Spices as drugs.
Ancient cultures, attach to certain spices hallucinogenic and aphrodisiac; spices, drugs, are some aromatic plants (seeds, fruits, roots, bark) are used as food, why enrich aromas characteristic foods for their fragrant oils or essences for their principles.
They are also referred to as drugs, because in the past were attributed magical powers; in fact certain spices if taken in large amounts, can have effects similar to synthetic drugs and cause hallucinations. This is the case of nutmeg and Mace.
The nutmeg is the fruit of the Myristica fragrans, plant belonging to the family myristicaceae, mainly used in the preparation of desserts; It contains two active compounds: mistrico acid and Elemicin, whose chemical structures are very similar to amphetamines, and for its psychoactive properties can cause slight euphoria or alteration of reality. For a long time, it was considered for his magical perfume.
While nutmeg is the seed, Mace is the aril (used in industrial charcuterie, especially for baloney).
Also with regards to saffron, ancient cultures believed to have curative properties and hallucinogenic effects; currently it is thought to cause euphoria.
The drug definition is linked precisely to custom Asian cuisine seasoned with drugs (spices), a custom introduced in Europe in the 16th century after the Dutch colonization of Asia. Not surprisingly etymologically “comes from the Dutch” droog “, which means” arid, dry “.
Typically these products do not contain food principles but, if absorbed in small doses, promote gastric secretion and thereby the digestion.
Over time, they have acquired important religious connotations, medicinal and cosmetic industries; in fact, for their antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, are used as natural remedies to relieve the most common illnesses.