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4 Anti-fungal Spices and Their Uses

Updated on November 3, 2011
turmeric has anti-fungal properties
turmeric has anti-fungal properties

4 Anti-fungal Spices

Spices have been used for centuries for their many medicinal properties - while today they are commonly used in food preparation without knowledge of their many healthy benefits.

For food preparation the terms "spices" and "herbs are often used interchangeably. However, they are different. Herbs are made from aromatic plants found in temperate zones, while spices come from tropical plants. Another difference is that with herbs, unlike spices, it is usually just the leaves used.

Spices are made from many parts of the plant, including the roots, bark, seeds, berries and the flowers. In addition to the many benefits of spices, there are also beneficial anti-fungal properties. If you are using spices you may want to consider their anti-fungal properties as well.

Spices are used by sprinkling over food or preparing food with them. They can also be prepared as a tea. Fresh is always best. For example, turmeric can be purchased whole and then ground as needed.

Listed below are 4 anti-fungal spices:

1- Allspice - comes from the dried berry of a native Central and South American tree. Allspice contains the agent known as eugenol, which is what provides resistance not only to fungi but to bacteria and viruses as well. For medicinal purposes, allspice has long been used for its anti-fungal benefits, as well as its antibacterial and anti-microbial properties.

2 - Turmeric - is also an anti-fungal spice and is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. for its many other benefits as well. Turmeric is made from the underground roots of the curcuma longa. Native to Southeast Asia, the tropical turmeric plant is a member of the ginger family. At the end of the growing season the roots of the plant are harvested, sun dried and then crushed into the familiar ground yellow powder. The curcumin found in turmeric is a natural pigment which gives tumeric its gold yellow color. It is also the curcumin that gives tumeric its anti-parasitic properties. The anti-fungal benefits of turmeric are beneficial in helping skin problems such as athlete's feet.

3 - Cloves (eugenia caryophyllus) - is native to the Spice Islands. Cloves are extremely effective as an anti-fungal spice because, like allspice, it also contains eugenol. Cloves can be taken internally or applied topically to reap its beneficial properties. Cloves can be used to treat fungal infections of the fingernail or toenail and as a dietary treatment for yeast (candida albicans) infections.

4 - Barberry - is spice made from the stem and root of the plant. It contains berberine, which provides potent anti-fungal properties. For the treatment of candida albicans, barberry has been shown to be useful for its significant anti-fungal properties.

For additional benefits of herbs and spices, see links below:


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    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Very useful information. The Asians take tumeric in their curry, and that happens to be my favourite.... It is great to know that it has anti-parasitic properties. I have read that it is great for cancer prevention too.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      I've been learning a little along about herbs, but had never thought of investigating herbs for anti-fungal use. Thanks much, this is great info to keep in mind!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great information, I am always on the lookout for any new herbs or spices, I use herbs quite a lot but never spices, thanks nell

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 7 years ago

      love natural remedies. good for you and little to no side effects

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      interesting and good list of useful spices. I will tweet this one. Good article.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      I really appreciate the differentiating of herbs and spices. At times we can easily confuse them. This hub is chocked full of great information. Rated and voted - I love it!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      I like hubs such as this one. Very useful. I am into natural healing. Thanks for a great hub. Teresa

    • LivingFood profile image

      LivingFood 7 years ago

      Good information. I will have to be on the lookout for barberry. I have never heard of it, but would love to try it. Thanks for another great hub.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      That makes a lot of sense - great information!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Great info - I use turmeric often as I was aware of it's properties.... plus clove oil mixed with peppermint oil in olive oil base is good for muscle relaxant as well as it works way better than vicks vapor rub for clearing stuffed sinus's and lungs. Thanks for the hub.

      Do you know how cloves grow and if they can be grown indoors?

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      ooooh I'm so intrigued. I have never heard of barberry. I will need to be on the look out for this. I love how useful your hubs are!

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Very interesting. In all my years, I have never heard of the spice barberry.Maybe I shouldn't divulge my lack of knowledge of culinary ingredients!Ha!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you thelistlady - I am discovering more herbs and spices and all their benefits. Turmeric has become a staple and a favorite and I sprinkle it on food that is prepared to have the fresh benefits. It gives it a nice scent!

      Thanks so much for this information. Maybe this is why I am staying so healthy because of all the spices and herbs I now use - as fresh as possible. And thanks for including the many healthy links.

      Rated way up! And bookmarked so I can share.