The spices we use everyday in our kitchen while cooking are the same spices which had impressed the Britishers with their flavour and unique aroma they gave to the food as well as the amazing healing properties they had. It is not an exaggeration to say that spices were one of the reasons that Britishers started to colonize parts of India.
Even today, spices contribute a very essential part of a healthy Indian meal. But spices do not just add flavour to your food. They have health benefits too capable of healing the body in and out. Sometimes it’s better to turn to natural remedies to cure minor ailments. Ayurveda has solely been using plants and herbs since ages to cure all kinds of ailments. But our generation isn’t as patient as our ancestors were and we prefer pills that give instant relief over natural remedies. It’s time to go back to our roots and make use of some magical spices that have amazing healing properties and that provide relief in a healthier way.
Here, some of the spices that have amazing health benefits:
Cloves are one of the most widely used whole spices in our day to day cooking. But we tend to underestimate them in terms of their medicinal properties. Apart from adding a distinct aroma and flavor to our food, cloves are a rich source of manganese and also have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Clove oil is rich in Eugenol, a component that fights infections and also helps in suppressing pain. Simply dab some clove oil over an infected tooth and gums to help ease the pain and also cure infection. Including cloves in our daily diet can also boost immunity, improve digestion and help fight cold and cough.
The spice that is used in every Indian household- turmeric is not only renowned for its pungent flavor but also for its extremely useful medicinal properties. It has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for many years. Turmeric is rich in curcumin – a compound that is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a very strong antioxidant. Turmeric may help relieve arthritis-related symptoms as curcumin present in turmeric blocks all the enzymes causing pain and inflammation in the body. Curcumin also plays a vital role in fighting against auto-immune induced diseases and helps delay the ageing of cells.
3. Black Pepper
Black pepper or kali mirch is also known as the “king of spices”. But little do we know that our favorite seasoning black pepper also performs many other beneficial tasks in our body than just pleasing our taste buds. Black pepper is rich in micro-nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin K, iron and vitamin C. Due to its high vitamin C content, black pepper is a very effective antibiotic. Its antibiotic properties work wonders against tonsillitis. Mix some lemon juice, salt and black pepper powder in a glass of warm water and drink it to get instant relief from throat pain. Black pepper is also high in piperine. Piperine helps in better bowel movements and also helps prevent digestive and excretory system infections.
The distinct sweetness and warm taste aren’t the only things that cinnamon offers. The true magic lies in bark of the cinnamon tree which provides innumerable health benefits. According to various scientific studies, cinnamon has the highest antioxidant content amongst all other spices. Antioxidants help protect body against radical damage and prevents ageing. Cinnamon also helps lower blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol levels in the body. Cinnamaldehyde – the main ingredient in cinnamon has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon oil has anti microbial properties also helps prevent tooth decay and reduces bad breath.
The bitter and pungent ajwain seeds used in every Indian household are a miraculous remedy for several common ailments. Ajwain seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants Take a little ajwain mixed with some salt and swallow it with some warm water to get instant relief from a stomach ache. Ajwain is very effective in treating gas, flatulence and acidity when taken after meals with warm water and salt. One of the other amazing health benefits that this spice offers is treating common cold. Thymol, an ingredient present in Ajwain, gives it antimicrobial properties hence, making it effective against cold and congestion. To reap maximum benefits, inhale the steam of ajwain infused in hot water, it will ease congestion and provide relief.
The pungent spice asafoetida, also known as hing in India, is actually native to Afghanistan. Hing is one of the chief ingredients used in tadka or tempering to flavor the Indian dishes, especially like dal.
This strong spice provides numerous health benefits from improving digestion to preventing and treating acne and making your skin glow. Not only this, asafoetida has also proven to restrict the growth of harmful viruses in the body. Hing is also a very effective remedy for dry or whooping cough or even for bronchitis. Prepare a paste by grinding asafoetida in water. Apply this on your chest to get relief from any kind of cough.