India is blessed with the goodness and abundance of spices, with each state growing at least one variety. Most of us recognize its indispensable contribution in our food, but only few are aware of its medicinal attribute. So today let’s unlock nature’s best-kept secrets and revisit some age-old Dadima ke nuske (Grandmother’s remedies) which comes quite handy on a rainy day.
1 HALDI (TURMERIC POWDER)
A pinch of that yellow powder not only adds color but excitement to our food. In addition to digestive and antiseptic properties, Haldi works as face pack to improve the complexion of skin. It is also great on burns, other skin diseases, it helps keep away pimples and stop bleeding too. Besides, we all know the very ancient therapy of Haldi wala doodh (haldi in milk) for treating cold and cough!
2 AJWAIN (CAROM SEEDS)
Ajwain helps in diarrhoea, dysentery and indigestion. Ajwain oil is supposed to help ease pain in the joints and legs, and aid in treating arthritis. It also helps clear nasal congestion and fight cold if you inhale Ajwain steam or smell Ajwain seeds wrapped in a cloth. It also helps in reducing weight if you make it a part of your daily diet.
3 HING (ASAFETIDA)
Also known as devil’s dung, Hing is added while cooking any vegetable or meat for its digestive properties. Besides cooking, a pinch of asafetida powder in a glass of buttermilk also helps cure indigestion. It also heals toothache, and being a powerful antispasmodic, it is useful in cough and asthma.
4 METHI (FENUGREEK)
Fenugreek is a wonder herb. It is known to cure constipation and heal skin diseases like burns and boils. It helps ease arthritis and joint pains if you drink a cuppa fenugreek tea every morning (made from the leaves). Eating Fenugreek seeds or drinking Fenugreek water in the morning (soak Methi seeds in water overnight and grind it to extract the juice) helps fight diabetes and blood cholesterol.
5SAUNF (FENNEL SEEDS)
Fennel is an excellent flavoring agent to meat and vegetables. Chewing Fennel seeds after a heavy meal not only helps in digestion and but also works as a mouth freshener. It is also an excellent spice in treating asthma, cold, cough and bronchitis, and is often used as a weight-loss supplement. Fennel also helps drive away fleas from kennels and stables.
6 ELAICHI (CARDAMOM)
Cardamom, the Queen of Spices, is the world’s third most expensive spice. Cardamom is used to flavor tea and is widely popular as a mouth freshner. In Ayurveda, it is valued as an important agent in treating urinary infections, skin diseases, indigestion, anorexia, burning sensation and what not. Cardamom oil, like clove oil, also helps reduce toothache.
7 LAHSUN (GARLIC)
Apart from bad breath, the benefits of garlic is huge. From boosting immune system to lowering cholesterol, from managing blood pressure to fighting common cold, Garlic is versatile and a wonder drug! It is a powerful natural antibiotic and antioxidant, and also has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
8 DALCHINI (CINNAMON)
The sweet-smelling bark is a gift of nature. Besides its use as a flavoring agent in cooking meat and curries, it also acts as a natural food preservative since it restrains bacterial growth and food spoilage. It is also used to treat toothache and bad breath. Cinnamon also helps fight diabetes, and its very smell is so pleasant that it helps calms the nerves. Thinner the bark, higher is its quality!
Reading this reminded me of an article i had read somewhere. Its nothing to do with spices though, so I might sound a bit off-track here. A bunch of Japanese inventors actually found out that when you have a bad case of cold , putting a block of ice or anything really cold just underneath your big toes actually helps. it works with the same principle as acupressure.!!
@ Roh- This is so insightful. Thank you. Anything related to healing is welcome anytime.:)