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Long before CVS and Wahlgreens people got along just fine in dealing with colds and minor ailments. For thousands of years people have know that certain spices helped them feel better when faced with various conditions. In this series I am going to share some information about common spices you can find in your kitchen or at the grocers or grow in you won garden. A spice is just another name for an herb ad there are thousands of them that can be used, but I am sicking to the commonplace ones. When using spices, remember that whole spices retain their potency for up to a year where ground spices will last only a few weeks. It’s best to use whole spices, like peppercorns, and use a mill.

ANISE(Pimpinella anisum):

Anise is a seed. This spice acts as a carminative (anti-gas) and a stomachic (digestive stimulant). Since it is a warming agent it also helps reduce build-up of excess phlegm. Because of its properties, it is good for gas, indigestion and tummy aches as well as for coughs, runny nose and lung congestion. Historically, Anise has also been used to help relieve premenstrual cramps. It can also be used to help alleviate bad breath y chewing a few seeds.  For congestion it is best to make a strong tea with the seeds. For digestive problems it is best to chew the seeds.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum):

Fresh or cooked Basil is good for colicky babies, slow or nervous digestion. It can also be made into a tea and helps open the chest to relieve coughs and congestion. Basil is also used as a spiritual aid. It is believed that the spice will help raise positive energies in the body and in a room. For personal spiritual benefit simply drink it as a strong tea. For a room or house simply grow several plants indoors. You can also use basil oil to help fight fatigue and/or drowsiness. Just take a few drops on a piece of cloth or tissue and inhale it when you need a quick pick me up.

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum):

Black pepper is a heating and drying agent and can be used to balance the cooling effects of greens commonly found in salads. Black pepper is a digestive stimulant so it helps relieve gas and intestinal bloating. Since it helps stimulate digestion it is often used in cooking to season red meats. Black pepper can also be used to treat coughs, colds and congestion. Simply make a paste with a half teaspoon of black pepper and honey and eat this mixture. It can be washed down with herb tea or other warm beverage as it is quite burning on the throat.


More to Come, Stay tuned !