Spices like cayenne, ginger, garlic, horseradish, and black pepper add pungent flavors to the foods people eat every day. as celebrity chef Emeril Lagasee would often say, they “kick it up a notch.: due to their exciting action on our taste buds.
What Makes Herbs Spicy? the spicy nature of pungent herbs i due to the presence of compounds like oleotresins, piperines, sulphides, essential oils, and other compounds which have a stimulating effect on nerve endings. Oleoresins are combinations of a resin and an essential oil, which makes them less volatile. The spicy nature of capsicum and ginger is partly due to oleoresins.
Piperines are alkaloids that produce sharp burning or tingling sensations on the tongue, stimulate saliva, and often have a slight numbing effect. Spices like black pepper derive their pungent nature from piperines.
Various sulphides, compounds that contain sulfur, also produce a spicy sensation. Sulfur is used in detoxification processes and is naturally antibiotic. Mustard, Garlic, and Onions are examples of pungent herbs whose spicy nature is due top sulfur compounds.
Many health benefits are connected to spices. Improving circulation: Pungent herbs tend to increase blood flow, especially improving peripheral circulation so more blood gets to the extremities of the body. this not only helps tissues have a better supply of blood, it also helps to manage blood pressure.
This means eating spicy foods helps support your circulatory system.
Spice Up Your Life
Dale Scott Master Herbalist