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Healing with Spices: Best Spices for Healing and Natural Medicine

Updated on May 6, 2014

Healing with Spices

Natural Healing with spices and herbs
Natural Healing with spices and herbs | Source
Edwin Smith's medical papyrus
Edwin Smith's medical papyrus
Tumeric flowering
Tumeric flowering

Spice up your life for the better

Spices have been used for their health benefits for thousand of years.

There are records dating back to Ancient Egypt showing that practitioners medicine
often used herbs and spices to treat many medical conditions. Sometimes patients were recommended to add spices to food and at another times they would
be recommended special blends.

Most spices are derived from herbs, and today spice remedies are still made up out of single herbs or special herb blends. Spices have little or no nutritional value but many of them posses qualities which can improve medical conditions.

In ancient Egypt many spices such as pepper,cloves and cinnamon were used to improve the flavor of preserved food, and added to daily cooking.

In Egypt spices were spices were used during the mummification process and there are examples of mummies having been found with cinnamon in their body cavities after their organs had been removed and placed in canopic jars.

Healing spices

There are many special which have a healing effect and their usage can be traced back as far 3000 BC.
The list is actually very long but it does include some spices which we come across in everyday life and we share their use with the ancient Egyptians.

Black pepper - this has long been used to improve circulation, and stimulate appetite.
It is a very common spice found on most dining room tables, and added to a wide variety of foods.
Black pepper is also known to ease flatulence, stimulate digestion and is a great help if you suffer flatulence.

Caraway seeds - these small dark browns seeds and they are still being sold in large quantities in Egyptian spice bazaars today. In modern alternative medicine they are used to treat colic, bronchitis and flatulence however the ancient Egyptians also used caraway seeds for treating menstrual pain and to increase milk flow in nursing mothers. The seeds make a somewhat spicy tea which is great for period cramps.

Cardamom - this gentle spice is known to relieve indigestion when chewed. It treats vomiting effectively and acid regurgitation.
Papyrus records show cardamom was being used to treat bronchitis and chest infections.

Chillies and cayenne pepper - chillies are widely grown across Egypt today and you will see many different varieties on sale. Chillies were used by the ancient Egyptians to clear mucus from the airways. Today chilli is often used as a tonic for the circulatory and digestive system.
It is great for helping to keep arteries clear from plaque and eating chillies when suffering a cold will certainly help to clear congestion.

Cinnamon - this herbs has long been used to treat indigestion. Tea made from cinnamon treats diarrhea. A very effective treatments for diarrhea is an oven baked apple topped with ground cinnamon. Cinnamon also helps IBS sufferers by calming the bowel and reducing inflammation.

Cloves - a spice which has long been used to ease toothache.

Coriander seeds - a very popular spice in all Eastern cooking. Coriander is a very effective treatment for cystitis and other forms of urinary tract infections.

Cumin seeds - a spice with a strong aroma. It is often added to curries and thought to treat colic. Today it is not often used as an alternative treatments to treat human conditions but it often used in veterinary medicine.

Ginger - a lovely warming spice. This versatile spice has long been used to treat motions sickness and also morning sickness. Hot ginger tea is a great drink to have when suffering a flu or cold. It is a great spice to use to help the circulatory system. The ancient Egyptians used it to treat Arthritis and today we are seeing an increased use of ginger in alternative medicine. It has been identified as a treatment for blood disorders as it stimulates the liver and removes toxins from the blood stream.

Mustard seeds - mustard seeds were used in ancient Egypt to treat Arthritis of the feet and lower joints. It is a very effective treatment for aching joints and a nice foot bath with added mustard seeds does ease the pain of aching joints. Pour hot water over crushed seeds and add them to your foot spa.

Nutmeg and mace - two different spices from the same plant. Both contain myristicin which can cause drowsiness. Myristicin is toxic in large quantities so be careful when you use this herbs. The ancient Egyptians used it as a drug and today we know myristicin can cause hallucinations.

Saffron - the queen of spices. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as period pain, depression and menopausal symptoms. The ancient Egyptians loved this spice and it was used to treat pain, and inflammation of the joints.

Star anise - according to a variety of early and late period papyrus records this was used to treat colic and ulcers. Today we know it can help to calm the bowel and relieve flatulence.

Tumeric - a very popular spice in alternative medicine. In ancient Egypt it was used for wound care as it is antiseptic. We now recognize it as one of the primary herbs to treat the liver, help calm inflammation and it is a great aid for digestive disorders. In ancient Egypt this versatile spice was used to treat all of these conditions and often mixed with honey for wound care. It also aids circulation in a very gentle way and the effects of this spice which feels sandy to the touch are long lasting.

The ancient Egyptians and herbal healing

The ancient Egyptians were the masters of healing with herbs. Today we are only just beginning to discover the many benefits of which they were familiar with, and their treatment methods. Many medical practitioners in ancient Egypt also carried out extensive research into the use of herbs and spices and their findings were recorded in papyrus documents and there are also many hieroglyphics on temple walls which shows herbs and medical practice.

This ancient society discovered that powered White Willow increased bleeding and should never be used as part of wound care. They theorized if this was the case White Willow could be used to treat heart conditions as they understood that heart conditions were caused by poor blood circulation. Bark from the White Willow tree was made into a powder, added to water and drunk by the patient. The ancient Egyptians had discovered Aspirin - the bark from the White Willow contains salicylates - naturally occurring aspirin like compounds.

It took us almost 5000 years to rediscover what the ancient Egyptians knew. Many people know take aspirin on a daily basis to treat their heart disease. The question is what other ancient knowledge can still be discovered in papyrus documents and how much has been lost.

Spice market in Aswan Egypt
Spice market in Aswan Egypt


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    • patchofearth profile image

      patchofearth 4 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      This is really interesting. I am always interested in learning more about herbs and natural healing. The history you mention about the ancient Egyptians is also pretty cool. It's strange to think that we developed technology only to rediscover old practices.

      A lot of great information.

    • Healthyannie profile image

      Healthyannie 4 years ago from Spain

      As a species I think the human race has so far failed to learn from the past. The answers are out there in the natural world - unfortunately we

      do not see ourselves as part of the natural world - rather the masters of it. That's my thought for today. Take care Annie

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