Asafoetida is native to Iran, Central Asia and Afghanistan. It is also called ‘the food of the gods’. This food item is even used in Worcestershire sauce. The Ferula plant has sap in its tap root. The sap is a dried latex or resin known as asafoetida. The latter is widely cultivated in India where it is immensely popular and employed both in food and medicine. Other names of this food item are devil’s dung, hing, giant fennel, stinking gum among others. It is an important spice in day to day cooking and finds favour in several home remedies. The Ferula plant also grows in Turkey and Iraq. The former reaches a height of about six or seven feet and is harvested only after attaining four years in age.
We look at some of the health benefits of this food item.
Works as an aphrodisiac
This food increases both male and female sex drive. It has been used since ages to cure impotency or erectile dysfunction among men. The spice also effectively treats spermatorrhoea as well as premature ejaculation.
Cures pain associated with colic
This spice can alleviate the symptoms of colic pain in babies by soothing the mucous membranes which line the gastrointestinal tract. Check first if the infant’s stomach is tight and bloated. If yes, then it is probably gas.
The spice is used in Unani medicine as a potent anti-epileptic. Unani is ancient branch of disease treatment.
Helps women whose periods have ceased temporarily
Women use this spice to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some cause. This spice also contains anti-inflammatory elements that provide rapid relief from menstrual cramps and irregular periods.
Works against some of the modern era diseases
Surprisingly the spice is beneficial in fighting swine flu as well as the H1N1 virus.
If you have experienced any other benefits of including this food in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.
Carom seeds are popularly known as ‘ajwain’ or ‘bishop’s weed’. It originated in India and Pakistan and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicines. The spice is employed in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern cuisine both for its flavour and medicinal value. Its botanical name is Trachyspermum Ammi and it is part of the Apiaceae plant family. Ajwain is relative of cumin, dill and caraway. The plant bears resemblance to parsley. This spice has been used for thousands of years both in ancient Egypt and ancient India. Ajwain seeds range from olive green to brown in colour. The latter look like cumin or caraway seeds. However, they differ by having an elliptic shape as well as minute size. Incidentally oregano is used as a substitute to carom seeds.
We look at some of the health benefits of this spice.
Mix equal amounts of carom seeds with cumin seeds. Add a dash of ginger powder. This is a popular home remedy to cure acidity as well as acid reflux issues.
Effective against common cold
Make a paste of ajwain seeds and jaggery. This treats cold as well as respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.
Helpful in Cholera
Ajwain reduces the impact of threadworms as well as intestinal bacterial infections. Hence it is a safe treatment option for patients of cholera.
Helps in Constipation
The seeds may treat constipation. It is free of side effects owing to it being a natural seed.
Treats Kidney Problems
These seeds may help to cure kidney stones. They are also employed in alleviating pain caused by kidney disorders.
Works as an Aphrodisiac
It is an old remedy to enhance the sexual drive in both males and females. It is responsible for boosting sexual virility and acts on the hormones playing a role in the sexual drive.
If you have experienced any other benefits of including this spice in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.
Cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices in the world. It has been widely used since many centuries. There are two main varieties of this spice. The superior as well as expensive variety is Ceylon cinnamon from the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum plant native to Sri Lanka. The more common as well as cheap variety is Cassia cinnamon. Did you know that in ancient times this spice was considered more valuable than gold and was used as currency? Cinnamon was even mentioned in the Bible and employed in ancient Egypt for embalming corpses. Ceylon cinnamon is cultivated in Sri Lanka, Brazil, the Caribbean, Madagascar and India. Cassia cinnamon is grown in Indonesia, China as well as Vietnam.
We take a look at some of the health benefits of this spice.
Effective against diabetes
The spice significantly decreases blood sugar levels as well as enhances insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon inhibits enzymes termed alanines which permit sugar to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It also lowers the quantity of sugars that comes to the blood post a high sugar meal.
Excellent for cholesterol patients
Consumption of this spice has been found to significantly decrease levels of total body cholesterol, LDl as well as triglycerides. In fact, it even moderately enhances HDL levels in the body.
Aids in weight loss
As the spice decreases blood sugar concentration as well as improves insulin sensitivity less sugar gets stored as fat. This definitely helps in weight loss. The spice also boosts the body’s metabolism resulting in burning of more fat, glucose and calories. The latter results in significant weight loss. It is recommended to sprinkle this spice on your dishes to help lose weight.
Has anti-inflammatory characteristics
This spice is a rich source of antioxidants. The latter decreases the chances of heart disease, cancer, decline of the brain function among other benefits. As the food item decreases both swelling and inflammation it can be used for pain management of various kinds.
May stave away Alzheimer’s disease
An extract present in cinnamon bark termed CEppt prevents the development of the disabling and neurodegenerative disease. The spice may not cure Alzheimer’s. However it can alleviate the symptoms as well as ease the disease associated impairment.
If you have experienced any other benefits of including this spice in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.
Mustard is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes the likes of cabbage and broccoli. The seeds of this plant are famous as a spice. It is found in white, brown and black varieties and is used by folk all over the world. This spice finds mention in the Bible as well as ancient Sanskrit scriptures. It has been used by humans for thousands of years. There are different varieties of mustard plants. The bland white mustard is found in the wild in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East as well as the Northern African area. The oriental mustard originates from the Himalayas and is cultivated in many nations. The black mustard is cultivated in the US, South America and certain European nations.
Health Benefits of Mustard
Protects against cancer
The seeds of this plant are rich in phytonutrients. The latter both prevents and delays the onset of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Scientific studies have determined that mustard seeds possess properties that curb the growth of already existing cancer cells and prevent the build-up of fresh cancer cells.
Cures respiratory problems
The seeds are a potent decongestant as well as expectorant that aids in removing the mucus present in the air passages. It cures cold and sinus. The selenium and magnesium content of the seeds bestow it a high anti-inflammatory characteristic. The seeds if consumed regularly can aid in controlling and relieving the symptoms of asthma.
Alleviates rheumatic arthritis
Mustard seeds relieve the symptoms of rheumatic arthritis. This is because of the high levels of selenium as well as magnesium found in it.
The small seeds are useful in curing the inflammation and lesions associated with psoriasis. Consuming the seeds strengthens the beneficial enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase as well as glutathione peroxidase that promote protective as well as curing action in such disorders.
Effective against constipation
The seeds are rich in fiber as well as mucilage that enables smooth bowel movements. Consuming a tablespoon of seeds twice or thrice daily will help relieve the symptoms of constipation.
If you have experienced any other health benefits by including this food in your diet please share it with us so that others may benefit.
Turmeric or curcuma longa, is a spice that has been used in various ancient cultures across the globe. It’s one of the ingredient that is used in the Indian curries and makes the American mustard yellow. Turmeric belongs to the ginger family. In the recent years, it has been declared as one of the super foods. The reason is it’s a disease preventive agents mainly due to its anti-inflammatory action.
Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric
The cousin of ginger contains health nutrients such as calcium, copper, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium. These nutrients make it one of the healthy spices that could be used in your daily diet.
Lowers the risk of certain cancer types
Multiple studies and research shows that the components in turmeric protects against radiation-induced tumors. The anti-oxidants in turmeric lowers the movement of free radicals and prevents certain cancer types such as leukemia, colon and breast cancer.
If those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis regularly add turmeric to their diet, its likely to bring about some relief by reducing the pain in the joints.
Reduces cholesterol level
Serum level cholesterol levels can be reduced even if you use turmeric as a seasoning. By maintaining a healthy cholesterol level means it will reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent
It is a natural disinfectant when you have a cut or a burn. It can even remove scars and aid in speeding up the healing process. It also repairs damaged skin. Apply turmeric in the acne affected areas.
This root is also an immunity booster as it contains anti fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. A pinch of turmeric in a glass of warm milk will keep the cough and cold at the bay.
Prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s
It contains natural agents that prevent the formation of beta-amyloid, a plaque that gradually obstruct the cerebral functioning of the brain.
Mustard belongs to the cabbage family. There are close to 40 varieties of this plant. The most commonly used varieties are black, white and brown. This plant grows best in the regions that have colder climate, moist soil and receives good sunlight. Apart from being one of the most popular condiments it’s also used in traditional medicines.
Interesting Mustard Facts
Is mustard a plant – It is a plant while the prepared mustard is a condiment. It became a popular as condiment in the early 20th century when it was used as one of the spreads for the hot dogs.
History of mustard as a condiment – It’s a first ever condiment that humans used on their food. History reveals that Pharaohs of Egypt stocked their tombs with mustard seeds to take it to their after life. However, Romans were the first civilization to grind the mustard seeds and use it as a spread on their breads and also mixed it with wine or vinegar. It’s believed that the term mustard is derived the words, ” must” that means unfermented wine. The French monks mixed the paste of mustard with unfermented wine.
Traditional medicine – The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a traditional medicine. Pythagoras used it cure scorpion stings. While Hippocrates used mustard paste to soothe aches and pains. The ancient roman physicians used it cure toothache. Currently its used as an appetite stimulant, weight loss supplement, immunity booster, regulator of cholesterol levels.
Dijon mustard – The popular Dijon mustard can be made anywhere in the world today. In the 13th century, Dijon in France was the hub of mustard production. This spice as a condiment became popular in 1856. Jean Naigeon, a French history painter, added Verjuice, juice of unripe grapes, instead of vinegar to the ground mustard. Today, the recipe of Dijon mustard is replicated across the world.
Canada and Nepal produces more than half of global mustard. It’s a myth that mustard is yellow. It gets the vibrant hue from the turmeric that is added to it. World’s only mustard museum is in Southern Wisconsin, USA, and known as National Mustard Museum. It stores more than 5566 bottles, jars and tubes of this condiment.
If we have missed out on any of the interesting facts, please share it with us in the comment section.
When you hear the word “Vanilla”, the first thing that comes to your mind would be the vanilla flavored cakes, milk shakes and ice creams. Who would not love the aroma and taste of this pod? Imagine, the aroma of freshly baked vanilla tea cakes that wafts and tantalizes your taste buds when you enter a confectionery.
It does wonders to your mind and soul, right? Are your aware of the fact that the vanilla plant is actually an orchid and it’s the only fruit-bearing orchid that exists? The matured vanilla beans are plucked and sun-dried and cured to bring out their flavor. It’s either sold in a whole bean form, powdered, pre-scraped, or bean paste soaked in alcohol.
This aromatic spice has many nutritional benefits and has been used as a medicinal food for centuries. This plant contains chemicals known as vanilloids that’s known to improve the performance of the brain as well as reduce inflammation.
What Europeans thought
Europeans used this bean to reduce stomach aches, relieve stress as well reduce hunger pangs. It’s also believed to aid in digestion, reduce joint pain. Sniffing vanilla bean is supposed to reduce nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. Recent research has revealed that it can be used to treat male impotency.
Some of the essential minerals found in vanilla that your body needs
Magnesium – This regulates the overall functioning of the nervous system and is responsible for many enzyme reactions aiding in digestion. It relaxes the brain and enhances good mood by preventing or reducing mild depression. Also regulates blood pressure and sugar levels.
Calcium – This spice is a rich source of this mineral. Though there are other common foods such as chia seeds, white beans and greens that are rich in calcium, a teaspoon pf vanilla bean powder in your cakes or similar bakes can you provide you with ample dose of calcium.
Potassium – One tablespoon of this essence has over 100 mg of potassium. This mineral maintains blood pressure levels and helps to relax blood vessels.
Manganese – A tablespoon of extract meets 30 percent of the daily dose of manganese needs. Manganese aids in metabolism, reduces mood swings and ensure optimal functioning of the nervous system.
Do you know that the vanilla is one of the aphrodisiac foods? It has the power to enhance the love and happiness hormones oxytocin and dopamine respectively. Also it will up your libido. This could be the reason that the chocolate and vanilla are the two ingredients that have been liberally used for centuries. This ingredient is currently used in many of the organic plant-based protein powders.
Are you going to use vanilla pods to boost your energy and enhance the performance of your brain.