3 Cold-Fighting Spices Your Body Wants Now | Reader's Digest

3 Cold-Fighting Spices Your Body Wants Now

Kitchen cabinet cures for colds, allergies, and sinus infections.

By Beth Dreher from Reader's Digest, | February 2011

Healing Spices(Cumin) Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images; Corbis (2)

1. Turmeric
Its yellow tint makes your food look enticing, but turmeric’s biggest selling point is that it contains curcumin, which may ease headaches, act as a decongestant, help reduce allergy symptoms, and ward off colds. “It seems to be as effective as some drugs for certain conditions,” said Bharat Aggarwal, PhD, professor of experimental therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

2. Cumin
Ground or whole, this seed is rich in vitamins A and C and is thought to help fight off sinus infections and colds, says Aggarwal, author of the new book Healing Spices.

FACTOID:

Turmeric and cumin are both used in curry powder, which is synonymous with Indian cuisine. Learn about 6 healthy foods you can find at an Indian restaurant.

3. Peppermint
It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, Aggarwal says, and may soothe a sore throat and reduce coughs and congestion. Use it for tea, or mix it into yogurt and chutney.

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