"Researchers at Kansas State University have found that spices is effective in eliminating E. coli bacteria"An outbreak of E. coli in 1996 was allegedly traced to unpasteurized apple juice that killed one child and sickened many others.
Oregano is high in thymol, a powerful antioxidant, and one tablespoon of oregano (fresh) has about as much antioxidant potential as a medium sized apple (You know. . . "An apple a day keeps the doctor away.").
Syzygium aromaticum - (syn. Eugenia caryophyllata)
The clove plant is a small, bushy, evergreen tree with ascending branches and shiny, dark green, leathery and aromatic leaves.
The beautiful, fragrant flowers are beige turning to red, when the stamens wither. The berries are purple in colour and very aromatic.
The spice known as clove is the flower bud, that's collected just before it opens and then sun-dried.
The clove tree is native to the Moluccas - also known as The Spice Islands - and that's where the finest cloves come from.
Today it's also grown in Tanzania, Madagascar, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. Main exporters are Tanzania and Madagascar.
Whole or ground cloves are used for culinary purposes.
Cloves are also used in liqueurs such as the French Benedictine.
The large amounts of essential oils from flower buds and leaves are used in various dietary supplements and herbal remedies, in dentistry and as flavourings in perfumes, beverages, tooth pastes, and Indonesian cigarettes.
For best result, use whole, dried clove flower buds (cloves). The cloves must be of good quality - oily and dark brown.
- Put 10 whole cloves in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
- Add 25 centiliter clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).
- Let steep for 2 days in a dark place at room temperature,
- Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.
- Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
- Store (age) for a month or so in a dark place at room temperature before serving.
Spices Kill Bacteria and Protect Cells
“We now know they act as potent antibiotics, blood thinners, anti-cancer agents, anti-inflammatories, insulin regulators and antioxidants,” says Harry G. Preuss, Ph.D., physiologist at Georgetown University Medical Center and a top researcher in the field. “In tiny doses, eaten regularly in food, common herbs and spices are unique health boosters.”
4 formidable herbs and spices
– Ginger vs. inflammation. Inflammation is a suspect in heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. The exciting news: Ginger compounds (gingerols) reduce pain in animals and act as Cox-2 inhibitors, similar to the anti-arthritis drug Celebrex, Australian scientists have found. Further, gingerols thin the blood “just like aspirin,” the scientists noted, suggesting that gingerols also fight heart disease. The best evidence that ginger is anti-inflammatory: University of Miami research shows that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 255 milligrams of ginger extract twice a day for six weeks had less knee pain than those not getting ginger. As a side effect, ginger-takers had more episodes of mild gastrointestinal distress.
– Oregano vs. germs. “No wonder oregano has been used since antiquity to fight infections,” Preuss says. He recently found oregano oil as effective as the common antibiotic drug vancomycin in treating staph infections in mice. Bonus: It wiped out an infectious fungus. A daily dose of oregano oil, mixed with oils from fenugreek, cumin and pumpkin seeds, reduced blood pressure and improved blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in diabetic rats. In Texas research, oregano killed parasites in humans. The point, Preuss says: People who eat small regular doses of oregano may get antibiotic and antidiabetic benefits, although more tests on humans are needed to verify it.
– Turmeric vs. cancer. The yellow spice turmeric, a constituent of curry powder, contains high concentrations of the potent antioxidant curcumin. New tests suggest curcumin helps stifle cancer. In test tubes, 80% of malignant prostate cells self-destructed when exposed to curcumin. Feeding mice curcumin dramatically slowed the growth of implanted human prostate cancer cells. It may do the same in breast and colon cancer cells, researchers say, speculating that curcumin blocks the activation of genes that trigger cancer. Bonus: Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory activity reduces arthritic swelling and progressive brain damage in animals. In UCLA research, eating food laced with low doses of curcumin slashed Alzheimer’s-like plaque in the brains of mice by 50%.
– Cinnamon vs. diabetes. Adding cinnamon to food, especially to sugary ones, helps control spikes of blood sugar, says researcher Richard Anderson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Cinnamon can help normalize blood sugar by making insulin more sensitive,” he says. He recently isolated cinnamon’s most active ingredient: methylhydroxy chalcone polymer, or MHCP, which increased the processing of blood sugar by 2,000%, or 20-fold, in test-tube studies. So using cinnamon in tiny amounts — even sprinkled in desserts — makes insulin more efficient. Cloves, turmeric and bay leaves also work, but they’re weaker. This is a big deal. Avoiding high circulating levels of blood sugar and insulin may help ward off diabetes. In animals, steady lower insulin levels are a sign of slower aging and greater longevity.
|Racking up the spices|
– Strongest antibiotics. The most ferocious killers of 30 bacterial species in Cornell University tests are (in order) onion, garlic, allspice, oregano, thyme, tarragon, cumin, cloves, bay leaf and cayenne pepper.
– Strongest antioxidants. Tops are oregano, thyme, sage, cumin, rosemary, saffron, turmeric, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, coriander (cilantro), basil and tarragon, according to several reports. A new test at the University of California, Davis, finds thyme similar to vitamin E in antioxidant power.
– Dried vs. fresh. All forms have similar benefits; the healthful compounds are more concentrated in dried herbs and spices.
– Warnings. Spices may be more beneficial taken together than taken separately. Proper doses are unknown. If you want to try therapeutic doses, consult your doctor.
SCIENTIFIC SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE
This EatSmart column is reprinted from USAWEEKEND Magazine and is copyrighted by Jean Carper. It cannot be reprinted without permission from Jean Carper.
Cinnamon Eliminates E. coli bacteria
By Kevin Flatt
Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and the spice has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so effective that research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives.
Researchers at Kansas State University have found that cinnamon is effective in eliminating E. coli bacteria in apple juice. An outbreak of that E. coli strand in 1996 was traced to unpasteurized apple juice that killed one child and sickened many others.
Daniel Y.C. Fung, a K-State food microbiologist, and Erdogan Ceylan, a research assistant, studied the antagonistic effect different doses of cinnamon alone and in combination with preservatives would have on E. coli bacteria in apple juice. Ceylan added 1 million E. coli bacteria cells to one milliliter of pasteurized apple juice.
The number of bacteria cells added to the juice was higher than the amount of bacteria cells that would be found in consumer food products and was done for experimental purposes only. After adding approximately 0.3 percent of cinnamon - roughly over one teaspoon of the spice to a 64-ounce bottle - about 99 percent of the E. coli was killed.
"Nobody expects apple juice to be a problem," Fung said. "But there have been previous outbreaks of E. coli. We found out that some spices can inhibit the growth of E. coli."
"The objective of this research was to study the inhibitory effect of cinnamon on E. coli 0157: H7 in apple juice and reduce the amount of preservatives used in apple juice," Ceylan said. "We can do it with chemicals but we think using natural resources is a better way."
Previously Fung found that several spices, including garlic, clove, cinnamon, oregano and sage killed 99 percent of E. coli bacteria in ground beef. Fung and Ceylan released their findings at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.