With the current lifestyle, more & more people have started realising the importance of eating right. But did you know that some of the basic ingredients/ condiments that are easily available in almost every house have amazing medicinal properties.
We are unknowingly using them in our food everyday but when you know the healing properties of each of them then it makes you understand your food & body better.
1. Turmeric / Haldi
Also known as Indian Saffron or the Golden Spice because of its bright yellow color. It is used in every Indian house and gives a unique yellow color to the food. Its is also used in many Indian rituals & traditions.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it has powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions.
Turmeric has amazing Anti-inflammatory properties, Lowers the risk of heart disease, Very good for Arthritis patients, Improves the digestion, Boosts your Immunity. Turmeric powder is also made into a paste for skin conditions.
2. Cinnamon / Dalchini
Cinnamon sticks are called Quills. Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree. An aromatic and flavourful condiment, used in many Indian and Western Dishes. It has a very dominant flavour.
It is a delicious spice, linked to many health benefits. The term "cinnamon" also is used to describe its mid-brown colour.
It has large number of antioxidants which protects body from body diseases and have many anti-inflammatory. As it is high in fiber and calcium, it helps improve colon health.It promotes Loss of Appetite, hence resulting in weight loss. It treats indigestion
3. Ginger / Adrak
People have used ginger in cooking and medicine since ancient times. Ginger is used mostly as a spice, it is used most often in its fresh, dried, and powdered or ground forms.
Ginger is a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
This herb is known to reduce nausea& help fight cough, common cold, flu& chest congestion. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral. Ginger eases Migraines & also promotes heart health. It is a super condiment in the kitchen with very low calories and very high nutrient value.
3. Garlic / Lehsun
Ayurveda recognizes onions and garlic as blood purifiers. Moreover, garlic is used to prepare various ayurvedic medicines.
But Ayurveda does not support their excessive usage as it considers onion as Tamasic in nature (makes people irritable) and garlic to be Rajsic (disturbed sleep and drained energy) in nature.
Garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, controls blood pressure, heart attack, hypertension. Just like Ginger, Garlic has low calories but is very nutritious.
People who are intolerant to the smell and taste of Garlic can take Garlic Supplements.
Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.
4. Clarified Butter / Ghee
Ghee is an important part of Ayurvedic Medicine and Indian cooking. Ghee is “clarified butter”. In India, ghee is a sacred symbol of auspiciousness used medicinally as well as in cooking.
In Ayurveda, ghee is also believed to enhance ojas, or "life energy. Ghee has been considered a rasayana, which means a healing food that balances both body and mind.
Ghee is a digestive. It helps to improve absorption and assimilation. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue. Ghee makes the body flexible. It is an amazing natural moisturiserfor Skin & Hair. It is known for its Anti-inflammatory properties. A super brain tonic that improves memory and also promotes sound sleep.
5. Black pepper / Kali Mirch
Black pepper is a warming spice and contributes the pungent taste. It is excellent for pacifying Kapha, helps pacify Vata and increases Pitta. In Ayurveda, Ground, dried and cooked peppercorns have been used since antiquity, both for flavour and as a traditional medicine.
It is high in anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Helps to lower cholesterol level. Black pepper increases the absorption of essential nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Stimulates Appetite and Digestion, hence promotes weight loss. It acts like a natural anti-depressant.
Black peppers are used globally for flavouring and works best when added towards the end of cooking as its oils tend to evaporate during the process of cooking.
6. Carom / Ajwain
According to ayurveda, ajwain is a powerful cleanser. It is helpful for stimulating the appetite and enhancing digestion. Ajwain seeds are rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
It is well known seed for Instant Remedy for Stomachache.
Ajwain works excellent on the overall body and dissolves the unwanted stubborn fat rapidly. It also works wonders for women as it helps control the menstrual cycle and problems. It is suitable for heart health and cures the chest pain.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid ajwain seeds due to potential adverse effects on the fetus, congenital disabilities, or even miscarriage.
7. Asafoetida / Hing
Hing powder has a great medicinal value in ayurveda and traditional herbal medicines. It is acrid & pungent herb with unpleasant odour. In Persia asafoetida was used as a condiment and called the “food of the gods”.
An age-old medicine for stomach problems including gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal worms and flatulence. It is used to pacify Vata&KaphaDosha.
Hing is mentioned in several scientific journals for its medicinal properties. The root extract has potent antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds.
It is available both in the form of powder and whole spice in all Indian kitchens. It aids in digestion, helps in weight loss, controls diabetes and keeps respiratory problems and infections at bay.
There are plenty other spices and herbs that have numerous health benefits. If you know the properties and values of your ingredients then you can heal yourself. These natural ingredients are also used in many Ayurveda medicine formulations. They work wonders on our body!