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The medicinal uses of of spices cooking in India kitchen

Updated on February 25, 2017
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Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a travel enthusiast.

Indian spices


India is a land of spices and has a significant role in the world market of spices . Kerala produces the maximum spices in India. Presently, India produces around 2.75 million tones of different spices valued at approximately 4.2 billion US $, and holds the top position in the global spices market. Spices play an important part in Indian kitchen.

Some of the main spices used in Indian food are Turmeric, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cumin, Ginger, Bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, fenugreek, garlic etc.

Apart from using these spices as culinary ingredients they are also used for medicinal purposes. Since they are already used for cooking purpose they are easily available in each Indian household. Therefore, many times Indians go for these spices to use as household remedies. Few of them are mentioned here.


Turmeric is used in many of the Indian dishes.

Medicinal uses of Turmeric –

Turmeric is rich in anti-toxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Can be used for minor cuts or bruises – Dab a pinch of turmeric for quickly stopping the blood flow.

When experiencing congestion in the throat, dinking a glass of warm milk mixed with ¼ tsp. of turmeric  powder relives sore throat and feels better.

It also reduces cholesterol levels, cough, cold and flatulence.   

As an ingredient of most cosmetic lotions, turmeric paste prevents and currents pigmentation, dark circles and acne marks.

It is also used as a face pack.


Pepper has an important role in most of the soups and main course dishes. They are widely used around the world.

Medicinal Uses –

In many Ayurveda medicines pepper is used. It has tremendous antitoxidant and anti-bacterial properties.

Pepper improves digestion, kills worms, treat coughs, colds, sinusitis, heart problems, colic, diabetes, anaemia, and piles.

For fever, a peppery soup is very helpful since it has anti-feverish qualities.

For throat inflammation, chewing raw black pepper is very helpful.

Pepper oil is used to treat insect bites and scalp infections.


Cardamom is an aromatic spice commonly used in Indian curries, gravies and deserts. It has a sharp and stimulating flavor.

Medicinal Uses

Cardamom helps to reduce stomach acidity, generates appetite, alleviates nausea and cures bad breath.

Cardamom oil is helpful in stimulating digestion and relieving flatulence.

If one or two cardamom is added in tea, it makes a good and healthy drink.


Cinnamon has a delicately fragrant aroma and warm, sweet flavor. The bark of this spice is used as a flavoring agent in cooking, such as in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, chocolate and spicy candies and liqueurs.

Medicinal uses-

It is a common ingredient in toothpaste, mouth washes and chewing gum as it strengthens and cleans teeth with its antibacterial qualities.

It is used for diarrhea and other problems of digestive problems.

Cinnamon is also used as an insect repellent.

It is also used as a pain reliever because of its health-boosting compounds.

Cinnamon also provides calcium and fibre to our body.

Also useful in improving blood circulation and memory.


Cloves are a main ingredient in non-vegetarian dishes, and one of the main parts of “garam masala powder”. Cloves are antiseptic, aromatic and stimulant. Clove oil contains Euginol which has got antiseptic and anesthetic properties. Combined with Zinc Oxide Euginol is used in dental operations like filling of cavities.

Medicinal Uses

For toothache - A whole clove crushed and kept on the location of the toothache, it relieves pain.

Clove oil is also used for reducing toothache from time immemorial.

Clove oil is used in earaches.

For nausea, drinking a cup of tea mixed with clove is very helpful.

Regular chewing on cloves reduces hypertension.

Even in burns and open wounds, use of clove oil is helpful.

It is also used in relieving throat irritation.


Cumin is an essential ingredient in every day’s cooking in the Indian kitchen. These brown aromatic small seeds give out more aroma when roasted or added to hot oil.

Medicinal Uses

It acts as a good source of iron that strengthens immunity.

Used for relieving dyspeptic headaches, nausea, pain and cramping in the abdomen and acts as an antispasmodic, flatulence and many problems of the digestive system.

For those ladies who suffer from morning sickness, during their early days of pregnancy, cumin is helpful.

In Ayurveda medicines, cumin is widely used to improve liver function and boost metabolism.


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.

How to make Garam Masala powder


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