Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Indian spices are the most sought-after throughout the world. From the ancient days, India is one of the largest cultivator and exporter of spices in the world. The spices are also known as appetizers and are highly valuable in the field of culinary art.

What Are The Benefits Of Spices?

Spices have various benefits. They add colour to the food, enhance its flavour and taste. Apart from that, spices have numerous health benefits as well. They help to increase the salivary flow, clean the stuck food pieces and bacteria from the oral cavity and also provide protection to the mucous membrane. With their stimulating action, spices are great for digestion in various ways. Moreover, the chances of stroke and blood pressure can also be reduced by the consumption of certain spices. Spices also act as a substitute for various medicines and beauty products.

10 Kitchen Spices With Healing Properties

Below mentioned are 10 kitchen spices with healing properties:

#1. Coriander (Dhania) Leaves/Seeds

Every part of the coriander plant can be consumed; however, its fresh leaves and dried seeds are mainly as a kitchen spice used for cooking food and has numerous healing properties. The coriander seeds can be either heated or roasted followed by grinding to increase their aroma. Coriander leaves are stimulant and act as tonic. They help in the strengthening of the stomach, relieving flatulence and increasing urine’s secretion and discharge. The seeds of coriander also help to treat fever by promoting a sense of coolness. Consumption of the juice of coriander helps to treat vitamin A, B1, B2, C and iron deficiencies. You can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of coriander juice in fresh buttermilk and drink this mixture, as it helps greatly to treat various digestive problems like dysentery, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, hepatitis and nausea. The mixture also helps in treating typhoid fever. If you consume coriander water regularly, then it will help to lower your blood cholesterol greatly as it acts a good diuretic agent thereby stimulating the kidney function. To prepare coriander water, boil dry coriander seeds and strain them after they cool down.

#2. Turmeric (Haldi)

The dried and powdered form of this famous kitchen spice turmeric is usually used, however, turmeric, in its fresh form can also be used just like ginger. Turmeric is a kitchen spice that has numerous healing properties and it gives a rich yellow texture to the dishes. According to Ayurveda, turmeric has various medicinal benefits and is used to treat bruises, burns and cuts. This multipurpose kitchen spice also helps to fight against diabetes. The juice made of raw turmeric helps to treat problems like indigestion and hyperacidity. Turmeric also possesses blood purifying properties and contains an active substance known as curcumin, which acts as an antioxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory properties, thereby helping to treat inflammatory conditions and arthritis. Turmeric is also an indigenous and affordable beauty aid and few sunscreens also contain turmeric. The application of turmeric paste on the face helps to clean the skin pores thereby adding to your beauty. This kitchen spice also acts as an antiseptic and has healing properties that help in the prevention and treatment of pimples.

#3. Fenugreek (Methi)

Fenugreek is basically consumed as a green vegetable and its seeds are used in preparing spices and seasonings. Fenugreek also has various healing and medicinal benefits. Fenugreek seeds and leaves help to increase the production of breast milk in lactating mothers. Fenugreek also helps to lower the cholesterol, cure diabetes by decreasing the blood sugar levels. Fenugreek can be either directly consumed or you can chew Fenugreek seeds after soaking them overnight. Moreover, fenugreek also helps to speed up the metabolism of the body thereby preventing constipation. Fenugreek also helps to purify the blood and remove the harmful toxins from the body.

#4. Chillies

Chillies are another popular kitchen spice with amazing healing properties. From the ancient days, healers use chillies to treat numerous diseases. Externally, the chillies help to reduce the pain; and when used internally, chillies help to cure various ailments like common cold and yellow fever. The hot red peppers contain an active ingredient known as capsaicin, which provides the unique sting to it. The capsaicin activates the excretion of endorphins in your brain that has a pain-reducing impact just like that of morphine. Chillies are rich in vitamin C, which stimulates the increased absorption of non-heme iron from various food items like beans and grains.

#5. Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)

Black pepper is considered as one of the most essential and oldest of all kitchen spices present and has various healing properties. Black pepper is generally dried off and used as a seasoning and spice. When in dry form, black pepper is called as peppercorn and helps to relieve flatulence. Black pepper stimulates your digestive organs and enhances the production of saliva and the gastric juices. The consumption of powdered black pepper mixed with jaggery helps to treat numerous health conditions. Apart from that, 1/4 teaspoon of powdered black pepper added in buttermilk helps to heal conditions like indigestion stomach heaviness. Make sure that the buttermilk is thin. For enhanced results, you can mix a quarter teaspoon of cumin powder to the above mixture. Moreover, you can consume 3 peppercorns along with a common salt crystal and little cumin seeds to heal cough and cold.

#6. Cinnamon (Dalchini)

Cinnamon is basically a bark with an aromatic smell and is used in the preparation of various food items and is a flavourful kitchen spice with healing properties. Cinnamon is mainly used as a seasoning agent and provides flavour to the dishes. As per the Ancient Chinese references, cinnamon, due to its medicinal properties, were used to treat various conditions like fever, nausea, diarrhea and problems related to menstruation. Cinnamon is used to stimulate digestive as well as gastric juices. Cinnamon is also used as an antiseptic as it kills germs, which cause tooth related problems and hence used in various toothpastes. Cinnamon is used to kill harmful bacteria, fungi and the disease-causing viruses. The healing properties of cinnamon also consist of soothing the stomach and treating infections of the urinary tract. Cinnamon helps in metabolizing sugar in diabetic patients in a better manner by using less amount of insulin.

#7. Cardamom (Elaichi)

Cardamom has a great importance in the world of kitchen spices. Cardamom is among the most valuable spices worldwide with intense healing properties. Cardamom has a unique and strong flavour mixed with an intense aroma. Cardamom is mainly used in medicines to strengthen the digestion process and for curing flatulence. To treat indigestion, you can consume ground cardamom seeds along with cloves, coriander and ginger. Cardamom tea helps to cure depression as well as the headaches caused due to indigestion. The consumption of green cardamom helps to heal throat infections, lung congestion and the infections related to teeth and gums. You can daily gargle with a mixture consisting of cardamom and cinnamon to heal a sore throat and get protection against flu.

#8. Asafoetida (Hing)

Asafoetida is used as a seasoning and digestive aid in the food items and adds flavour to the dishes. The raw odour of this kitchen spice is quite strong; and hence, it should be contained in airtight jars or else its aroma will influence the aroma of other spices stored nearby. Asafoetida possesses various healing medicinal benefits as well. It helps to treat flatulence and gastric problems. You can drink buttermilk with a pinch of asafoetida and salt after meals to heal gastric problems. A paste made out of asafoetida mixed in water should be applied on the navel region to treat stomach ache. Asafoetida also helps to reduce toothache. People suffering from lung infections, such as bronchitis are advised to consume at least 5 g of raw asafoetida every day. For individuals suffering from various neuromuscular disorders like facial palsy, sciatica and paralysis, the consumption of Asafoetida fried in ghee helps to relieve pain. To seek relief from breathing problems like cold and cough, a small amount of Asafoetida should be taken daily. Applying Asafoetida on the itchy skin helps in providing relief from itching.

#9. Cumin (Jeera)

Cumin seeds are another beneficial kitchen spice with healing properties and also possess various medicinal benefits. Cumin seeds are rich in iron; therefore, their consumption boosts the immune system. To treat dysentery, you should drink water boiled after adding cumin seeds. The oil made of cumin seeds is beneficial to treat flatulence. For this, you should drink tea prepared using cumin seeds three times a day. The tea can be prepared by boiling water and then adding one teaspoon of cumin seeds in it. Now allow it to simmer on low flame for 15 minutes. To obtain best results, consume the tea while it is still hot.

#10. Carom Seeds (Ajwain)

Carom seeds also contain various healing medical properties. Carom seeds help to remove mucous and heal various respiratory ailments. In order to seek relief from the difficult expectoration from phlegm, you can consume a concoction made of Carom seeds and buttermilk. For curing asthma, a hot fermentation made by using Carom seeds acts as a great home remedy. You can make oil containing Carom seeds by frying the carom seeds in the coconut oil. Apply this oil on the affected area to get rid of muscular pain. Carom seeds must not be used in large amount, as it leads to dryness of the fluids and may have harmful effect on the eyes.

Conclusion

Although these kitchen spices have numerous healing benefits, you must consume them in small amounts. The higher usage of these spices in food may lead to adverse effects on your health. You should always try to maintain a balanced use of these kitchen spices. This is how you can continue to make best possible use of these healing kitchen spices. With the right amount of these spices, you can add spice to your life also!

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 2, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest