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Unlocking the Spice Secrets of Temple Priests and Monks

The Jerusalem Post recently did a story on Tel Aviv University professor Michael Ovadia, a research specialist who normally focuses on the medicinal properties of snake venom. Seems that Ovadia was in a career funk and found himself in a synagogue, meditating over an Old Testament passage that explained in some detail how high priests would concoct a holy oil to use on their bodies before animal sacrifices. “I had a hunch that this oil, which was prepared with cinnamon and other spices, played a role in preventing the spread of infectious agents to people.” Shortly thereafter, his early lab experiments with highly potentized cinnamic aldehyde and coumarin (a variety of cinnamon) proved capable of immunizing chicken embryos from Newcastle disease virus and later was found to be effective against avian flu H9, Sendai virus, and herpes simplex 1. Currently, Ovadia’s discoveries are in development at Ramot, Tel Aviv University’s technology transfer company. One plan is to use the cinnamon agent as a mist in hospital air-conditioning units.If you stop to think about it, spraying cinnamon through a modern hos …

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