Indian Spices

A long list of Indian spices

There is not a single regional Indian Cuisine that does not use a list of Indian spices... btn

Medicinal Uses

Apart from the nutritional benefits

Different spices are used as home remedies in common illnesses such as cold... btn

Health Benefits

The contribution of Indian Spices

Spices are used as flavoring agents and preservatives while cooking.... btn

Medicinal Uses of Indian Spices

Indian Spices

Apart from the nutritional benefits that include vitamins and minerals found in Indian spices, there are many spices that have curative and disease prevention properties. These special medicinal properties have been studied in great detail in Ayurveda, the Indian Medicine System that is prevalent in the region since the Vedic times. The medicinal properties of spices are also used in the Unani System of Medicine that was developed in the Middle-East.

Different spices are used as home remedies in common illnesses such as cold, cough, fever, influenza, upset stomach, aches and pains, bruises, burns and wounds. Some of the spices are also used to  treat serious diseases such as ulcers, cancerous tumors and chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Spices and herbs, usually the part of plants and trees such as flower, calyx, fruit, seed, root, leaf, legume and also the bark are used in medicinal preparations.

All Spice:
has both analgesic pain killer and digestive properties. Allspice is used in compresses used to relieve arthritic pain as well as orally to cure diarrheas and other digestive problems.

Basil is a leaf of the Basil plant which is a shrub that is called “Tulsi” and is also revered in India. It has nutritional properties since it contains micro-nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, Calcium and small quantities of Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Basil also has medicinal properties and is used to cure skin infections and insect bites. As a preventive measure to ailments Basil helps to get better eyesight, a better functioning cardiovascular system, and prevents hair loss. Tea made with Basil can cure influenza or any digestive problem. Basil is known to relieve cramps, nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Basil tea also has a soothing effect on headache and calms the nerves.

Bay Leaf is a leaf of a tree that grows in most parts of India. A compress of bay leaf is often used to reduce pain in strained or sprained ankle or other joints. Bay leaf compresses are also known to alleviate pain due to arthritis and also help in giving to congestion of the chest and cough due to bronchitis. Bay leaf when ingested helps in digestion, improves appetite and also cures colic in infants.

Black pepper has great medicinal value and has been used to prevent or cure many common ailments.  In fact in many parts of East India, concoction made of black pepper and honey is taken each morning as preventive medicine against many common diseases. The list of common diseases that can be treated with black pepper is  really long and exhibits the different kinds of medicinal properties that are present in black pepper. Black pepper has been extensively used in Ayurveda in the treatment of asthma, skin infections, colic, cough, diarrhea, fever, gas, hemorrhoids, indigestion, rheumatic arthritis, obesity, congestion of sinus and the chest, infections of the throat, and intestinal parasites.

Cardamom is used as a Spice for the aromatic essential oils that are present in the pods of cardamom. Cardamon is grown in South India and is an expensive spice. Apart from imparting a great fragrance to the food to which it is added, cardamom is also known for its exothermic reactions that make the body warm. It is commonly used in treating indigestion, colic, and gas. It is the one of the ingredients of “garam masala” the Indian Spice mixture that is commonly used in everyday diet. Tea made with cardamom and other spices such as ginger, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon to which a little honey is added gives quick relief to colds, coughs and mild fever and also cures indigestion and gas. This tea is also used in winter to make the body naturally warm and create a natural resistance to the winter cold.         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cilantro is a herb that has many medicinal properties. When used in the daily diet , cilantro is known to remove toxins from the body and is commonly used as a detoxifying agent. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as it can be used in external applications in compresses to get relief from arthritis and pain in joints Cilantro has also been known to help in digestion and boost appetite.

 Cinnamon  is a bark of a tree that is widely grown in India and Sri Lanka-- a half teaspoon of cinnamon every day significantly reduced the level of blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. In addition, the same study found that cinnamon was able to reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in the same study participants. People who eat cinnamon regularly report fewer urinary tract infections. Cinnamon has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful in relieving arthritic pain. Cinnamon may be helpful in the reduction of tooth decay and gum disease. Cinnamon is the anti-microbial. It is also a blood thinner and may be useful in the promotion of circulation. This may be why people use it for menstrual cramps. It has long been used for relieving the congestion of colds and allergies. It is been used as a digestive aid and may be helpful in the treatment of common digestive disorders

Cloves are one of the most common Indian spices that are grown in South India in the Nilgiris. They are one of the important ingredients of “garam masala”, a mixture of Indian spices, since it has flavorsome pungent taste. Due to the essential oils present in cloves which have great pain reducing properties, cloves have been used extensively for tooth ache. The oil extracted from cloves is applied to the gums and the area of the mouth where the tooth ache is originating and there is almost instant relief. Cloves are also known to relieve pain due to arthritis and insect bites. Cloves have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Cloves are also known to prevent nausea and also help in digestion.

 Ginger is a root that is used in daily cooking India. It is a known for its anti-inflammatory properties and used in compresses for in swollen joints and ankle-sprains. Ginger has many medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of common ailments such as nausea, colds, bronchitis, influenza and greatly helps in relieving the symptoms of allergies and menstrual cramps.

Nutmeg is an Indian Spice that is used in “garam masala” for its flavor and aroma. Nutmeg has extensive medicinal properties that have been put to use in many Ayurvedic medicines. Nutmeg is used in the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema and arthritic pain in external applications and when taken orally, nutmeg helps in digestion, gas, diarrhea and vomiting. Continuous ingestion of a very small amount of nutmeg helps in curing chronic nervous disorders and even cardiac problems.

Rosemary is a spice that is commonly used in Europe and not in India. Nevertheless, Rosemary has many medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of dandruff, headaches and arthritis. It has known anti-bacterial properties and is used in both external application and orally. Externally it is used as a mouth wash to prevent bad breath and also as a gargle to cure sore throat. It is used as a preventive against hair fall and dandruff and is actively used to improve hair growth, scalp health, and blood circulation. Orally rosemary is used in combination with other herbs and spices to reduce pain of headache and arthritis.

Sage is a common spice that has great anti-bacterial properties. Sage is used both externally and internally. In external applications sage cures acne, throat infections, gum infections, breast pain and oily hair. When taken orally sage helps digestion. It also has properties that are used to cure psychological problems of anxiety and depression.

Thyme has anthelmenthe or anti-parasitical properties. Thyme when ingested kills the parasites in the digestive tract and also improves digestion. Poor digestion and diarrhea are many times caused by worms and the anti-parasitical action of thyme helps overcome these ailments. Thyme is also known to get over a hangover or cramps. Thyme when combined with some other herbs is known to cure bronchitis, colds, and whooping cough. As an external application thyme is often used as an antifungal agent and acts strongly parasites that cause skin infections such as scabies.

Turmeric is a root of the plant which is dried and powdered before use. It is a known antiseptic and anti-bacterial and is used as an external application to prevent infection in wounds and to speed up the healing process. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is also relieves chest congestion. Turmeric is extensively used in Ayurveda in the treatment of severe conditions such multiple sclerosis and hepatitis. Chronic diseases of the digestive tract such as ulcers, inflammation or yeast infections can be treated with turmeric.