Indian spices are known to have innumerable benefits which are proven to improve health and functioning of the body. The therapeutic nature of spices not only provide wholesome flavor to any dish, but also prevent and fight many diseases and increase your immunity.
I grew up in India, and we believe that healthy practices like yoga, meditation, mindful eating, and sleep hygiene can improve overall health and well-being–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Indian foods are just a play of blending spices which add the magic of flavor and health benefits. For example, a simple lentil dish can be easily glammed up with various spices and served in many different ways.
Here are some of my favorite spices to help you on your way to becoming a spice queen! In India, we use them for their flavor but also for the following benefits:
Turmeric has many medicinal properties and is proven to lower the risk of heart disease and inflammation. It aids the liver by cleansing it from toxins.
This is one of the most pungent spices. A pinch of this spice can help treat asthma, cough, and digestion problems.
Ginger and Cardamom
Both ginger and cardamom have the unique properties of relieving joint pain and regulating blood pressure.
Black pepper helps to relieve cold symptoms, constipation, earache, and heart disease.
This aromatic spice helps to heal an upset stomach. A pinch of clove and a pinch of pepper with a teaspoon of honey followed by a warm cup of water can relieve an irritated throat.
For the Nursing Mom
Motherhood is the start of a beautiful journey. The adventure of birthing and taking care of a newborn is exhausting for a mother. It is hard on your system and you need every last bit of your strength to heal your body and provide food for the baby. These simple kitchen spices are used in India to help a new mom to improve lactation.
Cumin is one of the most common spices. It’s a staple spice in Indian kitchens. A single teaspoon of this in the entire dish can help boost the immune system and relieve nausea, stomach pain, cramps, and diarrhea.
Ideas for Use: You can soak a teaspoon of cumin in a glass of water overnight. Boil the water, strain it, and drink it as a warm tea. You may add a sweetener of your choice.
These unique, fragrant seeds are also used as a staple mouth freshener. You will often find these at Indian restaurants to complete your meal as they are also digestive.
Ideas for Use: Stoke a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a glass of boiling water. Let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
These seeds have anti-inflammatory properties. They are a commonly used spice that gives instant relief from stomach pain.
Ideas for Use: Boil half a teaspoon of carom seeds in a glass of water. Strain and consume. (Bonus idea: mixing half a teaspoon of carom seeds with a pinch of Himalayan salt and few drops of lemon in warm water can help you digest heavy foods.)
These amazing seeds are the best to consume to increase lactation. You can also find this in capsule form in many health and wellness sections.
Ideas for Use: Ideally soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water at night and then drink it first thing in the morning along with the seeds. Repeat before bedtime as well.
Mix Them All
Each and every kitchen spice has its own healing properties, consumed separately or together. My personal favorite is to add a teaspoon of each seed mentioned above to a pot of water and boil it until the water had decreased by half. Then I strain and refrigerate.
Ideally, I consume one or two glasses a day. You can add water if the flavor is too strong for you. My kids love to drink it as well, so once in a while they get a small glass to enjoy.
You can also add lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt to this mixture to make a nice digestive iced lemonade and hold your glass in the air. Cheers to motherhood!
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.