How Do Spices Heal?

Majid Ali, M.D.

Spices heal by serving their king Oxygen in hundreds of ways. The following are the mechanisms by which they support oxygen’s energy-generating, cellular detox, cellular repair, and biomembrane detergents.

and biomembrane detergents.

* Anti-inflammatory
* Antioxidant

* Immunostimulant

* Modifiers of the immune response

* Potentiators of health-preserving enzymes
* Inhibitors of health-threatening enzymes

* Modulators of detoxification pathways

* Modulators of steroid chemistry

* Antimicrobial

* Antiviral effects.

Why Bring Oxygen Into Spice-ology?

Because all of the roles of spices listed work directly and indirectly support King Oxygen. Simply stated,  what prevents unregulated inflammation restores oxygen homeostasis which, in my opinion, is the final goal in all healing work. In that sense, all spices with anti-inflammatory benefits contribute to the correction of the oxygen disorder (the dysox state) and the restoration of oxygen homeostasis. However, there is another crucial issue here: I do not consider spice therapies to be complete treatment for any of the so-called inflammatory disorders—colitis, arthritis, vasculitis, thyroiditis, asthma, nephritis, eczema, and others. At the bioenergetic cellular level, all inflammatory, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative disorders are caused by the oxygen disorder (dysfunctional oxygen utilization) caused by cellular toxicity in the cells. In that light, I consider it a serious clinical error not to add relevant direct and indirect oxygen therapies to spice therapies as components of all integrative treatment plans. For extended discussions of those and other related subjects, I refer advanced and professional readers to Integrative Nutritional Medicine and Dysoxygenosis and Oxystatic Therapies, the fifth and third volumes respectively of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine.

A friend recently insisted that turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory but garlic is not. He also asserted that garlic is an effective antiviral food while turmeric is not. I wondered what might be the basis of those statements. In my clinical work among patients with the common cold, I find that turmeric—one- half teaspoon taken with organic vegetable juice or grapefruit juice three times a day—is far more effective than garlic. Putting that aside, my friend’s assertions raise a deeper question: Can the antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of spices ever be seperated with confidence? What is antiviral, by definition, is anti-inflammatory. What is anti-inflammatory is also antiviral when seen through the prism of oxygen homeostasis. Stated another way, every pre-existing non-physiological inflammatory process increases the pathogenicity of viruses, and every existing viral infection feeds the pathologic inflammatory response. (See the article entitled “The Dysox Model of Inflammation” on and Integrative Immunology, the fourth volume of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine for further discussion of this subject.)

All spices (and herbs) with empirically known benefits for digestive- absorptive disorders also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. That is easy to understand since pathological (but not physiologic) inflammation and infectious processes feed upon each other. Again, the issue of dysfunctional oxygen metabolism (the dysox state) is equally important in the treatment of both types of clinical problems.

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