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Spice Up Your Life!
Spice Up Your Life

Spices have been at the foundation of Indian cooking since ancient times. Spices and Herbs have several functions beyond seasoning. Some are used as aromatics, some for colour, some as souring agents and some thicken or tenderise dishes. The Indian cook knows how spices interact, not only with the food, but also within the human body.

Kaycee Patel - Ek Maya

Healing Herbs and Spices
Although there are hundreds of different herbs and spices used for health purposes, some of the more common ones are listed below, along with their uses.

Cayenne may be taken or used topically. It contains capsaicin, a substance which is also used as an active ingredient in many commercial pain medications. Cayenne also aids in digestion.

This spice has been used to treat arthritis, dysentery and heart disease. It is believed to lower the risk for certain cancers by attacking free radicals. Repeated studies suggest it is highly effective in suppressing the formation and growth of tumours in the colon. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic is one of the best-known and widely used herbal medicines. Garlic is a strong weapon against infection and a natural antibiotic. It has been found to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure and is sometimes used to treat yeast infections.

Ginger has many medicinal uses. It is very effective treatment for motion sickness and general nausea. It is also used to treat menstrual cramps and the nausea associated with chemotherapy.

Fenugreek is used by many women who suffer from the symptoms of menopause. It is also used to reduce cholesterol and relieve constipation. It has been discovered that fenugreek binds with whole sterol in the intestine and encourages the excretion of cholesterol from the body.

Cloves act as a wound antiseptic by killing harmful bacteria. It is also used to treat indigestion and diarrhoea. Cloves also act as a deterrent to free-radical damage to the body.

Star Anise
This herb is used in cough mixture and also has a vital function as the source of Shikimic acids from which the drug Tamiflu is made, an anti-viral drug against avian flu.

Aids in digestion and acts as a natural diuretic.

This spice is used to control the level of blood sugar for diabetics. It is also used to relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections and yeast infections.

Aids in digestion, relieves pain and cramps in the abdomen. Contains anti cancer agents carevol and limonene.

This pungent herb is used as a remedy for colds, sore throat and other respiratory ailments, as well as urinary tract problems. It has been used to control some symptoms of diabetes.

Studies have shown saffron to be instrumental in destroying the cancer cells that cause leukaemia.

A common household spice, nutmeg is a natural stimulant to the cardiovascular system. It is also used to relieve the joint inflammation associated with gout. This spice should be used carefully since large doses can be toxic. It is not to be pregnant women or children as a herbal remedy.

Used to help in a variety of digestive problems, helps soothe indigestion and flatulence.

Liquorice Root
Liquorice root is remedy to relieve menopausal symptoms. In some instances, it has been found to have as much effect as hormone replacement therapy in women.

Chamomile is often used as a tea for its mild sedative effects. It is also used to soothe digestive ailments and to reduce fever. It may also be applied topically to soothe skin irritations and diaper rash.

Black Pepper
Alleviates constipation, dry haemorrhoids, gas and loss of appetite has anti bacterial effect.

Celery Seed
This spice is also used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and to reduce cholesterol.

Contains Hydroxycitric acid compound (HCA) which assist weight loss.

Disclaimer - This article is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. The information contained herein is in no way to be considered as a substitute for your own inner guidance or consultation with a duly licenced health-care professional

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