Hey everyone! I hope you are all gearing up to have an amazing weekend. I have been doing a lot more cooking lately and researching into the most beneficial spices and herbs for our health (which then translates into clear, healthy skin). Below are 6 top “clear skin” spices that you can start incorporating into your daily life to help you fight acne:
Benefit: Anti-inflammatory. Has the ability to increase the natural steroid output by the adrenal glands, which is great for people with adrenal fatigue and inflammation (i.e. eczema, psoriasis, acne).
How to Use: Try 1-2 cups of licorice tea per day or a prepared tincture (Cedar Bear Naturales makes great tinctures). As a safety precaution, do not take licorice for more than 7 days at a time – give it a rest in cycles (7 days on, 7 days off) and try to avoid long-term usage unless you are supervised by a naturopath, integrative doctor, or other physician.
Benefit: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is 5-8 times stronger than antioxidant vitamins C and E. Turmeric is also able to neutralize the hydroxyl radical, which is considered one of the most (if not the most) destructive and reactive of all oxidants. Curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties and it inhibits the activity of enzymes that are responsible for inflammation.
How to Use: Make turmeric tea, make a chicken or seafood curry with an Indian curry spice mix (which contains turmeric), or take turmeric capsules (I take 2 Paradise Herbs turmeric capsules per day).
Benefit: Increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods and compounds, particularly curcumin (found in turmeric – see above).
How to Use: Put a pinch or two (or three) in your meals or to your delicious Indian curry (see above).
Benefit: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant. May help muscle pains and arthritis pain. Clove contains eugenol, a mild anesthetic useful for tooth and gum pain, and sore throats. Clove also assists with asthma and bronchitis. Perhaps most notably, clove eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi, and unfriendly bacteria.
How to Use: Put 1-3 drops of clove oil in a tall glass of water or non-plastic water bottle, which is something I do a lot. It adds a nice spicy taste and is surprisingly refreshing. You can certainly put more than 3 drops in once you’ve gotten used to it, but don’t overload – too much and you could get stomach upset. Clove is often used in spice mixes and tea mixes as well, or you can get cloves (they are a small, dried flower that looks brown and sharp) and grind them fresh for use in your dishes.
Benefit: Anti-inflammatory. Eliminates gas/bloating and soothes the intestinal tract. Also boosts the immune system. Ginger also lowers cholesterol levels and prevents the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL), effectively preventing vascular disease.
How to Use: Get some fresh ginger and grate it into food as it’s cooking, juice a small knob of ginger into your vegetable juice, or sprinkle ginger powder in your meals. You can also use bottled ginger juice in cooking. Ginger ale (as long as it’s all natural, preservative-free, etc.) and ginger tea are other options.
Benefit: Anti-inflammatory. May help pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. Helps to prevent urinary tract infections and mouth issues (gum disease, decay, etc.). Several studies, including one done by the Human Nutrition Research Center (an off-shoot of the USDA), found that cinnamon contains a compound that lowers your blood sugar, which in turn helps to stabilize weight and lower inflammation (thereby helping skin issues like acne and eczema).
How to Use: Add 1/4 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your food or drinks.
I hope you enjoy these herbs/spices and the excellent reasons to use them. If you have any herbs/spices you like to use or any recipes to share, definitely leave a comment!