Disclaimer: I am not an herbalist or medical professional. None of the information below is intended as medical advice. Any information about the purported benefits of herbs or spices, especially those listed below, is purely educational. Always consult with a health care professional before incorporating any herbs or supplements into your diet.
Pumpkin Spice isn’t basic – it is the heart of our feminine energy.
I love Pumpkin Spice! Although I am genuinely invested because I like the taste, I am primarily motivated by the iconic symbolism of the fall season.
Society has found a way to incorporate pumpkin spice into just about anything. It is debatable on where the line should be drawn. And there is a big conversation to be had surrounding the consumerism built from naturally occurring plants.
But, the origins of pumpkin spice are much more ancient than you may realize. And the spices that make up the flavor profile that we love, play an important role in the wellness and core energy of women. From improving menstrual symptoms, to decreasing inflammation, to enhancing sexual arousal, the spices that make up pumpkin spice are all that a woman could dream of – and they have some pretty decent benefits for the rest of the population too.
Let’s break down the history of these 5 spices and how they specifically impact women:
For those with nut allergies, such as myself, you may be happy to learn that nutmeg is not a nut at all, but actually a seed.
Nutmeg is derived from the seed of the Myristica Fragrant, an evergreen tree native to Indonesia that has been harvested for over 3500 years. At one time, nutmeg was considered to be more valuable than gold and its pursuit led to the creation of New York State, as we know it today.
Brittanica writes that “Nutmeg trees may reach a height of about 20 metres (65 feet). They yield fruit eight years after sowing, reach their prime in 25 years, and bear fruit for 60 years or longer.”
Nutmeg can be incredibly powerful. In large doses it has known to be a hallucinogen and abortaficient. And it also possesses a multitude of health benefits for women! It calms the nervous system and improves blood circulation, especially for the reproductive organs. This makes nutmeg one of the many spices on this list that improves sexual arousal and experience.
Nutmeg also positively impacts sleep difficulties, inflammation, and cognitive health, among a list of many other benefits.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) is such a well-loved spice, flavoring delicious drinks and baked goods. It is a small, tropical tree native to Sri Lanka, with green, leathery feeling leaves. Cinnamon as a spice is harvested from the bark of the Cinnamon tree.
The benefits of cinnamon really focus on body cycles unique to the female body. Cinnamon helps to regulate menstrual cycles (which is a plus if you are looking for non-hormonal ways to regulate your cycle), improves fertility, reduces PCOS symptoms, reduces insulin resistance and helps our bodies better process sugars, and boosts immunity, digestion, and our heart health.
A lot of the research on these benefits of cinnamon are in the early stages. So it may not be common to hear doctors suggesting cinnamon supplementation to directly address any of these concerns. But, there is a lot of information of other medicinal practices, incorporating cinnamon and other spices. Many of these traditions are based in ancient practices, and they have seen success.
As I initially put in my disclaimer at the beginning of this post, I am not a medical professional. But I do think it is fair to say that there is a bigger picture to look at when assessing the use of spices and herbs.
As I research each specific herb, plant, or spice, it is little surprise that the majority have been utilized since ancient times.
Ginger, to our knowledge, was first used 5,000 years ago by Indians and Chinese. It is a tropical plant from the Zingiberaceae family that is made up of about 1,300 different species! This is also the same plant family as Tumeric and Cardamom. Ginger is harvested from Zingiber officinale. Through the spice trade, Ginger made it’s way from Asia to the West Indies, Mexico, and Spain.
The compounds found in ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive properties, most notably.
But there is data that demonstrates the direct benefit to women, that goes a few steps further than the general beneficial properties with which we are familiar.
Menstrual relief is a common property among these spices, but that absolutely deserves mention. Natural ginger supplementation can help with painful cramping and bloating. But studies have proven that it is just as effective common NSAIDS for pain relief, while offering fewer possible complications. Ginger also offers reproductive support. A Chinese study suggests that ginger may improve fertility in women.
While there still needs to be more studies completed to provide more consistent information, there is evidence suggesting, so far, that ginger had a positive impact on sexual pleasure and arousal, in both women and men.
In an unique experiment, it was determined that the consumption of ginger counteracted the feelings of sexual disgust that women were experiencing from certain stimuli. It is proposed that ginger has aphrodiasitic properties.
While we always think about ginger for managing nausea, it is a considerably more potent root than we have realized.
Cloves, also known as laung in India, are dried flower buds from the clove tree and is a popular spice used frequently in rice preparations, curries, bakery items, ground spice mixtures that is used in soups, stews and meat preparations.
Cloves have wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits. Unique among the other spices mentioned, cloves also can improve oral health. They can help manage tooth pain, thanks to eugenol., but also serve to prevent plaque and gingivitis.
Eugenol is a colorless to pale yellow, aromatic oily liquid extracted from certain essential oils especially from clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil and bay leaf. We encounter eugenols on a daily basis as an aroma or flavoring in food and cosmetics. But as mentioned above, it has numbing properties and it also can be combined with zinc oxide and used in dentistry for a variety of procedures, such as root canals.
We are just tearing down presumptions today.
Allspice, is not a spice blend, which you might think based on the name. Instead, “Allspice is the dried, unripe berries of Pimenta dioica, a plant that belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It’s native to Jamaica, the tropical forests of South and Central America, and Southern Mexico, but it’s commercially grown in Honduras, Cuba, and Trinidad as well” (Healthline).
The unripe berries and leaves of the Pimenta diocia are also used to make medicine. Allspice is known to be an effective pain reliever that can be applied topically to the source. The plant can also be used for digestive health, menstrual relief, fevers, general illness, diabetes, and so much. more.
Allspice may slow the clotting of blood in large enough amounts. This is just a testament to disclosing any supplementation with your healthcare provider, regardless of the benefits.
Allspice may also benefit the skin and is also known to be an aphrodisiac.
Among these five spices, many share similar benefits such as being anti-inflammatory and improving menstrual discomfort. It is not difficult to see how they are all easily complimentary of one another.
And all of the spices found in pumpkin spice are claimed to be aphrodisiacs. So, use that information as you will. *wink*
Regardless of what data there is to back up any of the claims that I came across in my searches, I think that there is something valuable in looking to the plants that are at the root of our nutrition needs. In many of these studies, regular consumption of these spices results in an improvement in negative health symptoms. I don’t think that is surprising. I think that it aligns perfectly with our connection to the earth.
So many things and experiences in our daily lives have become saturated with corporate and consumer cultures making them appear to be nothing more than a trendy marketing tool. But at the root, all of these foods, these items, these practices – are rooted in ancient traditions sourced from the earth that sustains us.
Enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Get excited with the cinnamon scented candle. Indulge in the pumpkin body butter. But let’s redirect the narrative.
Our choice to participate is intentional. And partake, while holding within us the ancient knowledge of the sacred energy that the earth has provided to our feminine spirits. We carry with us the awareness that there is something deeper – something purer. And we are powerful in that knowledge and tradition. We are grounded and we are rooted.
Have questions, cool ideas, or just want to say hi? Connect anytime, I can’t wait to hear from you!