Oriental spiced: fruity-mild to fiery hot

The colourful and highly aromatic spices of the Orient invite you to a festival of senses. Already in the 7th century seafarers brought them to us in the Occident. They experienced a "high" period in the monastery kitchens and the natural medicine of the Middle Ages. Many of them have long been well known to us, some of them are still awaiting discovery. They transform even simple lentils, beans or chickpeas into delicious meals.

Pepper heats up and is good for cold feet and hands. The pepper contains piperine, a special active ingredient that reduces fever and helps with common colds.

Chilis of all kinds are rich in vitamin C and have an antibacterial effect. Their sharpness sometimes triggers a pain-like sensation, which in turn releases the body's own substances, which bring relaxation and cosy warmth.

Carnation relaxes and helps against headaches and toothache. Chewing on a carnation removes even stubborn bad breath.

Pimento, also known as clove pepper, tastes like a mixture of clove, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, i. e. fiery, spicy and sweetish at the same time.

St. Hildegard of Bingen already used nutmeg against depressive moods. She recommended her melancholy patients sweet spelt rolls with muscat seasoning.

Mace (Macis), the red seed coat of the nutmeg, tastes milder and spicier and is also more valuable because only 1 kg of macis falls on 400 kg of nutmeg.

Cinnamon warms from the inside and is supposed to create mental equilibrium. At the same time, its blood sugar regulating effect has been researched, with which cinnamon has a preventive effect against old-age diabetes.

In the Middle Ages, coriander was considered an aphrodisiac. The high content of essential oils helps with disorders in the stomach and intestinal tract and has a calming effect on the nerves.

Cardamom works similarly to coriander. The best way to preserve the essential oils and taste is to dissolve the seeds from the capsules and crush them in a mortar just before consumption.

Turmeric is just as yellow as saffron, the most expensive of all spices. Turmeric tastes slightly like ginger and has a stimulating effect on digestion as well as on the heart and circulation. In contrast, saffron, like nutmeg, supports the good mood.

Ginger tastes hot and fruity and is considered the "divine fire" among the spices of the Orient. It is intended to balance inner imbalance and also has a warming effect.

Cumin has nothing in common with the caraway seeds known to us. It is the leading spice of oriental cuisine, supports digestive activity and stimulates the appetite.

Sternanis gives the dishes an aniseed-like note. It helps against flatulence, at the same time alleviates irritation of the cough and is expectorant. 

Written by Brigitte Neumann