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Winter Health: 7 Warming Herbs

12/11/2009 3:32:21 PM

Tags: Health, Cardamom, Pepper, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Garlic, Horseradish, Ginger, Winter, Circulation, Warming Herbs, Warming Spices

GinaI don’t know about you, but soup is a winter staple my house. We stock up on a variety of canned soups—rich in potatoes, carrots and beef—whenever they are on sale at our local supermarket. They always warm my husband and me up on frigid days.

According to Brigitte Mars, nutritional consultant from The Huffington Post, herbs and spices can also help improve circulation during winter months. (Click here to read the story.) Mars suggests these seven herbs and spices:

1. Black Pepper. It has antiseptic and antioxidant properties.

2. Cardamom. Early Ayurvedic texts recommended this spice for skin and urinary problems, as well as an aid for digestion. It also helps open the respiratory passages. Try our recipe for Yogurt Apple Pudding with Cardamom.


3. Cayenne. This spice helps relieve chills, coughs and congestion, improves poor circulation and strengthens weak digestion. Take internally, in tincture or capsule form, to invigorate the blood. 

4. Cinnamon. This spice is a warming agent and is regarded as an antiseptic and a digestive tonic. It may also lower blood sugar. Try our recipe for Cinnamon-Pecan Brittle.

5. Garlic. It is known for its antioxidant protection and its antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-coagulant, antifungal and antiviral properties. Medicinally, it’s also helpful for heart disease and treating colds, flu, and viral infections. It improves circulation by helping prevent blood clumps. Try our recipe for Garlic-Miso Broth.

6. Ginger. It is used for the circulatory and digestive systems, coughs, colds, aches and pains. Mars recommends ginger baths. They are warming, relax muscles and improve circulation for all parts of the body. Try our body care recipe for Ginger Mint Body Glow.

7. Horseradish. High in vitamin C, it is an antiseptic and decongestant used to open respiratory passages. It is also used to treat colds, congestion, coughs, inflammation, indigestion and even a sluggish libido. Try our recipe for Salmon Loaf with Horseradish Sauce.

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