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Health benefits of Indian herbs and spices (1)

As I promised you earlier that I will share the helth benefits of herbs and spices which we use in Indian food ...they all are good for health and that is the reason behind using them in a daily food dite.
Apart from just adding flavour to our food, the seeds and herbs  have always been known for their medicinal properties. Here are some of the better known ones

1.Aniseeds, Fennel Seeds – Saunf
Fennel seeds are known to provide certain health benefits, some of which include the following:

 Anti-oxidant activity: Fennel seeds are a good source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of these antioxidants can be guard internal organs from the damage caused by free radicals and toxins released during the process of metabolism.


 Control of blood pressure: Fennel seeds help in lowering blood pressure in case of hypertension. Tests have shown that fennel seeds can bring down blood pressure.

 Protects liver: The volatile oils present in fennel seeds can protect the liver. Studies have shown that fennel seeds can protect liver from various chemicals that can attack liver. 

 Good for gastric troubles: Fennel seeds are also good for gastrointestinal issues. 

 Anti-bacterial properties: The volatile extracts from fennel seeds have anti-bacterial properties. 

2.Asafoetida – Hing
Asafoetida has been found through research to be beneficial in the treatment of the following ailments:

 Respiratory Disorders2:  Whooping cough, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders such as asthma can be cured by taking a mixture of asafetida, honey, the juice of white onion and betel leaf juice every day.

 Impotency and other sexual problems: Asafetida cures impotency in men.

 Menstruation disorder : The herb is useful in the treatment of a number of women’s ailments such as painful (or excessive) bleeding during menstruation, and in the case of leucorrhoea as well. The condiment is also used to treat women who suffer from sterility, unintended abortion, and premature labor, while women who have given birth can make use of this herb because it packs in its anti-flatulent properties with its aid in progesterone secretion, to produce more breast milk.

 Stomach problems: Asafetida helps in the treatment of stomach problems, including colic, indigestion, flatulence, and even intestinal worms. For the flatulence and distension of the stomach, asafetida should be dissolved in hot water, and cloth steeped in the solution should be used for fomentation.

 Diabetes: The intake of asafetida helps pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin, thus enabling in the treatment of diabetes since blood sugar levels are brought down to normal.

 Toothache: Tooth ache is alleviated quickly by asafetida. The remedy requires the asafetida to be pounded and mixed with lemon juice and heated to form a lotion like consistency, which should then be soaked up by a piece of cotton, and placed on the tooth or cavity causing pain.

3.Aniseeds, Fennel Seeds – Saunf
Fennel seeds are known to provide certain health benefits, some of which include the following:

Anti-oxidant activity: Fennel seeds are a good source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of these antioxidants can be guard internal organs from the damage caused by free radicals and toxins released during the process of metabolism.

Control of blood pressure: Fennel seeds help in lowering blood pressure in case of hypertension. Tests have shown that fennel seeds can bring down blood pressure. Fennel seeds controlled blood pressure by excreting excess amounts of sodium and potassium in the body.

Protects liver: The volatile oils present in fennel seeds can protect the liver. Studies have shown that fennel seeds can protect liver from various chemicals that can attack liver. The study concluded that fennel essential oil has potent hepatoprotective properties.
 Good for gastric troubles: Fennel seeds are also good for gastrointestinal issues. Studies on fennel seeds suggest that they possess anti-ulcerogenic properties and healing of gastric lesions.

2.Asafoetida – Hing
Health benefits

Asafetida has been found through research to be beneficial in the treatment of the following ailments:

Respiratory Disorders2:  Whooping cough, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders such as asthma can be cured by taking a mixture of asafetida, honey, the juice of white onion and betel leaf juice every day.
 sexual problems: Asafetida cures impotency in men.

Menstrual disorders: The herb is useful in the treatment of a number of women’s ailments such as painful (or excessive) bleeding during menstruation, and in the case of leucorrhoea as well. The condiment is also used to treat women who suffer from sterility, unintended abortion, and premature labor, while women who have given birth can make use of this herb because it packs in its anti-flatulent properties with its aid in progesterone secretion, to produce more breast milk.

Stomach problems: Asafetida helps in the treatment stomach problems, including colic, indigestion, flatulence, and even intestinal worms. For the flatulence and distension of the stomach, asafetida should be dissolved in hot water, and cloth steeped in the solution should be used for fomentation.

Diabetes: The intake of asafetida helps pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin, thus enabling in the treatment of diabetes since blood sugar levels are brought down to normal.

 Toothache: Tooth ache is alleviated quickly by asafetida. The remedy requires the gum resin to be pounded and mixed with lemon juice and heated to form a lotion like consistency, which should then be soaked up by a piece of cotton, and placed on the tooth or cavity causing pain.

Cancer: The condiment has anti-carcinogenic properties according to studies, and doesn’t allow malignant cells to grow.

3.Holy Basil – Tulsi

Treatments Using Basil

Healing: Sharpen memory, use as a nerve tonic, and remove phlegm from your bronchial tubes. Repeat up to once an hour. Leaves can strengthen the stomach and induce perfuse sweating. The seeds can be used to rid the body of excess mucus.

Fevers: Basil leaves are used for quenching fevers, especially those related to malaria and other infectious, eruptive fevers common to tropical areas. Boiling leaves with some cardamom in about two quarts of water, then mixed with sugar and milk, brings down temperature. An extract of basil leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours; between doses you can give sips of cold water. This method is especially effective for reducing fevers in children.

Coughs: Basil is an important ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. It can also relieve mucus in asthma and bronchitis. Chewing on basil leaves can relieve colds and flu symptoms.

Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle when you have a sore throat.

Respiratory Disorders: Boiling basil leaves with honey and ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza. Boiling the leaves, cloves, and sea salt in some water will give rapid relief of influenza. These combinations should be boiled in about two quarts of water until only half the water remains before they are taken.

Kidney Stones: Basil can be used to strengthen your kidneys. In cases of stones in your kidney, the juice of basil leaves mixed with honey and taken daily for 6 months will expel them through the urinary tract.

Heart Problems: Basil can be used to strengthen those weakened by heart disease. It can also reduce your cholesterol.

Children’s Illnesses: Pediatric complaints like colds, coughs, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting have been know to respond to treatment with the juice of basil leaves. Also if the rash associated with chicken pox is delayed, basil leaves with saffron will bring them to the surface more quickly.

Stress: Basil leaves can be used as an anti-stress agent. Chewing 12 basil leaves twice a day can prevent stress. It will purify the blood and help prevent many other common ailments.

Mouth Infections: Chewing a few leaves twice daily can cure infections and ulcerations of the mouth.
Headaches: Basil is a good headache remedy. Boil leaves in half a quart of water, cooking until half the liquid remains. Take a couple of teaspoons an hour with water to relieve your pain and swelling. You can also make a paste of basil leaves pounded with sandalwood to apply to your forehead to relieve headache and provide coolness in general.

4. Basil Seeds – Sabja, Subja

 Aids in digestion :
Basil seeds are commonly used to provide relief from stomach upset.  It is effective for treating digestive disorders such as stomach cramps, flatulence, constipation, irregular bowel movements and indigestion.

 Treats colds :
Another benefit of basil seeds is that they also provide relief from influenza, fever and cold. Since it has antispasmodic effects, it can help treat whooping cough. 

 Cures respiratory disorders
Basil cures respiratory problems  A mixture of the herb, with ginger and honey is a remedy for asthma, cough, cold, influenza and bronchitis. Simply boil it in a glass of water and consume it.

 Stress reliever: 
Consumption of basil seeds has an uplifting effect on your mood.

 Good for skin infections:
Basil seeds are crushed into oil to help in treating infections such as wounds, cuts, bladder infections, skin infections and so on.

How to prepare basil seeds / sabja :

Put 2 tsp. of basil seeds to 1/2 cup - 1 cup of warm water or liquid of your choice. If you want more concentrated of a flavor, drain excess water out after swelling the basil seeds with plain water. The warm water (not boiling) helps to fully swell the basil seeds, releasing antioxidants and digestive enzymes. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 2 minutes with the warm water/liquid to give the seeds time to absorb water and take on a gelatinous-tapioca like texture.

5. Bay Leaf – Tej Patta
The leaf itself contains vitamins A and C, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium. As a result it is included in supplements and vitamins. Some bay leaves also contain eugenol , which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps the body’s immune system to fight off infections and diseases and is thought to be a stress and anxiety reliever.

6. Big Mustard Seeds – Sarson:

symptoms of asthma: Mustard seeds are high in selenium and magnesium. Both the components give it a unique anti inflammatory property. Consumed regularly, it is known to control and keep the symptoms of asthma, cold and chest congestion at bay.

lose weight:  The wonder seeds are packed with B-complex vitamins like folates, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin etc. Apart from all the individual merits of these components, they are great in speeding up one’s metabolism leading to weight loss.

slow ageing: Mustard is a great source of carotenes, zeaxanthins and lutein (also called flavonoid and caretonoid antioxidants) vitamin A,C and K. All these components put together make it rich in antioxidants which in turn slows the ageing process

Protects you from gastrointestinal cancer: Packed with phytonutrients, mustard seeds are a great way to prevent and slow the progress of  cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that mustard seeds have properties that can restrict the growth of already present cancer cells and prevent the formation of new cancers.

Relieves rheumatoid, arthritic and muscle pain: The selenium and magnesium content of mustard lend it anti inflammatory and heat producing properties. That help to relive from pain.

Pain reliever : To ease pain make a small bundle of the seeds in a muslin cloth, and add it to warm bath water. Either have a long relaxing bath, or soak your tired and aching feet for instant relief. 

Lowers cholesterol: Mustard contains high levels of niacin or vitamin B3. Niacin has properties that help lower one’s cholesterol levels and protects the arteries from atherosclerosis (plaque build-up). It also helps to regulate blood flow and protects the body from hypertension.

Stimulates hair growth: For centuries mustard oil has been known to stimulate hair growth. It  is known to be packed with vitamins and minerals, but what makes the difference is the high amount of beta carotene it contains.


7.Black Cardamom – Badi Elaichi

The oil extracted from black cardamom seeds is used for many health and beauty benefits. There are numerous health benefits of having black cardamoms in your ingredients list. For example, it is very heart healthy. Black cardamoms control cardiac rhythm which balances the blood pressure, and reduces the chances of blood clot .

8. Black Cumin Seeds – Kala Jeera

Cure cold : The black cumin helps against all types of cold ailments and helps introduce the effective ingredients of cold medications to the areas affected by hot and dry ailments, as it helps the body absorb the medicine quickly when taken in small dosages. 

Stomach problem: Black cumin is hot and dry in the third degree, eliminates, flatulence, extracts the helminthes (worm), relieves leprosy and phlegm fevers, opens clogs, decomposes accumulating gas and excess moisture in the stomach. 

Kidney stone : When it is ground, blended with honey and drunk with some warm water, it will dissolve the stones that appear in the kidney and the prostate and it is also diuretic. 
It increases the flow during menstruation and the production of milk also . 

9. Black Mustard Seeds – Rai
Apart from the taste benefits of mustard seeds and the easy availability that made them popular, one can find a number of mustard seed benefits for our health too. Some of which are mentioned below.

 Cancer treatment:
The presence of compounds like glucosinolates and mirosinase in mustard seeds are known to use phytochemicals to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. This is definitely a major mustard seeds health benefit.

 Rheumatic arthritis:
Mustard seeds are a source of relief for people having rheumatic arthritis. The selenium and magnesium content in it helps in providing relief from this problem.

 Migraine:
Migraine occurrence also reduces owing to the magnesium content present in the mustard seed. A little touch of mustard to your fish can boost the constituting omega-3 content.

  Respiration congestion:
Mustard seeds or mustard in general is known to relieve any congestion problems in respiration.

  Nightshades:
Mustard seeds should find an inclusion in your list of daily spices if you want to avoid nightshades.

  Disease prevention:
There are certain nutrients in mustard seeds that prevent diseases from occurring. They are all a part of the basic structure of the Brassica family to which mustard belongs.

  Dietary fibre:
Mustard seeds are a good source of dietary fibres that improve digestion in the body. They make the bowel movements better, thus improving the overall metabolism of the body. The fibre content here is mostly very readily soluble making it effective for use.

  Blood pressure and Menopausal relief:
A number of nutrients present in mustard seeds like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium also assist in the treatment of blood pressure and menopause relief.

  Asthma:
Mustard seeds are also known to be beneficial for Asthma patients. The presence of minerals like copper, magnesium, iron and selenium in it are responsible for the prevention of Asthma Attacks.

10. Black Pepper – Kali Mirch

Health Benefits of Black Pepper:
  Anti-biotic properties:
Black pepper has natural antibiotic characteristics owing to its Vitamin C content.  They curb harmful free radical reactions. This is one of the prime uses of black pepper

  Gastro diseases:
Black pepper eases the digestion process by secreting hydrochloric acid as an alert before food consumption and hence, helps in prevention of diseases related to the intestine and stomach.

   Stomach problems :
Black pepper helps in treating diseases caused due to bacteria. The influence of black pepper has been observed while treating conditions like constipation, diarrhoea and colic.

  Cough and cold:
Surprisingly, the spice is also acts as a remedy for cough and cold. The antibacterial properties of black pepper are used for treating respiratory disorders.

  Flu and congestion:
Black pepper eases congestion. The free-radical scavenging activity of black pepper helps in treatment of cancer. It slows down the activity of some types of cancer. Black pepper finds its application in skin cancer.

  Free radical suspension:
It generates free radical killing action that curbs the cancerous activities in the body.

  Metabolism:
Black pepper helps in boosting metabolism in the body. It burns unwanted calories and helps in reducing belly fat. Black pepper is very effective against obesity. Daily consumption of black pepper helps in reducing stomach related problems.

 Skin treatment:
The use of black pepper in diet helps to improve skin condition and promotes weight loss. Black pepper finds it application in Ayurveda also. If you have not tried black pepper in the daily diet, go for it.

  Tooth ache:
Black pepper is helpful in improving dental health. It helps fight tooth decay and provides quick relief from tooth ache.

 Anti-depressant:
Black pepper is a natural anti-depressant. Piperine present in black pepper acts as an anti-depressant and stimulates the nervous system. As a result of that, the cognitive capacity is improved : The condiment has anti-carcinogenic properties according to studies, and doesn’t allow malignant cells to grow.


DISCLAIMER: Please remember these treatments options are only meant as guidelines and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only


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