7 Spices with pain relieving benefits

Some spices can occasionally stir up discomfort but a few spices have been found to be beneficial in blocking inflammation and pain. Ginger and tumeric have anti-inflammatory properties but are just two of the pain-busting spices that can provide relief.

7 Spices with pain relieving benefits

Get to know spices and how they help alleviate pain

  1. Chili pepper. Encourages the draining of mucus and is helpful for sinusitis. Use fresh chilies or chili powder to spice up soups, casseroles, salads and breads.
  2. Curry. This combination of spices, including turmeric, garlic, cumin and cinnamon contains antioxidants that also help relieve inflammation and pain. Use curry in meat, rice, pasta dishes, soups and stews.
  3. Garlic. Garlic acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps boost the activity of the immune system. Add garlic to pretty much everything, from meat dishes to pasta to vegetables.
  4. Ginger. Ginger inhibits enzymes that help produce inflammatory chemicals. Add ginger to stir fries, salsas, tea or soups.
  5. Mint. Mint contains menthol, which when applied to the skin acts as an anti-inflammatory that soothes joint pain and can also relieve itching. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that the chemicals in mint activate a nerve receptor that inhibits pain messages. Peppermint helps sooth stomach upset by relaxing the muscles of the intestinal wall and so may be effective for IBS or cramps. You may need to avoid mint if it's a heartburn trigger. Make a mint tea, adding 25 grams (one ounce) of mint leaves to one pint of boiling water. You can also buy mint-infused ointments and massage oils.
  6. Thyme. Several studies have shown that thyme helps inhibit pain responses, especially gastrointestinal pain. Use thyme to season chicken, meats, fish, vegetables and soups.
  7. Turmeric. Some studies suggest that curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, fights inflammation and pain, particularly of rheumatoid arthritis. Use as you would curry in meat, rice and pasta dishes, soups and stews or add a sprinkle to vegetables.
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