The Power of 3 Kitchen Spices

Believe it or not, in ancient times, spices were often more precious than gold. There were wars over them, kingdoms lost over them, and new frontiers discovered because of spices.

You can harness the healing power of spices by strategically adding them to your meals. Spices can be medicines. Writings in ancient medical texts dating back 3000 years showed how spices like turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, ginger, pepper were used for therapeutic value.


This sweet-spicy flavored spice is derived from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree. Here is a brief overview of its medicinal qualities.

cinnamon sticks



  • Lowers blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces triglycerides levels
  • Mildly reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Supports digestion by reducing gas, bloating, etc
  • Tones and constricts tissues. Good for varicose veins
  • Relieves congestion
  • Helps with menstrual discomforts
  • Contains anti-inflammatory proprieties that help arthritis
  • Contains blood thinning compounds that stimulate circulation & promote heart health
  • Prevents urinary tract infections
  • Prevents tooth decay and gum disease (why do you think it is in so many toothpastes?)
  • Promotes fresh breath
  • Helps control Metabolic syndrome (AKA insulin resistance syndrome and syndrome X)
  • Induces sweating with colds/flus


This spice was first imported to the state of Connecticut in the 18th Century, where only the wealthy could afford it. If you haven’t done it yet, buy a whole nutmeg and grate a little fresh on foods for a delightful flavor and added nutrition. The Lamb Shoppe has this delicious spice available in the Bulk Herb Section of the store. NOTE: TAKE IN LOWER AMOUNTS ONLY (less than 2 ounces), it may cause narcotic reactions if taken in large amounts.

Grated nutmeg and whole seed

  • Insomnia – eating enough of this herb may produce drowsiness, so eat it in the evening for a good night’s sleep
  • Anxiety remedy
  • Calms muscle spasms and pain
  • Helps nausea and vomiting
  • Good for indigestion by reducing gas and bloating
  • Alleviates diarrhea
  • Relieves joint pain and gout
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Improves male infertility and impotence
  • May be good for fibromyalgia pain



Star anise

This spice comes from an evergreen tree in China and is greatly admired for its beauty. It has a 6 or 8-pointed star of slender pods, each cradling a seed. It not only looks beautiful, it tastes of a lovely licorice flavor with a hint of cinnamon and clove. This spice is 13 times sweeter than sugar, but is often used in savory recipes, particularly with meats. In China, which has used it for centuries, star anise is a key ingredient in five-spice powder (with cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Sichuan peppercorns). One whole star is enough to aromatize a vegetable stir fry dish.  When simmered with onions and soy sauce or tamari, it add a nice flare to beef, chicken and lamb.

  • Relieves gas, cramping, bloating and indigestion
  • Used in traditional Chinese medicine for clearing mucus from the respiratory tract
  • Fights influenza
  • Wards off viral, bacterial and fungal infections including Hepatitis B., Herpes simplex 1, HIV, Stept bacteria, Epstein-Barr virus and more.

Here are a few ideas in case this spice is new to you:

  1. Put a star anise in the pan when roasting a chicken.
  2. Add star anise to stewed apples or plums.
  3. Use it in soups, stews, and casseroles that require long cooking times.
  4. Use it to flavor teas.
  5. Grind it and add to a marinade.

Hint: I like to add one dried star anise pod and one slice of a fresh orange to a glass of water, and let sit for about 30 minutes before drinking it.  The water becomes infused with the spice and citrus flavor for a refreshing change of pace in beverages. Make a pitcher of this, for serving when entertaining, your guests will be delighted. The Lamb Shoppe has this spice and many more in the bulk herb section.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice from your professional healthcare provider. Please consult your qualified healthcare provider for treatment of medical problems.