Turmeric is native to southern Asia, requiring temperatures between 68 and
86 °F and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, very strong antioxidants, and in studies shown to have incredible benefits against depression.
Okinawa, fifth largest the island in Japan, has the highest percentage of centenarians anywhere, the longest disability-free life expectancy, and a very low rate of heart disease. The Ryukyuan people, who drink copious quantities of turmeric tea, appear to be the healthiest elderly population in the world. Of course, other aspects of the island lifestyle play major roles.
Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is an herb indigenous to South Africa’s mountainous region of Cederberg (just north of Cape Town), a mountainous, coastal area with plenty of winter rainfall and a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean
The health benefits of rooibos tea are abundant. Amongst them, it has been known to be high in antioxidants, boost the immune system, relieve hypertension, ease stomach cramps, improve skin conditions, and prevent premature aging.
Ginger originated in the tropical rainforests of the Indian subcontinent. It was exported to Europe in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade and was used extensively by the Romans. It was very expensive, but even then renowned for healing capabilities. Henry VIII even suggested it as a remedy for the plague. Don’t think that worked out well.
Prized for its medicinal and culinary properties in Asian cultures for thousands of years, is a pleasantly pungent, with a flavor reminiscent of citrus with acidic notes. It is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. It is listed as an herbal medicine that can settle an upset stomach, prevent nausea, act as a pain reliever, and due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties relieve a sore throat.
Honeybush, a sibling of Rooibos, is cultivated in South Africa's Eastern Cape region. Its flowers smell of honey and the taste is a touch sweeter. The leaves of the bush are harvested, cut and bruised (often with mechanical rollers), and then left in the sun to oxidize.
Honeybush tea is a natural source of many antioxidants, including major phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds play a significant role in protecting the immune system from oxidative stress, which leads to premature aging and other ailments. In various studies, it has been shown to lower blood sugar and provide relief for the common cold and cough.
Cinnamon, native to the Indian subcontinent, was highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even the gods. For centuries, it’s source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world by the middlemen who handled the spice trade, to protect their monopoly as suppliers. It comes from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree that’s harvested and curls into quills as it dries – hence, the cinnamon stick.
Cinnamon’s high concentration of antioxidants can help protect the body from damage from free radicals, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function and memory, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol.
Black pepper is a flowering vine cultivated for its fruit, known as peppercorn, usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning.
Historically, its most important source was the the Malabar Coast of India, now known as Kerala since at least 2000 BCE.
Dried ground pepper, the world's most traded spice, has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a traditional medicine. Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity as well as a sacred offering.
In the Middle Ages, pepper was a luxury item- the wealth of a man was oftentimes measured by his stockpile of pepper.
Studies have shown black pepper to have antibacterial effects, improve digestion, and contain impressive antioxidant properties.