Holistic Health TipsFebruary 26, 2014

Thank you so much to all who gave suggestions for my aromatherapy product line! What a gift to hear from you and receive such great ideas! I am in the final days of decision making and believe I have a good name to use, so thank you again!

We'd all like to think that winter is nearly over, now that March is so close, right?  We sure hope so!  But I wanted to give you some inspiration for cooking a healthy soup or stew while it's still cold outside and you're in the kitchen. An old friend sent me this list of 10 Spices and while it's excellent, it's a long one, so I'll share the first half this week and the second half next week. The short list is on the right. And I have two recipes to share using two different spices on the side bar. Now take a look at the spices below and follow your first impulse at picking one for your next dinner meal. If I could, I'd invite you all over for stew at my house!
With love, 
Jean Oswald 
"We're all in this together."
Top 10 Super Spices that Protect Your Body


Part One: These 5 powerful spices help to control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost your metabolism, aid fat loss, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.


From: Catherine Ebeling - RN, BSN & Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist co-authors of The Fat Burning Kitchen and The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging
Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food without adding a single calorie. You can transform something ordinary and bland into something truly extraordinary tasting and good for your body, just by generously adding herbs and spices to your meals. 

Did you know that certain herbs and spices contain a wide variety of some of the most potent antioxidants of any food? In fact, many herbs and spices rank even higher in antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables, with some spices such as cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon having as much as 10-50x more antioxidants measured by ORAC value (on a weight to weight comparison) compared to blueberries.


The benefits of the antioxidants in spices include some very powerful protection against many serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's, and overall aging.


Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with the nutrition in other foods, they actually exponentially boost the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory power of the food.


Besides the super antioxidants, herbs and spices can also:

  • Aid Fat Burning and Boost Metabolism - many herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally help to increase metabolism, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Help Stabilize Blood Sugar - Some spices are also good at regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin--even as good as some diabetic drugs! When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.
  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties -Scientific studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as well or better than some medications at calming inflammation without the negative side effects of isolated drugs.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal - Many herbs and spices contain properties that effectively kill dangerous pathogens like viruses, bacteria and stubborn fungi. The natural properties in these foods work against many microbes that are resistant to conventional medications.
Here are 5 of the most potent super-food herbs and spices you can eat:
1. Basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory herb with extraordinary healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel conditions, to name a just a few. Basil is an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Because of its dark green color, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, vitamin C and potassium.  Use both fresh basil and dried basil generously in your foods to maximize it's benefits.
2. Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice and is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2).  Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties. Try cinnamon in your smoothies, yogurt, healthy baking recipes, oatmeal, mixed with berries, or as a healthy addition in your coffee or tea.

3. Cayenne not only heats up your dishes, it heats up your body and raises your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster.  For those of you who avoid cayenne because you think it bothers your stomach, cayenne pepper is actually healing to stomach tissues, it stimulates digestive enzymes, and helps prevent stomach ulcers. Cayenne reduces LDL blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and decreases the formation of harmful blood clots. And, cayenne is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis and sore muscles, as well as clearing nasal congestion and boosting immunity. Try cayenne in your morning eggs, in soups, stews, chili, or meatloaf for a little metabolism boosting spice!
4. Cloves have a unique sweet and spicy flavor, but also contain powerful natural medicine. Cloves have strong antiseptic and germicidal ingredients that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems, and arthritis pain. One of cloves' best known uses is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.  Cloves have been measured as having THE highest antioxidant level (ORAC value) of all spices and herbs. Cloves also help digestive problems like gas, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and eliminate harmful parasites, bacteria and fungus in the digestive system. Cloves can be a great addition to hot teas.   
5. Cumin is known for being especially good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into usable nutrients your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body, and is highly effective for respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

Cumin, like cinnamon, helps keep blood sugar levels stable which means less chance of weight gain and excess body fat. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, which benefit the immune system. 

Cumin goes great in chili!


Part Two (5 more Spices) coming next week. Happy cooking!

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Jean Oswald RN



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Top 10 Spices
The Quick List:

All -Season Blend

From Joanne Stepaniak: 

 The Uncheese Cookbook


1 � c nutritional yeast (available in natural food store)

2 T salt

1 T onion powder or onion granules

2 t garlic powder or garlic granules

1 T paprika

2 t turmeric

� t dried thyme

� t dried marjoram

� t dill weed

1 t dried parsley


Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until finely ground. Store in a covered glass jar at room temp. This makes an excellent all-purpose seasoning for sauces, gravies, and dishes that need "a little extra something"; it also makes a good instant soup broth.

Baked Oatmeal to Go


2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups applesauce, unsweetened

 1 banana, mashed

 1� teaspoons stevia powder or use � cup honey

 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats {Bob's Red Mill}

  cup flaxseed meal

 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

 3 teaspoon baking powder

 1 teaspoon salt

 2 cups milk


Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs, vanilla, banana, applesauce, and Stevia together in a bowl.


Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.

Finally pour in milk and combine.


Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.


Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.


Any products mentioned, techniques, personal usage tips or other information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prescribe for, or cure any disease, ailment or injury to the body. The decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.