Everyone knows that our kitchen acts as a storehouse for numerous spices that are mainly prepared from different herbs in nature. Without spices, we can’t add flavor to our dishes. Food is the basic necessity of our body for proper growth. The spices put a flavor to our food, not only this but they also provide health benefits that kick various ailments.
Since ancient times for treating illness and minor injuries, we are using these spices and herbs at home. These all act as preventive and complementary medicines.
What are Spices?
Spices are prepared from the herbs (leaves, stems, root, bark, seed, fruit, or flowers) that are used for coloring, flavoring or preserving food items. A spice is basically used in powder form. Most of the spices have an antimicrobial property that kills the microbes and these are used in preparing non-vegetarian dishes.
So now let’s discuss in detail a few of the spices with their usage & health benefits
1. How to Use Black Pepper: The King of Spices For weight loss and hair fall:
Obesity is becoming a very common problem due to wrong eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. So, don’t take tension we have one wonderful herb known as Black pepper (Piper nigrum) that cuts down your extra fats and maintains a healthy metabolism in the body.
“कृष्ण वर्णं अथवा कर्शति कफं, शरीरं च कृशयति, कृश विलेखने। “
Reference: – (राज निघण्टु पिपल्यादिवर्ग श्लोक ३४)
This shloka means Black pepper fruit is black colored that decreases the body weight because of the scraping effect. For weight loss take one teaspoon of black pepper daily. Add it to your dishes, you can also squeeze one lemon.
In Hair Fall
The antioxidant property of this herb resolves your hair fall issues. You can use in two ways:
- Take one to two teaspoon of black pepper powder add an equal amount of honey in it. Apply this paste to your hair for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off with water. This will reduce your hair fall problem & strengthens the roots of the scalp.
- Take 2 teaspoons of grounded black pepper seeds, add an equal amount of lemon juice to it. Apply this mixture on your scalp and hair. Leave the paste for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off with water. This remedy will help in hair fall problem, keeps your hair shiny, soft, and lustrous.
2. How to use Cardamom: The Energizing Spice
Cardamom is commonly known as “Elaichi” in India. We are using it as a spice since ancient times as it helps in energizing our body. The aromatic, refreshing, and light qualities of this herb provide many health benefits. You can use seeds and fruits of this herb for flavoring purpose.
- Take half to one teaspoon of cardamom powder and use it in your dishes for garnishing.
- Add one teaspoon of powdered cardamom in a glass of milk. Boil this milk and have it for energizing your body.
- You can eat cardamom fruit for removing your bad breath problem.
- Take a pinch of cardamom with lemon juice and use this for dressing salads.
- Pods of the cardamom can be used as a flavor for cooking rice.
- Drink an herbal tea prepared from cardamom.
3. How to Use Cinnamon: More than Great Flavor:
Cinnamon is a great spice that not only have great flavor but also shows analgesic, anti-colic, anti-cancerous, anti-microbial, blood-purifier, immune-modulator etc properties. You can use this spice in different ways
- Take one gram of cinnamon powder and add a teaspoon of honey. Take this mixture once daily. It will resolve your indigestion, itching, and weight gain problem.
- Take half teaspoon of cinnamon bark & leaf powder. Add it to your fruit juices. Use this daily for boosting your general health.
- Use a powdered form of cinnamon for flavoring your dishes as per the requirement.
4. How to Use Cloves: Ultimate for Toothache:
This is an important spice that is not only used for culinary but also therapeutic purposes.
देवपुष्पोद्भवम तैलं अग्निकृत वातनाशनम।
दंतवेष्ट काफातिरघनं गर्भिण्या वमनापहम। (आयुर्वेद विज्ञान)
This shloka said that clove flower bud oil balances Vata and excessive Kapha Dosha. It relieves toothache and morning sickness in pregnant ladies.
For Toothache Problem
- Take clove oil and dip it in a cotton swab. Place this swab over the painful part of your tooth.
- Heat some cloves and put it near the affected tooth.
- Take few drops of clove oil in a glass of lukewarm water. Do gargles with this water for 10 min. You will get some relief from your toothache problem.
5. How to Use Fennel: For Digestion and Estrogen:
Fennel is commonly known as “Saunf” in India. This is a highly aromatic and flavorful spice with some medicinal uses.
- Chew one teaspoon of fennel seeds daily. It will improve your digestion and appetite. The spice is also beneficial in bloating and flatulence problem.
- Take one teaspoon of fennel seeds and two cups of water. Boil this until the quantity of water remains half. Strain the mixture and drink this herbal tea daily.
Fennel contains a plant-based chemical known as phytoestrogen hence balances the estrogen levels in the body.
- Chew fennel seeds daily.
- Drink an herbal tea prepared from fennel.
- Use the powder of fennel in your salads and dishes.
- You can use one teaspoon of seeds powder in lukewarm milk.
6. How to Use Basil: The “Feel Good” Herb:
Basil is the oldest herb that can be used as a spice in a variety of culinary preparations. This is a very common spice found in many Indian households. Basil leaves keep your gut healthy and develop good immunity. It possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and immune-modulator properties. Various ways to use this herb:
- Make a paste of basil leaves add some spices like salt, coriander powder, chilies etc. Have this chutney with meals.
- Add leaves of basil in orange juice that will beat the heat in summers.
- For garnishing your dishes use fresh leaves of basil.
7. How to Use Oregano: The Surprising Medicinal Effects:
Oregano is a strong spice that not only flavor but also brings warmth in your dishes. It shows antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help to fight against various diseases. You can use this spice in different ways:
- Take the dried form of this and sprinkle it on your salads.
- Add oregano to your soups and dishes.
- You can also use oregano oil in your cuisines.
8. How to Use Rosemary: Stimulates Brain Function:
Rosemary is the best culinary herb that has been used in the kitchen for medicinal purposes also. The leaves of this spice fight against free radical damage in the brain. It acts as a stimulant to the nervous and circulatory system of the body. Rosemary protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. One of the best tonics that restores the health, overcomes debility and lethargy. You can use this as:
- Take 1-2 teaspoon of dried rosemary in two glasses of water. Boil this water and cover the lid of the pan. When the water remains half, strain the mixture and drink this herbal tea.
- Garnish your salads, dishes, juices with dried rosemary.
9. How to Use Sage: Essential for Sore Throat:
Sage is a spice that contains different compounds showing antibacterial and antiviral activities. It helps to prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria in the throat. Fresh and dried sage resolves your sore throat problem. For a sore throat you can use sage in different ways:
- Sage herbal tea: Take two cups of water, add two teaspoons of fresh sage or one tablespoon of dried sage. Boil this water until it remains one cup. Strain the mixture; add honey or lemon in it. Drink this tea daily.
- Gargle your throat with this amazing herbal tea.
10. How to Use Thyme: Powerful Antiseptic:
Thyme spice is an aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family. It shows aroma and seasoning flavor. The spice thyme and thyme oil act as an antiseptic that kills the infections.
- You can gargle with thyme tea to treat your mouth and throat infections.
- If you are having wounds, cuts, and bruises on your skin than clean your affected area with thyme tea.
- You can also apply thyme oil if you are facing itching or irritation problem in your bruises area.
11. How to use Cayenne: The Fiery Remedy:
The red color of this spice makes it a fiery remedy. It is a powerful and result giving herb. The substance that makes cayenne fiery is capsaicin. This spice gives good results in headache, heartburn, cold, allergies, fever etc. Cayenne can be used in different ways:
- Take cayenne with honey and lemon juice for your sore throat problem.
- You can add fresh green or red cayenne for garnishing your soups and main courses.
12. How to use Garlic: The Best Remedy to have on Hand:
Garlic is one of the common spices used in many households as a flavoring agent. It is one of the rare spices that contains five tastes except sour. This spice is the best remedy for skin diseases, abdominal tumors, indigestion, bloating, constipation, worm infestations, eye disorders, diabetes, cough, cold, arthritis etc. You can use it in different forms:
- Chew raw fresh garlic cloves daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Make a paste of garlic add some other spices and use as a chutney.
- Juice extract of garlic can also be used in dishes.
- A Dry powder of garlic can be used for garnishing soups and salads.
- You can use garlic oil or garlic pickle.
- For pitta type body take one garlic clove and boil it in a glass of milk. Drink this milk daily.
13. How to use Ginger: Nausea, Cold and PMS:
Ginger is a very common spice used from traditional time. It is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Let’s discuss its usage in:
- Nausea: During nausea suck ginger candies or lozenges.
- Cold: In cold, prepare a ginger tea at home. For tea preparation slice 20 to 40 gm of fresh ginger. Boil it in two cups of water until it remains to one cup. Add honey and lemon for flavoring your tea. Drink this tea daily until your cold gets cured.
- PMS: Ginger is a very good spice in PMS as it balances the mood, behavioral, and physical symptoms associated with menstruation. You can take one teaspoon of ginger root powder with lukewarm water.
Which Essential Oils are worth putting into the First-aid Kit?
Essential oils are highly beneficial if used carefully and with realistic exceptions. It is named so because it has the essence of the plant fragrance. These oils are extracted from herbal plants. These are natural oils that are obtained by the distillation process.
Essential oils have versatile health benefits that you can make a first-aid kit with it rather than keeping a lot of medicines and creams for various health issues. So if you are using essential oils as your first-aid kit it’s necessary to pick the right oil that will manage the majority of ailments. So let’s discuss a few of the essential oils that are helpful in different problems:
- Peppermint essential oil: If you are having digestive issues, stomachache, indigestion etc than have this oil. Put one drop of this oil in a glass of hot water. Drink this mixture.
- Tea tree essential oil: This oil gives good results in bacterial infections, earaches, fungal infections, and insect bites. You can directly apply this oil over the affected area of your skin.
- Lemon essential oil: The oil acts as a natural disinfectant. It keeps your digestive system healthy, decreases nausea and vomiting problem. Put one drop of this oil in a glass of water, drink this mixture.
- Lavender essential oil: It is one of the best oil in headaches, cuts, and burns conditions. You can directly apply it over the affected area for quick relief.
- Rosemary essential oil: This oil calms down digestive issues, pain, and muscle aches. Apply this oil over the affected part of the pain and muscle ache. For digestive issues put one drop in a glass of water and drink the mixture.
- Oregano essential oil: It helps to clear infections; treats foot fungus, and eases sinus infections. Apply over the affected part.
- Eucalyptus essential oil: This oil has pain relieving qualities, stops bacterial growth, and stimulates the immune system. Take one drop of this oil and put in a glass of hot water. Drink this as a tea.