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Indian spices giving magical healing - asafetida, black pepper, anise seed, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves

Garam masala - a mix of spices

Garam masala - a mix of spices

Garam masala health benefits

I prefer using home-made garam masala for vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Garam masala is a mixture of Indian spices. Those spices are not just taste-enhancers. They are rather catalysts that aid digestion. Spices are having several health benefits also. Many are of the belief that spices do not have health or therapeutic benefits. It is not so. Spices have several medicinal benefits. Spices stimulate digestion by enabling better salivary secretions. Spices also contribute to secretion of gastric juice. Spices further enable the abundant secretion of digestive enzymes. Spices do a big job in improving bile acid secretion so that there happen better fat digestion. Apart from these benefits spices do have several health and therapeutic benefits. Below I explain the medicinal benefits of spices used in Indian dishes.

Medicinal flowers of India – health and therapeutic benefits

Saffron whitens skin; Rose flower petal for rose cheeks and lips; hibiscus for long and healthy hair, hibiscus preventing cancer; lotus and marigold for skin

Asafoetida (Kayam in Malayalam, perumkayam in tamil) health benefits

Asafetida is the Indian spice used in vegetarian dishes like sambar. Asafoetida has several medical benefits. Asafoetida fights off gas problem and stomach ache. If you suffer from stomach pain due to gas and indigestion asafetida is a good home remedy. Asafoetida is perumkayam in tamil (perimkayam in Malayalam, hing in hindi). It is good to add asafetida in your daily diet (in dishes). It would avoid gas formation in stomach. Asafoetida is a great remedy for colic problem. Ayurveda prescribes asafetida for several problems like convulsions and paralysis. Asafoetida is powerful to bring our phlegm. It is therefore given for dry cough. Asafoetida is used in certain types of ayurvedic treatment for infertility. Asafoetida is believed to treat premature labor, infertility, miscarriage, menstruation irregularity and other female problems. Menstrual cramps, stomach pain and nausea is also treated by consuming asafetida. Asafoetida is powerful enough to trigger the release of progesterone hormone.



Asafoetida for new mothers and children

After delivery women are advised to include asafetida in their diet. Asafoetida is given as a home remedy for different problems experienced by women after their delivery. Women experience gas problem after delivery. Gas problem is more complex in the case of Caesarian delivery. As medicines are avoided after delivery (especially in the case of nursing women) asafetida is given for gas problem. The benefit of asafetida would also pass from mother to child. This would save child from colic problem. If mother consumes asafetida child will have less gas problem. In Kerala nursing women are compulsorily given asafetida or hing. It is named as palkayam, karikayam, and perumkayam in Malayalam). Children with colic can also be given small amount of asafetida (a mustard size would be enough). Asafoetida is the best colic remedy for infants. It can also be given for infants under 6 months of age. Applying asafetida paste on navel would also work. For children with nervous disorders asafetida would bring a healing effect.

A cool sherbet recipe for cooling stomach

Indian herbal drink that cools body - A natural drink with medicinal properties. Forget soft drinks and artificial squash drinks. Use sarsaparilla drink

The best home made squash drink to cool body. Herbal root drink with therapeutic values

Asafoetida prevents H1N1 Virus (Swine flu), chronic cough, asthma, breathing problems and bronchitis

Taking asafetida as part of daily diet would help you protect yourself from swine flu. Eating asafetida is also believed to cure chronic cough bronchitis, infant cold, mild fever, breathing problem and asthma.

asafoetida herb

asafoetida herb

Asafoetida in daily diet – for cholesterol and fat accumulation

Using asafetida is found to be reducing the problem of cholesterol and fat. You can put small amounts of asafetida in all vegetarian dishes. It will not give any bad taste. It would only enhance the taste. Include asafetida in large amounts in pickles. Asafoetida would double the taste of pickles.

Use asafetida in Kids diet - Asafoetida for stomach pain in children and adults

When I cook vegetables for my children I use asafetida. Just a pinch would be enough. This avoided gas problem for my child. You can also give asafetida by mixing in warm water. It should only be used in mild amounts. For children just a pinch (size of a mustard) would be enough. Children get stomach pain frequently due to gas and indigestion. Asafoetida is the best remedy for stomach pain in infants and children.

Asafoetida for fainting, tooth pain and urinary problems

Mix little asafetida with lime juice and apply on gum and the spot of tooth pain. Pain will subside. Consuming asafetida would enable better urine flow. Eating asafetida daily would also help avoid fainting and dizziness.



Black pepper (Kurumulaku in Malayalam, melaku in tamil) medicinal benefits

Black pepper is a popular spice found in majority of Indian dishes, vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. Black pepper is traditional believed to be a home remedy for digestion problems, flatulence, cold, cough, throat infection and vomiting. As pepper warms body it is a good remedy for cold, nasal congestion, throat pain and cough. Consuming soup with pepper as an ingredient does help cold. Spicy chicken curry with black pepper liberally added would help get rid of cough and cold. For those who attempt to quit smoking, using black pepper would relieve them from withdrawal symptoms. Those with neurological problems would also be benefitted by consuming black pepper.

Pepper tree in Kerala

Pepper tree in Kerala

Black pepper in body warming soup and tea

In India people drink on spice tea and soup for relief from cold and sough. Along with dry ginger, cumin seeds, and garlic, pepper makes spice soup that would act on cold. For spice tea, black pepper, cloves, ginger and cinnamon are the ingredient. Black pepper is found to have blood purifying properties also. In ancient Indian herbal treatment black pepper is used to cure colic problems, stomach pain, cholera, tooth pain, arthritis, gas and flatulence and headache. Pepper is recommended during cold, fatigue and fever as it would enable better blood circulation and warm the body. Pepper is also found to be a good home remedy for vertigo. Eating pepper is found to prevent cancer. The antioxidants and other components in black pepper eliminate free radicals and prevent cancer.

Anise seed

Anise seed

Anise seed (vomam in tamil; Ayamodakam in malayalam) health benefits

Anise seed is an important ingredient in garam masala. In India we do use it often in vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. However many are not aware of the health benefits of this spice. Anise seed (or aniseed) promotes health and help body fight off diseases. It does warm body and aid digestion. It is also believed to enhance brain health. Anise seed is beneficial for blood pressure patients also. Consuming anise seed is also found to nourish blood. Aniseed is famous for its disease-preventing characteristics. Its warming nature helps body expel phlegm and get relief in asthma, cough, penumonia and bronchitis. This spice can also relieve nausea, vomiting sensation, abdominal pain, gas problem, digestive troubles and lack of appetite. Nursing mothers are also benefitted by anise seed. Boiling aniseed in water and drinking this water would stimulate milk production. It is given to children in mild amount to cure cold.

Anise flower

Anise flower

Aniseed for stomach ache, digestive trouble, diabetes, toothache and bad breath

Digestive troubles and stomach pain would be relieved by drinking aniseed water (decoction). Women with menstrual cramps, stomach pain and irregular periods can try drinking aniseed water. Anise seed has the ability to induce menstruation. Aniseed is traditionally believed to improve fertility power. Aniseed does strengthen the digestive tract also. Aniseed strengthen pancreas and lessen the possibilities of pancreatic abnormalities. Diabetes can also be prevented by using aniseed. Anise seed helps body get good sleep. Aniseed water is a good mouthwash. Washing mouth with aniseed water would prevent gum problems, tooth ache and bad breath. Aniseed is a good home remedy for bad breath.



Cardamom (elakkai in tamil, elakka in Malayalam) health benefits

Have you tasted cardamom tea? Cardamom is the pride of Kerala. This precious spice not only gives taste to dishes but also possesses numerous medicinal and health benefits. Cardamom is a proven effective for gas problem and flatulence. It does aid digestion and stomach pain. Cardamom is a blood purifier also. It helps in the elimination of toxins from body. Like other spices of India cardamom is also a body warmer. Cardamom is therefore recommended for cough, asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, chest congestion and throat infection. Cardamom is found to enhance the blood circulation to lungs. This avoids the possibility of spasms and fainting. It is good to consume cardamom during winter as cardamom warms body and treats asthma and cough. Asthma patients can take cardamom tea during winter. Cardamom is also good for respiratory problems and allergies.

Cardamom improves appetite and cures mouth ulcers

Do you experience acidity in stomach? Cardamom is a good home remedy for you. It can also cure canker sores or mouth ulcers. Cardamom also refreshes body, making fatigue fly off. Cardamom also helps body expel toxins. Cardamom would help improve appetite. Cardamom helps decrease gas problem in stomach. It is also found to be helpful for heartburn, nausea and acidity. Cardamom is a good home remedy for stomach cramps also. In Kerala (also in other North Indian states) people put cardamom in tea and reap the health benefits of cardamom. In ancient Indian herbal treatment cardamom makes a remedy for cystitis, urinary infections and bladder infection. Cardamom is proven to be an effective ayurvedic remedy for infertility and sexual problems. Having cardamom tea (with cardamom used in mild amounts) would give the desired benefits. Cardamom tea refreshes the body. Cardamom is believed to lessen anxiety, depression and fatigue. Cardamom oil is used for joint pain, muscle pain and mouth inflammation.

Cardamom fights viruses, improves bone health and blood circulation

Cardamom is found to be having power to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause diseases. Cardamom would thus help ward off diseases. If you have eaten spicy food and is suffering from indigestion, belching or hiccups, you can have a cup of cardamom tea. Cardamom will help you feel better. Cardamom is an ingredient of ayurvedic mouth fresheners. Chewing a little cardamom for few seconds would take off bad breath. Blood circulation, especially the circulation to the lung area is said to improve by using cardamom. Cold, cough, bronchitis and chest congestion would be relieved as the result of cardamom use.

Cardamom for high blood pressure and blood clot

Cardamom got the power to kill cancer cells. Stopping cell growth is the specific action done by cardamom. Consuming mild amounts of cardamom as cardamom tea would help. Blood pressure patients can also make the habit of eating cardamom once in a while as cardamom is found to lower high blood pressure. Cardamom is found to prevent cardiovascular diseases also. Cardamom is also scientifically proven to be an excellent diuretic.



Cinnamon (Karugapatta in malayalam, patta in tamil) – health and therapeutic benefits

Cinnamon has more health benefits than any other spices that we use daily. Cinnamon is famed for being a spice that can lower LDL cholesterol. It is found to help regulate blood sugar, making it a remedy for Type 2 diabetes. Eating cinnamon in your diet would be thus the first step to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. Cinnamon is popularly known as a remedy for arthritis. Mixing honey with cinnamon and eating this mix is known to have numerous health benefits.

honey and cinnamon - a magic mix of healing

honey and cinnamon - a magic mix of healing

Honey and cinnamon – the magic mix for health and healing

Honey with cinnamon is believed to have miraculous health effects. Drinking one glass of warm water with a teaspoonful of cinnamon powder and little honey is believed to cleanse body and heal urinary infection and bladder infection. The same water can be taken three times a day to get cholesterol. Those who are troubled by toothache and gum pain can consider honey cinnamon mix. A thick mix of honey and cinnamon can be applied to tooth, cavities and infected gum. Apply it several times a day for one week. This would lessen tooth ache and gum infection. Drinking cinnamon and honey in warm water early morning in empty stomach helps cure cough, cold, head ache, sinus headache, bronchitis and chronic cough. For indigestion and stomach pain honey cinnamon mix is an effective remedy. You are troubled with stomach ulcers, gas problem and stomach ache, you would find a healing through cinnamon hone mix. For acidity, heat burn and nausea cinnamon is a great remedy. Mix cinnamon powder in honey and make a paste and eat. This would aid digestion. People with digestion problem can take this mix before they have a heavy meal or high fat meal. This would ensure proper digestion.

Honey cinnamon for better health and better immune system

Whether you have health problems or not, consuming honey and cinnamon is good for you. This is because this wonder mix can do miracles. Honey and cinnamon would help you keep viral and bacterial infections at bay. Eating honey and cinnamon strengthens immune system. It is a home remedy to equip body to fight against viral and bacterial infections. Having honey cinnamon would also save you from common cold and influenza.

Honey and cinnamon, the best home remedy for arthritis pain

It is known to everybody that cinnamon works great for arthritis pain. Taking cinnamon powder honey mix early morning in empty stomach would make arthritis pain reduce significantly. This mixture can be taken up to three times a day so that even the severe form of arthritis would be cured. Elderly people who face chronic arthritis pain can make the habit of taking cinnamon honey mix. Pain in the knees and joints would be reduced if you take honey cinnamon mix for 15 days.

Cinnamon, a panacea for different health issues

Cinnamon is found to lessen stomach pain in menstruation and pre-menstruation aches and pain. It is also found to help infertility. Certain yeast infections have been found to be cured by the power cinnamon. Cinnamon would help preserve food by stopping the bacterial infection in food. Recent studies have also confirmed that cinnamon does make a difference in brain fever, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, tumours, brain tumor and cancer. Use of cinnamon is found to be healing hearing problems to a certain extent. For certain skin problems like ringworm and eczema, external application of cinnamon is beneficial. Cinnamon chewing helps bad breath and cleanses mouth. Cinnamon can relieve tiredness in elderly people also.

Cinnamon for weight loss, pimples and skin problem

Cinnamon has been found to be helping body lose weight. Having cinnamon and honey with lukewarm water early morning in empty stomach is beneficial. Cinnamon would cleanse body, helping it to lose weight. Cinnamon also has a blood purifying property that it would give a clear skin and heal pimples.



Cloves (Grambu in malayalam, lavangam in tamil), health and therapeutic benefits

Cloves, like cinnamon, cardamom and other spices have innumerable health benefits. Chewing cloves would refresh the breath, and make foul breath flee away. Cloves is a popular home remedy for toothache. Putting cloves in teeth, gum and cavities would help relieve tooth pain. Cloves aid digestion, facilitate metabolism and help body get rid of gas, stomach pain, nausea, colic, bloating and flatulence. Stomach upset, loose motion and vomiting would also be relieved by cloves.

Cloves tree

Cloves tree

Cloves for cough, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases

Putting cloves in tea and drinking would help relieve sore throat and cough. Cloves have also been found to treat tuberculosis, fever, malaria and cholera. Cloves is a powerful that it has multiple effects on body. Cloves paste can be diluted and applied to forehead for relieving headache. It can be applied to skin for reliving sores and infections. Cloves paste can relieve muscle pain also. Cloves do warm and heal body. It is found to heal chronic cough, bronchitis, headache, and sinusitis. Certain studies have confirmed that consumption of cloves help lung cancer. Use of cloves as a masala in dishes may also help cholesterol problems. In India we use cloves as a part of masala for vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. This is found to be improving blood circulation. Cloves do refresh the mind and improve memory. Ayurveda believed in the therapeutic properties of cloves. Use of cloves has been considered good for liver and heart. They have also been believed to be good for skin cancer.



Ginger plant

Ginger plant

Ginger (adrak in hindi, inji in Malayalam and Tamil)

Health benefits of ginger are many. If you are a South Indian and you get a stomach pain, stomach upset, gas problem, indigestion or diarrhea, the first thing you would do is chewing a piece of ginger or drinking a little of ginger extract with honey. Ginger is the final word of stomach problems. Ginger being rich with antioxidants has several therapeutic benefits. Ginger would cure indigestion and other stomach problems. In North India also people add ginger in all dishes (curry). Ginger cures nausea, vomiting, bloating, wind problems and stomach pain. Pregnant women can have ginger for easing morning sickness. Ginger warms body and cures cold, sore throat, cough and running nose. Ginger honey is given to children also for curing cold. Ginger is found to improve blood flow by relaxing blood vessels. Those who have undergone chemotherapy can have ginger for treating the body discomforts. Eating ginger is known to benefit people suffering from arthritis, chronic stomach problems, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and heart problems.

rural women processing turmeric in Indian village

rural women processing turmeric in Indian village

Kasthuri manjal plant in Kerala

Kasthuri manjal plant in Kerala

Turmeric (manjal in Malayalam and Tamil) health benefits

Turmeric is used in all vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes in India. Turmeric has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that it can remove infections from the food item. Turmeric is therefore used in meat and fish dishes. Meat and fish are marinated with turmeric to remove any possible infections. Moreover, turmeric would wash off poisons and infections in vegetables, meat and fish). Turmeric is applied on skin to fight infections, insect bites and skin diseases. Turmeric is expected to clear the poison. Turmeric is believed to be the beauty secret of Kerala women (South Indian women). Women of Kerala and Tamil Nadu (South Indian women) apply turmeric on face before their bath. Turmeric is a wonderful cosmetic that would clear pimples, improves complexion and whiten and smoothen the skin. Turmeric would also refresh body. Women apply turmeric on body also. It would cool the body, clearing skin infections.

Turmeric for women and children

Turmeric is also used while giving baths to newborn babies. New born babies sometimes have hair in their skin. In Kerala people apply little turmeric and wash off immediately whiling giving bath to babies. Hair would come along with turmeric. In Kerala women also use a different variety of turmeric. This is known as Kasturi manjal (or Kastoori manjal). This is a wonderful cosmetic. Turmeric has several other benefits also. It is found to be beneficial for inflammatory bowel diseases. Those with Crohn's disease would be benefitted by using turmeric. Turmeric is also known to be effective for lcerative colitis. Rheumatoid arthritis patients also use turmeric as a home remedy. Consuming turmeric regularly is found to help Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Having turmeric as part of the diet would prevent liver diseases and cardiovascular problem.

mustard harvesting in Indian village

mustard harvesting in Indian village

Mustard Seed health and therapeutic benefits (Kaduku in Malayalam and Tamil)

In South India there is no vegetarian dish without the use of mustard. However many are not aware that the little mustard seeds do have health benefits. It is a strong anti-bacterial agent. It can destroy the germs in the food. It has the power to destroy pathogens and bacteria. Mustard seed is also rich with certain compounds that can even inhibit the spreading of cancer. Mustard helps improve appetite and helps digestion. It does also stimulate salivation. Mustard is also a good laxative. Mustard is a home remedy if accidental poisoning happens. Mustard would induce vomiting and bring out poison.

harvested red chili

harvested red chili

Red Chilies (chuvanna mulaku or vattal mulaku in malayalam, kancha mulaku in tamil) health benefits

Red chilies are unavoidable in Indian cooking. South Indians, particularly use red chili for almost all dishes. Red chilies are known to have several health benefits. Red chilies are stuffed with anti-inflammatory compounds that help prevent different types of pain, arthritis, cancer, fat, high cholesterol, obesity, platelet aggregation and several other diseases. Chilies would help cure chest congestion, cough and cold. It would also help improve immunity. Red chilies and other chilies are helpful for weight loss also. Chilies aid digestion, decrease bloating and prevent ulcer.

Nutmeg seed

Nutmeg seed

Nutmeg (Jathikka in malayalam, jathikkai in tamil) health benefits

Nutmeg is a wonderful natural remedy for different stomach problems and digestive troubles we face. Nutmeg can cure digestive problems, diarrhoea, stomach ache, indigestion, bloating and other stomach problems. Nutmeg paste can be taken in warm water (3 tablespoon water) to get the benefits. Nutmeg honey mix would also help. Nutmeg can also be given to infants and children for stomach problems and pain. If you kid gets up at night with a stomach pain, give him a little bit of nutmeg paste. He would find relief. Kids diarrhoea and abdominal pain can also be treated with nutmeg. Nutmeg can be applied to skin also. If you find some puffiness, soreness or redness in skin, apply a little nutmeg paste. Nutmeg would give good sleep also. Nutmeg can be taken with milk before going to bed. Nutmeg paste when applied to gum and teeth would relieve gum pain, tooth ache and bad breath. Nutmeg is a great spice for sex benefits. Making nutmeg part of the diet is found to improve sex desire, mood and power, for men and women. It is found to be particularly good for women. Make nutmeg part of your masala. You would be benefited.

Nutmeg growing in trees

Nutmeg growing in trees

Nutmeg (Jathikka or Jadikka) for men

Nutmeg is found to have several other health benefits also. Nutmeg would relax mind and help us get rid of anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and mental disturbances. Nutmeg would improve mental power and concentration. It is found to help muscle spasms, joint pain, muscle pain and gout. Nutmeg is found to aid blood circulation in body. It is a proven home remedy for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Nutmeg oil is widely used in India for tooth ache. Traditionally, nutmeg treated male sexual problems, infertility and impotence.

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds (Cilantro seeds) (malli in malayalam and tamil) and Coriander (Cilantro) leaves health benefits

Coriander seeds (dhania seeds) cool body. Coriander or Cilantro has several health benefits. Coriander can be plentifully used in summer. Coriander seeds can be boiled in water and this water can be consumed to cool body. In India people often drink coriander water. Coriander will not give any bad taste. Coriander seeds do have health benefits. Coriander seeds would help arthritis pain and cure urinary tract infection. Coriander aids digestion and prevents nausea and vomiting. Coriander seeds do help cholesterol and blood sugar abnormalities. Making coriander seeds part of the diet gives several neurological benefits also. Consuming coriander seeds would help avoid nervous damage. Regular use would protect body from different neurodegenerative diseases. Nervous system is benefitted by the therapeutic properties of coriander. Research studies opine that use of coriander seeds would prevent body from getting colon cancer. Coriander is also believed to help diarrhea, body heat, canker sore (mouth ulcer), anemia, chicken pox, smallpox, gum diseases, conjunctivitis, and menstrual disorders. Being rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C coriander is good for skin and eye. Having coriander in diet helps cure skin infections like eczema. Eating coriander would also protect skin.

fresh coriander leaves

fresh coriander leaves

Coriander Leaves (Cilantro leaves) (dhania leaves in hindi, malli ila in malayalam and tamil) health and therapeutic benefits

Coriander leaves is widely used for cooking in India, particularly in South India. Indians use coriander leaves for dishes like sambar and rasam. Coriander leaves is used in meat dishes also. Coriander leaves has numerous health benefits. During my pregnancy eating coriander leaves helped me get relief from urinary infection. Coriander leaves would strengthen digestive system and facilitates bowel movements. Coriander leaves cool body and eliminates stomach heat and diarrhea. Coriander leaves is rich with Vitamin C that it is good for skin and eyes. Adding coriander leaves to diet would enhance liver functions also. Coriander leaves is beneficial for people with diabetes. Cilantro leaves help lower blood sugar. Cilantro is found to stimulate the secretion of insulin. Lung and cavity cancer is rare among people who frequently use coriander leaves. Cilantro leaves is good for mouth ulcer for it is packed with Vitamin C. Consuming coriander leaves would prevent skin diseases and eye diseases. It does also help avoid menstrual problems and ensure healthy menstrual flow. Coriander leaves is also found to improve brain activity and strengthen nervous system. It does prevent skin problems like pimples, skin discoloration, blackheads, dark circle under the eyes and dry skin. Because of its power to improve brain activity coriander leaves is good for Alzheimer’s disease also. As coriander leaves are rich with nutrients, it is good for anemia also.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek (methi in hindi, uluva in malayalam, venthiyam in tamil) medicinal benefits – Fenugreek for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol

Health and therapeutic benefits of fenugreek are many. The anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek make it a good home remedy. I have a personal testimony about the benefits of fenugreek. Fenugreek helped me increase my breast milk supply. I ate fenugreek twice a week to boast my breast milk supply. In the initial days of my breastfeeding I ate fenugreek and it helped me have enough breast milk for my baby. Consuming fenugreek daily was not recommended as it would drastically bring down blood sugar. Diabetes patients are highly benefitted from fenugreek. Fenugreek is good for bringing down high blood pressure also. Eating fenugreek would reduce blood sugar levels. Fenugreek is the best natural food that can reduce blood sugar. My mother use fenugreek for her high blood pressure problems. I will explain to you how to eat fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek is bitter in taste, and is difficult to eat. Powder fenugreek and keep in a tight container. After supper, before going to bed take a spoonful of fenugreek and put in mouth. Keep a glassful of hot water in the other hand. Drink hot water immediately after putting fenugreek in mouth. You can thus swallow fenugreek powder. Now take a quarter teaspoon of honey so that the bitter taste will go away from mouth.

Fenugreek plant

Fenugreek plant

Fenugreek for skin problems, head ache and acid reflux

Fenugreek is also found to help certain types of allergies, chest congestion and bronchitis. Eating fenugreek would help balance cholesterol and help prevent heart attack. Fenugreek is therefore recommended for people with high cholesterol. Consumption of fenugreek is beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Eating fenugreek daily would help them. For severe head ache you can apply a paste of fenugreek on forehead. You can find a relief from head ache. For skin problems like eczema and abscesses fenugreek is a good home remedy. In boils and burns, applying fenugreek paste would help. This is because of the cooling effect of fenugreek. Fenugreek cools body. For loose motion and stomach heat you can have fenugreek in buttermilk. Buttermilk and fenugreek would cool body. Fenugreek is a good home remedy for acid reflux and heartburn. For gastrointestinal problems, consuming fenugreek would really help. You should forget the bitter taste of fenugreek and consume it considering the health benefits.

Fenugreek for fever

For fever you can have a drink of lemon juice in warm water with fenugreek seeds added to it. Fenugreek would bring an early relief in fever. Fenugreek would also aid digestion by cooling body. For nursing mothers fenugreek is a wonder food as it enlarges breast and improve breast milk supply. Fenugreek is also known as a natural food that gives breast enlargement. For pregnant women who have passed their due date eating fenugreek would help induce labor.

Pudina leaves

Pudina leaves

Pudina medicinal benefits

Mint cleanses stomach and body by removing toxins from body. Mint is a blood purifier also. If you are troubled with bad breath you can chew mint leaves and achieve a refreshing breath. Mint leaves would also whiten teeth and refresh mouth. For lack of appetite you can try having pudina. Take pudina chutney with idli or rice. Pudina would bring back your appetite. For insect bites and skin irritation you can apply pudina paste for a relief. Pudina would also help reduce swelling and pain. Pudina is liberally put in South Indian foods like biriyani. Pudina can be generously used in meat dishes to reduce the heating effect of meat in stomach and body. Pudina would bring a good relief for chest congestion by helping body expel mucus through spitting. For nausea and vomiting, it is beneficial to take pudina chutney and dishes. Diarrhea due to stomach heat and digestive troubles can be solved by eating pudina. Pudina is found to help bleeding diseases and liver disorders. For digestive track disorders and gall bladder problems also pudina is a good home remedy. Consuming pudina is found to help those with anorexia.

Pudina Chutney

Pudina Chutney

Mint leaves (Pudina or Puthina in Malayalam and Tamil) health benefits

Mint leaves and mint chutney is known to all South Indians. Mint leaves are an important part of their vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Mint is used in dishes, soups, tea, chutney, chicken curry, egg curry etc. Mint leaves are most known for its ability to clear gas troubles and stomach pain. Mint soothes stomach, clear gas and makes bloating and stomach pain disappear. Mint does a cleaning work in stomach that it would even give a clear skin free of acne. It is therefore recommended to make mint part of diet. In South Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, mint is a chief ingredient in their diet. For stomach upset, digestive troubles and wind problems, pudina is recommended. Pudina cools the digestive tract giving a relief from digestive troubles. Pudina is found to be a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome also.

cumin seeds

cumin seeds

Health benefits of cumin seeds

If you are an Indian there is no need to teach you the health benefits of cumin seeds. Water boiled with cumin seeds is the daily drink of millions of Indians. Cumin seeds aid digestion and push out gas from your body. Chewing a pinch of cumin seeds would do the trick. People with gas problem chew cumin seeds after their meals. Within minutes after eating cumin seeds you would find gas belched out, giving your stomach a big relief. Cumin seeds would also improve digestion. If you fee loss of appetite you can try eating few cumin seeds. Cumin would improve digestion, push out gas and bring back appetite. For stomach pain due to indigestion, chew a spoonful of cumin seeds and drink hot water. You will find a relief.

Cumin seeds for better sleep and respiratory problems.

Consuming cumin seeds is found to give good sleep. Cumin seeds would eliminate stomach and body discomfort due to indigestion and gas problem. It would induce sleep and bring comfort. As cumin seeds warm body it is good for breathing problems, bronchitis, asthma etc. Cumin gives warmth to body. It is therefore good to drink cumin seed decoction in winter. As cumin warms body it is good for common cold. Drinking cumin seed water is beneficial during fever and cold. Cumin is good for the respiratory system also. Asthma patient are highly benefited from cumin seeds.

cumin plant

cumin plant

Cumin, with multiple benefits

Cumin seeds are a great spice for nursing mother for it would help them get a relief from gas problem and digestive troubles. Cumin is also found to be helpful in increasing breast milk. The benefit would be passed to the baby also. Cumin seed is beneficial for piles patients also. Cumin aid digestion and lessens constipation. Being rich in iron cumin seeds is found to be a good for those with anaemia Cumin seeds are beneficial for cancer as well as boils in body. It is also found to help skin disorders and infections.


Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 25, 2015:

I like Indian Spices and you certainly enlightened me here. Voted up, interesting and useful.

manu on October 15, 2014:

Very good article...keep up the good work..can u tell me is it safe to take fenugreek to enlarge my breasts?? Can u tell me the dosage and frequency and up to how many weeks to continue?? M 25 yrs old.

Sofia on September 13, 2014:

Dhannyaa, you have done a wonderful job by collecting so much information under one roof. I am always look for a natural remedy if there is any health problem. Although I know most of these I appreciate you for your effort.

To Dhanya and Brightonbreezy (USA)

King of bitter is a herbal plant that is grown in tropical climates. In my place (Kerala, India), it is usually seen in Trivandrum. I have done my BSc project on this plant. It is called neelaveppu (because of it blue color flowers and similar taste to neem leaves) or commonly called kiriyatthu.

aravinthan on September 02, 2014:

What is the natural remedies for pimples

Tony on March 26, 2014:

I am having gastric problem , can i try above simultaniously since i am using Omeprazole for gastric . is it possible i will not get any side effects.


JMiller8893 on March 09, 2014:

I have read that a copper deficiency can cause grey hair. Mace and basil both have copper... I've also read that the Catalase enzyme is good, I haven't tried it myself.

Pankaja on February 19, 2014:

Thank you Dhannyya, You've done very useful job, keep it up

banu thanjavur on February 14, 2014:

Thank you..u done a great job.its very informative..will u help me for Premature grey hair?any herbs to improve melanin?

dreacetamurge on November 20, 2013:

I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.


ajit on October 24, 2013:

thank u very much! Dhannyya u've done a great job. thanks

Ellswyth on October 03, 2013:

Thank you for the informative article! It's a keeper.

Radjeshbabu on June 03, 2013:

Thanks Dhannya for the wonderful article, I gained lot of information from this article. Personally i can see lot of difference in my health when i take home made food with spices and Canteen food without pices. My health will always better when i take Home made foods with lots of spices.I have asthma and chest congestion even nebuliser or inhaler will not bring out the mucus, what i used to do is mix half teaspoon each of turmeric, cinnamon, peeper and pinch of asafoetida in hot water and drink, or i will make these ingredients as a paste with ghess and honey. Exactly after 15 mins all the mucus from my lungs will be expelled.Aloopathic drug industry is making hell out of money considering the ignorance of the public.I hope my comment will help some people.

Debri on March 01, 2013:

Is there an herb that will help with weight loss? And, what is used for heartburn?

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 10, 2013:

Okay, thanks! Very interesting. A tree secretion! Who would've thought?

dhannyya (author) on January 10, 2013:

thank you vespawoolf for the comment...asafoetida is not a is a gum...dry gum like is the secretion of a tree...sarsaparilla is a root with several health is different from asafoetida..

dhannyya (author) on January 10, 2013:


thanks for the comment...asafoetida is not the same as fennel...asafoetida is like a dry is the secretion of a tree...fennel is a seed...

Rosemary Cole from Cape Town, South Africa on January 03, 2013:

Is Asafoetida the same as fennel? I have been using fennel seeds for vata dosha with ginger a infusion.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 03, 2013:

Asafoetida isn't a commonly used spice in North America, but it can be found at specialty stores. I had no idea these Indian spices are so beneficial for the health! I wonder if it's the same as American sarsaparilla? I couldn't find much about it on the internet. I know they're both roots. Turmeric is really common in Peru and we've been using it more in cooking because of its health benefits. Now I'm going to try it on my skin! I didn't know it had cosmetic benefits, too. I just love cardamom: the fragrance and flavor. So many wonderful spices! This is a very convincing hub. Thanks so much!

dhannyya (author) on January 03, 2013:


aniseed is is called ajwain in hindi..go to google images and see

Sathyan on December 22, 2012:

I thing Aniseed not a "Ayamodakam" It is Ajuwan seed.

dhannyya (author) on December 02, 2012:

thank you Pooja for your comment.. am happy that ur baby found comfort wid this remedy

carol stanley from Arizona on December 02, 2012:

I love this hub as I am always interested in natural ways to stay healthy. I am going to bookmark this for future use. You took a lot of time with this and shared a lot of wonderful information. Voting up and sharing on facebook as well as pinning.

Pooja c on October 10, 2012:

Thank u so much for sharing such useful info!! new born was so gassy n crying....I was searching d net n came across dis thn used hing n my baby was so much better...thank again!!

livingsta from United Kingdom on October 03, 2012:

Very informative and useful. Thank you for sharing!

dhannyya (author) on August 30, 2012:

THANK YOU Brightonbreezy for the comment..King of bitters is a new information for me. ..looks interesting and useful

Brightonbreezy from Brighton, UK on August 30, 2012:

Ive used cinnamon supplements in the past to deal with issues around a bladder infection and found it really helped me. What I have been recommended quite recently though is something called King of bitters which acts an anti- inflammatory. Has anyone else used this?

dhannyya (author) on August 22, 2012:

thank you MsDora for the comment..

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 22, 2012:

Thanks for this very good nutrition lesson. Some of the spices are unknown to me, and yet they're good to know for all their healing properties. Voted Up.

dhannyya (author) on August 17, 2012:

@ Vellur...yes we all use spices get all spices in Dubai?

dhannyya (author) on August 17, 2012:


hing should be used in will give a special taste...i can say that sambar is not good without LG is the best shoud give hing to kids under 8 years once in a fortnight...give a little bit (just the size of 3 mustards) in warm water..this would ensure that they don't get worms...

dhannyya (author) on August 17, 2012:

Movie Master, thank you, nice to know that you found the information useful...

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 17, 2012:

Very useful information. I use many Indian spices and they add to the flavor and are good for health as you have stated in your hub. Great hub, voted up.

Ruchira from United States on August 17, 2012:

seriously did not know about hing...will purchase it!

thanks dhannyaa for an informative hub. voted up!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 17, 2012:

This hub is packed full of interesting and useful information, great work thank you and voted up!

dhannyya (author) on August 17, 2012:

thank you always exploring..In South India you know we use these spices almost all vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 16, 2012:

This is a very useful hub. I love black pepper, however i never knew it was so good for you. Thank you for sharing important info...

dhannyya (author) on August 16, 2012:

Rina Pinto..thanks for your happy that you found the information useful

Rina Pinto from Dubai - UAE on August 16, 2012:

Thanks dannyya for this lovely interesting article .. well selected spices and rated the best for the readers and health issues. More researches for some other sickness will be a great help for the passer by's who are always on a hunt for health hubs like these .. Voted up as Useful & Interesting .. God Bless U

dhannyya (author) on August 16, 2012:

thank you dghbrh delighted to see your comment..your comment was quick also...the very first comment on the hub

deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on August 16, 2012:

Hey its so informative and useful. The benefits of hing was not known to me. The pics as well so refreshingly beautiful. A very nice read. Thanks for sharing.

All my votes up and sharing as well:-)

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