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Cleansing Rash – Rice Dish

Categories: Gluten-free, Rice and Grains, Skin Problems, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Toxic Heat in the Blood, Vegan, Vegetarian


Cleansing Rash – Rice Dish

1-2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, fenugreek and turmeric (you can
get these bulk at Whole Foods for cheap)
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or mashed
1 large bay leaf
1 celery stalk, diced

1 small handful of cilantro chopped
1-2 cups mung beans (presoaked over night–read below for tips on cooking dried beans)
1 bunch kale, immersed and swished in water to remove grit, then thinly sliced
1 cup brown rice, cooked separately according to package directions

Fry the spices over medium heat in just a few teapoons of olive oil then add the celery and mung beans, covering with water plus a couple inches extra. Cover and keep at a low boil until the mung beans are soft (about 45 minutes, but if you use presoaked beans maybe shorter time till cooked).

Add the cooked rice and kale and simmer until the kale turns bright green. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mitch Harris


The brown rice, and all strengthen the digestive qi to boost immune system, while the spices serve to boost digestive enzyme activity helping you better absorb nutrients. The kale will help support your blood. The mung beans, cilantro and celery will help clear the heat and inflammation to help the rash.

Hope it turns out well~

Is there a safe limit to the amount of hot spices I should consume? (Western view)

Categories: Articles, Western Medicine

Is there a safe limit to the amount of hot spices I should consume?

Hot spices like tabasco sauce, red chili pepper, and black pepper are all seasonings used to “spice up” food, but they don’t necessarily have anything in common from a nutritional or chemistry standpoint. Tabasco(TM) sauce, for example, is usually made from a special variety of chili pepper called tabasco pepper, aged together with vinegar and salt. Chili peppers belong to the Solanaceae family of plants and have features in common with tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. A key component of chili peppers is capsaicin-the component that brings the “fire” to these pungent foods. Black pepper belongs to a completely different family of plants called Piperaceae and features a different pungent component called piperine.

So you can see that in the case of these two types of spices, you aren’t getting the same compounds even though both spices make your food “hot.” From a health standpoint, it’s worth thinking about these hot spices as different when it comes to nutrients and other health-related properties. For example, a person with sensitivity to the nightshade (Solanaceae) vegetables will most likely want to avoid hot peppers since they belong to this food family. But this same person may do just fine with black pepper, which belongs to a different family of foods.

There are some health conditions in which hot spices are usually best avoided. Those conditions include heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome. There is some research to suggest that daily consumption of hot peppers can trigger GERD but that remains an area of controversy. We’ve seen one study showing increased risk of stomach cancer following consumption of 9-25 jalapeno peppers per day over a period of years, but whether it was the peppers alone or the peppers in combination with other factors could not be conclusively determined by the study. That’s a fairly high dose of jalapeno peppers, however, and it’s important to remember that in much lower amounts (like the amounts ordinarily used to season a recipe), hot peppers tend to show health benefits rather than health risks.

We’ve seen animal research showing health benefits to many of the hot spices. The capsaicin found in chili and cayenne peppers, for example, has been shown to help increase circulation in the digestive system, skin, and brain and may sometimes help to lower blood fat levels in persons who are eating a high-fat diet.

It’s important to choose high-quality hot spices when you are incorporating them into your diet. Poor-quality spices can be contaminated with aflatoxins and other unwanted compounds when not carefully produced, processed, and stored. Synthetic dyes may also be used in the making of some low-quality cayenne or chili powders. A great step that can help prevent all of the above problems is to purchase certified organic spices and make sure that you store them well. You’ll find specific storage tips for black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried chili pepper on our website in the WHFoods List section (

Provided that you do not have any of the health problems listed above, select high-quality spices, store them properly, and do not push your intake to the level of a dozen or more hot peppers per day, we recommend following your own experience when it comes to selecting the best level of hot spices for you. Ask yourself whether your food leaves you feeling satiated and energized, or whether it seems to aggravate your sense of well-being. Ask whether you are having so many hot spices that you cannot appreciate other styles of food or whether your taste buds have lost their sensitivity to other subtle flavors. If you find yourself needing higher and higher levels of spice to satisfy your taste buds, you are likely to be experiencing a process called desensitization. Studies on the capsaicin found in chili peppers have shown that over time this substance can cause certain nerves in the body to become desensitized. Becoming desensitized means adjusting to the current level of spice and needing more spice to achieve the previous spicy sensations. If your style of eating is becoming more narrow due to your use of hot spices, you may want to make adjustments in the level of spice you use and see if that step helps open the door to enjoyment of more foods.


* Archer VE, Jones DW. Capsaicin pepper, cancer and ethnicity. Med Hypotheses 2002 Oct;59(4):450-7. 2002.
* Bajad S, Bedi KL, Singla AK, et al. Antidiarrhoeal activity of piperine in mice. Planta Med 2001 Apr;67(3):284-7. 2001.
* Dhuley JN, Raman PH, Mujumdar AM, et al. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation by piperine during experimental inflammation in rats. Indian J Exp Biol 1993 May;31(5):443-5. 1993.
* Kumar S, Singhal V, Roshan R, et al. Piperine inhibits TNF-alpha induced adhesion of neutrophils to endothelial monolayer through suppression of NF-kappaB and IkappaB kinase activation. Eur J Pharmacol 2007 Dec 1;575(1-3):177-86. 2007.
* Lopez-Carrillo L, Lopez-Cervantes M, Robles-Diaz G, et al. Capsaicin consumption, Helicobacter pylori positivity and gastric cancer in Mexico. Int J Cancer 2003 Aug 20;106(2):277-82. 2003.
* Milke P, Diaz A, Valdovinos MA, et al. Gastroesophageal reflux in healthy subjects induced by two different species of chili (Capsicum annum). Digestive diseases (Basel, Switzerland) 2006;24 (1-2): 184—8. 2006.
* Mujumdar AM, Dhuley JN, Deshmukh VK, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of piperine. Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1990 Jun;43(3):95-100 1990. PMID:16380.

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Categories: Asian, Cold Congealing Blood in the Uterus, Diarrhea, Legumes, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Rebellious Qi, Vegetables


2 T organic butter or vegan butter substitute (preferably the flax-based type)

1 large purple onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste or minced

2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated or 1 tsp dried ginger powder

2 large unbroken bay leaves

1 tsp each cumin and fenugreek seeds, powdered

1 tsp turmeric root, powdered

1 large sweet potato or yam, diced

2 cups dried red lentils

water to cover

1 large ripe tomato, chopped

salt or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste


  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pot, using a pressure cooker if available over a medium flame and melt the butter. Add the onions and bay leaves, stirring frequently until the onion begins to brown, then add thegarlic, ginger, and spices, stirring to prevent sticking, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and lentils and pour in sufficient water to cover by at least one inch. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for approximately one hour until the lentils are soft. Puree if desired. If using a pressure cooker, close the lid and allow to boil until the pressure sensor goes off, then lower heat and cook for 20 minutes.Top with fresh tomatoes. Makes approximately 4 2-cup servings.


onions, garlic, cumin, turmeric and bay are warm and acrid and move Liver qi and blood; they also prevent gas during digestion of the legumes.

butter is warm and sweet and also reduces stagnant blood.

ginger and fenugreek are warm and strengthen the yang of the kidneys and spleen and stop
abdominal pain.

lentils are sweet and neutral and strengthen the essential qi of the kidney, and are rich in iron and B vitamins.

sweet potato is sweet and strengthens the qi overall, especially of the spleen, as well as the yin of the kidneys. they balance estrogen levels and are rich in vitamin A.

tomatoes are sweet, sour, and cooling. they nourish yin and generate stomach fluids and purify the liver;
they are rich in lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant.