If We Could Turn Back TIme – Ingredients That ‘Fight Aging’

A couple customers stopped in over the past month to stock up on a variety of herbs and spices that they said a talk show host had recommended to “fight aging.”

Now, we’ll be the first to make this disclaimer: we sell culinary ingredients, not dietary supplements.

Ginger_and_CinnamonAnd if there was a magical elixir, in the form of an herb or spice, that turned back the clock of aging, you know the entire staff at AllSpice would look like college kids.  (And, with the exception of our actual college-aged staffers, Eva and Val, many of us stopped looking like college kids awhile ago).

But there are quite a few ingredients that, along with making your cooking taste delicious, have been shown to help fight disease, and even slow — or reverse — some of the effects that the inexolerable march of time (that is to say, aging) has on the body.

From Cinnamon and Cloves to Rosemary and Turmeric, many herbs and spices have health-boosting qualities. Here’s just a sampling of what we know, in no particular order:

Rosemary and Basil have anti-inflammatory qualities. Basil is also a natural antioxidant, and bacteria-killer.

Cumin and Sage sharpen mental acuity.

Coriander and Cinnamon help regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Spice_basketNutmeg, Bay Leaves and Saffron are said to “calm one’s mood.”

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to thwart the growth of some forms of cancer. Other herbs, including mint, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil and rosemary have terpenes, which also appear to kill cancer cells.

Oregano and Cinnamon fight the growth of fungi.

Garlic, and Mustard Seed helps the circulatory system.

Basil, Tomatoes and Thyme are beneficial to the skin.

Turmeric, Basil, Cinnamon, Thyme, Saffron, all mentioned previously, and Ginger help to boost the immune system.

Cloves are like a crazy first aid kit in a single jar, helping to soothe tooth pain, relieving respiratory symptoms, acting as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial,  and even relieving muscle ache. They also taste good ground up in gingerbread, cookies, and applesauce cake.

shelf_full_of_spicesLikewise, Nutmeg is reputed to have a wide range of medicinal uses outside of the kitchen, giving relief to muscle spasms, as well as to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and general indigestion; shows some promise in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and increasing circulation. [Nutmeg is also a very strong natural “deliriant” — be careful, and read more about it here.]

A favorite “natural” remedy for expectant mothers, Ginger is a well-known help in relieving morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea and general indigestion.

We don’t promise that you’ll never age, like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, or that you’ll “turn back time,” like Cher in this video (giving the phrase “cruise couture” a whole new twist, oh my), but we are sure that you’ll have a tasty time regardless.