A renowned dietitian has said that no meal you take should be naked. It should be cooked with spices and herb and more than one at a time, if possible. Not only adding herbs and spices enhances the flavor of the food but also cut down on the less healthy ingredients like sugar, salt, and fat. These spices fight back the inflammation and help to keep the body healthy.
Nowadays these herbs are sold in the form of supplements also but it is better to use in their original form instead of pills or any other similar forms as they contain many other artificial preservatives and unhealthy additives too. (See also: 11 Important Condiments and Their Health Benefits)
Let’s learn about some of the spices and their wonderful health benefits.
How to use Black pepper:
It is king of Spices for weight loss and hair fall
This humble spice was introduced to the households and kitchens ages ago. Black pepper holds within many health benefits one can imagine about. It consists of a compound called piperine which decreases fat storage and increases the rate of metabolism in the body. This ultimately results in losing weight. Obesity can be managed by adding black pepper in tea and having it daily. Other than this it also boosts immunity by increasing nutrient absorption in the body. There is a photoprotein in the outermost layer of black pepper which increases the breakdown of fat. But an excess of nothing is good so take this spice also in moderate amount, i.e. add just a pinch of spice in tea.
How to use Cardamom: The Energizing Spice
There are enough reasons to embrace cardamom along with providing an aroma it also boosts blood circulation in the body, hence increasing energy level and longevity. This spice is rich in manganese which helps in maintaining sugar level in the blood. Obesity usually brings lethargy and low energy level along with it. Cardamom increases metabolism and helps in losing weight too. This eventually leads to an increased level of energy in the body. Insomnia or lack of sleep decreases the energy level of the body. This spice possesses a soothing aroma which helps in getting a sound sleep and treating sleeping troubles. Hence, sound sleep ultimately leads to higher energy levels in the body.
How to use Cinnamon: More than Great Flavor
Reference – Bhavprakashnighantu, kapooradwivarga, shloka no. 67
Meaning – It is good in taste, having a pungent taste. Reduces Vata and Pitta, aromatic, gives strength, treats oral problems and relieves thirst.
Cinnamomum tree’s inner bark is used to make cinnamon spice. This spice is loaded up with a number of amazing health benefits. Cinnamon is packed up with antioxidants. Cinnamon is powerful enough to be used as a natural preservative. Its anti-inflammatory properties various infections and also repairs damaged tissues. Cinnamon decreases the level of LDL or bad cholesterol and maintains a level of HDL or good cholesterol which helps in lowering the risk for heart disease.
You can make a herbal tea with cinnamon or add a few drops of cinnamon oil in any herbal tea.
How to use Cloves: Ultimate for Toothache
Reference – Bhavprakashnighantu, Kapooradwivarga, shloka no. 57
Meaning – Names and properties of laung- lavang, devkusum, shreesang (laxmivachak), shreeprasunak, these all are the sanskrit name of laung.
- Pungent and bitter taste, light, good for eyes, cold in potency, stimulates digestive fire, digestive and treats anorexia and reduces Kapha, Pitta. Treats blood disorders, vomiting, pain, cough, breathing problems hiccups and tuberculosis.
- Cloves are usually used to add a flavor in various dishes and spices. It is also added in tea in Indian kitchens usually. But not many would be aware of its amazing health properties, i.e. antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Other then these properties it is also an amazing and strong anesthetic.
- Eugenol oil present in clove is responsible for this anesthetic property. This helps in resolving toothache effectively. Its antimicrobial property helps to treat the infection by killing the germs responsible for the infection.
How to use Fennel: for Digestion and Estrogen
- Tea made with fennel seeds helps in relieving the abdominal gas, bloating and cramps by relaxing the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal system. Herbalists say that it is the most potent spice to aid digestion.
- Fennel is the only spice suggested to be used in conjunctivitis to colic. It relieves flatulence, boost up the metabolism and regulate the appetite. Fennel seeds are potent enough to detoxify the body and reduce the stress from the body.
- It is known to consist of an estrogen-like plant compound which helps in treating various ailments like infertility, complications of the pregnancy and lactation problems.
How to use Basil: The “Feel Good” Herb
- Basil or tulsi has very deep roots in the Hinduism and people consider it to be a sacred herb. It is a very potent adaptogen which helps the body to cope up with stress and maintains all the body functions during any stressful condition, either it is physical or mental. Tulsi or basil reduces the corticosterone levels in the body and relieves stress.
How to use Oregano: The Surprising Medicine
- This culinary herb is used for both medicinal and cooking purpose for a long time. Hence along with adding flavors oregano also possesses a number of health benefits.
- It has antibacterial properties which help in preventing and treating infections and owing to oregano’s anti-inflammatory properties this spice helps in relieving inflammation and its associated complaints. Researchers have found oregano to have certain active compounds which help in preventing cancer.
You can use it in topically to apply on the skin infections by diluting it with coconut oil.
How to use Rosemary: Stimulates Brain Function
- Rosemary posses’ needle-like leaves and this spice is usually used to season the food due to its amazing taste and wonderful aroma. Researchers have found the smell of rosemary oil to prevent the breakdown of a chemical present in the brain for concentration, thinking and memory. Hence it increases the cognitive power of the brain. Rosemary oil can be inhaled for this purpose.
How to use Sage: Essential for Sore Throat
- Sage is used for seasoning and cooking food. It possesses astringent, antiseptic and antibacterial properties due to which it is used to treat cough and sore throat. Sage oil can be used as a throat spray, for gargling and can be used for aromatherapy too. But it should be used in small quantity as in large amount it causes increased heart rate and other problems. So while using dilute it in some other carrier oil.
How to use Thyme: Powerful Antiseptic
- Oil of thyme is an effective mode to treat bacterial infections due to its antibacterial properties. Even its potency to treat bacterial infections is compared with antibiotics. Bacterial vaginosis is specially treated by using this oil.
- You can dilute one or two drops of thyme oil with any other carrier oil, apply and slowly rub on the affected area.
How to use Cayenne: The Fiery Remedy
- Cayenne pepper is known to stimulate digestion and maintains the proper smooth muscle movements in intestines. It also helps to increase the absorption of nutrients and digestive secretions. This spice increases blood circulation and also controls blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
How to use Garlic: The BEST Remedy to have on Hand
- Garlic possesses antioxidant properties which remove the toxins from the body preventing many health ailments. It also helps to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Cells are protected against damage and aging is also slowed down.
How to use Ginger: Nausea, Colds, and PMS
- Surprisingly this spice is found to be not less effective than ibuprofen for treating menstrual pain. Owing to its digestive properties it relieves nausea and other digestive issues facilitating smooth digestion.
- Usually, ginger is used in tea also it can be used in cooking. You can also soak some ginger in a hot towel and can keep the towel over the abdominal area for some time in order to relieve pain.
What Essential Oils are Worth Putting into the First-aid Kit
- There are hundreds of essential oils around us but it is important to which are good for first aid and healing. Talking about the minor injuries which can be treated at home if you keep these oils in your first aid kit.
- It has a large number of medicinal properties like anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral which makes it one of the important oil to be kept in your first aid kit. Lavender helps to facilitate healing, prevents scar formation, and reduces inflammation. It also reduces anxiety and stress. Pain relieving property of lavender help to ease the pain.
- It is potent anti-inflammatory oil which treats inflammation and relieves pain, swelling, and redness around the affected area. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of chamomile oil prevent infection.
- Tea tree oil
- This essential oil is known to be the strongest antiseptic oil which is very safe to use. Many people around the world consider it to be a whole first aid in a single bottle. Tea tree oil also possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- It is a strong natural stimulant which enhances alertness and also promotes clear thinking. Nausea and indigestion can be treated by peppermint oil.
- This essential oil can even relieve the pains fibromyalgia which is one of the most difficult conditions to be relieved. Rosemary oil helps to ease spasms and also acts as a mild stimulant.
- Pain and inflammation of many conditions like tendonitis, fibromyalgia, strains, arthritis, and sprains are treated by using this essential oil. It also relieves flu, cold and sinusitis
About The Author:
Vikram Chauhan, MD – AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic, and Krishna Herbal Company.