India is the land known for its rich culinary history, where the use of spices predominates cooking in every kitchen. These spices not only lend aroma, color and flavor to your dishes, but also have an array of health benefits and curative properties. This is the very reason that they have been passed over generations as a part of secret recipes belonging to cuisines of various regions of the country. Each spice has one or more potent compounds, which make it effective for combating one or more ailments and health conditions. As a result, we have been using some of these herbs and spices as a part of alternative medicine, besides day to day cooking.
Listed below are the top 10 healing spices in Indian kitchens:
1. Turmeric (Haldi)
One of the most widely used healing spice in the Indian kitchens is the rich golden spice called turmeric. Curcumin, the potent anti oxidant found in turmeric is widely known for its curative properties, like treatment of internal injuries and fractures, external cuts and wounds, skin allergies, digestive problems like gas and bloating, cough and congestion. It also acts as ant repellant.
2. Fennel (Saunf)
Another refreshing spice easy to be found in Indian kitchen is the traditional mouth freshener called fennel, which is useful for healing digestive troubles like colic, gas, bloating and indigestion. You can also use it for alleviating cough, cold and sore throat.
3. Cumin (Jeera)
Cumin is a popularly used spice, which adds aroma and flavor to food, besides providing immediate relief from digestive problems like diarrhea, indigestion and stomach pain. Conditions such as anemia, common cold and menstrual problems can also be treated using cumin.
4. Asafetida (Hing)
Asafetida is a pungent smelling spice, occupying an important place in the spice box of every Indian kitchen. It makes food delicious and additionally, promotes digestion and treats digestive problems such as gas, bloating and stomach ache. It is used as a home remedy for infant colic by dissolving in water and applying it on the stomach of infants.
5. Cinnamon (Dalchini)
A popular Indian spice used for adding flavor to food and drinks is cinnamon, which also has an established benefit of controlling blood sugar levels. Additionally, it can be used to alleviate conditions like nausea, urinary infections, tooth decay, digestive ailments and diarrhea.
6. Cardamom (Elaichi)
Cardamom is another essential kitchen spice in India, which lends an amazing flavor and heavenly odor to foods and drinks. Besides flavor enhancement, it has additional benefits like relieving indigestion, flu, cold, cough, headaches and sore throat.
7. Cloves (Laung)
Next on the list of healing spices in Indian kitchen is cloves, which have been traditionally used to combat dental problems like toothache and decay. It has anti bacterial and expectorant properties, making it a natural way to treat congestion, gas trouble and nausea.
8. Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
The tiny seeds of carom are an essential part of every Indian kitchen as they are used to give dishes a unique flavor, in addition to getting rid of phlegm and chest congestion. Carom seeds also promote digestive health.
9. Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
Black pepper is a strongly flavored spice, which has been used traditionally for giving relief from numerous ailments and health problems, including flatulence, bloating, indigestion, cough and heaviness of stomach.
10. Red chillies (Mirchi)
Another healing spice found in each and every Indian kitchen is red chilli, popularly known as mirchi. It has a medicinal compound called Capsaicin, which has effective pain relief benefit. Red chillies are used to get rid of cold and yellow fever. They also aid in weight loss as they stimulate fat metabolism.
All these cooking spices can be used both as food and medicine as they have the ability to treat a large number of health problems.