Christmas Spices, Nutrition & the Holidays - Acupuncture Health Minute
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Many of our holiday spices that create the smells of Christmas, flavor our drinks and dishes, have a rich history and nutritional benefits. We will delve into Thyme, Sage, and Coriander in this Acupuncture Health Minute.
Thyme is an ancient spice first showing up on Sumerian cuneiform tablets almost 3000 years BC. The tablets suggesting mixing dried Thyme with mashed pears, figs, and water to use as a medicinal poultice to relieve soreness & inflammation. It is native to the Mediterranean. Its earthy, minty, lemony flavor is commonly used in western cuisine to season poultry & potatoes.
It is rumored among the faithful that thyme was placed in the manager where Jesus slept as a new born. This creates an inseparable link between thyme & the holidays. I can only assume that thyme was placed in the bedding was due to its healing and health properties that were well known at that time.
Today, Thyme is both an Eastern & Western Medicinal herb that is known for lowering blood pressure, soothing cough, helping with digestive tract inflammation, cancer prevention, antifungal & antimicrobial, immunity booster, mood booster, and topically it can relieve sunburn. It is also an excellent substitute for table salt. This will bring down the sodium levels in the body and help protect both kidney and heart health.
It is easy to add this herb into many dishes to gain its health benefits.
Sage, originally, was found in the Mediterranean & Asia Minor. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used Sage for its medicinal properties. The Romans used it to treat memory problems, headaches, sore throats, and GI tract problems.
Sage was used at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. This is generally accepted as Sage was a staple in the English kitchen at the time and used in many dishes from stuffing to sausage and pudding.
This is a power house herb when it comes to micronutrients. If is packed full of vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamin A, C, & E. Within the plant there are over 160 individual constituents (polyphenols) that act as antioxidants, all of which protect Heart Health and the circulatory system. This herb improves brain function, specifically memory, and can help stave off the progression of Dementia. It is a digestive aide, and can mitigate the risk of colon cancer. Adding sage into your daily diet can help promote a new level of wellness.
Coriander is the seed fruit of the cilantro plant. The oldest archaeological find of coriander is in a Cave in Israel dated between 4000 and 6000 BC. It is referenced in the bible in the books of Exodus & Numbers to describe manna from heaven. This is significant and points to its potent medicinal properties being entwined with a direct gift from God.
Greek philosophers and physicians, such as Hippocrates, implemented Coriander in their medicinal practice to aid digestion, resolve measles, ease stomachaches and nausea, and also as an aphrodisiac.
The Ancient Egyptians would place a basket of coriander seeds in the tombs of pharaohs for the journey to the underworld. A basket was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
The medicinal effects of Coriander is to strengthen the respiratory tract and the skin. It boosts immunity in the manner that Traditional Chinese Medicine practices that Wei Qi surrounds the body to prevent pathogens from invading the body. Coriander strengthens Wei Qi.
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