SPICE

Almost every spice is used in cooking with some health benefits in which Turmeric tops the list.

1TURMERIC (CURCUMIN) /Haldi spice –spice

Turmeric is an aromatic spice in bright yellow color which is obtained from the roots of ginger family. It is sometimes called “Indian Saffron”. Turmeric is also one of the most researched herbs that include positive impact in curing many health conditions better than medicines in many cases.

Turmeric is grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. It is used in all Indian homes in food, in cultural activities and also for its medicinal properties. It provides a perfect golden color to curries and dal/lentils.

Since it contains a potent active ingredient Curcumin (an antioxidant), the pigment that gives turmeric yellow-orange color and has a slightly bitter, hot and peppery flavor which has a mustard-like smell.

 Benefits of using Turmeric Spice –

  1. High in Anti-Inflammatory – It prevents conditions such as asthma, allergies, rheumatoid, autoimmune diseases and heart diseases without the side effects of drugs.
  2. Anti-Cancer – It prevents, slows and kills the growth of various types of cancer including tumors of esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin. Reduces side effects of chemotherapy.
  3. Immune System Booster – It fights against bacteria/viral infections and cleanses blood to improve digestion. It is almost 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamins C and E.
  4. Skin Food

a) It cleanses and nourishes the skin thereby helping to maintain its elasticity and radiance.

b) It helps to reduce pigmentation on your face and even the skin tone.

c) Turmeric mixed with sandalwood powder and a little water, when applied to face can greatly reduce the appearance of acne.

d) Regular washing with Turmeric reduces facial hair growth significantly.

e) It is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic.

5. Weight Loss – It aids in burning body fat results in weight loss and maintains a healthy weight.

6. Healthy Bones – Its inflammation affects the joints especially in hands and feet. It helps to support healthy joints and keep hands, knees, and feet moving smoothly. Relieves Arthritis pain.

Other Benefits –

  • Slows down aging.
  • Improves Brain Functioning.
  • Fights from infection in the throat.
  • Eases burn.
  • Reduces skin rashes.
  • Increases Immunity.
  • Promotes healthy mood balance.
  • Helps treat Diarrhea.
  • Reverses Diabetes.
  • Reduces swelling.
  • Prevents Leukemia.
  • Helps in countering Anemia.
  • Reduces Depression and cholesterol.
  • Reduces muscle pain & stiffness.

How to use it? –

  1. Spice – Turmeric is commonly used in curries as a spice as well as in rice, vegetables, lentils and non-veg dishes but it can also be used in the drink in order to add spice and color, just a pinch will show its wonder. It can either be used in sliced, chopped, grated or ground form. It is mostly used with herbs such as ginger and garlic or even alone.
  2. Pickle – Its benefit is increased by using roots directly in making pickles.
  3. Medicine – Apply it as a paste on skin wounds, bites.
  4. Body scrub – Mix a pinch of turmeric with gram flour and water, use it to scrub all over the body before shower will eventually give glowing skin.

NOTE –

  1. If possible buy raw (root), use it directly or make powder at home this ensure its purity.
  2. Black pepper enhances Bioavailability of turmeric.

 2.  CARDAMOM (Elaichi) –

spice
Green Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice which is a member of the ginger family and is known for its unique flavor and aroma. It is the world’s 3rd expensive spice after vanilla and saffron. It is one of the spices used to make spice mixture/masala for curry.

In India, two types of cardamom are used –

  1. Elettaria pods commonly known as Green Cardamom/Choti elaichi and are small in size.
  2. Amomum pods are commonly known as Badi elaichi which are black and large in size.

    spice
    Black Cardamom

Many traditional Indian recipes include varieties of cardamom.

Benefits of using Cardamom –

  1. Digestive health – It stimulates the secretion of bile acid in the stomach which aids in digestion.
  2. Heart health – Antioxidant properties promotes heart health. It also contains fiber which lowers cholesterol level.
  3. Cancer prevention – It is used as a natural cancer treatment. It can also prevent, delay and even reverse cancer formation.

Other Benefits –

  • Prevents gastrointestinal ailments such as heartburn, diarrhea etc.
  • Stimulates metabolism.
  • Fights Depression.
  • Makes Breathing easier.
  • Improves Blood Circulation to lungs.
  • Improves Oral health.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure levels.
  • Improves Sexual health.

How to use it?

  1. It is combined with condensed milk and sugar to make sweets/mithai.
  2. It is used to flavor sugar syrup.
  3. It is used to flavor coffee and tea, mostly Masala Chai in India.

NOTE –

Cardamom can either be used grounded or as a whole spice.

 3. Cinnamon (Dalchini)

spice
cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice from the inner bark of Cinnamomum family which has warm sweet taste and woody aroma and is mid- brown in color. Cinnamon tree is also used due to its health benefits throughout the world.

Once cinnamon was more valuable than gold. It has natural anti-infectious, antibiotic compounds. It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese.

It has a wide variety of food uses –

  • Non-Veg dishes like chicken, lamb.
  • Cinnamon and sugar used in cereals, toast, fruits mainly apples.
  • Soups, drinks, sweets and many more.
  • Sweeten recipes without adding sugar.
  • Natural food preservative.

Benefits of using Cinnamon –

  1. Blood Sugar – It maintains blood sugar level which eventually maintains weight. Good for type 2 diabetes.
  2. Fights Cancer – It reduces proliferation of Leukemia & Lymphoma Cancer cells.
  3. Mouth health – It is used to treat a toothache & fights bad breath.
  4. Cough & Cold – Cures a chronic cough, cold & clear sinuses.
  5. Stomach problems – Effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea & gas.
  6. Blood Circulation – Increased blood circulation which helps in removing pain & provides oxygen supply to body cells to increase metabolic activity.
  7. Skin health – Protects skin from irritation, rashes, allergic reaction and infections. Applying Cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin reduces inflammation, swelling pain, and redness. Cinnamon and honey together boost skin health. Fights from dry skin.

Mix 1 tsp of honey and ½ tsp of cinnamon to face and leave to 15-20 min before washing with water. Apply once in a week will cure Acne, Pimples, and blemishes.

Other Benefits –

  • ½ tsp a day can lower Bad Cholesterol.
  • Helps process Carbs.
  • Protects heart health.
  • Just smelling can boost Cognitive function & memory.
  • Can reduce Arthritis pain.
  • Effective for menstrual pain.
  • Aids in infertility and balances hormones.
  • Treats Yeast infections in people with HIV.

How to use it? –

  1. Drink honey & cinnamon in one cup lukewarm water daily in the morning, one and a half hour before breakfast on empty stomach and at night before sleeping. It reduces weight even for obese and does not allow fat to accumulate in the body.

          Ingredients –

1 tsp honey

½ tsp cinnamon powder

          Instruction –

Boil 1 cup water and add cinnamon to it. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Add honey to the cooled mixture.

  1. Cinnamon milk – Add ½ tsp of cinnamon & 1 tsp of honey to milk. Use the same procedure as above.

NOTE –

  1. Cinnamon is toxic when taken in large amounts.
  2. Never add Honey in hot water doing this will destroy its enzyme.
  3. Cinnamon can be used as sticks, powder and dried flowers of the plant.
  4. Oatmeal is a common meal that goes well with cinnamon.

4. NUTMEG (JAYPHAL)

spice
nutmeg

Nutmeg is a sweet spice seed with a pungent aroma to mace. It has a warm flavor and has a hint of clove as well as bittersweet woody flavor. It is used in biryani, kebabs and kofta dishes.

It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties. It is a great source of manganese which regulates blood sugar & absorbs calcium to strengthen bones and tissues.

Benefits of using Nutmeg –

  1. Brain health – It stimulates your brain which helps to eliminate fatigue and stress. It also improves concentration which helps to focus on studies and work.
  2. Pain Relief – It treats inflammation and abdominal pain. To relieve any type of pain applies nutmeg oil.
  3. Liver and Kidney Detox – Detox is important for good health. Nowadays body faces pollution, stress, medication, tobacco, diet and many more which build toxins in our organs. Liver and kidney are organs where toxins build and develop. Nutmeg cleans toxins and helps prevent kidney stones.
  4. Skin Care – It helps to make skin smooth and healthy by removing blackheads and dead cells.
  5. Mix nutmeg powder and little honey and apply directly to acne marks.
  6. Hormone and Sexual health – Nutmeg oil is used to regulate hormone in both men and women. It reduces pain and bloating with menstruation. It also boosts sexual health and desire.

Other Benefits –

  • Good for anxiety and depression.
  • Nutmeg oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine to cure fever, breathing problems, headaches, and digestive pain.
  • Relieves sleeping aid.
  • Used in dental care products for flavor.
  • Used as a scent for candles, soap and personal care products.
  • Relaxes muscles and promotes to feel calm.
  • Reduces inflammation to ease in breathing for Asthma.

How to use it? –

  1. Natural mouthwash – Add a drop of nutmeg oil to water and gargle to reduce bad breath.
  2. Pain – Combine nutmeg oil with the carrier oil and massage the skin.
  3. Food – Either use ground or oil in recipes to the flavor.
  4. Swollen gums – Rub a drop of nutmeg oil on gum and skin to reduce swelling where required.

NOTE –

Nutmeg combines well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and coriander seeds.

5. MACE (JAVITRI)

spice
mace

Mace is a spice from reddish seed which covers nutmeg seed. Its flavor is similar to nutmeg but is more delicate and is used in baking, meat, fish, vegetables and other recipes.

It is rich in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A & antioxidants. It is antiseptic and is used in toothpaste. It heals toothaches, gums, and bad breath. It stimulates brain & eliminates mental exhaustion and stress.

6. CLOVES (LAUNG)

spice
clove

Cloves are aromatic spice from flower buds which come from clove tree and has a pungent taste. The clove tree is an evergreen tree. It has anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties.

Cloves are mainly used to make garam masala used in Indian dishes.

A teaspoon of cloves contains manganese, fiber, and vitamin C & K.

Benefits of using Cloves –

  • Boosts immunity and prevent blood clotting.
  • Boosts brain function and build bones.
  • Improves Respiratory health.
  • Relieves Stress.
  • Fights with Headache.
  • Treat toothaches by pulling infection.
  • Boosts Testosterone levels.

How to use it? –

  1. Cooking – It can be used for baking, tea, rice and also use for garnishing.
  2. Kill Fleas – It keeps fleas away.

After bathing your pet rinse it off with water containing drops of clove oil.

NOTE –

It can either be used whole spice or ground as a spice.

7. MUSTARD SEEDS (SARSO)

spice
mustard seeds
Serres North Export

Mustard seeds are small round seeds from the mustard plant. It is mainly used in south-Indian dishes. It has a pungent earthy aroma when ground. Powdered mustard seeds are rarely used in Indian cooking.

It is an excellent source of selenium which reduces asthma.

Mustard seeds are used for tempering with curry leaves.

Benefits of using Mustard Seeds –

  • Boosts metabolism.
  • Reduces severe form of Asthma, chest congestion, arthritis.
  • Prevents cancer.
  • Helps to lower high blood pressure.
  • Prevent Heart Attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
  • Mustard seed oil stimulates hair growth.
  • Has weight loss properties.

8. Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)

spice
coriander seeds

Coriander seeds are a spice used in curry, tempering and many more. It is dried, brown seeds of cilantro plant which doesn’t taste like herb. It is a great source of potassium, iron, vitamins A, K and C, magnesium and has many health benefits.

It is used in Indian dishes mainly in chicken and pork.

Benefits of using Coriander seeds –

  • Helps in Digestion.
  • Prevent Anemia
  • Treat Conjunctivitis.
  • Reduces Pimples.
  • Increases metabolic function.

NOTE –

It is used as a whole spice, ground or as mix spice.

9. Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

spice
cumin seeds
Fine Dining Lovers

Cumin is a spice from flowering plant Cuminum Cyminum, herb related to parsley, dill, caraway family. It is in oblong dark brown color with strong aroma and warm flavor. It also has many health benefits.

Benefits of using Cumin –

  • Helps in Digestion.
  • Help treat Diarrhea.
  • Eliminates gas.
  • Help to stop tumor growth
  • Advisable for pregnant women to treat nausea and increase lactation.
  • Anti-aging benefits.
  • Treat burning sensation.

How to use it? –

  1. Use to make jeera chicken in India. It’s a fried dish.
  2. Use by roasting and grind it dry to sprinkle and enhance recipe flavor like aloo masala, raita.
  3. Make curry spice.

10. STAR ANISE (Chakkar Phool)

spice
star-anise

Star Anise is a dried spice in a star-shaped reddish-brown fruit from Illicium verum tree. It contains antioxidants. It is sweet in flavor.

Benefits of using Star Anise –

  • Good for skin and hair.
  • Kills bacteria and fungus.
  • Fight against flu.
  • Boosts heart health.

How to use it? –

Star anise pods are slowly cooked in chicken liquids to make soups, stews.

11. Saffron (Kesar)

spice
saffron

Saffron is an exotic spice which is a red thread with rich yellow color when soaked in hot water.

It is mainly used in making sweet dishes, biryani.

Benefits of using Saffron –

  • Treats fever and cough.
  • Boosts energy.
  • Food flavoring.
  • Memory retention.
  • Vision health.
  • Treats asthma.

How to use it? –

  1. Soak in warm milk or water for biryani.
  2. Mix a pinch of saffron with milk and drink it.

12. BAY LEAF / LAUREL SHEET (Tej Patta)

spice
bay leaf

Bay leaf is used to add flavor to food. It contains Vitamin C, A & B, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc. It has anti-inflammatory & antioxidant properties.

Benefits of using Bay leaf –

  • Immunity building.
  • Heals wound.
  • Relieves digestive problems.
  • Cures Insomnia.

How to use it? –

Add as tempering before adding raw spices to make gravy/curry.

13. Pepper (Mirch)

Types of pepper

spice
white pepper
India mart
  1. White pepper
  2. Black Pepper
  3. Cayenne pepper

1. White pepper benefits

  • Relieves pain.
  • Beneficial for arthritis, muscle swelling and pain.
  • Weight loss.
  • Relieve nasal congestion.
  • Cures a cough.
  • Treats Stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Cataract cure.

    spice
    black pepper
    Indian mart

2. Black pepper benefits

  • Contains piperine which treats acute inflammation.
  • Boosts metabolism.
  • Helps digestion.
  • Aids in nutrient absorption.

3. Cayenne pepper

spice
cayenne pepper
Olea Oliva!
  • Contains capsaicin which burns fat.
  • Decreases calorie intake.
  • Shrinks fat tissue.
  • Lowers blood fat level.
  • Treats inflammation induced pain.

Remember

HEATING THE SPICES TOO MUCH DURING COOKING/ROASTING MAY LOSE ITS BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES.

*REMEMBER ANYTHING EXCESS IS BAD*

 

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