Book Review: Healing Spices

By Bharat Aggarwal & Debora Yost
Sterling Publishing (New York, NY) 2011

The culinary spices that so copiously populate our pantries – turmeric, garlic, ginger, cloves and sesame seeds among many others – not only add savor to the foods we prepare, but are also often possessed of potent and even miraculous healing properties when used in therapeutic quantities on proper subjects for the right reasons.

Contemporary biomedical research is daily revealing that these plant remedies – as much as foods and traditional medicinal herbs - are loaded with antioxidants, immunomodulators, hormonal regulators, nutrient absorption enhancers and other unique health-promoting compounds capable of assisting in the treatment of a wide range of ills including such potentially lethal illnesses as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections and Alzheimer's disease.

In “Healing Spices,” Dr. Bharat Aggarwal and Debora Yost, among the world's foremost authorities on the therapeutic use of culinary spices, take an in-depth look at fifty different spices and their therapeutic properties, and offer spice “prescriptions” categorized by health condition to match the right spice to a specific ailment.

Each of the fifty (from the everyday Almond - the Heart Guard - to the intimidating Asafoetida - the Fabled Flu Fighter - to Wasabi – the Anti-Cancer Spice – each has its own chapter delineating its history, biology, pharmacology and culinary uses as well as recipes highlighting those uses. The book provides evidence-based discussions of the various healing qualities of each of the spices, followed by easy-to-follow and detailed instruction on how to incorporate the spices into one's dietary regimen.

This book – beautifully and engagingly written and intelligently organized is a must-have for the kitchen library of anyone concerned with good eating and good health.

Review provided by William Courson, BVSA, D. Ayur., an Ayurvedic Practitioner, faculty member and the College Dean of Institutional Development at Sai Ayurvedic College & Ayurvedic Wellness Center.

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