Spices form the base of any Indian dish. We are not satisfied with a dash of salt and a squeeze of lemon, we need spices .
According to the Ayurveda spices if consumed in moderation can derive health benefits, but an overdose of any spice can lead to indigestion or even ulcers. Media portals are flooded with the health benefits of Turmeric or Haldi, but today we list out other Indian spices that are healthy and are kept under wraps.
Allspice (Kabab Chini): Allspice is a soothing, anti-inflammatory, and carminative spice. It has been positively linked to reducing cancer, improving oral health, stimulating digestion, facilitating bone growth, boosting the immune system, reducing blood pressure, and acting as an analgesic or anesthetic substance.
Anise Seed (Choti Saunf): This powerful spice has antioxidant capabilities, as well as stomachic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, antiseptic, digestive, expectorant, and stimulant properties. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, copper, and manganese, and helps to increase the circulation and oxygenation of body parts, while boosting the immune system and improving the quality of the skin.
Bay Leaf (Tej Patta): Bay leaf is a very popular spice throughout the world, and is praised for its ability to prevent cancer, boost immunity, reduce neural tube defects, protect oral health, increase health and beauty of your hair and skin, improve nervous system function, regulate body metabolism, and prevent blood-related conditions like anemia.
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch): Perhaps one of the most common spices in the world, black pepper is important due to its ability to reduce inflammation and excess gas, optimize gastrointestinal action, regulate enzymatic reactions, control heart rate and blood pressure, and prevent cancer due to its antioxidant capabilities.
Caraway (Shahi Jeera): Caraway seeds can improve digestion, reduce constipation, lower blood cholesterol, reduce excess gas, neutralize free radicals and prevent various diseases like cancer, improve blood pressure, eliminate atherosclerosis, and provide a healthy source for thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
Cardamom (Elaichi): The health benefits of cardamom include the ability to aid digestion, reduce spasms, lower blood pressure, increase the metabolism, increase circulation, increase frequency and volume of urination, and also gives the body many of its necessary vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, iron, manganese, and potassium. Its essential volatile oils are also very effective in healing various conditions.
Chili Pepper (Lal Mirchi): Hot pepper might be too much for some people to handle, but it is a very healthy thing to eat! It has the ability to clear the sinuses, increase urination, eliminate toxins from the body, help manage diabetes, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, optimize the metabolism, regulate hormonal activity, and perhaps most importantly, fights against all foreign invaders, toxins, and potential infections, due to its powerful antioxidant properties!
Cinnamon (Dal Chini): Cinnamon is a beloved spice around the world that is praised for its ability to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain, manage diabetes, eliminate infections, reduce excess gas, improve heart health, increase cognitive function, build strong bones, prevent cancer, and increase the health of the eyes and skin!
Cloves (Lavang): Cloves have a very strong taste, and are antioxidant, antiseptic, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and rubefacient in nature. They also contain a number of valuable organic compounds and volatile oils that are good at protecting against cancer, managing heart rate, balancing bodily fluids, improving digestion, increasing oral health, eliminate premature aging, and strengthen the membranes throughout the body.
Cumin (Jeera): Cumin seeds are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and carminative by nature. They improve digestion, increase sperm count, build strong bones, improve eye sight and eliminate macular degeneration, manage heart rate, lower blood pressure, act as a co-factor in many enzymatic reactions, increases bred blood cell count and prevents various types of cancer.
Curry leaves: A very important spice used down south specially for tempering. Curry leaves give a very nice aroma to your dish. With regards health benefits, curry leaves reduces weight. They wash out all toxins and fats from your body. The fat deposits in your body starts cutting down gradually with the daily intake of curry leaves. Curry leaves are also good for your hair, it helps hair growth and also prevents premature graying of hair. No wonder why ladies down south take pride in their long, thick and dark hair.
Fennel Seeds (Saunf): Fennel has long been known for its ability to regulate bowel movements, prevent cancer, reduce premature aging through antioxidant activity, increase enzymatic activity, and act as a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium as well as organic compounds and acids like pinene, myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, cineole, anethole, limonene, and anisic aldehyde.
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): Although not popular globally, fenugreek seeds are a very popular and effective spice in certain Asian cultures, and they have the ability to improve digestion and reduce constipation, lower blood cholesterol levels, regulate insulin levels, manage fluid levels in the body, and adds a powerful vitamin and mineral boost which includes copper, iron, potassium, and calcium, as well as vitamins like vitamin B6, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Garlic: Garlic possesses some anti-bacterial properties that reduce cholesterol and fat.
Mace (Javitri): This is a slightly lesser known spice, but a good one to keep on your spice rack if you can! It has the ability to boost the immune system, build strong bones, reduce depression, increase sexual libido, stimulate digestion, reduce excess gas, reduce insomnia, keep the skin healthy, boost hair health, and increases circulation to all parts of the body.
Mustard Seeds (Rai): Mustard seeds are packed with organic compounds and volatile oils that can boost your overall health. They are also a wonderful source of B-complex vitamins, which are essential for normal functioning of your organ systems. It can also reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improve the strength and health of your teeth, boost circulation, build strong bones, prevent cancer, and reduce signs of premature aging.
Nutmeg (Jaifal): Nutmeg is a great source for antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals necessary for human health. It can fight fungal infections, work as an aphrodisiac, improve digestion, reduce excess gas, improve hair and skin health, prevent macular degeneration, and reduce the chances of developing various forms of cancer.
Saffron (Kesar): This powerful spice includes many carotenoids and boost immune system health in a big way. Saffron also fights infections in wounds, elevates mood, induces sleep, stimulates red blood cell formation, eliminates spasms, modulates hormonal activity, and can reduce blood pressure through the vasodilating properties of potassium.
Tamarind (Imli): This South Asian spice is very popular because it has the ability to improve blood vessel and artery strength, regulate digestion and excretion in a healthy way, prevent cancer, lower blood cholesterol, build strong bones, increase blood circulation and oxygenation, regulate enzymatic activity in the body, and improve the mucus membranes throughout the body as well.
Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric which is not only an important spice to be used in all Indian dishes but also adds color and flavor to your special dish. Turmeric has many healing properties. Researches have shown that Turmeric or haldi as known in India, contains a component curcumin which switches off those genes that enlarge heart. Other than that, turmeric is also known to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, it also increases proper blood circulation throughout the body and prevents blood clotting. Unbelievable but true, daily consumption of turmeric does reduce the risk of heart attack.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or spices when pregnant or nursing.