Medicinal values of Indian spices
Spices of India were well known in many parts of the world from an ancient period. Many battles were fought to gain control of this land of astonishing spices. To have the possession of spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, turmeric etc were considered to be a symbol of nobility and high social status at that time. People of the foregone era had the knowledge of their medicinal as well as the taste enhancing properties. Today the medicinal branches like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and many traditional treatment methods make use of the magical powers of spices, condiments and herbs in curing a lot of diseases. The health benefits of some spices are given below.
It is used as a condiment, particularly in sweet foods. It is also used in the preparation of meat products, soups, sauces, baked foods, confectionaries, puddings, seasoning of meat and vegetable etc. It has a long list of associated health benefits such as the ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function,detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions and increase the immune system.
It is known as the Queen of Spices and is one of the most expensive spices. It has a rich aroma and the health benefits of cardamom include gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, relief from cardiovascular issues and improvement of blood circulation in the body.
Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely traded spices in the world. The health benefits of black pepper include relief from respiratory disorders, cough, the common cold, constipation, indigestion, anaemia, impotency, dental disease, diarrhoea, and heart disease. It is also used to preserve food because of its antibacterial properties. It is a very good anti-inflammatory agent and is a rich source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin-C, vitamin -K and dietary fiber.
Cinnamon, one of the most popular spices, is rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium and also has a high fibre content. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Its health benefits include boosting brain function, blood purification, blood circulation, pain relief, fighting diabetes and infections and protection against heart diseases helps rapid healing.
It is closely related to other members of the ginger family and is widely known for its ability to heal wounds, reduce inflammation and pain, eliminate depression, slow the ageing process, protect the digestive tract and prevent cancer. Its colour is bright yellow.
Ginger is widely used as a condiment than a spice and is an integral part of many Asian cuisines due to its digestive properties. It is also used as a preservative and flavouring agent. It is a good remedy for food poisoning, indigestion and diarrhoea. It is very effective against nausea and respiratory disorders. Ginger helps to reduce inflammation and muscle pain and strengthens heart health. It also helps in relieving depression, mental stress, depression and anxiety.
Cloves are the dried flower buds of the evergreen, tropical clove tree. For thousands of years, it is used to treat bad breath toothache. Apart from giving an aromatic fresh flavour, it also is very helpful in treating throat irritations, digestive disorders like vomiting and diarrhoea and reducing inflammation in the sinus and bronchial tubes