Coming back to health benefits of more Indian Spices, their English and Hindi names and health benefits.
Tej Patta: Bay Leaf
Bay Leaves or Tej Patta have nutritional and therapeutic benefits. Dried Bay leaves are generally used in Indian cooking. They lend a strong aroma and unique flavor to food and are added to food by tempering in hot cooking oil.
Health benefits of Bay Leaves
- Bay leaves are a good source of Vitamin C, Folic acid and minerals.
- Bay leaves have anti-oxidant and diuretic properties.
- Essential oils of bay leaves have insect repellent properties.
- Rubbing essential oils of bay leaves on to the affected area helps reduce swelling and pain due to sprains, arthritis, headaches and migraines.
Bay leaf tea is an excellent remedy for respiratory problems, colds and aids digestion and removes flatulence.
Cinnamon or Dalchini is both a culinary spice and a medicinal herb. It isnormally used whole for flavoring rice dishes like Pilafs and Biryanis. Cinnamon is also used as a powder for flavoring desserts like cinnamon rolls.
Health benefits of Cinnamon
- Cinnamon is good for controlling blood cholesterol levels.
- Cinnamon lowers high blood sugar levels and controls diabetes.
- Cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and is a kind of natural food preservative.
- Cinnamon tea is used to treat nausea and diarrhea.
Nutmeg or Jaiphal is used in desserts as well as savories. Nutmeg is used in powdered form.
Health benefits of Nutmeg
- Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and can provide relief from joint and muscle pain.
- A large pinch of nutmeg powder taken with milk at night induces restful sleep.
- Nutmeg when taken internally helps soften and dissolving kidney stones.
- Nutmeg powdered and taken internally with some warm water provides relief from menstrual cramps.
Asafoetida or Hing is used in powdered form mainly for tempering. It is used extensively in curries, gravies and pickles. If used without tempering in hot cooking oil, it will lend a bitter taste to the food. Hing is also used as part of other powdered spice mixes like sambhar masala powder, chaat masala powder and curry powder. Asafoetida lends a unique fragrance to food.
Health benefits of Asafoetida
- Hing is used for providing relief from indigestion, colic and flatulence.
- It is used as an expectorant for dry cough.
- Hing is used for relief from menstrual cramps and menstrual disturbances.
- Hing is effective against cough, cold and sinusitis.
Cardamom or Elaichi is used to flavor food, desserts, payasam or kheer. In India Elaichi is often used to flavor tea.It is also used as part of different masala powders like Garam Masala. Elaichi imparts a uniquely strong flavor and has a beautiful aroma that stimulates taste buds.
Health benefits of Cardamom
- Cardamom is a very good breath freshener.
- Cardamom is an excellent diuretic.
- Cardamom provides relief from indigestion.
- Cardamom when taken with milk in powdered form, is a good remedy for impotence.
- Regular use of cardamom flavored tea alleviates depression.
Read the Part 1 of this article here Indian Spices – Health Benefits – Part 1.