Guest: Dr. Cass Ingram/Spice Up Your Health

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How to Spice Up your Health for the Cold and Flu Season, and Beyond

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An interview with Dr. Cass Ingram, author of Doctor’s Guide to Oil of Oregano: 101 Uses and The Cure is in the Cupboard

Medicinal plant expert Dr. Cass Ingram, author of The Cure is in the Cupboard and Doctor’s Guide to Oil of Oregano: 101 Uses reviews an advisory distributed by the University of Michigan Health System urging Americans to use more herbs and spices and fewer traditional seasonings like sugar, salt, and fat in their meal preparations.

Just in time for the cold and flu season, (November to March), here is the list of herbs and spices that researchers say can help improve the overall health benefits and flavor of the foods we eat every day:

Lose the salt, use the herbs. Common herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and garlic can really bring out the natural flavors in a meal and will soon become your go-to seasonings for most meals
Use fresh garlic liberally. Garlic appears to help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, is a respiratory aid and a natural antibiotic.
Fight aging: Eat rosemary. Rosemary is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. It’s also thought to help with memory, and research is currently underway to determine rosemary’s potential cancer-prevention properties.
Fight colds and flu with oregano, basil, and rosemary. These three herbs, especially oregano, contain powerful essential oils and are effective killers of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. All three are powerful antioxidants as well.
Treat chronic coughs with thyme. The health benefits of thyme are unique. It has been traditionally used to treat coughs, even whooping cough. Thyme is often drunk as a tea.
Got back pain? Eat curry. Research has shown that the substance commonly found in turmeric — a common, bright red spice added to curry mixes — has known anti-inflammatory properties. The substance, curcumin, works in a very similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Fight cancer: Eat more curry. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, research on curcumin has also shown it to shrink pre-cancerous lesions known as colon polyps. More clinical tests are needed to establish dosages required for maximum health benefits.
Lower your blood pressure with “warming spices. These include ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, cayenne pepper, and others. These can make a person feel warm because they bring blood from the center of the body to the skin. This disperses blood throughout the body more evenly, which may decrease blood pressure.
Soothe your aching tummy with ginger. Ginger contains gingerols, which decrease oxidative products in the digestive tract that cause nausea. The key is to eat real ginger and not things flavored artificially like many ginger-ales, in order to reap the benefits.
Sweeten with spices, not sugar. To help wean off sugar, add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to your cereal and snacks instead of sugar. For instance, if you buy unsweetened applesauce, add cinnamon to give it an extra kick.
“For those addressing health issues, the extracted oils of wild-harvested herbs and spices will be found to deliver the fastest and most therapeutic results,” says Dr. Ingram.


1. What gives herbs and spices their medicinal properties?

2. With cold and flu season now upon us, which spices are most effective at combating coughs, congestion, sore throat, fever, and other cold and flu symptoms?

3. What is the difference between commercially available crushed herbs and spices and herb and spice oil extracts?

4. Food prepared in the Far East typically features curry and sauces made with turmeric. What health benefits does turmeric provide?

5. As temperatures drop, which spices work best to stimulate circulation and keep our bodies warm?

6. Where can listeners go to see the entire Dr. Cass Ingram library of books and videos?

Dr. Cass Ingram

is a nutritional physician who received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa (1979) and a D.O. from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA (1984). Dr. Ingram has since written over 20 books on natural healing. He has given answers and hopes to millions through lectures on thousands of radio/TV shows. His research and writing have led to countless cures and discoveries. Dr. Cass Ingram presents 100’s of health tips and insights in his many books on health, nutrition, and disease prevention. Dr. Ingram is one of North America’s leading experts on the health benefits and disease-fighting properties of wild medicinal spice extracts. A popular media personality, he has appeared on over 5,000 radio and TV shows. He now travels the world promoting perfect health – the natural way.

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