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Healing Spices Book Receives ABC's Duke Award for Consumer and Popular Books Category

AUSTIN, Texas, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) has given its James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award in the newly designated consumer and popular books category to Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease. The book was written by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, and Debora Yost, and published by Sterling Publishing in 2011.

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Dr. Aggarwal, author of Healing Spices, has been a faculty member at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, since the late 1980s. Before joining M.D. Anderson, Dr. Aggarwal worked for Genentech Inc., where his work led to the discovery of TNF-alpha and TNF-beta, 2 essential components of the human immune system. This discovery has been heralded by many as a highly significant scientific breakthrough. In addition to his numerous publications, he is also the lead editor of Inflammation, Lifestyle and Chronic Diseases: The Silent Link (CRC Press, 2011), and Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices: Modern Uses for Ancient Medicine (World Scientific Publishing Co., 2009).

Dr. Aggarwal's current research involve cytokines—signaling molecules secreted by various cells in the human body—and the role of inflammation in cancer and other diseases, and how chemical components from various herbs, e.g., turmeric (Curcuma longa) can modulate these molecules.

"Virtually all the chronic diseases are caused by disregulated inflammation," said Dr. Aggarwal. "We need to find ways to control that inflammation. Spices are one of the best ways to do that. Vasco de Gama and Christopher Columbus, way back in the 15th century—even they knew spices were good for something. Here, 500 years later, we still have no doubt that they are good for something, but the question is how to use them in everyday life. That's where I thought I could help."

Dr. Aggarwal was approached by a publisher 2 years ago to create a book on the health benefits of various spices. At the time, he was assisting McCormick—the largest spice maker in the United States—with a website called Spices for Health.

Healing Spices covers 50 common spices and their beneficial qualities. The book provides detailed historical information, medicinal uses, and some recipes. It is organized as a user-friendly guide to the healing properties of spices and offers descriptions of specific ailments and conditions that can benefit from each spice.

Dr. Duke, who keeps Healing Spices on his bookshelf of most-frequently used books, said that Dr. Aggarwal's book "is important to medical botany … [and] will appeal to most health-concerned readers."

Healing Spices has been received so well that its publisher has already asked for a follow-up book. "Knowing about spices is one thing, but knowing how to use them is something else," said Dr. Aggarwal. "We are talking about a cookbook now; a healthy spice cookbook to teach people how to use spices."

In addition to his research on spices, Dr. Aggarwal has identified more than 50 compounds from dietary sources and traditional medicinal herbs that interrupt cell-signaling inflammatory pathways; some of these have been subjected to animal testing and have started human clinical trials. If he were to recommend one spice for daily use, he says he would recommend turmeric, which contains important anti-inflammatory compounds known as curcuminoids.

"Over the past 3 to 4 decades, millions of consumers in the United States and worldwide have become aware of the many health benefits of herbs and many common culinary spices," said ABC's Mark Blumenthal. "Much of the recent research that supports some of this growing awareness has been conducted by Dr. Aggarwal and his many associates. ABC is pleased to be able to recognize his important contributions by granting him this award."

Healing Spices can be purchased for $24.95 from the publisher's website at

Both ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Awards will be presented at the 7th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 8 in Anaheim, CA, as part of Nutracon 2012 and Natural Products Expo West trade show. Sponsors of this event, open to all ABC Sponsor and Corporate Members, are as follows:

Amin Talati, LLC
Alkemists Laboratories
Grifcon Enterprises, Inc.
Horphag Research
Indena USA, Inc.
Natural Factors Nutritional Products
New Chapter, Inc.
New Hope Natural Media
PlusPharma Incorporated
RFI Ingredients, LLC
Traditional Medicinals, Inc.
United Natural Products Alliance

About the American Botanical Council
Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization addressing research and educational issues regarding herbs and medicinal plants. ABC's members include academic researchers and educators; libraries; health professionals and medical institutions; government agencies; members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries; journalists; consumers; and others in more than 80 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas, where it publishes the quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 240 herbs. ABC also co-produces the "Herbal Insights" segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS.

ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website:

Phone: 512-926-4900 x121; Fax: 512-926-2345
Contact: Lucy Bruno

Available Topic Expert: For information on the listed expert, click appropriate link.
Mark Blumenthal --



SOURCE American Botanical Council
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