Packed to the rafters with antioxidants, cinnamon can relieve indigestion, nausea and help alleviate diarrhoea, all while keeping blood sugar levels steady. Dust half a teaspoon on your porridge each morning for an extra-warming start to the day.
Try: Porridge With Apple Butter
2. Coriander Seeds
Coriander can actually act as a natural antibiotic and has been found to be quite effective against salmonella. It boasts cholesterol-lowering properties too, reducing “bad” cholesterol while increasing the “good” stuff. Plus, it’s fragrantly delicious; crush some up and tuck in to some pasta or curry dish.
Try: Chickpeas And Vegetable Curry
High in iron and vitamin C, introducing a hit of cumin to your cooking can support a healthy immune system – something you’ll be thankful for especially when it comes to the cold and flu season. They can be added into Indian or Malay dishes, from satay to stews.
Try: Mixed Satay or Tharid (Lamb Stew)
Widely used in Indian cooking, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that are 50 times more potent than vitamin C or E. It’s also heaving with antioxidants, and can be used as an antibiotic ointment on superficial wounds.
Try: Dry Laksa or Fragrant Lamb Briyani
5. Cayenne Pepper
Put a pep in your step with a pinch or two of the spicy stuff; commonly used to stimulate circulation and improve digestion, cayenne can also help clear mucus congestion and soothe scratchy sore throats and coughs.
Try: Mexican Bean And Quinoa Cakes
6. Star Anise
This one is for the liquorice-lovers out there. Calm upset stomachs, supress coughs and runny noses and even increase appetites by incorporating this sweet, aromatic spice in to your cooking.
Try: Poached Spiced Pear or Lamb Rendang
Get ready for this super-spice, foodies. With up to seven times the vitamin C levels of the humble orange, chillies fight sinus congestion, aid digestion and can even relieve migraines, muscles, joint and nerve pain. Get the whole family on the chilli bandwagon with some fried rice with sliced chillies.
Try: Baked Chilli Tuna Pasta or Chilli Chicken Stir-Fry
Ginger is a handy spice to have on hand when queasy, as a lot of expectant mothers can attest. But as well as settling upset tummies, it can also relieve muscle pain by reducing inflammation. Treat yourself to a cup of morning tea with a couple of slices of fresh ginger root added in.
Try: Chicken Tagine With Couscous or Red Duck Curry
Not just for adorning your baked Christmas ham, cloves can soothe upset stomachs and aid excess wind. They can also be used to ease coughs and expel phlegm; keep a jar of cloves handy this cold and flu season.
Try: Fig-Glazed Ham
Another nifty little spice that does wonders for tickly throats, aniseed can help clear up congestion, too. And once it’s done its work on your cold or flu, it might even give your libido a lift thanks to some aphrodisiac-like properties.