Alchemy: Autumn Spices

CLOVES are the dried flower buds of a coastal tree. They are used to attract love and money and for psychic protection. The Chinese called them “birds’ tongues,” and Europeans referred to them as the “grains of paradise.” Cloves are said to help one penetrate illusion, and the Romans burned them as incense to keep others from making up lies or gossiping about them. In the Middle Ages, cloves were used to fight the plague and cure impotence. Today, herbalists prescribe them as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent.


CINAMMON comes from the fragrant bark of an evergreen tree of the laurel family and is thought to increase spirituality and psychic insight by stimulating the Crown Chakra. The tree must grow for eight years before its thick bark is mature enough to be harvested. Cinnamon oil was used in the mummification process by the Egyptians and was applied as a holy anointing oil in ancient Hebrew rituals. Cinnamon was also sacred to the Greek god of ecstasy, Dionysus. When it is burned as incense or added to foods, cinnamon raises spiritual energy to a higher level. The spice is recognized for its healing properties and is used as an antiseptic and painkiller. It is also known to stop diarrhea, lower blood pressure, and increase insulin production.


CARDAMOM, also known as amomum, is a zesty flavoring made from the seeds of an Asian plant. The alluring power of cardamom is said to increase the strength of marriages and all types of unions, and the ground-up seeds are used to make love potions. Because of its superb aroma, cardamom was burnt as an offering to the gods and became an ingredient in many perfumes. It was also used as a sore throat and cough remedy and to expel intestinal worms. The spice eases upset stomachs, and it is often added as a flavoring to coffee or cocoa.


Allspice is made from a plant native to tropical America and got its name because its aroma and flavor resemble a combination of various cooking herbs. Considered a lucky spice, it is said to promote health in an individual and prosperity in a family. Allspice is burned as incense to attract money.

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2 responses to “Alchemy: Autumn Spices

  1. Candace Rowan,Pastry Chef at Contigo

    Julie,
    The last time I went into your shop, there was a sample of something that you had brought back from Japan. The woman behind the counter(whose name escapes me) said, ‘that would make a great ice cream’. At Contigo, we serve a medjool date cake with a clove ice cream and toffee sauce. I based the clove ice cream on what I could remember from the sample I smelled that day.
    Candace

    • Candace,
      I remember one of the staff mentioning you came in and were inspired to create a new ice cream based on the new product. The product is from Kyoto and is called “Zukoh”. The monks apply the Zukoh prior to mediation or preparing food to “keep them pure”. They are very secretive as far as the full disclosure of ingredients, but the Zukoh does contain cinnamon, clove, and sandalwood.
      -Julie

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