Friday, September 26, 2008

Spice Up Your Life with Dr. Joseph Mercola

Time sure flies because the holidays are fast approaching. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, with the scent of holiday spices soon filling your home. But unknown to many, these spices do more than just add fragrance and flavor to your food – they also infuse your favorite holiday dishes with numerous health benefits.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, one of America’s leading natural health practitioners and nutrition experts, shares the unique health benefits that you can experience from these popular holiday spices:

Cinnamon – Used for centuries as a spice and as medicine, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day significantly helps reduce blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes while also lowering triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in this group. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because cinnamon also:

  • Enhances digestion
  • Constricts and tones tissues
  • Relieves congestion
  • Soothes pain muscles and joints
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort
  • Helps stimulate circulation
  • Helps relieve arthritis
  • Helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease, and
  • Is a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli and other bacteria, naturally keeping foods fresher longer

Cloves – Native to Indonesia, cloves are used in Chinese and western herbal medicine in dental emergencies, as it is known to relieve tooth and gum pain but beyond that, cloves:

  • Have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties
  • Provide relief from asthma and bronchitis
  • Relieve muscle pains from injuries, arthritis or rheumatism, and
  • Kill intestinal parasites and fungi

Ginger – Commonly used all over the world, ginger contains up to three percent of an essential oil, giving it its fragrance. Aside from warming the body and adding that familiar “kick” to your food, ginger:

  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Soothes upset stomach, nausea and motion sickness
  • Relieves morning sickness
  • Eliminates intestinal gas
  • Has antioxidant properties
  • Relieves dizziness
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Protects against bacteria and fungi, and
  • Encourages bile flow

Nutmeg – A regular in pies, pudding, cookies and souffl├ęs, nutmeg also helps lower cholesterol and:

  • Is useful for those with insomnia as it can induce drowsiness
  • Calms muscle spasms
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases circulation, and
  • Relieves toothache

Peppermint – Since ancient times, fresh peppermint leaves have been known for their therapeutic properties. One of the most versatile herbs, peppermint is used to flavor tea, ice cream, gum, toothpaste and is even added to shampoos and soap. It also:

  • Soothes the digestive tract
  • Relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • May protect against cancer
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus, and
  • Relieves the symptoms of allergies and asthma

These spices will surely make your holidays healthier. But however beneficial these spices may be, Dr. Mercola warns that they should not be taken daily because you will expose yourself to the risk of allergies. For Dr. Mercola, there are no shortcuts to optimal health because only in addressing the underlying causes of illness with a healthy diet and lifestyle will you become truly healthy.

Dr. Mercola is the author of Take Control Of Your Health, where he offers more advice and tips on how to get healthy and happy. For more information on Dr. Mercola’s practice, visit now!

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