Cayenne is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Capsaicin, the oily compound in cayenne and its peppery cousins, is the active ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter creams, ointments, and patches for arthritis and muscle pain.
Like many other spices, cinnamon has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s actually one of the most powerful healing spices, shown to help reduce heartburn and other conditions.
Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory chemical called eugenol. In recent studies, this chemical inhibited COX-2, a protein that spurs inflammation (the same protein that so-called COX-2 inhibitor drugs such as Celebrex quash). Cloves also ranked very high in antioxidant properties in one study. The combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties provides health benefits, from boosting protection from heart disease to helping stave off cancer, as well as slowing the cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis.