Medicinal Spices: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Medicinal Spices

1st Edition

Edited by Eberhard Teuscher


480 pages

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Hardback: 9780849319624
pub: 2005-11-29
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As demonstrated by the hundreds of books on culinary herbs, spices, and spice blends currently on the market, the ancient art of seasoning is still popular and gaining momentum. Taking you on a journey into the fascinating world of spices, from foul-smelling asafetida to devilishly hot chilies, from sumptuous saffron to fragrant cinnamon, Medicinal Spices describes, from the perspective of a natural scientist, 300 plants and the spices that are obtained from them. The author presents 84 extensive monographs of culinary herbs, including details of their cultivation, production, constituents, sensoric properties, pharmacological actions, their potential toxicity, and their culinary and medicinal uses. Divided into two parts, the book begins with an overview of facts about herbs and spices that can be generalized and provides a better understanding of the specific monographs. The monograph section describes the most important culinary herbs and spices. More than 170 color illustrations and nearly 500 chemical structures round out the coverage, making this an essential resource for information on medicinal spices and their uses.


“…dishes us up a well-formatted overview of the herbs and spices. …not only covers their culinary and medical potential, but also provides information on cultivation, production, constituents, organoleptic characteristics, and biological activities, warning us where potential toxicity lurks…tells us where, when, and why to use spices. Equally importantly, the authors reveal how to utilize them to convert dull dishes into tasty, satisfying experiences that are at the same time health-boosters, enhancing and possibly even extending our lives…”

-- from the foreword by James A. Duke, Ethnobotanist, Fulton, Maryland, USA

“… not only covers their culinary and medicinal potential, but also offers information on their cultivation, production, constituents, organoleptic characteristics, and biological action, as well as their potential toxicity. … is divided into two parts: a general section and individual monographs on 82 herbs and spices, each identified by a large color plate, plus a section on spice mixtures and other seasonings. … It even includes chapters on cultivation, breeding, contamination, culinary uses, and food and drug regulations. … this large and attractive volume, it should be in the libraries of institutions that include herbs and spices in their educational and/or research activities.”

— In The Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2007

“Within the 457 pages of this richly illustrate tome, nearly 100 monographs cover 300 plant species, which are generally regarded as culinary herbs or spices. They owe their primary flavor and fragrance to essentials oils. Hidden within the piquant flavor is the underlying biological activity which brings traditional medicinal value or newly recognized health benefits from the flurry of scientific research of the past 30 years in particular. … provides a synthesis of scientific understanding of all aspects of spices melding with the delight of human experience to enhance the daily culinary experience. …”

— In HerbalGram, No. 74, p. 71, 2007

Table of Contents

Spices, Herbs, Seasoning Ingredients

Quality-Indicating Constituents of Herbs and Spices

Spectrum of Constituents and Content Ratios

Essential Oils

Pungent Constituents

Alliaceous Oils

Mustard Oils


Carboxylic Acid Amides


Bitter Principles

Coloring Matters

Sensory Effects of Culinary Herbs and Spices

The Role of Odor, Taste, and Appearance of Foods

Physiology of Olfaction

Physiology of Taste

Pharmacology of Culinary Herbs and Spices

Assessment of Experimental-Pharmacological Studies

Appetite Stimulant and Digestive Promoting Action

Antimicrobial Action

Carminative Action

Antioxidative, Radical Scavenging Action

Anticarcinogenic and Antitumor Action

Hepatoprotective Action

Antihypercholesterolemic and Antiarteriosclerotic Action

Estrogenic and Gestagenic Action

Other Actions

Medicinal Use of Herbs and Spices

Toxicology of Culinary Herbs and Spices

Acute Toxic Effects

Allergic Reactions

Cancerogenic and Hepatoxic Effect

Culinary Herbs and Spices as Preservatives

Spice Plants: Breeding, Cultivation, and Harvest




Herbs in the Garden or Anywhere Else

Processing of Spice Plants


Disinfestation and Sterilization


Extraction, Steam Distillation

Contamination of Culinary Herbs and Spices

Storage and Shelf Life of Culinary Herbs and Spices

Analysis of Culinary Herbs and Spices

Tests for Identity

Tests for Purity

Quatitative Evaluation of Odor-Taste-and Coloring Substances

Sensory Evaluation

Use of Herbs and Spices in the Kitchen

Aromatic Herbs and Spices

Essential Oils (Monika Werner)

Food-and Drug Regulations for the Trade of Spices

Quality Standards for Spices

Quality Standards for Herbs and Spices in the Pharmacy

Monographs of Spice Plants and Culinary Herbs

Ajowan. Allspice. Angelica. Anise. Annatto. Asefetida. Basil. Bay. Black Cumin. Borage. Caper. Caraway. Cardamom. Celery. Chervil. Chives. Cinnamon. Citrus-Species. Clove. Coriander. Cumin. Dill. Fennel. Fenugreek. Garden Cress. Garden Nasturtium. Garlic. Ginger. Grains-of-Paradise. Hops. Horseradish. Hyssop. Juniper. Leek. Lemon Balm. Lemon Verbena. Lesser Galangal. Lovage. Mints. Mugwort. Nutmeg. Olive. Onion. Oregano. Osego Tea. Paprika. Parsley. Pepper. Pink Pepper. Ramsons. Rosemary. Rue. Saffron. Sage. Salad Buffet. Sarepta Mustard. Sassafrass. Scallion. Sesame. Shallot. Sichuan Pepper. Sicilian Sumac. Southernwood. Soybean. Star Anise. Summer Savory. Sweet Cicely. Sweet Marjoram. Sweet Woodruff. Tamarind. Tansy. Tarragon. Thyme. Turmeric. Vanilla. Watercress. West India Lemongrass. White Mustard.

Spice Mixtures

Spice Mixtures and Other Seasoning Ingredients


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Herbal Medications
MEDICAL / Alternative Medicine