Spices, too hot for you?

ginger root herbs

ginger root herbs

Spices have become a hot health topic these days. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar, tumeric prevents cancer, ginger helps lose weight, and garlic lowers lipids (cholesterol and triglyceride). Some people are carried away by these claims and start taking these spices on a daily basis as supplements. Here I must remind everybody that no single food is a magic food. Tumeric does help prevent cancer, but it alone does not guarantee that you won’t get cancer if you continue to smoke. Garlic can help lowering cholesterol, only if you eat a healthy diet and exercise at the same time.

When used in appropriate amount and as food seasonings, spices are enjoyable and health promoting. Most of these spices are also used as medicinals in traditional medicines such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayuvedic Medicine of India. They come with clear indications and contra-indications due to their energetics. The energetics of most spices are warm to hot. They are more suitable for people with a cold constitution, for a cold condition and in cold seasons. They may be used in conjunction with cooling herbs or foods for somebody who is already warm. When spices are used out of context in larger amount and for prolonged period of time, they can contribute to certain heat conditions such as acne, oral ulcers, excessive thirst, insomnia, etc.

In the summer time, it is best to avoid overuse of spices, especially ginger and cinnamon. Or you can eat more cooling foods such as watermelon, celery, cucumber, and mung beans to balance the actions of the spices.

Stay cool!