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Which Spices Are Alkaline?

by
author image Naomi Parks
Naomi Parks has been a freelancing professional since 2004. She is a biochemist and professional medical writer with areas of interest in pulmonology, pharmaceuticals, communicable diseases, green living and animals. She received her Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology from San Francisco University and her Master of Science in biochemistry from Pace University.
Which Spices Are Alkaline?
organic cinnamon sticks Photo Credit igorr1/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

The human body works best when it is slightly alkaline, according to Elizabeth Lipski in the book "Digestive Wellness." In order to maintain this pH, Lipski recommends eating 60 percent foods that contribute to alkalinity and 40 percent foods that contribute to acidity. Urine reflects the body's pH. Tests to determine pH levels are available over the counter. An acidic substance has a pH below 7, while an alkaline substance has a pH above 7.

Cinnamon

Which Spices Are Alkaline?
freshly groung cinnamon Photo Credit Maksym Khytra/iStock/Getty Images

Cinnamon, which Lipski says is a decidedly alkaline spice, comes from the bark of the evergreen cinnamon tree. When dried, it develops a single curl and is otherwise papery, brittle, and beige. This is different than cassia, which has a similar, though more bitter and less sweet taste. Most spices sold as cinnamon in the United States are actually cassia, according to the "Handbook of Herbs and Spices." Cassia develops a double curl, has a dark reddish coloring, and is thicker. In addition to its alkalinity, cinnamon bark contains protein, fiber, ash, phosphorus, sodium, vitamins B1 and C, niacin, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, iron and potassium.

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Licorice

Which Spices Are Alkaline?
bundled licorice root Photo Credit Esebene/iStock/Getty Images

Lipski states that licorice has alkalinity similar to cinnamon. Licorice is the root and rhizome of a small, shrub-like tree that grows in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Preparation includes drying in the sun, and optionally, stir-baking with honey. Licorice is prized globally for its purported healthful benefits. It contains glycoside glycyrrhizin, isoflavanoids, coumarin, triterpnoids, flavonoids,chalcones, liquirigenin, licobenzoburan, isoloquiritigenin, manite, biotin, betulic acid, starch, sugar, sterols, volatile oil, amino acids, sugar, amines, wax and gum.

Valerian

Which Spices Are Alkaline?
valerian tea Photo Credit hemeroskopion/iStock/Getty Images

Valerian is another spice Lipski lists as decidedly alkaline. It is the root and rhizome of the Valeriana officinalis plant and is often used as a sleep aid. It grows in damp environments to a height between 2 and 5 feet. Even the fragrance of valerian root is a purported sedative. Culinary use of valerian includes to flavor liquor, root beer, beer, candy, baked goods and meat products.

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References

  • "Digestive Wellness"; Elizabeth Lipski; 2005
  • "Handbook of Herbs and Spices, Volume 1"; K. V. Peter; 2001
  • "The Healing Power of Chinese Herbs and Medicinal Recipes"; Joseph P. Hou and Youyu Jin; 2005
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