A Video Unveils the Fascinating Link Between the Health Benefits of Spices and Hunter-Gatherer Diets Typified by that of the Kalahari Bushmen

Share Article

"Spices: A Health Mystery Solved" follows renowned anthropologist, Prof. Richard B. Lee and Dr Keith Scott as they travel to a remote part of Southern Africa's Kalahari Desert. They make the journey in order to examine the unlikely connection between the healthy hunter-gatherer diet of peoples such as the Ju/'hoansi San Bushmen of Namibia and the importance of spices to our health.

Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power of Spices

The video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqIM6QB3wt4 is a fascinating follow up to Dr Scott's book, "Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power of Spices". In the book he articulates his hypothesis regarding the important role that spices play in the cuisine of certain societies - and why they make such an important contribution to the health of those who eat them. The video takes his theory one step further as he and renowned anthropologist, Prof. Richard Borshay Lee travel to the Kalahari Desert to examine the diet of the Ju/'hoansi San Bushmen of Namibia

Several authors have put forward theories as to why spices are consumed in far higher quantities in some regions rather than others. While acknowledging the merits of these suppositions Dr Scott makes a compelling case for his own theory that mankind has both an acquired and inherent desire for "spicy" food; and that humans evolved eating a diet rich in strong tasting plants.

Indeed, anthropological studies reveal that primordial hunter-gatherer diets consisted mainly of intensely flavored, plant foods. Many of those plants, although progenitors of our modern varieties of fruit and vegetables, had far stronger flavors and more health benefits than those found in modern cultivars.

Dr Scott points out that when these nomadic people began to settle and grow grain crops, they spiced up the flavor of these bland cultivated foods with the wild, tangy plants they were accustomed to eat. In the warmer parts of the world these flavorsome plants became what we now know as culinary herbs and spices. As humans migrated away from the warmer regions of the earth they found fewer and fewer of these foods - a fact reflected in the bland cuisine of people living in cold climates today.

Dr Scott also describes how a burgeoning volume of scientific evidence shows that the health benefits derived from eating spices and strongly flavored foods is, and always has been, an unconscious, albeit vitally important, act of self- medication as it is usually the plant compounds that give foods their characteristic flavors and aromas that are responsible for their health benefits.

The video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqIM6QB3wt4 follows Prof. Lee and Dr Scott as they travel into the Kalahari Desert with a group of Ju/'hoansi San in Northern Namibia. There they collect and taste their traditional wild foods and find a few spicy surprises awaiting them.

"Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power Of Spices" by Dr Keith Scott is published by BookSurge and is available from amazon.com.

  •     Richard Borshay Lee is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He spent many years living with and studying several San Bushmen communities in Botswana and Namibia. He published his research and experiences in the award winning book, "The !Kung San: Men, Women And Work In A Foraging Society". Prof. Lee has a special interest in the diet and nutrition of hunter-gatherer societies.
  •     Dr Keith Scott is a medical doctor based in Cape Town, South Africa. For a number of years he lived and practiced in rural Botswana where he first came into contact with the San Bushmen. He has a special interest in plant based micro-nutrients and has written several medical books including "Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power of Spices" and has been a guest on many radio and TV shows.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dr Keith Scott

Email >
Visit website