulant to digestion. The herb is known for its hypoallergic properties. A mixture of basil and rosemary can substitute common pepper for an allergic person. Basil can also be used as a mild diuretic and febrifuge.
Avicenna called cloves “a remarkable remedy for the heart.” Cloves improve the functioning of digestive system. The spice acts as a painkiller for arthritis and gout. It can help reduce toothache, take away weariness, and be a memory stimulant.
Ginger is an effective antiseptic for acute viral respiratory infections. Two pieces of pickled ginger can help flu at bay. Ginger stimulates the functioning of stomach, it can help abate nausea and sea sickness. Ginger also gives a boost to metabolism and skin nourishment. It is believed to be a good remedy for enhancing the sex urge in males. The spice helps to combat inflammation of a prostate gland. Ginger should not be taken by persons with inflammations of the lever, gall bladder and during acute forms of gastric ulcer.
Cinnamon helps to widen the bronchi and stimulate the breathing functions. A cup of cappuccino sprinkled with cinnamon will do you good when you suffer from chest coughing.
Cinnamon is thought to be a female spice; it enhances sexual activity and stimulates blood circulation in organs of the pelvis minor. It helps to cure headache caused by spasms and tension.