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Description Table of Contents Reviews. Summary Offers concise coverage of spices and herbs from basic science to the most recent developments in spice functions and applications. Introduces a new patterning theory of extensive spice use in various types of food preparations. Reviews "This fine monograph presents a treasure trove of fascinating information about spice chemistry, use patterns, and the multiple beneficial properties of spices.

Ancient Greeks wore parsley and marjoram as a crown at their feasts in an attempt to prevent drunkenness. Spices and herbs played an important role in ancient Greek medical science.

The Science of Spice

Hippocrates BC , wrote about spices and herbs, including saffron, cinnamon, thyme, coriander, mint, and marjoram. He noted that great care should be given to the preparation of herbs for medical use. Of the herbal remedies utilized by Hippocrates, at least half are in use today 3. Roughly years later, Theophrastus BC , sometimes called the "Father of Botany," wrote 2 books that summarized the knowledge of over spices and herbs. Dioscorides, a Greek Physician of the 1st century, wrote De Materia Medica, which was used for botany and medicinal knowledge in both the East and the West for over years.

The remedies were based on an extensive catalogue of spices and herbs and were more systematic than his predecessors who based the remedies on magic and superstition. The Romans were extravagant users of spices and herbs. Spice-flavored wines were used in ancient Rome and spice-scented balms and oils were popular for use after the bath. Since spices were considered to have health properties, they were also used in poultices and healing plasters. When the Roman Empire extended to the northern side of the Alps, the Goths, Vandals, and Huns of those regions were introduced to pepper and other spices from the East.

Early Chinese influence

These cultures were familiar with caraway, onions, rosemary, and thyme and gradually became attracted to the Eastern spices. Early on, spices were used as a source of trading.

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During the ancient Roman Empire, trading largely came from Arabia. Traders supplied cassia, cinnamon, and other spices and deliberately kept the source of their products secret. The intent was to have a monopoly on the spice trade and the Arabians spun great tales about the how they obtained the spices in order to keep their resource value high. They continued to keep the origins secret for several centuries from both Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman civilizations Rosgarten, McCormick until about the 1st century, AD, when the Roman scholar Pliny made the connection between the Arabian stories and the inflation of spices and herbs.

Mohammed , who established the principles of Islam in the Koran, also co-owned a shop that stocked myrrh, frankincense, and Asian spices. For 4 centuries following the death of Mohammed, his followers Mohammedans created a flourishing civilization. The Mohammedans were outstanding scientists for their time.

The Science of Spice

They advanced the process of extracting flower scents from blossoms and herbs and created distillation techniques to distill essential oils from aromatic plants. Later around the 9th century , Arab physicians used spices and herbs to formulate syrups and flavoring extracts. In the Early part of the middle ages before the Crusades , Asian Spices in Europe were costly and mainly used by the wealthy. A pound of saffron cost the same as a horse; a pound of ginger, as much as a sheep; 2 pounds of mace as much as a cow.

A German price table of lists a pound of nutmeg as worth 7 fat oxen. Pepper, as well as other spices and herbs, was commonly used as a monetary source. Eastern Europeans paid 10 pounds of pepper in order to gain access to trading with London merchants.

Peppercorns, counted out one by one, were accepted as currency to pay taxes, tolls, and rents partly because of a coin shortage. Many European towns kept their accounts in pepper. Wealthy brides received pepper as a dowry. With the coming of the Crusades , international exchange of goods became common. Gradually, Asian spices pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom became less expensive and more widely available.

Spices were used to camouflage bad flavors and odors, and for their health benefits. Spiced wines were also popular. European apothecaries used Asian spices e.

The Chemistry of Spice

The remedies were largely based on the Arabian medical teachings see above. An important person in developing and growing local herbs was the King of France and Emperor of the West, Charlemagne He was the first leader to have farmers plant an abundance of culinary herbs e.

The Science of Spice | The Pipettepen

European cultivation of spices and herbs was largely controlled by the church during this period. Religious herb and spice feasts were common. Some ancient customs and superstitions e. The guild included spice trade management, which included cleaning and preparing the spices for sale. I highly recommend that this book be read by all ages and that people make active efforts to adopt the key principles that spices and herbs should be used more frequently - not only as anti-aging tools, but also to increase well being and vitality and decrease fatigue, stress and unhealthy eating.

The book also includes a lot of information on the beneficial compounds in vegetables. The title of the book could be broader to reflect the wide ranging information on agents for natural vitality and health, as well as some of the shocking stories regarding dangerous pharmaceuticals and chemicals that were approved and are widely used.

Since the evidence is compelling, I hope that people will adopt the use of these natural life-giving agents in practice and notice the effects themselves. The Science of Spices From the splendor of tropical rainforests come spices, superstars of nature's apothecary.


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Here is just a sampling of scientifically proven benefits of spices: When eaten regularly, they influence the very expression of your genes, which in turn gives your body the instruction set to turn on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory enzymes and processes, thus protecting you from a host of ills. Spices stimulate cells to be more sensitive to insulin, helping to keep blood sugar stable and weight in check.

They ease aching joints, while supporting a healthy inflammation response They help keep the blood thin, which supports healthy circulation and a healthy heart. They help metabolize fats and sugars, support digestion Compounds from spices cross the blood-brain barrier to boost brain health.