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Medicinal Value of Spices

Dr. Urvashi Bandhu

Spices are not only flavouring agents but have a significant role play in combating common ailments. Very few people are aware of the role the common spices play in our health.

Very few people are aware of the role the common spices play in our health. Spices are not only flavouring agents but have a significant role to play in combating common ailments. Let me give you the medicinal values of the few daily used spices that make a part of your kitchen shelf. These spices when used with a slight modification and in different combinations can be put to use for taking care of common ailments.

Fenugreek (Methi)
Fenugreek acts as a general tonic for the body. Less than half teaspoon of methi powder can be taken twice, daily as an alternate to cod liver oil. It also helps in cases of enlarged liver, spleen, anaemia, rickets and general debility.

A thin paste of methi applied over the scalp helps in hair growth and prevents falling of hair. Half a teaspoon of methi powder taken empty stomach with water strengthens the body. It is also an excellent remedy for diabetes, knee pain, joint pain, paralysis and hypertension.

Asafoetida (Hing)
Raw hing causes nausea and vomiting so it is never taken in the raw form and is always used to spice vegetables by frying. The quantity of hing used is very little as an increased amount of hing can cause hyperacidity, gastritis and abdominal upset.

The benefits of hing are many. It is beneficial to those who are prone to frequent cold, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

Cassia cinnamon (Tejpata)
Tejpata acts like a carminative, antiflatulent and an aid in digestion. It also stimulates milk secretion in lactating mothers.

Coriander (Dhania)
Both leaves and the seeds of coriander act as an antiflatulent and as a carminative, when used in food preparations. A glass of coriander tea serves as a good summer drink to keep the body cool. In individuals with increased s*x**l desire, taking plenty of coriander leaves keeps the s*x**l urge under control.

A paste of coriander leaves can be used externally to relieve the pain and swelling of hot inflamed joints. The same paste if applied over moles on the face and neck can make them vanish in a few months.

Cloves (Laung)
Clove oil is a very old remedy for relieving toothache. Stuffing of painful dental cavities with a cotton plug dipped in clove oil has been in use for relieving toothache for a very long time, now. Thus cloves form a very good analgesic and antiseptic especially for mouth and throat problems.

Chewing raw clove improves the sore throat condition and also relieves dyspnoea in many respiratory problems. It also strengthens the gums and relieves acidity. For relieving acidity problem, chew a clove after meals.

Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
Black pepper is effective in treating dry cough. An effective way of taking kali mirch for treating cough is by mixing two pinch of kali mirch and one pinch of turmeric powder in a glass of hot milk. It should be drunk slowly, sip by sip which will help control dry cough and clear phlegm, thus acting as an expectorant. Black pepper does not cause gastric upset so it can be taken as a supplement for red chillies.

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