For centuries, India has been renowned in many parts of the world for spices, herbs and other plants that are known traditionally to have immense nutritional and medicinal benefits. In the present age, scientific research has provided the evidence for their traditional value. Let us now take a look at some of the health benefits of common spices and herbs that are an integral part of south Indian vegetarian cooking.
In Ayurveda, turmeric is described using many different epithets includingjayanti, meaning “one who is victorious over diseases,” and matrimanika, meaning “as beautiful as moonlight.” This spice has powerful antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It provides relief to arthritis and helps to prevent cancer. It is also used in cosmetics to maintain healthy skin and has traditionally been used to heal the scars of diseases like chicken pox and measles.
Ginger helps in digestion and is an important ingredient in home remedies that provide relief to stomach ache, the flu, common cold and nausea. Moreover, this herb also aids in providing relief to conditions such as asthma, arthritis, toothache and gingivitis. In a verse from an Ayurvedic text it is recommended that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.
Believed to have originated in the Western Ghats of Kerala, references to cardamom date back five thousand years to the ancient Vedic texts. Used in both sweet and savory dishes, this spice is rich in vitamins A and C, and also in important minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. This spice though expensive has a wide range of health benefits from promoting heart health, digestion and oral health to fighting diabetes, asthma, depression, skin infections and preventing blood clots.
The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information on the nutritional and medicinal value of Indian spices that is based on tradition and is nowadays increasingly backed by modern scientific research. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. Although these spices are used regularly in Indian cooking their potential medicinal benefits when taken in concentrated forms as capsules and supplements remains the subject of ongoing research.