In a time when yoga and other Eastern health and wellness practices are being used to reduce both stress and health-damaging impacts of stress, spices and plants as medicine are more and more used for prevention and relief of current health issues. The value of spices as medicine include: they're great immune system boosters; help in digestion; kill bacteria; among other multiple benefits. They may also help to prevent certain disease states. Flavonoids (antioxidants) can lower cholesterol and blood pressure naturally. Basil can boost immunity. Cayenne helps reduce appetite. Garlic, as well as celery, were used throughout history to boost health in various ways.
Many western doctors and pharmaceutical companies are often skeptical about the effectiveness of natural remedies though many good hospitals, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering – NYC, have alternative medicine departments that work with spices and herbs as medical accompaniments. Pharmaceutical companies may see the use of spice and herbs as a threat to their profit-focused industry. We have periodically seen efforts to slander, defile, and discredit the reputations of people who celebrate and recommend the value of healing properties of common plants and weeds in nature – based on the lack of observed testing to quantify and qualify the scientific validity of spices as medicine, attempting even to regulate and control the alternative and organics market (politically). In retaliation, our modern 'shaman' may criticize pill-pushers for failing to test or use spices and plant remedies, because the profit-motive is missing for the medical community in doing so – noting that the profit would not be missing for the ‘shaman’. Remember that the healthcare industry is a for-profit industry whether it is modern medicine or alternative medicine. As in all 'industries' there are quacks and scammers, tricksters, or amateurs whose skills and knowledge are questionable or simply don't exist, so do your research on where and from whom you are getting your information.
So – in the legitimate field of alternative medicine where practitioners are licensed, they will caution you to check with your prescribing doctor, and individual-practitioners focus on specialized fields. Some registered dietitians emphasize spices and natural medicines and others do not. Spices can be a form of medicine, especially as a preventative medicine, and it is important when using spices medicinally that you seek the expertise of people educated in that field. Alternative medicines may be from an era before science was advanced enough to back up the claims, but we now know due to scientific research that many of these claims hold some weight of truth. Always remember to check with your doctor when taking a new medicine or supplement especially if you have any serious health concerns. On that note, I think I will add some cinnamon into my oatmeal this morning!
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4. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products: FAQs, https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/symptom-management/integrative-medicine/herbs/herbs-botanicals-other-products-faqs
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