Learning about Spices
What is a spice?
Why were spices important?
Sources of spices
Perfumes and Incenses 
Use of spices as aphrodisiacs
Use of spices as medicines
Culinary herbs
A spice timeline

Table of Spices
Allspice (Pimento)
Anise
Black Pepper
Cardamom
Cassia
Chile Pepper
Chocolate
Cinnamon
Clove
Coriander (Cilantro)
Cumin
Dill
Fennel
Fenugreek
Frankincense and Myrrh
Galangal
Garlic
Ginger
Horseradish
Licorice
Mustard
Nutmeg and Mace
Onion
Saffron
Sugar
Sumac
Tamarind
Turmeric
Vanilla

Contacts and Acknowledgments

MEDICAL USE OF SPICES*

Traditional Spices

  Spice Medical Properties/Indications
Hot, Pungent, Exotic Ajowanexpectorant, anti-flatulent
 Allspiceanti-emetic, purgative
 Asafetidaanti-helminthic, anti-tussive
 Capsicum peppersanalgesic, counter-irritant, expectorant
 Cinnamon, Cassiaantiseptic, anti-diarrhea
 Clovetopical anesthetic, anti-dyspeptic
 Corianderanti-spasmodic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory
 Cuminanti-microbial, vermifuge, diuretic
 Curry leavesanti-emetic
 Galangalexpectorant, anti-bacterial
 Gingerfor colds, anti-emetic, anti-rheumatic
 Nutmeg, Maceastringent, hallucinogen
 Peppercornsexpectorant, anti-microbial
 Saffronanti-rheumatic, for neuralgia
 Turmericanti-arthritic, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer
 Wasabiexpectorant, for sinusitis
 Zedoaryexpectorant, diuretic
   
Hot, Pungent, Non-ExoticChiveantispetic, diuretic
 Garlicanti-microbial, anti-hypercholesterolemic, anti-cancer, anti-hypertensive
 Horseradishanti-microbial, expectorant, purgative
 Mustardscounter-irritant, emetic, purgative
 Onion, Shallotfor colds, expectorant, anti-cancer, asthma
 Paprikacolorant, source of ascorbic acid
   
Warm, Fragrant, ExoticAniseedanti-spasmodic, expectorant, sedative
 Bergamotantiseptic, anti-spasmodic, sedative
 Camphorantiseptic, cardiostmulant, anti-spasmodic
 Carawaydiuretic, anti-spasmodic, galactogogue
 Cardamomantiseptic
 Cilantroantibacterial, anti-inflammatory
 Cubebantiseptic, diuretic, anti-asthma
 Fennelanti-spasmodic, diuretic
 Fenugreekanti-diabetes, anti-hypercholesterolemia
 Lemon Grassfever, insect bites
 Licoriceanti-spasmodic, anti-tussive, peptic ulcer
 Nigelladiuretic, anti-helminthic, purgative
 Sesame seeddiuretic, galactogogue, demulcent
 Star aniseantiseptic, anti-rheumatic
 Vanillaanti-spasmodic, febrifuge
 

Savory Herbs

  Spice Medical Properties/Indications
 Basilfor colds, anti-diarrhea, kidney disease
 Bay (Laurel)embrocation, anti-rheumatic
 Caperdiuretic, expectorant, astringent
 Celerydiuretic, emmenagogue
 Chervildiuretic, expectorant, tonic
 Cilantro (Chinese Parsley)diuretic, sedative
 Dill ("gripe water")anti-flatulent, anti-colic, galactogogue
 Marjoramindigestion, colic
 Mintexpectorant, for colds, local anesthesia, anti-spasm
 Oreganoanti-tussive, anti-rheumatic, vermifuge
 diuretic, deodorizer
 Poppy seedsedative, anti-spasmodic
 Rosemaryanti-cancer
 Sageantiseptic, gastroenteritis, sedative
 Savoryantispasmodic, sedative, vermifuge, diuretic
 Tarragondiuretic, vermifuge, emmenagogue
 Thymeexpectorant, antiseptic
 

Drinks

  Spice Medical Properties/Indications
 Carobastringent, purgative, diuretic
 Chocolatesedative, anti-oxidant, diuretic
 Coffeestimulant, diuretic, bronchodilator
 Colaanti-emetic, astringent
 Teaanti-oxidant, source of theophylline
 Juniper (gin)diuretic, sudorific, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic
 Quinine (tonic water)febrifuge, anti-arrhythmic, astringent
 

Other

  Spice Medical Properties/Indications
 Annattocolorant, astringent, analgesic
 Eucalyptusantiseptic, febrifuge, for colds, expectorant
 astringent, sedative, diuretic, fumigant
 Myrrhanti-spasmodic, expectorant, antimicrobial
 Nard (e.g. spikenard)emetic, diuretic
 Sandalwoodantiseptic, sudorific
 Sugarcholagogue, demulcent
 Sumacanti-diarrhea, anti-spasmodic, febrifuge
 Tamarindantiseptic, cholagogue, laxative, antipyretic
   
   
* In addition to digestive, stomactic, and carminative actions, spices and herbs are used as flavors and aphrodisiacs. They are believed to have tonic and stimulatory effects and to provide pleasure-giving sensory input.

Spice Exhibit URL: http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm

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