India is the birthplace for Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a holistic medicinal approach for healing many ailments of human body and at the same time teaches countless ways to lead a healthy soulful life. Because of its simplicity, Ayurveda has spread its wings across the world.
According to Ayurveda, poor digestion leads to a lot of disorders. It is very important that the food we eat is well digested otherwise ‘Ama’ gets accumulated and paves way to many other diseases. Ama is Sanskrit means Undigested. Controlling the production of Ama leads to a healthy and ? body.
Adding a small amount of spice not only not only takes the flavour to next level, but also helps the body to digest food better which in turn results in better absorption of food nutrients.
This is a list of highly recommended Spices by Ayurveda. In India, it’s a common practice to use these spices in day to day cooking. Be it a Briyani or a traditional veg gravy these spices always find a place in any cuisine across regions.
- Dry Ginger
Dry ginger is very effective in promoting digestion and flushes out toxin out of body. Dry ginger powder mixed in a glass of warm water along with lemon juice and raw honey acts as an immune booster and clears lung passage from congestion. Externally also dry ginger paste is used to treat headache, muscle strain. So let’s welcome more ginger in our daily routine to attain a super-charged immune system!
- Black Pepper
Black pepper also called as “King of Spices”, is a widely used healing spice that treats asthma, sinus, cold, flu and fever effectively. Black pepper powder mixed with honey heals stubborn coughs and respiratory congestion. Research also shows its anti-carcinogenic in nature and acts as a diuretic (promotes urination) thus eliminates toxins through urination.
There are numerous benefits of Cumin(Jeera) like – reduces cholesterol, detoxifies lives, improves memory power, rich source of iron, eliminates constipation etc. This power packed spice enhances flavour when added in cooking. To strengthen immunity cumin tea(1 spoon roasted jeera in 3 litres water) can be regularly consumed. Cumin aids digestion as it contains thymol that promotes saliva and other digestive enzymes.
Basil is an aromatic, warming herb that is considered sacred in India. Basil leaves are used to treat respiratory disorders(in the form of Kashayam), stabilizes blood sugar and enhances digestion. Basil is said to work holistically to improve mind and body’s overall health. Regular intake of Basil tea ensures healthy heart with improved mental clarity. In India, Basil is added to bath powder, bathing water, face pack and even for steaming purpose.
Turmeric is the golden spice that promotes overall well-being. Turmeric is one spice that is extensively used in Indian cooking. This highly antioxidant rich spice improves nervous system and an excellent blood cleanser. External application of turmeric is an age old beauty treatment followed in India through generations. Turmeric is now getting popularised in Western countries by the trending ‘Turmeric latte’ or the ‘Golden milk’. Just add it to curry, gravy, dal to pep up the goodness and make the cuisine more inviting to the eyes.
Cardamom is a highly flavourful spice that is added extensively in Indian deserts. Chewing cardamom helps food to digest better and reduces bloating. Cardamom are chewed to fight bad breath and often added in a variety of natural mouth fresheners served in restaurant/wedding.
These brown coloured seeds are called as Dhania in India. Ayurveda recommends dhania as a cure for many stomach related ailments. Many researches also prove Coriander seeds consumption has shown benefits in controlling cholesterol levels and blood sugar. It can be used along with blend of spices like fennel, cumin, pepper too to prepare various Kashayams. Coriander is the most popular spice to flavour cuisines across regions.
Fenugreek is a bitter and warming spice excellent for healthy skin and hair. Regular intake of methi water purifies blood and builds better immunity. This fibre rich spice regulates bowel movements and relieves constipation on regular usage. Externally when applied to scalp as a mask helps to alleviate dandruff and arrests hair fall.
Cloves are beautiful unopened flower bud that is extensively used in therapeutic and culinary purposes. Clove essential oil is used to treat oral infection, tooth ache, bad breadth and external cut and wounds. Studies show clove extract has anti-bacterial properties and relieves joint pain. Clove is found to be beneficial to treat morning sickness of pregnant women.
- Mustard Seeds
Mustard Seeds are those perfect round shaped seeds from mustard plants. Indians use mustards in many of their cuisines from chutneys, dhal, mixed rice, curry and salads. Mustard oil is also used by a lot of people in the northern and eastern India. Mustard seeds have many health benefits including treatment of Asthma, arthritis, cancer, hair fall, disease prevention etc.
In India, people treat food as the medicine. That’s why Indian foods have many ayurvedic spices. Share your voice and comments about Indian way of cooking and the science behind it.