Pumpkin Spice Everything

canstockphoto22939793cloves anise nutmeg cinnamon

We are rapidly approaching September 1. According to Facebook, that is the day when the pumpkin spice craze hits. Everything including air freshener will be pumpkin spice! So what makes this so popular? Perhaps it is because all of the spices are used in our favourite holiday treats. From pumpkin pie to gingerbread to eggnog, fall is all about these flavours. Let’s take a look at them individually.

canstockphoto2336277 cinnamon bun


Some of the yummy culinary uses of cinnamon include

-Apple pie both raw food or cooked would just not be the same without cinnamon.

-Cinnamon in curries adds a nice depth of flavour.

-When making drip coffee, add a piece of cinnamon stick or a small shake of powdered cinnamon to have a healthy and tasty cup of coffee.

-As children cinnamon sugar on toast was a staple.  For a healthier version try spreading coconut oil on your toast like butter.  Sprinkle the toast with cinnamon and add a drizzle of honey.

The health benefits of cinnamon include stabilizing blood sugar levels, reducing bad cholesterol, assisting with weight loss and as an insect repellent!


The tradition of cloves for oral issues continues to modern times.  As children when we had a toothache we were given a cotton ball with clove oil which took away the pain.  Clove oil is still used for temporary relief of toothache and for dry socket.  The effective ingredient for this pain relief is eugenol.

Cloves are:
• Antimicrobial
• Antifungal
• Antiseptic
• Antiviral

Cloves are excellent carminatives, meaning that they are used to reduce and prevent gas and bloating.  The oil is also used to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and increase motility of the intestines.
Cloves are also used as an expectorant.  This means that it allows you to cough up phlegm much more easily.  This is great in the treatment of colds and chest issues.  In modern times many people have begun to smoke clove cigarettes which is not a good idea.  Smoking cloves can lead to many different lung problems including lung infections.

Cloves are used for cookies, puddings, curries and most particularly in gingerbread.



Speaking of ginger, it is one of the most versatile herbs. It is extremely effective as an anti-inflammatory. It can be used for inflammation in
-Rheumatoid Arthritis
-Crohn’s disease
-Heart disease

It is excellent to treat nausea from morning sickness and motion. Ginger supplements are not recommended for pregnancy however, you can get the anti-nausea benefits from eating ginger snaps and gingerbread cookies.



Nutmeg is used to top of frothy glasses of eggnog at Christmas. It is also used in many cookie recipes. What few people know is that it has excellent healing benefits as well.

Nutmeg is a sedative that can help calm anxiety and it is great for insomnia. It relieves pain and can help digestion.

With nutmeg, comes warnings. It should not be consumed while pregnant because it can cause miscarriages. A tiny amount is great for a sedative but more will cause hallucinations. It should not be taken by anyone on medications that are changed by the liver. Here is a link to WebMD for a list of warning and contraindications.


Allspice has played a part in the pumpkin pies and other baking during the holiday’s for my entire life. I actually found a new appreciation for it on a plantation in Jamaica where it is grown. It is also made into an amazing alcoholic drink.

Allspice has some pretty amazing health benefits as well. It is excellent for digestion, gas, inflammation and pain. It is not recommended for people taking blood thinners or for those with ulcers or reflux.

In the reference section I have given you links to some of my blogs on these spices. Enjoy Pumpkin Spice Everything season!