“Herbs for health”

Role of kitchen spice while cooking food:

Different cultures use slightly different types of kitchen spices in their cooking. In India, Turmeric, coriander and cumin are widely used in curries. Culinary herbs have considerable medicinal value along with the flavor adding quality. Coriander is added to spicy stimulating foods to impart a balanced coolness. It also has carminative properties. Cumin is known as one of the best spices to prevent and relieve gas. Turmeric is a good digestive aid. It dissolves the undesirable fats in the body. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Most of the kitchen spices are carminative (prevent and relieve gas), stimulants and aids to digestion. Many kitchen spices are also known to relieve nervousness, spasms and coldness during first acute stage of disease. Some of these herbs and spices provide essential vitamins and minerals ex. garlic, parsley and oregano. These spices can also be used to treat problems like headache, bleeding, diarrhea, heart attacks and acute infections. Thus, our kitchen spice rack can be considered a safe and natural alternative to the synthetic, side effect causing medicines.

List of appropriate herbs to aid and support the digestive system

Ø Basil: Sweet basil is considered good for indigestion when taken as tea.

Ø Bay: Bay leaves when added to food, are known to help prevent gas and indigestion

Ø Caraway: It is considered excellent aid to digestion. It is useful for indigestion, gas and colic

Ø Cardamom: It has carminative and stimulant properties.

Ø Cayenne pepper: Stimulant, carminative and astringent properties.
Includes red and green chillies, cayenne, paprika and bell peppers.

Ø Cinnamon: It acts as carminative. It is also a strong stimulator of insulin activity and thus useful in Diabetes.

Ø Cloves: These are known to improve digestion and treat flatulence, vomiting and nausea.

Ø Cumin seeds, ginger, turmeric and rosemary are also valuable for our digestive system.

* Fenugreek Seeds/ methi dana: The seeds are highly mucus solvents and soothing agents.

WESTERN HERBS:

Ø Alfalfa: This herb is known for improving digestion and assimilation. In the form of herb tea, it is known to provide alkaline benefit for hyper acidic stomach. It is also know to prevent gas formation (bakhru, 2000).

Ø Angelica: Carminative used for digestive weakness and gas.

Ø Asafotida: Also known as “Hing”(Bakhru, 2000) in India and is widely used in Indian cooking. It is ideal for many stomach disorders. According to Dr H.K. Bakhru, “it is one of the best remedies for expelling wind from stomach” (Bakhru, 2000, p.137).

Ø Calamus: Helpful during hyperacidity associated with stomach and intestine.

Ø Camomile: Widely used in the form of tea for various digestive disorders.

Ø Elecampane: Used for digestive weakness.

Ø Beleric myrobalan or bhibitaki: Known to be useful in regulating bowel and digestion.

Ø Noni or Indian Mulberry: It is effective for digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and gastric ulcers.

Ø Papaya: This is a digestive fruit.

Ø Citrus Peel: This is a Chinese herb useful in indigestion, diarrhea and abdominal swelling.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

References:-

Tierra, M. (1998). The way of herbs. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Haas, E., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts.
Sharma, H., Mishra, R.K., & Meade, J.G. (2002). The Answer To Cancer. New York: Select books, Inc.
Mabey, R., McIntyre, M., Michael, P., Duff, G., & Stevens, J. (1988). The New Age Herbalist. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc
Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

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