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Indian Spices and Herbs used for Home Remedies

Updated on June 16, 2017

Some medicinal uses of Common Spices in the kitchen

Many Indian spices are used in the kitchen for increasing the flavours and tastes of food. We often tend to forget their health benefits or unaware of them. In olden days people used these spices for their medical needs and they were able to maintain their health when the help of doctors was not available. Some of the common spices used in Indian cuisine also have many health promoting properties and disease preventing properties. In India, we cannot think of food without spices. Most of these spices and herbs are used daily in our kitchen.

Names of the Spices for Home remedies

The important spices are -

  1. Asafoetida,
  2. Black Pepper,
  3. Cardamom,
  4. Cinnamon,
  5. Cloves,
  6. Coriander,
  7. Cumin seeds,
  8. Fennel seeds,
  9. Fenugreek,
  10. Garlic,
  11. Ginger,
  12. Mustard seeds,
  13. Saffron and
  14. Turmeric.

Some of these spices are used in making garam masala powder which is an essential ingredient in the preparation of non-vegetarian food.

Asafoetida, Black Pepper and Cardamom

Uses of Asafoetida, Black Pepper and Cardamom

Asafoetida - It has a pungent flavor and is available as gum piece or powder. It is one of the main ingredients for making sambar powder. Sambar is a main vegetarian dish. It is helpful for treating respiratory disorders like asthma and coughs. In addition, it is also used for digestion and painful menses in the women. When this herb is added in the cooking it imparts a unique flavor and taste.

Black pepper – These little peppercorns are one of the most traded spices . They are used to treat cold and fever, earache, diarrhea, constipation and heart diseases. It can stop bleeding on a cut when used topically. Used in Asian and European cooking.

Cardamom - These green pods are helpful in reducing bad breath, digestive disorders, and coping with diabetes. They contain potassium, calcium and magnesium. They are also rich in vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C. These aromatic pods also contain essential volatile oils. These pods are antiseptic and antioxidant.

Cinnamom, Cloves and Coriander

Uses of Cinnamom, Cloves and Coriander in the Home Remedies

Cinnamon – This bark-like spice is a widely used spice and has aromatic and refreshing taste. It is available as sticks and powder. Helpful in the control of glucose level in blood and reduces blood cholesterol. Also used for cold and cough.

Cloves – They are available as aromatic flower buds and oil. Cloves are used as expectorant, stomach upset and toothache. They are also used in tooth paste, mouthwash, soaps and perfumes commercially.

Coriander – Coriander is available as seeds and in powder. Though they are used mainly to spice up food, they are also good for treating diabetes and allergies and digestion. For the preparation of garam masala powder, coriander seeds are added. Coriander leaves are antioxidants having essential oils and vitamins. These leaves may help in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL). The leaves are low in calories and contain potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds and Fenugreek

Uses of Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds and Fenugreek in Home remedies

Cumin seeds – These tiny seeds are helpful in relieving pain, boosts immune system, nausea, stomach pain and cramps. It has good amount of iron.

Fennel seeds - They are helpful in reducing constipation and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Also useful as anti-flatulence. Fennel seed oil is used in treating joint pains by massaging on the affected area. In India, in many restaurants they are given for mouth refreshment, quoted with sweets.

Fenugreek – Fenugreek is available in the forms of seeds and powder. It is used for treating gastric problems and liver health.

Health Benefits of Garlics, Ginger and Mustard in Home remedies

Garlics – Garlic is available as pods, paste, powder and capsules. Rich in Manganese, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, reduces common cold and flu, reduces BP and cholesterol, prevents Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, reduces lead toxicity, and reduces headache with local application.

Ginger – comes as tube. It is good in treating cold, stomach upset, blood pressure, joint pains, headaches, heart burn, morning sickness.

Mustard seeds – packed with vitamin B complex and relieves in rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle pain.


Medicinal Uses of Saffron and Turmeric

Saffron – With the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antidepressant properties, saffron is helpful in treating depression, preventing loss of vision, improving memory, enlargement of spleen and liver. In Ayurveda, saffron is used for treating impotence and infertility.

Turmeric - This is bright orange in colour with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties. It is available in the forms of powder and capsules. Prevents Alzheihmer’s disease, keeps liver safe. Helps to treat Loss of appetite, stomach bloating, intestinal gas. Skin problems like ring worms.

Herbs : Basil and Mint

Basil (Tulsi) and Mint are two important herbs used commonly in many households. Basil plant is planted in the front of the house and mint usually in the kitchen garden. They are very easy to grow. In addition to adding flavour and taste to the food, they too have many medicinal uses and used for home remedies.

Basil (Tulsi) - Leaves of this humble plant is used for common cold and fever, headache, sore throat, skin disorders, kidney stones and insect bites. It is consumed and applied locally. A drink made of tulsi leaves and black pepper is helpful to increase immunity, if used for a few days. In many Hindu households in India, Tulsi is considered as a holy plant and is worshipped in front of the house and used for puja.

Mint - Very useful for respiratory disorders, indigestion, nausea, oral health, fatigue and depression.

Where do we get these spices and herbs

Most of these spices are available in our regular provision stores. During this internet age, they are also available online. Some of them can be easily made in our kitchen or terrace gardens.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies.


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    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 8 months ago

      Thanks a lot Chitrangada for visiting my hub and commenting on it. We are so used to these spices and herbs and for any health issues, we first think of our own kitchen cabinets for our home remedies.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent hub about the many health benefits of Indian spices!

      We are so much used to them for instant home remedies. Especially they are so safe for infants and younger children.

      You summed them up beautifully in this well presented hub.

      Thanks for sharing!