Article by: IndiaTimes
Spices have more potential than merely adding flavour to your daal tadka or bhindi fry. Spices come with tons of health benefits and medicinal properties that can cure infections, heal bruises and strengthen your immune system.
Popularly known as chhoti elaichi, cardamom is an aromatic spice commonly used in Indian curries, gravies and desserts. It has a sharp and stimulating flavour. Sprinkle some on your coffee and it's sure to act as an aphrodisiac. Cardamom helps counter stomach acidity, it generates appetite, alleviates nausea and cures bad breath. Its fragrant seed also contains certain oils that help stimulate digestion and relieve flatulence.
A common ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwashes and chewing gum, cinnamon works best to strengthen and clean your teeth with its antibacterial qualities. Cinnamon has health-boosting compounds including eugenol, therefore, can be used as a quick pain reliever. A good dose of cinnamon in your diet will provide calcium and fibre to your body.
Cumin is an essential ingredient in the Indian kitchen. Traditionally used in cooking curries, stews and bread, it acts as a good source of iron. Cumin can be used to relieve dyspeptic headaches, nausea, morning sickness, flatulence and stomach disorders. It relieves pain and cramping in the abdomen (also acting as an antispasmodic) and alleviates abdominal bloating and distension. Its antiseptic properties cure a sore throat. It is also widely used in ayurvedic medicine to improve liver function and boost metabolism.
A mainstay in most soups and main course dishes around the world, pepper is one of the most tasteful spices. It has tremendous antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It improves digestion, wipes out worms, treat coughs, colds, sinusitis, heart problems, colic, diabetes, anaemia, and piles. A peppery soup on a feverish night can reduce fever. Chewing raw black pepper reduces throat inflammation. Similarly, pepper oil cures scalp infections or insect bites.
5. Bay leaf
Unlike other spices, bay leaves have medicinal properties that help cure external infections like skin diseases. They have a strong and distinctive fragrance, so keep some in your grain jar to keep the bugs away. In the case of insect bites or minor cuts, apply bay leaf paste. It soothes itchiness and prevents infections. In case you experience muscular soreness, massage bay leaf oil to enhance blood circulation.
Kickstart your day with a cup of piping hot ginger tea and you will never experience a sore throat. Ginger alleviates stomach congestion, mild fever, acidity and common cold. Ginger is reputed to cure ulcers when chewed in small doses. A tall glass of ginger ale can help reduce flatulence. It's considered an excellent to cure nausea associated with travel sickness, pregnancy and even hangovers.
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and has anti-carcinogenic properties. In case of minor cuts or bruises, dab a pinch of turmeric to stop the bleeding. Turmeric reduces blood cholesterol levels, relieves a sore throat, cough, cold and flatulence. Turmeric paste prevents and cures pigmentation, dark circles and acne marks.
Clove oil has antiseptic properties that are best known to relieve a toothache and act as an excellent mouthwash. The main ingredient in the oil is eugenol which is anti-inflammatory, eases the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis, muscle aches and joint pains. As a spice, it helps to reduce chest congestion and stimulate digestion for people with constipation.
9. Mustard seeds
Research says that a regular intake of mustard in the diet improves vision in old age. Mustard is known to be very helpful for digestion and in case you are on a weight-loss programme, it can help speed up the metabolism rate. It is antibacterial, antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties which help in quick recovery of wounds and steady muscle growth.