Indian spices were one of the most valuable commodities exported during the 15th centaury . These spices give the Indian food it's unique flavor and aroma. Besides adding flavor to the food, the spices also provide health benefits. There is an Indian home remedy for almost every common illness. These home remedies have been passed on from one generation to the other in Indian families. Some of the most commonly used spices and their health benefits are as follows.
Turmeric - Turmeric is called "Manjal" in my native language. It is a holy spice. Indian women used to apply turmeric paste on their skin as part of a skin care routine. Turmeric has anti inflammatory property. When there is a swelling on the body due to injury , we apply turmeric paste on the affected area to reduce the swelling.
Coriander seeds - Coriander is called "Daniya" in my native language. This spice is rich in immunity boosting anti oxidants. Coriander seeds also helps to relive bloating and heart burn.
Fennel seeds - Fennel seeds are called "Sombu" in my native language. One of the main benefits of fennel seeds is it's ability to aid digestion and relive gassiness. It's a common practice in India to chew some fennel seeds after a heavy meal to help our body to digest the food.
Cloves - Cloves are called "Lavangam" in my native language. This spice is a natural anesthetic. It helps to relive tooth ache by causing temporary numbness. In India we use whole clove as local anesthetic to relive tooth ache.
Fenugreek Seeds - Fenugreek is called "Vendhayam" in my native language. It's a very bitter spice. Fenugreek seeds are used in dishes made with tamarind juice, to balance the sourness from the tamarind fruit. Some studies show that fenugreek seeds help to lower blood sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes. Consuming fenugreek seeds is believed help relive the abdominal cramps in women during menstrual cramps. And fenugreek seeds also help to increase the milk secretion in breast feeding Moms.
Cumin seeds - Cumin seeds are called "Seeragam" in my native language. "Seer" means heal or make better and "Agam" means body. These tiny seeds are used in a variety of Indian dishes. The most common health benefit of cumin seeds is it helps to regulate digestion. In southern India there is a State called Kerala. People in Kerala make cumin water for daily consumption. It's fairly simple to make cumin water. Boil water in a pot and add some cumin seeds in it. The water turns yellow in color. This cumin water is considered very good for our digestive health.
Black pepper - Black pepper is called in "Milagu" in my native language. It is a very popular spice which is widely used all over the world. Black pepper is a common spice used in Indian households to treat common cold and cough. Some studies show that black pepper has cancer preventing properties.
Please be advised that I do not have any studies to prove these health benefits. These are some home remedies which my mom and grandma used to practice.
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