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Indian Spices – Mix of Rich Taste and Medicines

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Indian Cuisine" really includes dozens of distinct regional styles of cooking, there are certain spices that we associate specifically with Indian food. Spices do more than just flavor foods. In the Ayurvedic tradition, spices also balance and heal the body ; food is a big part of the healing arts. Spices and herbs have been used by our ancestors for centuries for their medicinal qualities as well as for their culinary enhancements. Researchers continue to study the healing properties that can be offered by these natural remedies.

Some commonly known benefits of Indian spices are:

Turmeric –The bright yellow of the spic rainbow not only gives a lovely colour to the dish it is also an antibacterial agent. It is used in a wide variety of skin creams, used as a healing agent for cuts & wounds that’s why ‘Haldi Wala Milk’ is popular as a home remedy in India. Indian systems of medicine uses turmeric as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.

Red Chilli Powder- Chili powder is regularly used in traditional Indian cuisine. Chilli powder has many beneficial properties, making it an important part in Ayurvedic medicines to fight many diseases, destroys harmful toxins and stimulates gastric juices that help in digesting food. It also helps in clearing nasal congestion, relieves throat infection, and acts as painkiller in muscle spasms.

Asafoetida or Hing (asafetida) also spelled asafetida, heeng
-The herbal plant called the asafoetida is native to Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, in Asia - this herb is a perennial plant. Ancient Romans preferred the asafoetida as a flavoring agent above all other herbs, despite the unlikely nickname of devil’s dung given to the herb. Ayurvedic system the herbal remedy is used in the treatment of colic; it is also used in the treatment of spasms in the bowel, and for the treatment of spasmodic coughing arising as a result of whooping cough, complications due to pneumonia. It’s an excellent remedy for digestive disorders.

Fenugreek Seed (methi seeds)
– Another important ingredient of Indian cooking used both as a spice and for medicinal purposes. A very effective remedy for diabetes also it acts as a natural conditioner for hair.Methi ke Laddo are widely recommended to diabetic patients. Fenugreek is now being used to increase the milk production in many nursing mothers. It is widely used in pickles in Asia.

Cummin Seeds (Jeera)
- Jeera, an integral part of Indian cooking, has numerous benefits. It not only enhances taste of different curries but also has medicinal qualities. It helps to build appetite that’s why Jal Jeera is popular in India. Cumin is effective in relieving sleeplessness, morning sickness, indigestion. An interesting folktale associated with cumin seeds, a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding ceremony.

Whatever I have described about Indian spices is the tip of iceberg.
.A lot many spices are used in Indian cooking.And every spice has some medicinal property.


Juhi said...

yeah our ancestors have long known the medicinal values of spices used in Indian cooking, the west is just beginning to discover them. Methi dana is also a known natural cure for arthritis.

sm said...

good information.

Yudhishthir Kaushik said...

The active ingredient of the Indian curry spice, turmeric, not only lowers your chances of getting cancer and Alzheimer's disease, but may reduce the size of a hemorrhagic stroke, say medical College of Georgia researchers.
for more details please visit this link.

sangeeta said...

thanks for you visit Meghna and your information is very good about all the spices....will come back to check out more of your posts..