8 Medicinal Herbs and Spices to Liven Up Your Meals

Historically, alternative treatments—herbs, poultices, and other concoctions—were all we had to improve health and ward off disease. Once we gained better access to healthcare, our use of alternative treatments dropped. These days, however, studies show a steady increase in the use of alternative therapies among African Americans. And there are a number of herbs and spices that are being touted as ways to manage or treat diabetes.

Although there are a number of clinical studies in recent years showing potential health benefit of herbs and spices, and improved diabetes control, more definitive studies are needed. Medicinal herbs and spices such as chili peppers, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mustard seed, turmeric, garlic, oregano, and fenugreek, should not be used in place of conventional medical care. Some herbal remedies—particularly in concentrated doses may have side effects, including interacting with your diabetes treatment or increasing your risk of kidney problems.

The safest way to reap all the health benefits of herbs and spices is to use them in cooking—here’s how.
Chili peppers

Add a kick to store-bought or homemade hummus or guacamole by stirring in 1/4 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper. Or, try sprinkling in a little Paprika.

Perk up your morning coffee with Ground Cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon over