The use of herbs and spices has been immensely popular throughout history. The medicinal benefits were recognised much before the culinary usage. Ancient Indian medicine was all about the correct and timely usage of herbs and spices in different combinations and permutations. Modern medicine has also begun to realise their importance.
In today’s times when everyone is health conscious people try all kinds of diets, use of organic foods etc. to keep themselves on top of their health. In this article we will explore the benefits of herbs and spices in particular. Giving loads of benefits to those who consume them herbs and spices not only enhance the flavour of food but are immensely beneficial for health. Let’s discuss some of them here.
Turmeric is the queen of spices. It is used throughout Asia as it packs a punch in whatever it is added to. The west has also recognised its benefits. It is full of antioxidants and is a natural inflammatory. Research shows that it can reduce the spread of cancer as it has the ability to kill cancer cells. It has a vibrant yellow colour that is distinct from any other spice. It gives a beautiful colour to curries. Turmeric is known to strengthen bones and is now considered beneficial even in keeping Alzheimer at bay. In India people drink turmeric flavoured milk in the event of an accident to heal the bones and other wounds faster.
Cardamom is a spice that has an intense fragrance with a slightly sweet taste which is also used as a freshener. It is mainly used to prepare exotic dishes. It has its origins in India but is now available the world over. It is beneficial in regulating blood pressure as it’s a potent diuretic. It has anti - inflammatory effect which can protect chronic diseases. Cardamom is widely used to flavour rice, milk based drinks as well as tea. It leaves a fresh taste in the mouth as keeps it smelling good.
Cinnamon originated in ancient Egypt. It is an exotic spice which is very high in antioxidants. It is loaded with medicinal properties. It has a strong taste and aroma. It is highly beneficial for people with diabetes and heart disease. It is known to lower blood sugar levels significantly. It enhances the flavour of a dish many times over due to its strong aroma. It is used extensively in rice, cakes, deserts and health drinks.
Fenugreek is one of the oldest plants that boast of medicinal qualities. It is known to have its roots in ancient Indian medicine. Fenugreek is vastly used as leaves as well as seeds. It could help to improve milk production, weight loss, raise testosterone and sperm count. It is also a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It has been used for the longest time as a pain reliever in the traditional system of medicines. It is used in a vegetable form combined with potatoes and the seeds are also used as seasoning.
Mustard seeds are tiny seeds loaded with health benefits. They are rich in the nutrient selenium and magnesium. They are used to flavour foods as they have a strong taste. The magnesium present in mustard seeds is known to reduce the severity of asthma attacks in patients. As they are packed with fibres they make your bowel movements easy. Mustard paste is widely used to enhance flavours of pizzas, wraps and sandwiches. Diabetes can be under control if you soak a teaspoon of these golden seeds in water overnight and drink this water first thing in the morning. The same concoction helps to shed extra pounds too.
Curry leaves are a miracle spice as they are packed with goodness. They originated in India. They are used for medicinal as well as culinary properties. They have a distinct aroma with underlined citrus notes which add flavour to food. Consumption of curry leaves can lower high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They are also great in maintain sugar levels. You can use it in curry or use it as a seasoning by mixing it with red chillies, turmeric and cumin seeds.
Cumin is a spice that is native to Asia, Africa and Europe. However people all over the world use it. It is a staple spice in cuisines such as Indian, Mexican and African. It is highly beneficial in weight loss, diabetes and high cholesterol. A study showed that it can aid in memory loss too. Cumin may also help fight stress due to its high antioxidant properties. One can simply season a dish by adding roasted cumin seed powder and salt to a dish.
Pepper is known as the king of spices that has immense health benefits. A sprinkle of black pepper can boost your immune system like nothing else. It helps to lose weight quickly. If you suffer of indigestion then pepper is your go-to spice. It can aid in detoxification as you will sweat and urinate more than normal. Pepper is known to reduce joint pain as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming pepper mixed with honey helps to ward of common cold and cough. When mixed with turmeric and consumed it is known to prevent cancer. It is not for nothing that it is called the king of spices.
As you have seen the benefits of herbs and spices are immense. It would be beneficial if you start using them in your day to day meals and enjoy the taste as well as the benefits in keeping yourself healthy.