Benefits of Your Holiday Spice Cabinet

Benefits of Your Holiday Spice Cabinet
Staff Photo Ashleigh Price Cinnamon, pictured here in jars, increases the flow of blood circulation in the human body and helps keep blood sugar and blood pressure in check.

Staff Photo Ashleigh Price
Cinnamon, pictured here in jars, increases the flow of blood circulation in the human body and helps keep blood sugar and blood pressure in check.

If you have any role in the holiday cooking this year, you know that nearly all dessert recipes call for the same players. Dash of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom—you know the drill. Unfortunately, their popularity in the holiday season leaves people with nearly full spice jars that migrate toward the back of the cabinet until next year rolls around. Their holiday fame has given them a bad rap, or an inaccurate one at least. Looming in these holiday spices are wonderful year-round powers—powers of digestion, circulation, immune boosting and tranquility, all especially necessary in the hectic holiday months. Utilizing these spices in more ways than just cakes and pies will leave you calmer, more centered and ready to take on your thirty-person family. No need to fear, the spice cabinet is here!


This is a winter-powerhouse. From easing sinus congestion to healing wounds, cinnamon’s got you covered. As a stimulant it increases the flow of circulation, aiding in strengthening of the heart, keeping blood pressure and blood sugar in check. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, holding viruses at bay. Perfect for someone who tends to get cold or lethargic, this spice dries dampness in the body and aids in boosting brain activity.

TIP: Try adding cinnamon powder to your ground coffee, pancake batter, or smoothies.


Like cinnamon, this rich and aromatic dried flower also aids in dispelling chill from the body and acts as an energizer. As an expectorant, bringing cloves into your diet helps clear the lymphatic system while burning up mucus and opening the sinuses. It’s also packed with antioxidants.

TIPS: Cloves make a perfect accent to sweet and savory dishes alike. Creating an olive oil and clove rub will act as an aid in healing cuts and bruises. Cloves especially make an excellent addition to black tea or any warm holiday drink.


Derived from the fruit of the nutmeg tree, which is of the evergreen family, this pungent spice heats the body while calming the mind. It breaks up chest congestion and acts as a digestive aid especially in breaking down rich, dairy-heavy meals.

TIP: In the mornings to kick-start digestion and boost metabolism, try drinking this spiced elixir. Combine a teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add this mixture to two cups of water and sweeten with honey to your likeness.


Pungent, sweet and heating this seed or pod is of the ginger family. It helps curb asthma and loosens mucus as it removes moisture from the stomach and lungs. It calms the nervous system and acts as a digestive stimulant. It also acts as natural breath freshener and curbs sugar cravings.

TIP: Add this spice to any tea or make a comforting drink by steeping 1 teaspoon of both cardamom and vanilla extract to warm dairy or nut milk.


This spice has received a lot of press in the recent years and for good reason! It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral all at once. It helps with arthritis pain as it increases circulation and improves flexibility of the joints. Like the other stimulants, this earthy and golden-colored spice improves digestion (especially of proteins).

TIPS: Makes an excellent addition to any savory meal or cooked beans. This spice also makes a glorious winter-evening drink. Similar to hot chocolate, you can’t go wrong here. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to milk of your choice. Whisk spices and milk together while heating over the stove until frothy.

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