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Indian Spices and their Health Benefits

Updated on May 6, 2013
Indian Spices
Indian Spices

Spices of India

Indian spices are available in various colors and brighten up our food palette In a marvelous way every day. Indians cannot complete their cooking without their spices which add the zing and flavor to their dishes. By adding even a pinch of these wonderful spices can make your dishes a world of difference in taste and flavor. The Indian spices range from the tiny mustard seeds to the cardamom and the kesar and these spices were explored by the English merchants in the past who were fascinated by the sight of them. Currently, the scientists too are realizing the importance of the health benefits of these spices which are the key to a tastier and a healthier life. I have mentioned the Indian spices that may be famous or infamous but Indian dishes are incomplete without them and they are a great contributor to our leading a healthy life because of their immense benefits. They are as follows:

Cinnamon

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Cinnamon
Dalchini
Dalcini
Dalchina Chekka
Cinnamon
Cinnamon

Cinnamons are long sticks which are usually added to our pulao’s, biryani’s and so on and is quite beneficial for us inspite its taste. Cinnamon is good for the heart and according to recent studies just half a teaspoon a day is enough to lower our Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It may also help in regulating our blood sugar especially people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. It also helped in reducing the increase of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. It is said to give immense relief to patients suffering from arthritis pain if they took half a tsp of cinnamon powder along with one tbsp of honey every morning before they ate their breakfast. It also acts as a preservative and when it is added to food, it prevents bacteria from growing or spoiling thus making it a perfect and natural food preservative.

Asafoetida

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Asafoetida
Hing
Hing
Inguva
Asafoetida
Asafoetida

This spice has a sort of pungent flavor and a very strong taste but lends a very special flavor to every dish. It is often used as a flavoring agent and is very useful in maintaining our general health. It is also useful in treating respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. It is also excellent in treating several women’s problems such as premature labor, excess menstruation and painful periods, sterility and unwanted abortion etc. it is also useful in treating impotency by exciting the secretion of progesterone hormone. It is also the best medicine for controlling flatulence.

Saffron

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Saffron
Kesar or Mayur
Japharani
Kunkuma Puvvu
Saffron
Saffron

Saffron is also called as the ‘golden spice’ or the ‘spice of richness’ as it is costly and is considered as exotic. It is used only on some special auspicious occasions. The presence of saffron lends every dish a lovely orange color and without this Indian spice, many occasions seem so incomplete. It is the most sought after Indian spice today. This spice has many health benefits such as it is used in treating our bladder, kidney and many liver disorders and also improves the digestion organs to a great extent. It also aids in lowering our cholesterol and triglycerides for heart patients. Saffron is also used during the period of pregnancy to raise the body’s temperature.

Cloves

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Cloves
Lavang
Labanga
Lavanga
Cloves
Cloves

Cloves are mostly used in pulaos or biryanis and people usually discard them when they are eating food. Cloves are dried flower buds of the clove tree and are known to have many medicinal properties. They are stimulating and have many antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties. They are the perfect remedy for our toothaches and the clove oil is often used by placing the oil-soaked cotton wool balls on the aching tooth to get relief from the pain. The clove oil also aids in blood circulation and is often recommended to patients suffering from acne. It also helps in relieving flatulence and can help the digestion of food including metabolism. It also helps to relieve diarrhea and vomiting sensation to a considerable extent. Cloves also contain a compound called as eugenol that wards off blood clots.

Black Pepper

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Black Pepper
Kali Mirchi
Ghol Morich
Nalla Miriyalu
Black Pepper
Black Pepper

Black pepper is usually found in the form of powder and is sprinkled on our pizzas and pastas to give it the unique flavor and taste. Besides lending Indian dishes a special flavor, it also helps in improving our digestion and reduces intestinal gas problems which can be quite embarrassing for people. It is also used as an antioxidant and aids in preventing oxidative stress caused by saturated fats found in some food dishes. It also wards off the growth of bacteria in our intestinal tract.

Turmeric

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Turmeric
Haldi
Hoolud
Pasupu
Turmeric
Turmeric

Haldi makes the curry powder a rich yellow color. It is also rich in antioxidants and helps fight against cancer and contains curcuminoids which are compounds that prevent inflammation. These compounds helps ward off the Alzheimer’s disease and also inflammation of the joints. It aids in lessening damages to our liver that are caused by drinking alcohol in excess or using some painkillers. Turmeric also gives us relief from wounds which cause inflammation and treats arthritis and also helps in reducing our cholesterol levels. Haldi is used in Indian soups, curries, gravies and stews.

Cardamom

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Cardamom
Choti Elaichi
Elacha
Yalakalu
Cardamom
Cardamom

Cardamom helps in warding off stomach acidity. It also acts as a great aphrodisiac when we sprinkle some of it on our daily coffee or tea. It induces our appetite, helps in controlling nausea and reduces problems caused by bad breath. It also improves digestion and reduces flatulence. The seeds of cardamom are fragrant and also contain oil that induces digestion and relieves the problem of flatulence.

Cumin seeds

English Name
Hindi Name
Bengali Name
Telugu Name
Cumin seeds
Jeera
Geere
Jeela-karra
Cumin
Cumin

Cumin seeds or jeera are commonly used in many Indian dishes every day. These seeds are roasted and then powdered finely to lend a unique flavor to Indian dishes. This powder is used to enhance the taste of many curries and gravies and even a pinch of it is enough to give the curry a unique flavor and taste. Cumin seeds are also having many antiseptic properties which help in fighting flu by improving our immune system to a great extent. Jeera also contain lots of iron and so it is better to add this powder in our parathas, gravies, soups and other rice dishes.

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    • Vacation Trip profile image
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      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you healthmom for stopping by. Am glad you enjoyed my hub and thanks again for the appreciation.

    • healthmom profile image

      healthmom 4 years ago from Ohio

      I enjoyed reading your beautifully formatted and informative hub. I was introduced to Indian cooking by a former boss and cook simple butter curry chicken often, which my family loves. Voted up!

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Yes DDE Indian spices are filled with health benefits. Thank you for stopping by.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible spices of India and all are so helpful for many ailments

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you RTalloni for stopping by and commenting. Yes the spices that we use daily to make our food tasty has so many benefits. In fact we are not only eating tasty food but also healthy food.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      So interesting to learn more about these spices. Only recently have I discovered that small amounts of spices can have huge health benefits. The charts with the various names is a helpful aspect of your hub. Nicely done!

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you rose-the planner for stopping by and commenting.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Well Deb now I am sure you know the benefits of these spices after reading my hub. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you 4wardthinker for stopping by and commenting. Yes, check other hubs of mine of recipes and pick your favorite and do try it. I am sure you will love it. Looking forward for your kind feedback. Thanks again for your appreciation on my hub of spices.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you Eddy for your vote.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great hub! Very informative.......thanks for sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      These are all excellent spices that I enjoy. They have many benefits, too, that I didn't know about.

    • 4wardthinker profile image

      4wardthinker 4 years ago from Sierra Nevada CA

      Thanks for sharing this hub. Indian spices are my new favorites for cooking. I have been wanting to find some good recipes to try. I see you have many recipe hubs to check out. I look forward to reading and trying them. Voted up and useful.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A great share and voted up.

      Eddy.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you BlossomSB

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Very interesting hub. I use a number of these spices.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Yes Emily its always good to consume these spices in right quantity. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thanks Annie for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate that you liked my hub.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you Chris for your vote. I am glad that you liked my hub.

    • Vacation Trip profile image
      Author

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thank you Sam for stopping by.

    • emilynemchick profile image

      Emily Nemchick 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Very interesting. I eat a lot of cinnamon, black pepper and cumin, so it's good to know they're doing their part to keep me healthy!

    • Annie Miller profile image

      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      A lot of herbal remedies contain Indian spices. Very useful Hub, Vacation Trip!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

      Interesting hub! Thanks for sharing,

      Voted up and interesting,

      Chris

    • SAM ELDER profile image

      SAM ELDER 4 years ago from Home

      Nice info, thanks