Spice up Your Winter Beverage
Mulling spices are added to drinks to make a cozy, favorite winter beverage. These spices are often added to non-alcoholic ciders and red wine, and they may also have additional health benefits. Common mulling spices include:
- Cinnamon – may be an anti-inflammatory and aid with glycemic control.
- Nutmeg – may be an analgesic and antioxidant, support cell metabolism, and help lower LDL levels.
- Allspice – may be antimicrobial, an analgesic, and lower blood pressure. Extracts of allspice have demonstrated anti-tumor properties in cells. It is also used in alternative medicine as a treatment for gastrointestinal (GI) issues.
- Cloves – clove oil is an analgesic and exhibits potent antimicrobial activity. Some research suggests that clove extracts may help reduce stress, inhibit tumor growth, and prevent cell death.
- Star anise – boasts antimicrobial properties. Early research suggests it may have some benefit for obesity and blood triglyceride levels. It is known in some cultures for its ability to relieve gas and bloating.
- Ginger – alleviates nausea and may be anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, and aid with osteoarthritis. Some research also suggests it may help with migraines, dizziness, and menstrual cramps.
- Cardamom – may aid with symptoms of gas, intestinal spasms, upset stomach, and other GI issues.
- Peppercorn – may help with gas and exhibit anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits.
- Orange peel – may be useful for preventing high blood pressure and stroke.
Spices can have many wonderful health benefits when used as a flavorful addition to favorite foods and beverages. However, excessive consumption can lead to adverse health risks in some people. Additionally, spices can interact with some medications, so it is important to consult your doctor before using spices medicinally.
Mulling Spice Recipe
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
3 whole allspice berries
3 star anise pods
2 tsp dried orange zest
- Gather the ingredients in a tea bag, coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Gather the edges and secure closed with toothpicks or a knot.
- Add to the beverage of your choice and heat.
Add other spices of your choosing, such as ginger, lemon peel, cardamom, or peppercorn for a new flavor.
Choosing a Mulling Beverage
Try mulling spices in different drinks to find your favorite:
- Cider (non-alcoholic or alcoholic)
- Red wine
Excessive consumption of alcohol can negate health benefits that mulled drinks may provide. If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, and only by adults of legal drinking age.