Tag Archives: Spice

Cumin-Did You Know?

Cumin The Did You Know GuyDid you know Cumin was used in the ancient Egyptian mummification process? Marcus Antoninus 16th emperor of Rome was given a nickname that referenced the herb as someone miserly must have eaten cumin, and symbolized excessive desire. Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist who lived between 23 AD and 79 AD was said to have listed Cumin as “the best appetizer of all condiments.”

The history of Cumin goes back over 5000 years. from Iran and the Mediterranean. Cumin is a small seed that comes from the Cuminum cyminum herb, a member of the parsley family. This seed has a distinct flavor, and warm aroma. It is a major ingredient in chili powder as well as curry powder. According to the Bible, Cumin had such a powerful medicinal value that it could be used as money!

Cumin has an overpowering smell and should be used very sparingly. Yet it is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. It does have photo-toxic qualities, so it should not be used when the skin will be exposed to sunlight. Photosensitization, and photo-toxicity can occur when certain essential oils react when exposed to Ultraviolet UVA light. Inflammation, blistering, and reddening/burning of the skin are common.

Cumin is useful as a warming oil and helps relieve muscular pains and osteoarthritis. In the digestive system, it is a stimulant that helps with colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, bloating and indigestion. For the nervous system, it is a tonic, and has a beneficial effect on headaches, migraines, and nervous exhaustion.

Coriander-Did You Know?

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Coriander and cilantro come from the same plant. The word coriander can be used to describe the entire plant: leaves, stems, seeds, and all. Most people are referring to the spice produced from the seeds of the coriander plant. The leaves of the plant are commonly called cilantro, which comes from the Spanish word for coriander.

The change in names is very appropriate, since the plant’s leaves and the ripened seeds taste totally different. Cilantro on the other hand is a little too different for many more delicate taste buds, unfortunately. Most people either enjoy or greatly dislike the taste, but I can see why some people argue that it’s an acquired taste.

It’s a different story for the seeds. Coriander is an extremely popular spice with a pleasing aroma and lemony flavor, found in many recipes. Little is known about the origins of the coriander plant, although it is generally thought to be native to the Mediterranean and parts of southwestern Europe.

More recently, coriander plants were known to be growing in Massachusetts by the early 1600’s, one of the first herbs grown by the American colonists. Coriander essential oil promotes digestion and eases stomach upset, aids in a healthy insulin response, soothes joint and muscle pain. Coriander essential oil is also know for toning and rejuvenating to the skin.

Oregano-Did You Know?

OreganoDid you know the word “oregano” comes from the Greek phrase, “joy of the mountains?” Oregano is the Oil of Humility and non-attachment. Oregano cuts through the less important parts of life and teaches people to do the same. Oregano is a powerful oil, and may even be described as assertive or intense. Oregano addresses an individual’s need to be “right.”

Ancient Greek physicians discovered that oregano had beneficial properties, and prescribed it for a variety of ailments. Hippocrates used it as well, as its close cousin, Marjoram, as an antiseptic. Just married couples were crowned with wreaths of it. It was also put on graves to give peace to departed spirits.

The use of oregano later spread throughout Europe and much of Northern Africa. In these regions it was used as a spice for meats, fish, and a flavoring for wine. In the middle ages people continued to use it. Oregano was one of few spices used in cooking to give variety to the daily meals.

In spite of its use in England, Oregano was little known in the United States prior to the Second World War. Soldiers discovered the flavors, and aromas during the Italian Campaign, and brought back the spice, and the desire for it. The oregano sold on the spice racks of stores today, is usually made up of several varieties.

Oregano is one of the most potent and powerful essential oils, and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its cleansing and immune-boosting properties. The primary chemical components of Oregano are carvacol, and thymol, both in the Phenols group, which possess purifying, and antioxidant properties. Due to its high phenol content, caution should be taken when inhaling or diffusing Oregano; only one to two drops is needed. Additionally, Oregano should be diluted with fractionated coconut oil when applied to the skin.

Oregano essential oil contains phenols—powerful antioxidants that ward off free radicals. One drop taken daily can help maintain healthy immune function; Oregano should be taken more frequently when seasonal threats are high, or as needed to further boost immunity. In addition to being a popular cooking spice, Oregano supports healthy digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive juices. When diffused, Oregano acts as an enhancer and equalizer in essential oil blends, and can help maintain healthy respiratory function.

Marjoram-Did You Know?

MarjoramDid you know Marjoram essential oil is the Oil of Connection? Marjoram assists people who are unable to trust others or form a serious relationship. Being unable to trust often originates from unpleasant life experiences. Marjoram teaches that trust is the foundation for all human relationships.

Marjoram is surrounded by mythology. People thought marjoram was created by the greek goddess Venus who gifted it with its pleasant sweet flavor and aroma. This is one of the most desired sought after herbs by Aphrodite. People believed that when an unmarried girl kept a marjoram plant in her bed she would see Aphrodite in her dreams, who would then reveal to her, a prospective husband.

By the middle ages, marjoram was worn by couples as garlands to represent love, warm respect, and contentment. It was also added in the food to encourage devotion. Due to its sweet aroma, it was frequently used as deodorant and carried in bouquets and sweet bags. People of England used marjoram as a preservative.

Marjoram was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Marjoram has been used in culinary dishes, imparting a unique flavor to soups, stews, dressings, and sauces. In Germany, Marjoram is known as the “Goose Herb” for its traditional use in roasting geese.

In traditional Austrian medicine, Marjoram was used to promote gastrointestinal health and to purify the skin. In modern applications, Marjoram is valued for its calming properties, and for its positive effect on the nervous system. It also soothes tired, stressed muscles, and supports both healthy cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.

Cinnamon-Did You Know?

Cinnamon BarkDid you know cinnamon is the oil of sexual harmony and greatly supports the reproductive system and aids with sexual issues. It helps people to embrace their body, and accepting their physical attractiveness. Cinnamon encourages the growth of strong relationships based on mutual love, and respect.

Cinnamon, which is actually the dried bark of the laurel tree a large tropical evergreen tree can grow up to 45 feet tall. Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years. This powerful spice was used in Egypt, Rome, and China. Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. The “real” cinnamon of old comes from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree.

Historically, cinnamon is even mentioned in the Bible. Moses used it as an ingredient for his anointing oils. In ancient Rome, it was burned during funerals, as a way to remove some of the odor of dead bodies. The ancient Egyptians used it in embalming mummies because of its pleasant odors and its preservative qualities.

Extracted from bark, cinnamon oil contains strong cleansing and immune enhancing properties. Due to its high content of cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamon should be diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil when applied to the skin and only one to two drops are needed for internal benefits.

Cinnamon is very purifying to the circulatory system and it helps promote circulation, both internally and when applied to the skin, helping to ease sore muscles and joints. Cinnamon helps maintain a healthy immune system, especially when seasonal threats are high. When diffused, Cinnamon promotes clear breathing while purifying the air. Cinnamon is frequently used in mouth rinses and gums for its oral health benefits. Cinnamon has a long history of culinary uses, adding spice to desserts, entrees, and hot drinks.

Clove-Did You Know?

clovesDid you know the word clove comes from the French word clov, meaning nail? Clove essential oil is the oil of boundaries helping people to let go of their victim mentality. Clove can assist us in letting go of regular displays of self-betrayal and emotional reliance on a partner by reconnecting them with their personal strong moral values. Clove gives the pushover the power to say “no”.

Each unopened flower bud of the clove tree becomes a clove bud, a tropical evergreen member of the Myrtle family. A clove tree, known botanically as Eugenia aromatica, may live 100 years. They begin producing fruit at seven years and come into full maturity around 25 years. The average crop yield is eight pounds although each year is different. The trees are native to the Moluccas, also known as the Spice Islands.

As early as 200 BC, the Chinese used cloves to freshen their breath during audiences with the emperor. During the late Middle Ages, cloves were used in Europe to preserve, flavor, and garnish food. Clove cultivation was almost entirely confined to Indonesia, because the Dutch government had a monopoly on this valuable spice. Later In the 18th century, the French smuggled cloves from the East Indies to Indian Ocean islands and the New World, breaking the Dutch monopoly on this prized spice.

Clove has been used for years in dental preparations,candy, and gum for its flavor and ability to promote oral health, yet it provides a myriad of health benefits. Its main chemical component, eugenol, makes it a very stimulating and energizing essential oil that can promote blood circulation and benefit cardiovascular health.Due to its high phenol content, caution should be taken when inhaling Clove directly and it should be diluted when applied to the skin. As a cooking spice, Clove adds a spicy flavor to any dish or dessert while providing internal health benefits.