Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
August 13 2014

Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

By Mark Sisson
212 Comments

This article was originally published last year following the release of the Primal Blueprint Publishing book Rich Food, Poor Food. I’m reprinting it here today to coincide with a very special offer. As many of you may know, it’s my life mission to help 10 million (or more!) people take control of their health for good. As a small effort to that end, I’ve teamed up with Buck Books over the last few weeks to give select Primal Blueprint Publishing books away for under a buck. The response has been absolutely incredible. These one day sales have helped get life-changing information to tens of thousands of people that desperately need it. So today, I’m doing it again. Through midnight tonight you can get Rich Food, Poor Food on Kindle for just 99 cents. It’s the ultimate grocery purchasing guide, with detailed analysis and recommendations for all food groups. So have a look at Buck Books, and grab your Kindle copy before time runs out. Enjoy!

SpicesFollowing is an excerpt from the Caltons’ popular new book, Rich Food, Poor Food. I’ve chosen their section on herbs and spices because I learned more details about how to choose the best herbs and spices, and what benefits they offer, from reading their material. If you notice on my Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid, herbs, spices and extracts occupy a nice little triangle at the top. You’re not consuming mass quantities of them as a big calorie source, but they make an important contribution to a healthy diet nevertheless. Besides adding flavor and protecting against microbes, herbs, spices, and extracts provide outstanding levels of antioxidants – some of the highest values found in any food.

Yep, I’m a big fan of herbs, spices, and extracts…and after reading Rich Food, Poor Food and having follow up discussions with the Caltons, I’ve tossed most of the stuff in my cupboard! Why? Because most of the jars found in my own home were not organic, and/or have been in there longer than a year. According to the Caltons, most conventional spices you find in the grocery store have been irradiated during their processing. This compromises their nutritional value and introduces health risks, which are detailed in the following excerpt.

Sorry, herbs and spices do not get better with age (maybe you’re confusing them with the Primal Blueprint indulgence of red wine?); in fact, they lose their potency and become bottled up free radicals when they linger too long on your shelves. For kicks, I asked several folks in the office to go home, take a look at their spice rack or cupboard, and guesstimate how long the stuff has been in there. One realized that her spinning tabletop rack was a holiday gift from seven or eight years ago! Here’s more on the subject from Rich Food, Poor Food, including a nice promo for their gold medalist (and one of my favorites) in the spice category: turmeric.

Rich Food, Poor Food – Excerpt from Herbs and Spices Section

Most grocery store spices are irradiated. Irradiation is the process of exposing food to radiation in order to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that might be present in the food. While irradiation works to kill bacteria, it also disrupts the structure of everything it passes through. Specifically, irradiation breaks up a food’s DNA, vitamins, minerals, and proteins and creates “free radicals” (atoms, molecules, or ions that contain unpaired electrons and crash into each other, multiplying exponentially), which contribute to many degenerative diseases, including heart disease, dementia, cancer, and cataracts.

Additionally, irradiation destroys the essential micronutrients that can help you reach micronutrient sufficiency. Your spice rack has so much to offer, that is, when you buy the Rich Food option, which is always the non-irradiated organic spice – our top pick. Here’s a rundown on the benefits of some of our favorite spices:

Dill

Dill: Helps your Digestion. A teaspoon a day can reduce 80 percent of bloating in only three days. Its antibacterial oils not only kill any possible stomach bugs but also help in the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins.

Uses:  Feathery texture is sharp-tasting. Great on fish, in chicken and potato salads. Used in pickling.

Tarragon

Tarragon: For Heart Health. One teaspoon daily lowered LDL cholesterol more than 40 percent while increasing good cholesterol nearly 30 percent. Tarragon contains a chemical called rutin, which boosts circulation and reduces plaque in the arteries.

Uses:  Flavor of anise, licorice, mint, hay, and pine. Try it in Bernaise sauce.

Oregano

Oregano: Bacteria Be Gone. Due to the high levels of antibacterial compounds and antioxidants, oregano is just as effective at killing E.Coli and staph bacteria as penicillin.

Uses:  Tastes Robust. Best in tomato dishes, usually of Mediterranean or Mexican origin.

 

Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf: Natural Pain Reliever. Eliminates headaches and migraines. Bay leaf is rich in eugenol, a natural anesthetic that alleviates pain.

Uses:  Tastes woody. Perfect in soups, sauces, stews, and pot roasts.

 

Rosemary

Rosemary: The Brain Booster and Fatigue Fighter. With just one sniff, the phytochemicals found in rosemary can rev up your mind by increasing production of beta waves. Carnosol, a nutrient unique to this herb, fights fatigue by flushing out energy-sapping toxins from the body.

Uses:  Smell rosemary sprigs to increase alertness in only five minutes. Intense pine flavor. Great on grilled meats; adds an interesting boost to chocolate desserts.

Cayenne

Cayenne: Appetite Suppressant and Metabolism Booster. Capsaicin, found in cayenne, has thermogentic properties that increase your blood flow and metabolism. Individuals who only use cayenne infrequently also find it reduces hunger.

Uses:  Sweet heat. Works well with meats and cheeses.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon: Controls Glucose Levels. Cinnamon contains antioxidants called polyphenols that boost levels of three key proteins responsible for insulin signaling, glucose transport, and inflammatory response. Sprinkle one half teaspoon on your food to slow carbohydrate absorption by 29 percent.

Uses: Sweet and Savory. This spice is found in almost all world cuisine. From stews to pies this spice doesn’t discriminate.

Cardamom

Cardamom: Treats Indigestion. Chew one teaspoon of these seeds to soothe a sour belly. The aroma and therapeutic properties of cardamom are due to the volatile oil in its seed, which contains cineol, terpinene, limonene, sabinene, and terpineol.

Uses:  Pungent and sweet. This fragrant spice is used in rich curries and milk-based preparations, as well as in spice cakes and desserts.

Sage

Sage: Memory Minder. Both the phytonutrients and volatile oils in sage maintain levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that supports memory.

Uses:  Piney with eucalyptus notes. Lovely addition to stuffing and pork dishes.

 

And our favorite Rich Food spice is . . . Turmeric

Turmeric

This mildly woody spice is a key ingredient in many Indian, Persian, and Thai dishes. This “poor man’s” saffron is rich in benefits. The active ingredient, curcumin, is so powerful that it is commonly made into expensive nutraceutical capsules. According to Ajay Goel, Ph.D., Director of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, “Curcumin is a complete well-being tonic – it benefits every organ in the body… It shows promise of fighting nearly every disease.” Dr. Goel suggests that curcumin aids in the prevention of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression.

Why not just cook up a cure in your kitchen tonight?

Curcumin Controls Blood Sugar: It switches on the liver genes that keep glucose levels in check. It improves the pancreas’s ability to make insulin and helps slow down the metabolism of carbohydrates after meals.

Curcumin Fights Cancer: It inhibits the genetic switches that allow for cancerous cell growth to occur.

Curcumin Speeds Up Metabolism: USDA research shows that is enhances cellular energy to speed metabolism.

Curcumin Clears Plaque: It removes amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s.

Making Cents

Let’s face it, organic spice jars are small and pricey, and it can take along time to use up some of these specialty ingredients. Your best bet is to buy your organic spices in the bulk section of your local health food or specialty spice store, where you can buy smaller amounts of the spices you need right away. This guarantees that your spices are fresh, loaded with flavor, and saves you money when a recipe only calls for a pinch. Buy your own glass jars online or wash out old spice jars and transfer contents from store baggies into convenient glass jars. Store them in a cool, dark place to prevent oxidative damage from light and oxygen.

Read an extended excerpt below, and check out the Buck Books offer to get a Kindle copy of this book for just 99 cents here.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

212 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. Turmeric in egg scrambles is a fav of mine. I also sprinkle a bit into my morning cup of beef bone broth along with a bit of sea salt. yum yum!

      1. Mmmm… in bone broth sounds good. I’m drinking a lot now, and I could use that to jazz it up.

      2. Gave that a try with my scrambled eggs this morning. Delicious (^_^)

        1. Me too 🙂

          Mixed turmeric, chili powder, salt, pepper, and a little pureed chipotle/adobo into a little light cream (to break up clumps), then beat the eggs into that & scrambled them.

          8-minute breakfast, including eating & cleanup – PLUS antioxidants? Yeah.

      3. I too add Turmeric and pink Himalayan salt; and her’s a tip: try a few drops of cold press Sesame oil. It will give a new definition (and twist) to bone broth soup.

        It will probably be a while before it local stores, but keep an eye for fresh Turmeric root (it resembles fresh ginger). I use it all the time and find it superior to the powder.

  1. Dried herbs become pencil shavings pretty quickly, another reason to buy bulk.

    For spices, buy them whole and grind them as needed. Ground spices last about 90 days before becoming sawdust, and who knows how old they were before bringing them home. Whole spices can last six months or more.

    When you buy bulk, shop somewhere with good turnover like the local co-op. People who shop in places like Safeway or Kroger are a lot less likely to buy bulk and the products are probably less fresh.

    1. I go to a spice store (Spice Station in Los Feliz, CA) where they grind spices for me fresh, and I can just buy a small amount. It’s a lot more expensive than the grocery store, when you compare the price per ounce (with most spices at $1.75 to $4 an ounce) but I only need a small amount at a time and my spices are always fresh and beautifully pungent!!

      1. I buy all organic spices (unground) now that I’m better informed on the subject. There’s an online store located in northern California called iHerb.com that I get them from and they have great prices. If you’re trying them out for the first time, you can use this code – COC 920 – and get $5 off of your first order.

        I order from them for spices and many other items even though I live in S. Korea. They have the most remarkably low shipping rates to S. Korea I’ve ever seen and my orders get here in 5 days. Amazing.

        1. By the way, regarding buying unground spices, I use my coffee grinder to deal with those.

        2. lol @ coffee grinder comment
          Someone stole most of my underground spices recently. I’m considering it an accidental favour, since I was using excessively, and now that I’m not burning so much I can feel my lung function improving.
          It feels good to walk around with energy at a spritely pace instead of lumbering along sleepily.
          No judgments from me on that though, I just recommend responsibility.

      2. We buy all our spices at the Savory Spice Shop (metro Denver), where they grind everything to order. You can really smell and taste the difference. Much better than the supermarket spices that can already be very old when you buy them.

        Aside from a few exceptions, I actually don’t use much spice when I cook. We like to taste the food itself rather than everything that’s been sprinkled on it. Most of the time I stick with garlic, salt and pepper. If I eat in a restaurant where the food is loaded with spices, I always wonder what they’re trying to hide.

  2. Black mustard seed, fenugreek, fennel seed, cumin, and coriander are amongst my favorite spices. I buy at a large asian/pacific grocery that has a spectacularly high turnover rate.

  3. Now I have to pretty much clear my spice collection… dang it! Mark, Please start selling spices.

    1. Why do you have to clear you spice collection? Why do you need Mark to sell you spices? You can buy spices anywhere and everywhere, and you have to learn to use what you read as a guide, not the bible.

      1. Pretty sure there was nowhere in the aricle where he said… chek out my online spice satore or anything of the sort.. I find your comment odd and almost like you just came here to say something negative which I find LAME.

    2. I think you may be overreacting to Logan’s comment – I took it as “dang it my spices are old and I have to throw them away,” and the comment about Mark selling spices was a half joke. Keep Calm and Carry On.

      1. I have to agree here. Logan’s comment looked very tongue in cheek to me. Made me smile anyway. Hate to see someone misunderstood and then dumped on.

  4. Tarragon is my “secret” ingredient for killer scrambled eggs (low and slow people!) and tuna salad.

    1. I’ll have to try that! I don’t use tarragon much, but it sounds like it’d be a great addition to scrambled eggs.

        1. tarragon in gazpacho! ( I think my recipe came from moosewood cookbook, but it’s still good)

    2. Haven’t tried tarragon in my scrambled egg – I use cayenne, marjoram, basil and thyme. Mind you, my scrambled eggs are more like scrambled omelets, because I also add spinach, mozzarella cheese, and bell pepper, then top with salsa. Will have to try some tarragon.

        1. No. They do not.

          I called about a year and half ago to inquire and they said that they didn’t. Perhaps it’s time for an update call.

        2. So glad you asked. I was wondering the same. I love me some Penzey’s. The folks in Houston are great. They remember you and take care of you when you only need one nutmeg but the smallest jar has 3.

    3. I agree. Very low flame and slow IS the way to go. Constant stirring and folding is the secret to a creamy gravy-like consistency avoiding solid clumps. Use a pat of butter at the beginning, and after turning off the flame stir in another pat of butter.

  5. I know that a top-10 list can only contain 10. But I would add as well:

    – cumin (both brown and black)
    – mint
    – savory (a must when I do ratatouille)
    – coriander
    – galanga (ah, I got you all! I bet nobody here knows it 🙂 )
    – And ginger… how come it is not in the list?

    1. Is that another name for Galangal?

      I’m familiar with galangal (which I’ve used)and also the very hard-to-find galingale (which I haven’t). I once considered growing my own galingale til I realised I’d need to get a garden and dig a pond first 🙂

    2. I use galangal in Thai soups. It’s similar to ginger and quite delicious!

    3. I can buy fresh galangal for part of the year. Love it. Even my ginger hating husband doesn’t mind it because it is so much milder.

    4. Yes for galangal, and lemongrass and keffir lime leaves. The trinity in Thai food I use all three to make marine creature stock.

  6. How many of these spices can you grow yourself? (It probably depends on where you are, but just wondering)

    1. Assuming a friendly climate, rosemary and cayenne are super-easy to grow; oregano’s pretty easy; I think sage is easy, too; I imagine dill, tarragon, and bay leaf are pretty easy. I have never heard of anyone growing cardamom, cinnamon, or turmeric.

      Cinnamon is a bark from a shrub I believe, so if you can grow that shrub, I guess you could harvest the bark?? Turmeric is a root; I have no idea how one harvests roots, other than carrots, but I’ll bet turmeric would be difficult (just a guess). Cardamom trees could probably be grown but I bet harvesting the pods would be too much work.

      1. Max, you got me curious about growing these so thanks to the internets I now know that 1)cinnamon is relatively easy to grow, more or less like an outdoor houseplant 2) turmeric is relatively easy, if you’re willing to provide warmth and humidity in a hothouse or bathroom; it dies in the winter, at which time you harvest the roots, saving some to replant the following season; 3) cardamom is fussy; it’s a tropical plant, not a tree as I thought, and needs a well-regulated hothouse or humid bathroom with constant spraying; and doesn’t produce any seeds for harvest for three years.

        Maybe some day I’ll grow a cinnamon bush.

        1. I read bit about turmeric needing “heat and humidity in a hothouse or bathroom” and thought “or summer in Arkansas,” where stepping outside feels like stepping into a sauna. Then I looked up how to grow it. Turmeric grows in the USDA hardiness zones 7b-10b. Central Arkansas is zone 7b… so I should be okay growing it outside. Cardamom on the other hand, would not do well here, too hot in the summer and my house is too cold for it in the winter…

        2. @ Sterling Archer – it would take a little peroxide, maybe for a special occasion…(you perv, shame on you…)

        3. Here in Costa Rica I have seen Cinnamon trees up to 20ft tall :-)) I have been growing one for about 4 years and it is still under 6ft. Ginger and Turmeric are both roots that look similar and you should be able to grow in a pot as tkm suggested in your bathroom. I grow them in the garden and if you live far enough South in the US you may be able to grow outside as well.

      2. I am from Nebraska and we have always had basil and often dill and occasionally rosemary as well. Does anyone know how to store them throughout the winter months without them losing their flavor?

        1. Dill does pretty well dried, although I prefer it fresh. Basil can be frozen in water in ice cube trays.

          Herbs that are easy to grow (I live in Colorado): sage, rosemary, tarragon, garlic (surprised garlic isn’t mentioned in this article – maybe they don’t consider it an herb or spice). When growing tarragon, don’t buy seeds or you’ll end up with Russian tarragon, which doesn’t taste very good and may not have the same health benefits. Buy a small potted tarragon and it will come up in the same spot every year, even after the cold dry winters of the Colorado front range.
          Most spices come from tropical or semi-tropical climates, so growing them without a greenhouse would only be possible in small areas of the U.S. Bay leaf can handle a California climate, but I think frost will kill it.

        2. Oh, dill and oregano are also very easy to grow. Rosemary and oregano can be dried (oregano is actually better dried than fresh). Or as others have said, rosemary can be picked as needed, even in the winter, although the plant stops growing in the winter, so you could easily over-pick it and kill it if the plant isn’t very big.

        3. I use my ice trays. I put my herbs,in the tray and cover with olive oil and freeze. Works very well. I use olive oil to cook with so I have both on hand at all times.

        4. Puree the fresh herbs with olive oil or coconut oil and freeze. That’s one of the better methods according to Fine Gardening. The best time to pick the herbs is in the morning after the dew dries but before the temps rise too much since this is the time when concentrations of aromatic oils and moisture in the leaves are at their greatest. The best time in the plant’s life cycle to harvest is when flower buds are forming but haven’t opened yet. (That said, I harvest any time of day and season because I’m making pesto and I need basil NOW, and have enjoyed delicious pesto as a result without thinking I was missing much.)

      3. Be careful growing dill. Harvest it long before it goes to seed. If you don’t, it will take over your garden faster the buffel grass and kudzu combined.

        1. I have a bay laurel bush in a pot on the deck, just east of Portland, OR. It has done fine for 3 years. of course, winters here have been relatively mild the last 3 years, but it did survive a couple of days of snow.

          From Bon Appetite, tweaked by me:
          Tarragon: make a duxelle of tarragon, butter, mushrooms and a little white pepper. Line muffin cups with thinnly sliced ham (or partially cooked bacon). Put lump of duxelle in cup, top with one egg, bake at about 350 until egg is set. enjoy. I get a little carried away and sometimes need to use those pyrex custard cups when I use thicker ham, more duxelle, huge eggs….

      4. I don’t about other countries, but herbs like rosemary and sage are frequently used in commercial planting, you see them in the borders of office and industrial estates, and bay trees are popular outside restaurants.

        I asked the guys gardening the borders where I worked if they’d mind me picking a bit and they said help yourself! – Urban foraging – awesome 🙂

        Just use a bit of sensible caution- don’t eat it if you’re not sure what it is and use your judgement about environmental polution/pesticides.

        1. My local Cracker Barrel uses multicolored kale as their planting. Maybe some evening foraging is in order.

    2. We have a rosemary plant, and it’s been super easy! The nice thing is that it’s an evergreen, so you can use it year-round and don’t have to plant it again every year. I know it’s not on the list, but basil is also pretty easy to grow. We also have a ton of dill plants in our yard, and although they die every winter, they always drop their seeds and pop up again the next year. Very low maintenance! Plus, caterpillars adore dill, so you’ll probably attract some butterflies (:

      I’m really intrigued by the idea of growing cinnamon. I might have to search out a cinnamon bush!

      1. Another great thing about having a rosemary plant in your yard is that bees LOVE the blooms. Our rosemary plant blooms for a good long time every year and we have lots of happy, happy bees come by.

      2. It seems like growing one’s own cinnamon would be kind of impressive!

      3. My great grandmother always said it takes a strong woman to grow rosemary. 🙂

      4. We are in NE GA and have rosemary plants taking over the hillside of our driveway (faces south, lots of sun) Anytime I need rosemary I can go snip off a little bit. Another plus is when there is a breeze, the rosemary scents the whole area and smells divine!

        I have trouble with my basil plants, I have two plants, one at work and one at home, and they both are struggling along. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong?

        Sounds like I will have to try some dill and cinnamon as well!

    3. Ginger is a root like turmeric and is easy to grow. Pick up a chunk at the grocery story that looks very fresh and with a couple of bud nodules on it. Poke it in the ground or pot in my case (zone 6a). Keep moist, be patient as it takes a while until you will see leaves. Withhold water and let it die back in the fall if you are ready to dig. Or bring your pot in and set in a south-facing window until the temps are over 50 degrees in the spring before taking back out. The pot only needs to be eight-inches deep but fairly wide.

      Happy ginger growing!

  7. I feel the inspiration to cook after reading that…. AND I will also go through my spices and see what needs to be bought. Cayenne for sure….

    1. Lisa: you have a great web site. Your primal baking dishes look delicious.

      1. Hey – thanks!!! Glad you enjoy it! I’ll have to work some of these spices into my next recipes I think…. 🙂

  8. Anyone else feel the urge to use all 10 spices at once? I want to take advantage of all those benefits!

    It’d probably taste horrible though!

    1. Look into some Indian recipes they can use most of the spices and herbs listed.

    2. I am of Pakistani origin, and our food is similar to North Indian food. There are a lot of dishes that call for a combination of these spices (and a few more) together. In fact, I have a killer pot roast recipe that uses many of the spices mentioned here.

      1. Well, that sounds like you should post that in a “reply” here so we could all try it…. PLEASE?
        😀

  9. Save even more money by growing some of these yourself. Most of them are pretty tolerant of different zones. And when you do live in a bad zone or have nowhere to grow them, many of them will grow beautifully in a pot in a window, especially if it faces south.

  10. I don’t know any of the health benefits off the top of my head, but my favorite spice is smoked paprika. It’s great on thick soups and sandwiches.

  11. Have turmeric on my Big Ass Salad everyday, but is it fresh and organic? No. Time to throw it out.

    1. I have a Big Ass Salad for lunch most days myself, I will look at throwing some of these spices in the bowl from now on.

    2. I add any and all herbs to BAS’s. Dill, oregano, marjoram, basil, lemon thyme, sage. GREAT flavors! and reduces my urge to cover with dressing, although a splash of balsamic with unrefined olive oil and a touch of dijon-style mustard is quite the thing.

  12. Wild oregano supplements are known as “the poor man’s antibiotic.”

    1. Oil of oregano cured my dog’s ear infection. $18 for essential oil of oregano in an olive oil base in 2 days flat vs 2 months of treatments and nearly $800. I gave externally and maybe one dose internally. Ugh! $800 could have bought a lot of meat.

  13. I didn’t know paprika had a flavor until I bought a new jar.

      1. Hungarian paprika is the best! My husband’s family is from Hungary and they ship us the kind without any English on the package 🙂

    1. What!!! smoked paparika is the bomb…sprinkle it on some eggs for breakfast…you’ll be glad you did!

  14. I tried to grow dill and it grew wonderfully, but it was all covered in aphids. Very disappointing since dill is my favorite. If anyone has any hint for keeping the aphids away, let me know. I’m still a gardening novice, but I intend to try again this year in a new plot.

    1. I don’t remember if it was aphids specifically, it probably was, but what my grandmother suggested I try when I had bugs attack a plant was mix dishsoap and water in a sprayer and spray the plant. Of course I used some sort of eco-friendly brand. It killed the bugs but didn’t bother the plant at all. I don’t remember how dilute it was, maybe 1/3 soap to 2/3 water.

      1. I use Fels-Naptha for bug spray. Always on hand as it’s required for homemade laundry soap. For the bug spray, grate 1/2 bar into 2 cups very hot water and stir until melted. When it cools it makes a gooey gel that I store in an old jar. About a tablespoon mixed into warm water will yield about a quart of highly effective insecticide. I use this in great quantities in my garden sprayer during the summer. =o)

    2. Soapy water works pretty well. There are also organic insect sprays available that are a combination of cinnamon oil, soap, and I think some citrus oils. Soapy water will drown the critters and the cinammon oil keeps them from coming back.

    3. the best way to keep bugs off the plants is to have healthy soil. One of my friends runs an organic greenhouse business. He reads ACRES magazine. he said 1 issue of ACRES taught him more than 4 years at U of IL in agriculture.

      As for soap, I would prefer something like Dr. Bronners soap because that company has a commitment to organic and sustainable ingredients in their products.

      1. I had a dill patch right next to my compost pile for a few years, never saw any bugs on the dill … rich soil keeps the plants happy and their defense systems in top notch shape.

    4. Some nurseries sell ladybugs specifically to keep aphids down. Ladybugs eat aphids. We used to buy ladybugs to keep the aphids from eating our roses and it worked pretty well. You also get the benefit of having a bunch of ladybugs around! Also food grade diatomaceous earth is a great non toxic all around bug killer, though you don’t want to use it AND ladybugs or it will kill the ladybugs too.

  15. Awesome information. We’ve been growing fresh herbs at home inside for a few years now and we love it! Herbs are a huge part of Chinese culture — my spouses mom has taught me loads about them and uses them in almost every single meal. This just enforces their benefits for me even more so (not that I needed any convincing ;)). Thanks!

  16. I use many of these spices plus many others not on this list. One I use daily is curcumin. I get the roots from Bolivia (just a few hours from here) and grind them up in my mortar and pestle. I also use a lot of real cinnamon bark which is also native to Bolivia.
    My pets receive the benefits of these spices as well.
    YUM! and good for all of us.
    Great post, Mark.

  17. Wow, this is really interesting stuff–I might just have to be buying this book sooner than later. I also think a n=1 experiment is in order with dill.

  18. I have it on good authority that trader Joes spices are not irradiated. Neither are Penzey’s apparently.

    I have a few spices that are much older than a year in my cabinet 🙁 time to throw them out 🙁
    This is a good reminder to use herbs and spices liberally though. I frequently buy them in bulk and ration them, not wanting to run out.

  19. Mark, I grow some of these, rosemary, sage, oregano, dill; I guess it’s ok to mix them up fresh in my protein shake every morning, correct?

  20. I was reading through the list and thinking ‘where is turmeric (and cumin)?’ and then Mark added it 🙂

  21. If you’ve never used turmeric before, be careful about carelessly flinging it around; the golden stains might fade a bit but are fairly permanent.

    1. That’s a good reminder. In South Asia, turmeric is used as a natural dye for fabric, rugs etc.

  22. My two favorites (Ginger and Cilantro) weren’t mentioned, though I’m glad to see Ginger getting some love in the comments.

    I suppose it may have something to do with the fact that my love is Chinese, I have grown to love these two spices immensely. Chinese put fresh Cilantro on all kinds of dishes, and Ginger is in tons of the food.

    I always buy fresh ginger (it’s cheap and stores forever). Cilantro I always get fresh, but it doesn’t last as long so I try to buy only what I need and then use quickly. I also use red peppers and sichuan peppers. I grind these up with a mortar and pestle.

    If you love spices, you really should get a mortar and pestle, they are invaluable for grinding up spices! I may make a video soon of how they can be used in cooking.

      1. Haha, why?

        (I posted a reply with a link to a page that mentions health benefits of cilantro but it’s awating morderation.)

        Do you not like the way it tastes?

        1. Cilantro is called Coriander down here – I love it but it makes my lips go all wierd… I reckon its the same reaction cats have with catnip – go a little crazy…

      2. In my opinion, that would be datura.. a very unpleasant intoxicant. I swallowed 45 seeds or so once and was in sluggish, inebriated delerium with an uncurable dry mouth. I had hallucinations I couldn’t tell apart from reality. The next day my vision was blurry and I was still very tired and out of it.

  23. I make a “tea” (a misnomer, of course) – add cumin, ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) seeds, grated fresh or powdered ginger, turmeric, and fennel seeds. Boil for 15 mins. Let cool. Strain into a bottle. If it is too strong for your taste, pour some in a cup and dilute by adding hot/cold water and sip. This works well to detox and to reduce inflammation in the body.

  24. I just found fresh tumeric at a fancy grocery this weekend and I bought a couple nodules to try making fresh tumeric tea (since I find using the powder to make tea is frustrating, as its hard to sift out the sediment.) I grated it and mixed it with fresh grated ginger, fresh ground black pepper, cinnamon, a clove bud, a cardamom pod, and some orange zest, then steeped it in a french press and served it with some honey.

    BAM!! Amazing. My sinuses have been a little fritzy as we transition from winter to spring here in CA, and ive been feeling them relax and drain a lot better. Additionally, Ive had little to no pain or stiffness from the walking, dancing, and hiking I did over the long weekend, which is notable since normally doing so many medium-to-med-high exertion activities back to back wears me down at least a little bit.

  25. I will start making a daily tea with ALL the herbs and spices listed here. I suspect it will taste like crap, but we suffer for our well being, yes?

    1. LOL…that will be one hell of an interesting taste sensation. You gotta share your thoughts once you try it out.

  26. I live in the cold Northeast US and have a big beautiful sage plant that is about 5 years old planted in my perennial garden. It is very slow to come back in the spring so one could mistake it for being dead if they had no patience.

  27. apparently mccormick spices are not irradiated..just steamed. maybe thats why they are 2x expensive as the walmart brands on the shelf next to them. is steaming an issue?

  28. Be careful growing oregano! It belongs to the mint family and will take over. You might want to bury a pot of it leaving an inch or so of pot above ground.

    1. Yes, my mint plant from last spring is doing really well. It was planted in the same pot as the basil. It choked out the basil and now I have a whole pot of rapidly growing mint!

  29. Is there anything wrong with storing your (organic) dried spices tightly sealed in the freezer? That is how my grandmother taught me to spices fresh, but does anyone know if it really works?

    1. I think your grandmother gave you good advice. I keep a lot of things in the freezer, dried spices and nuts in particular.

  30. Would it be better to buy fresh (organic)herbs and dry them yourself or buy already dried/ground?

  31. Oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary are very easy to grow as perennial potted plants. You get max nutrition because you can pick them right before cutting them up finely and adding to dishes, vinaigrettes, etc. Just bring them indoors in the colder months at higher lattitudes. You can freeze bulk quantities of basil, parsley, cilantro, etc, for the winter.

  32. I had no idea about the effects of tarragon on cholesterol levels. Is that a teaspoon of fresh tarragon, or dried?

  33. I see there are already many on here who know of the wonders of Penzey’s! Every so often I apply to work there, but so far, they don’t want me. Darn, seems like a dream job, and who would mind coming home smelling like THAT?

  34. lol pretty sure my mother still has spices from the 70s somewhere

    1. My mom still had spices from the 60’s in her cupboard until last year! I finally (a few years of nudging) talked her into dumping them out and refilling the tins with fresh herbs that she actually uses on a daily basis.

  35. We use the seeds from the dill plant to make tea. Great for upset stomach, particularly for kids who don’t like ginger tea. Dill seed tea is very mild and is one of the main ingredients in gripe water.

  36. Turmeric–I love the stuff. Goes into my salad dressing, on my eggs, etc.

    This is the United States of Turmerica, damnit!

  37. Don’t forget to take it all with some lemon/lime juice.

    That is how I take my Turmeric and ginger put it in mouth and wash it down with the juice.

  38. I live in Maine and still manage to have a nice little perennial herb garden. I grow oregano, thyme, French tarragon, sage, mint & lemon balm. In the spring I plant parsley & dill. I have a hard time growing basil here.

    I use all my herbs often in the summer, and in the fall I either dry or freeze them.

    I buy my spices from Penzey’s. Does anyone know if they are organic?

  39. I use thyme on just about everything cooked. It’s great in omelets, whole grain pastas, on meats, even in meat wraps with mustard. I think Mark may even be responsible for my infatuation with it. I’m pretty sure I read about it in one of his books.

  40. I have been buying organic herbs from Mountain Rose Herb Company and encapsulating them myself for 8-9 months. Had warts on my hands for years and they all just disappeared. Caught the cold that had every one down for two weeks and it was extremely mild and gone in two days.Check former big pharma chemist thepeopleschemist.com. All formulations are herbal based.

    1. Where do you get the empty capsules? I asked at my local CVS and got a suspicious look along with a “No.”

  41. Turmeric is fat soluble. So when you spill some and can’t get the stain out, try working in some oil to absorb the turmeric and then wash the oil away with detergent. It also goes through a dish better if it is allowed to absorb into an oil first eg fry the spice blend briefly before adding the meat like in most asian cultures.

    Piperine in black pepper is one of the things that improves turmerics bioavailabilty.

    Go the curry!

  42. GreenMedInfo.com has lots of PubMed articles indexed on turmeric (amazing tumor fighter) and other herbs. Try cutting up cauliflower, toss with olive oil, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and roast in the oven a few minutes. I am not a big cauliflower fan but like it this way.

  43. FYI – In Rich Food, Poor Food, the Caltons offer coupons for organic spices from companies like Simply Organic and Frontier.

  44. if you want to avoid the little plastic bags from the bulk section at the health food store just bring your own jars from home and get a tare weight for them before filling…keeps your spices from being stuck to plastic and less waste!

  45. My parents have spices in their cupboard that are older than me. And I’m 30. But they’re hoarders and I doubt they actually use those spices.

  46. On the freshness tip. I’m actually starting a dried herb exchange club, wherein we have a group of people who are each growing one herb and then we get together and swap. It’s less bother than maintaining a large herb garden, but we all get the benefit of diverse, locally grown and freshly dried herbs.

  47. I usually buy my spices in bulk from Whole Foods. I would assume they aren’t irradiated, but does anyone know for sure. Also, how long before you should throw spices out – in other words, what is their shelf life?

  48. An article from Physorg.com states that preliminary research shows tumeric has strong anti viral properties. It interferes with the virus’ ability to replicate and spread through cells in the body. I personally have used it twice this year when I felt a cold/flu developing. I put a 1/4 tsp in a cup of hot water, added a sprinkle of cinnamon for taste, and drank before bed. Felt fine the next morning.

  49. Grow your own spices. I grow oregano (Greek & Italian), choc mint, thyme – all perenials – and plant basil, parsley & sage &/or dill every yr. I dry them in dehydrator & store in glass jars kept in fridge so they stay fresh for a very long time (still have some from last summer & hasn’t lost scent or flavour).

  50. I’m putting in my own raised gardens this summer (making them out of cinder block). Can anyone suggest a good website or book on planning an herb garden and zones for the different herbs?

  51. Woops! I had no idea that spices expired and that expired spices could actually be harmful to you. Oh geez, I need to clear out my cupboards. =/

  52. Some herbs and spices will give a negative reaction if you use it daily, and some will have a diminishing return, so it’s best to do a lot of research on which ones you choose to use. After using Cayenne daily for about 7 years it gives me diarhhea now.
    Use them wisely and you can say adios to your doctor. They are also good to get rid of the sweetness addiction. Your senses of taste and smell will gradually improve.

  53. Very nice and interesting post, anyway I want to just add something more info. Like, too much could deplete your muscles because of too much protein as well as mineral deprivation. Moreover, too much intake of the tea that is a laxative may irritate and also damage the colon’s nerve ending.

  54. Some of these herbs and spices are anti-bacterial, so I assume they also kill off our good bacteria? I have heard that cinnamon doesn’t kill the good bacteria, only the bad, but can’t seem to find any reference to that. Has anyone else heard that?

  55. For anyone in the UK wondering whether their spices are irradiated – the Food Standards Agency states that any irradiated foods have to be very clearly marked as such, and most supermarket spices aren’t, so should be safe to use. Check your spice rack before throwing out perfectly good spices for fear of nasty radiation

    BTW, I think but do check, that the wider EU has similar irradiated food labelling standards

    More info at the FSA website: http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/irradfoodqa/

  56. Love all these herbs and spices, but Tumeric makes my mouth numb! Very strange…

  57. Cheap way to buy spices!!!

    Was attempting Better Butter Chicken from Sarah Fragoso’s cookbook (insanely delicious btw) but could not find some of the needed spices at my staple Trader Joes or World Market. So….I “hiked” over to Whole Foods – ok it was only four blocks away but I hiked very briskly – swearing quietly to myself about how expensive buying spices there was going to be.

    Anyway this WF has a bag your own spices section (not sure if this is in all WF) I try to only go into WF as a last ditch option (sorry walking into WF kinda makes me feel like I’m back in HS & and I’m not in the popular crowd…anyone else???).

    So I “bagged” my own cardamom, coriander and fenugreek seeds.

    Total price (and I got enough for at least 10-15 more dishes),
    Organic coriander $.07 (yes it was 7 FREAKING cents)
    Organic cardamom $1.50
    Fenugreek Seeds $.82

    Final conclusion if you have a WF in your neck of the woods this is a totally unexpected cheap option.

    **two quick notes if you want to try this recipe – WF only had the seed version of fenugreek however the recipe calls for powder of all three ingredients. I used my coffee bean grinder to turn the seeds into powder. (kinda cleaver right?) Which could be why my Butter Chicken slightly made me feel like I was at Starbucks…umm.

    Lastly if all WF do not have the bag your own spices option the one I went too for my fellow urban paleo folks is on North and Kingbury in Chicago.

    Hope this helps – I just started Paleo about 7 weeks ago after being a certified bread & milk addict and have never felt better! Yippee!

    1. WF is actually cheaper than many grocery stores on a lot of things. Between their house brand and what I’m guessing is a volume discount they can get on organics, you’d be surprised. I priced the Pacific brand soup in a carton at four stores and the from most expensive to least it went: Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, Target, THEN Whole Foods which was a little more than a dollar cheaper than Harris Teeter.

      Funny your comment about feeling uncomfortable shopping there and not feeling like you are in the popular crowd. My sense is that WF is usually staffed with folks who weren’t in the popular crowd in high school. More like the “freaks and geeks”/hippies, if you will. Which is probably why I AM comfortable shopping there!

      ps. I will definitely be cruising by the bulk spice section more often! Making a note to save my spice bottles so I can reuse them.

    2. OMG I have done this before too! It’s genius! And you can actually do this at any grocery store that offers this – I used to save SO MUCH money by doing this with cinnamon and cilantro! 🙂

  58. Love the site, and I plan on incorporating a lot of these spices in the future. However, I really dislike some of the specific claims made in this article with no backing.

    “A teaspoon a day can reduce 80 percent of bloating in only three days.”

    “Sprinkle one half teaspoon on your food to slow carbohydrate absorption by 29 percent.”

    Considering 43% of statistics on the internet are made up, I think your site would retain more credibility without such claims.

    1. I think it’s 57% of the stats on the web are made up… but I just made that up! {wink}

  59. Can I add turmeric, dill and oregano to my green smoothie daily? Or is it better to cook with these herbs and spices?

    Thanks

  60. Rural Northumberland UK is a really hard place to find fresh herbs, in bulk or otherwise. While I grow Rosemary, thyme, sage, anything more exotic is beyond me!

  61. I don’t have a clue where catnip sits on the hierarchy of herbs but it’s one I use fairly regularly and I’ve found it to be beneficial. Could be partially in my head. The main compound, nepetalactone, is mildly sedating and can increase sweating. Due to these propteries I assume it is heart-healthy via promoting relaxation and that it assists the body in detoxing through the skin, probably sparing the liver and kidneys a bit of work and being overall beneficial by helping maintain a clean system.
    I don’t bother buying catnip but rather pick it regularly when it’s in season because plenty grows in patches near where I live. Usually I pick the buds/flowers and leave them in cold water to make tea, often mixed with other teas (though I’ve been hesitant lately to drink camellia teas because of their propensity to suck up lots of fluoride from the ground, and I’ve had lots of exposure to that – swallowed toothpaste for years as a kid and developed some symptoms of fluorosis). If there aren’t buds/flowers or not enough of them I use the leaves. The plant is edible as well so sometimes I eat some. I find it usually tastes good for a while and then becomes too overwhelming.
    Once I put some buds into a bottle of red wine and let them steep for a while. When I ate part of one after it was very fizzy and sharp-tasting, which was enjoyable in small amounts.
    Catnip repels mosquitos. I’ve rubbed it on my skin for that purpose and if I’m camping this year when it’s in season, which I expect, I plan to transplant some to make a protective catnip ring around my campsite.

  62. I’ve almost given up regular herbs in favor of doterra oils. Usually just one drop of essential oil will flavor my dishes, and I know that the oils are 50-70% more potent than the actual plant they derive from. And to answer a question about antibacterial herbs being detrimental to the body — just the opposite. They kill what is harmful to the body and boost what is helpful.

  63. I think I might have to throw out some of my bottled up free radicals. I’m terrible for using old spices and all our fresh herbs never last more than a few weeks, awful green thumbs here. Thanks for this info and the reminder to clean my cupboard out. I did read that oregano can inhibit iron absorption so I stopped using it but it seems like it also has some benefits.

  64. I love cardamom. Try adding it to any dish using cinnamon. I put it in apple pie and Oh My! is it yummy! People say to me “Oh your apple pie is so cinnomony”, but it isn’t extra cinnamon, it is the cardamom. They go really well together.

    Also, as others have suggested, a mortar and pestle are great with spices. You can buy the spices whole and grind them up yourself (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc.). It is easy, and the smell is so wonderful, it is not a hardship to do this. You can also use a suribachi, which is a bowl with grooves carved in it. You use a pestle with it and grind the spices against the grooves. I think my suribachi is easier to use and does a better job than a mortar and pestle (which I also use for really small amounts because the suribachi is harder to clean).

  65. Okay I live in a foreign East Asian country and can’t fund turmeric anywhere. Could anyone in the know please recommend a good brand or supplement I could order at iherb.com or some other place with international shipping? I don’t know what would keep in shipping or maintain it’s healthful properties in supplement form or what, and I really need that turmeric, so any help would be appreciated!

  66. I heard about DILL and DIGESTION once before, but I always listen to you Mark, so I am definitely going to purchase some tomorrow! I suffer from bloating and stomach problems so I will try ANYTHING to make sure my stomach stays flat as opposed to looking like a 6 month pregnant woman.

    Thanks for the tip, I really appreciate it! 🙂

  67. It’s not really an herb or a spice — but I use green pepper as a spice. I buy 6-8 of them, cut and clean them, then puree the hell out of them into a complete mash. Spread them in a thin film on a cookie sheet that fits into my freezer, freeze, and then break up the ‘plate’ into ‘chips.’ The chips get jarred and kept in the freezer, and when I make scrambled eggs, sauce, burger, whatever — a chip or two into the pot – and ‘fresh’ green pepper without the risk of any rotting in the veg drawer! (I do it with onion too. As a singleton, I don’t use them up quickly enough to avoid them rotting…)

  68. I put a bit of tumeric in my daily juice. That and ginger with a bunch of veggies. It’s great!

  69. I have a question, I dont like to cook and try to do everything as quick and simple as possible so I know very little about spices. I get that the irradiating is bad, but how are the organic spices treated to make sure you arent getting whatever the irradiating is killing?

  70. I love cayenne!

    It’s so easy and versatile to use. I use it on practically all my grilled meats.

    I’m not a BIG spice person, but a little sprinkle here and here is just enough.

    I also love the fact that it has thermogenic properties. A great addition to anyone looking to boost their metabolism!

  71. Is the reference above only to real cinnamon, or also to cassia, the stuff that is usually sold in the U.S. as cinnamon? Real cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum) is grown only in Ceylon, so far as I can tell, and looks like what is pictured (many thinner layers). Casia (Cinnamomum cassia, also called Chinese cinnamon) is usually one thick curled layer. It’s related to Ceylon cinnamon, but has a more bitter taste, and contains a toxic compound called coumarin. My understanding is that it’s illegal to call cassia “cinnamon” in parts of Europe.

    1. It’s my understanding that “true” cinnamon, or Ceylon cinnamon, is the one to use if treating medical problems. (Wikipedia has a good article on this.) My family prefers Saigon cinnamon, which I think has the best flavor. Whether this would work equally well or not, I have no idea, but we don’t treat anything other than our taste buds with it.

  72. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have truly loved browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write again soon!

  73. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Does this mean that the non-organic store bought turmeric I have been shovelling into me is actually bad for me?

  74. Wow, there are some herbs I don’t even know, like Tarragon, Sage and Turmeric. Really nice list and great information about those herbs. I often use rosemary and oregano but I’m sure I’ll try out the other ones:)

  75. “Antibacterial properties” for Dill & Oregano – isn’t that counter to the primal way of fostering the most hospitable climate for our best gut bugs? Spent the last few weeks dosing them with more happy gut flora (yogurt, supplement) and feeding them resistant starch. Seems like a shame to eat these herbs which claim to kill them all off! Am I missing something?

    1. Dill and oregano are toxic to cocci like staph. Dill actually has a symbiotic relationship with some beneficial species of lactobacillus.

  76. Love to see all the benefits of my favorite herbs and spices! Turmeric is a must for me if I feel a cold coming on and also for recovery when my running miles increase.

  77. Favorite Breakfast: Sweet potato roasted in the oven. slice open and load with butter and tumeric, place fried eggs in the middle. I sometimes add sauteed greens.

  78. I was going to ask… What about garlic??!! Then I realized it’s really not an herb or a spice.

    1. Me too! I add them both to my morning coffee grinds. The cinnamon seems to sweeten the brew

  79. Thyme deserves an honorable mention. The active compounds are antioxidants and it is antibacterial against staph, salmonella, E coli, and the common parasitic nematodes. It grows like a weed and is a perfect complement to chicken, shellfish and lamb. It is great in cream based soups as well as bone stocks. Eggs too!

  80. Hi,
    This is REALLY off-topic, but I need an answer!
    How do you explain how Sally Fallon (president of Weston A Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions) is fat on the paleo diet? Yeah, she eats soaked grains, but ALOT of healthy fat. I don’t want to look like her…….

    1. She probably eats too many carbs and too many calories and doesn’t move enough. I don’t know who she is btw. Paleo/Primal is not a magic weight loss diet. It is just a easy to be fat on primal as anything else if you overeat.

    2. WAPF is not paleo/primal as most people define it. Grains are high glycemic which is why I avoid them except for rice and quinoa occasionally. Paleo/primal is not necessarily high fat, though some peeps eat that way. I eat moderate levels of all macros, YMMV.

    3. Sally Fallon isn’t technically paleo or primal, she has her own thing, nourishing traditions that follows some of the research of Weston A Price. Vegans like to use her as an example for paleo/primal/WAP being bad for you, they also like to use Jimmy Moore’s ups and downs to dis on anyone eating meats. Ive never met a vegan that wasnt a complete asinine douche, they are right and meat eaters are wrong always. Despite the many examples of Emaciated drug addict looking vegans, throngs of them really. To each their own, Sally fallon isnt really fat or anything and I don’t think she is trying to enter a fitness competition. Plus how do you know she doesn’t have great health markers, like good HDL, Low TriGlycerides and the such, Maybe she hasn’t had so much as a cold in the last ten years. You can’t judge everything based on appearances.

  81. I thought some of the health claims (for tarragon, for instance) called for references.

  82. I have organic turmeric and cayenne powder made by Indus. Am i not getting health benefits from these?

  83. Great post. A couple of things, number one I wish organic spices came in smaller containers, most spices should be used when fresh as possible and not stay on the shelf that long as I understand. Secondly, curcumin is purported to have some great benefits as the article documented, but it needs to be isolated as supplements. Simply put curcumin is not bioavailable in its natural state, and the small amount you find in tumeric will not give you those benefits. That is not to say that tumeric is not a beneficial spice.

  84. Anybody know what a recommended amount for cumin would be on a daily basis? I have seen it in supplement form as capsules but a jar is close to $30 for 60 capsules…and they recommend 1-4 capsules daily! Not a rich food, but more like a food for rich people!!!

  85. In the UK several herbs are easy to grow. I have Rosemary which is an evergreen, but it doesn’t like biting winds, sage which is also an evergreen and gets a bit woody, mint which comes up every year,lemon balm which comes up every year, marjoram, oregano, thyme in a small pot and a small bay in a big pot. I put the bay and thyme in the green house over winter to protect from frosts. Parsley I grow in large pots in the greenhouse, then one has parsley all year round. I tend to buy basil in a pot for cooking from my supermarket and keep it on the kitchen windowsill to pick as needed. My supermarket sells other herbs in pots for picking as one needs them. Bay, rosemary and sage are easy to dry one self in the airing cupboard.

  86. Growing up with the middle eastern diet, I’m a big believer in spices. I add in a bit of spices in most of my meals, especially breakfast. Now though when I visited Thailand, man do they throw in a lot of spices into their foods! I’ve never had food that had so many different spices. And most of them were really spicy.

    I think I feel more alive when I have food that was balanced with the right spices…Great article as always Mark, thanks!

  87. At least a few of those spices grow very easily on a balcony or in the garden.

    Dill, tarragon and oregano are really easy to grow in the summer (and maybe all year round in southern places). Rosemary and Bay leaves are extremely hardy perennials – we planted one stick of rosemary a couple years ago and now have a lifetime supply for several households in our front yard, and another plant on our deck. Ditto Bay leaves – we have a small bush, but our in-laws have a 6 foot tall bay bush that provides all the leaves you could ever want, fresh and organic.

    Cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric might be a bit harder, but sage is pretty easy as well.

  88. I get my turmeric in by mixing a half teaspoon into Kefir with a milk frother every morning. I also add a heaping teaspoon to any ground beef I cook. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source. They can provide a certificate of analysis for any of their herbs and spices so you can be sure you are not being exposed to too high a level of contaminants.

    1. Don’t forget to add a bit of black pepper to your turmeric recipes. The piperine in the black pepper will reduce the gycosylation of the curcuminoids and increase the blood plasma levels to therapeutic levels.

  89. My argument for not scrambling your eggs…
    Biotin is a great nutrient in egg yolks. The problem is that there is avidin in the egg white. Biotin and avidin bind together with one of the strongest non-covalent bonds known. This binding process keeps biotin from being biologically available in the digestive tract. Cooking eggs with the white and yolk unmixed causes the avidin to change configuration and eliminates its biotin binding capability. The heat does not damage the biotin. For this reason, in my opinion, non-scrambled are healthier than scrambled.