Bless you

8 Christmas Spices That Are Amazingly Healthy (If You Know How To Use Them!)

Christmas spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and nutmeg can not only add a magical scent to your festive dishes, but also keep you healthy and fit during the cold season. Would you like to learn more about their amazing health benefits? Here we have listed the best Christmas spices that can dispel winter blues and relieve pain and discomfort.

1. Christmas spices like cardamom and saffron improve the mood

Saffron as a natural mood enhancer

The typical Christmas spices such as anise, cinnamon and cardamom are an integral part of Christmas bakery. But these are also used in various drinks such as teas and smoothies.

A tea with saffron might be the perfect remedy to soothe the winter blues, as studies show that this particular spice can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. If the thought of your Christmas to-do list is driving you crazy, give this mood-boosting tea a try.

How To Make Mood Enhancing Tea:

1 teaspoon of green tea (the L-theanine it contains has a mood-enhancing effect)

3-4 strands of saffron (calms the nerves)

3-4 cardamom pods (clears the mind)

A pinch of licorice powder (adds natural sweetness and lowers the stress hormone cortisol)

Put all the ingredients and Christmas spices in a teapot. Pour boiling water over it, let it steep for 5-10 minutes, strain and enjoy.

2. Cardamom gives you fresh breath

Use Christmas spices for various ailments

Cardamom is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, dishes, beverages, and Middle Eastern baked goods. Green cardamom (Elettaria) and black cardamom (Amomum) come from the pods of a plant (Zingiberaceae) belonging to the ginger family. The spice has a warm, smoky, sweet taste that some also call minty. Cardamom is sold in many different forms, mostly in powder form. But you can also find cardamom pods, cardamom extract, and cardamom oil that are made from the seeds.

Not only does cardamom help with digestive problems like heartburn, but it is also effective against bad breath. The essential oils in the cardamom capsules also contribute to oral hygiene thanks to their antibacterial effect. So don’t worry if you’re unprepared for a kiss under the mistletoe. Regularly chewing some green cardamom seeds is a quick fix to freshen your breath.

2. Christmas spices like cardamom and nutmeg ensure a good night’s sleep

Christmas spices like cloves, cardamom anise and nutmeg are healthy

Don’t let worry or excitement keep you awake at night. If you need to relax, have a moon milk before bed! Cardamom and nutmeg are known for their calming properties. In Ayurveda (one of the oldest medical systems in the world), warm milk is a common home remedy for insomnia. The two Christmas spices are also great digestive aids, especially if you have stomach problems after a heavy Christmas meal.

Ingredients for a cup of moon milk:

1 cup of cow’s milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as hemp, almond, or cashew)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground turmeric

2 pinches of ground cardamom

1 pinch of ground ginger (optional)

1 pinch of ground nutmeg

1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee

1 teaspoon honey

Preparation:

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, ginger (if used) and nutmeg. Add the black pepper. Stir everything well to avoid lumps. Add coconut oil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes (the longer the moon milk is cooked, the stronger the effect). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the honey (the honey should not be boiled, as its healing properties are lost when it is heated). Drink the warm moon milk and go straight to bed.

3. Fight blood sugar crashes with cinnamon

Christmas spices not only smell great, they are also very healthy

Chocolates, roasted almonds, Christmas cookies, stollen … The sweet temptations that surround us at Christmas are endless. But eating too much sweet things can upset insulin levels and trigger food cravings. The spikes in blood sugar also have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar constant. With a simple cinnamon tea, for example, you can prevent food cravings.

Cinnamon tea for those with a sweet tooth:

4 cups of water

4 high quality organic cinnamon sticks (Ceylon cinnamon)

Unsweetened soy or almond milk

Stevia (a natural sweetener that does not affect your blood sugar)

A dash of vanilla flavor

Put 4 cups of water in a small saucepan and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then add milk, stevia and vanilla to taste.

You can also store the cinnamon tea in the refrigerator and pour yourself a cup when the sweet cravings overwhelms you.

Note: People taking diabetes medications or medications that affect blood sugar or insulin levels should not take therapeutic doses of cinnamon without first consulting their doctor. Taking cinnamon with medication can have an additive effect and cause blood sugar levels to become too low.

Cinnamon tea is rich in beneficial ingredients and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda as a natural remedy for various ailments.

4. Cayenne pepper oil helpful for headaches

Cayenne pepper oil is helpful for headaches

In the run-up to Christmas it often happens that you get tension headaches. Low blood sugar, stress, poor sleep, and overwork can all contribute to this. Try cayenne pepper – it’s a wonderful pain reliever!

Cayenne contains a substance called capsaicindas. It gives the spice its “warmth” and creates a burning sensation on every tissue it comes into contact with. In the correct concentration, capsaicin has a therapeutic effect and triggers a biochemical reaction that is both analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory. Cayenne pepper is also believed to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, or promote weight loss.

When used for pain, capsaicin is most commonly used in topical ointments or transdermal patches. Treat existing headaches by adding a few drops of chili oil to a body cream or 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Then massage them on the back of your neck to relieve tension. (Do a small patch test first to make sure your skin isn’t tender.) Cayenne is also sometimes used to treat muscle and joint pain. You can read more about the healthy spices for arthritis in this article.

5. A mustard bath for cold or tired feet

Cinnamon cloves and ginger powder

A traditional remedy for aching, tired feet is the mustard bath. Magnesium-rich mustard can relax tired muscles, while ginger can stimulate blood circulation. Prepare an invigorating foot bath by adding 6 teaspoons of mustard flour and 3 tablespoons of ginger powder to a bowl of warm water and placing your feet in it for at least 15 minutes.

6. Ginger tea helps at the beginning of a cold

Ginger tea healthy against colds

Ginger is one of the most versatile Christmas spices. It’s anti-inflammatory, which means it will support your immune system, especially if you have a cold. The perfect winter drink that combats inflammation and strengthens the immune system is ginger tea. It can also have a positive effect on the functioning of your gallbladder and pancreas. That way, the Christmas dinner is digested better.

preparation: Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger root together with 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and dried thyme in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 5 minutes. Refine with lemon (rich in immune-supporting vitamin C) and 1 teaspoon honey (has antimicrobial properties and soothes sore throats). Add 1 teaspoon of Echinacea tincture or elderberry syrup for an extra immunity boost.

7. Soothe your stomach with turmeric

Soothe your stomach with turmeric lassi

Traditionally, turmeric is used to aid digestion and relieve gas and gas. A delicious taste of India, Lassi relieves stomach upset and supports good intestinal bacteria for healthy digestion.

The recipe for pineapple turmeric lassi:

A handful of pineapple (contains bromelain, which soothes an upset stomach)

125 g unsweetened natural yogurt (to support the intestinal flora)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder (for natural liver support)

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (to relieve gas)

300 ml of water

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

8. Star anise: The star among the cough suppressants

Star anise tea for coughs

The star anise (Illicium verum) comes from China and Vietnam. The beautiful star-shaped spice comes from a tree that belongs to the magnolia family. Star anise is harvested when immature and dried in the sun to develop its warm taste, which is often described as a mixture of licorice, clove and fennel seeds. Anise has a very intense taste. You will either love it or hate it.

It is important to note that Chinese star anise, which is used in food, is different from Japanese star anise, which is poisonous.

Many people use star anise for its purported health benefits. In fact, many naturopaths are promoting the medicinal use of the star-shaped seed. Star anise has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

An overview of herbal treatments published in the Journal of Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine ”explains that star anise contains an ingredient called anethole, which gives this spice its distinctive flavor. Anethole is used in Chinese medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. The study also notes that the shikimic acid in star anise is a component of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) – a widely used pharmaceutical treatment for the flu.

Tea made from cinnamon, star anise and lemon

Anise can be used in many ways, as a tea, ointment or in inhalations. To make an aniseed tea, brew water with a cinnamon stick and 2 to 4 whole star anise stars and let the tea steep for about 5-10 minutes, covered. You should remove the star anise and cinnamon stick before drinking.

The anise tea can also have an expectorant effect, which is why it is also used for strong dry coughs and bronchitis. It also works reliably against flatulence, heartburn and stomach and intestinal cramps.

Inhaling aniseed can also have a relieving effect on the airways in the case of a blocked nose or sinus infection. Put 1 teaspoon of anise seeds in 500 ml of boiling water and add 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Inhalation should last 5 to 10 minutes and take place 3 to 5 times a day.