Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, but also stimulates your body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain. Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant. Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer. Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease. Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity. Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
Research has shown that regular consumption of almond can have anti-cancer effects, particularly when it comes to colon cancer. Some of the active ingredients and healthy fats in the almond can prevent cancerous formation and the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
As a rich source of healthy carbohydrates, almond can be a major boost to your energy, rather than the basic, simple sugars found in wheat flour.
Due to the nutrient density in almond, as compared to regular flour, it can help to fill you up more rapidly, and with better food, which can prevent overeating and help in general weight loss.
By eliminating the simple sugars of basic flour, almond flour can help regulate the release of glucose and insulin into the body. This is ideal for people with diabetes or those at high risk of developing the condition.
What is Ginger?
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant, whose root or rhizome is used as a spice.  It can be consumed in many forms, fresh, dried, powdered, and in the form of oil and juice. In many places, it is mostly used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger beer and wine.
Health benefits: You can make your own ginger tea by steeping grated ginger in boiled water. It is a natural cure for a sore throat, coughs, and colds. Ginger juice and ginger chews are other home remedies, often given to alleviate nausea and digestive problems. Ginger has been prescribed to fight illnesses and infection like cold and flu in all ages.
Ginger has been discovered to be a facilitator of the digestive process. The elevated sugar levels after a meal may cause the stomach to reduce its natural rate of emptying its contents. It helps in regulating high sugar levels and soothing the stomach, thus, maintaining its regular rhythm. Along with that, it has a number of compounds that improve the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the food we eat.
Tamarind has been a long-time folk remedy with a long list of uses, including treatment of sore throats and sunstroke. It may also have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Excellent source of vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, and fiber.
One of the oldest herbs known to mankind, basil’s healing and healthful properties have been the most treasured knowledge across the world. Closer home, Holy basil is revered for its strong medicinal and healing properties. One can still see basil plants outside many Indian households, even outside the clamped urban flats. Holy basil is offered to Gods in the form of prasad.
Basil contains a range of natural antioxidants, which can help protect body tissues against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms. To become stable, they take electrons from other atoms and form chains. These chains of free radicals cause oxidative stress to the body and cause more damage to the cells. To reduce the oxidative stress in the body, one must up the intake of antioxidants. Basil contains two important water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants, known as orientin and viceninare. These potent antioxidants strengthen the immune system, protect cellular structure, DNA and delay effects of skin ageing. Basil’s powerful oil helps cleanse the skin from within. The excellent skin cleanser is perfect for those with oily skin. It also helps remove dirt and impurities that clog pores. Make a paste of basil leaves, sandalwood paste and rose water. Apply the paste on your face and let it sit for 20 minutes, then wash it off with cold water. The strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of basil would help prevent formation of acne.
Basil’s essential oil may help manage depression and anxiety too. The herb is believed to stimulate neurotransmitters that regulate the hormones responsible for inducing happiness and energy. Basil is considered as a powerful adaptogen or an anti-stress agent. Its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties help manage stress too.
Human cultivation and use of saffron spans more than 3,500 years and extends across cultures, continents, and civilizations. Saffron, a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), has through history remained among the world’s most costly substances. With its bitter taste, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes, the apocarotenoid-rich saffron has been used as a seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine.
Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating herb to uncover the many health benefits of saffron.
Although people often think of spices as nothing but food flavouring tools, they still contain high concentrations of certain important nutrients, including vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is important for human health, as it stimulates the immune system’s production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defence against illness. It is also crucial to the production of collagen, which is necessary for cellular production in the body and contributes to wound healing, muscle growth, blood vessel repair, and tissue production.
Saffron can function as an effective energy booster and can increase your metabolism by increasing your blood circulation. The high concentration of iron means that saffron increases your RBCs, which thereby stimulates circulation and the oxygenation of organ systems and the body’s extremities. This improves efficiency and functionality of the tissues and organ systems for healthier metabolic activity and also prevents the symptoms of anemia.
Saffron has been known to relieve mild depression and improve mood in those who regularly consume it. The many active compounds in saffron have some effect on the endocrine system and can stimulate the release of beneficial hormones that keep us happy and healthy. For women, this same effect has also been known to act as an aphrodisiac. It has been hailed as a natural antidepressant by numerous research studies and organizations.
Improves Bone Strength
Some of the minerals and organic compounds in saffron have been linked to optimized nutrient uptake, particularly of calcium. By maximizing the amount of calcium that our body can absorb from food, we have a better chance of improving bone mineral density and preventing the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and other degenerative age-related diseases.
Improves Nerve Function
The vitamin B family is one that is often overlooked in human health, but it plays a major role in nerve function throughout the body. More specifically, the high content of vitamin B6 found in saffron spice can help our nervous system in running smoothly and prevent some of the deadly and dangerous disorders that arise from poor nervous system function.
Garlic has been used to treat illness and disease for thousands of years. In fact, there are biblical references to the use of garlic in medicine. According to some sources, Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a variety of illnesses and early Olympic athletes used garlic as the first “performance enhancing” drug. Potential benefits include: Immune enhancement, Anti-cancer properties, Antioxidative benefits, Cholesterol-lowering benefits, and Improved blood pressure.
What are curry leaves?
Curry leaves are the leaves of the curry tree, scientifically known as Murraya koenigii Spreng and it belongs to the Rutaceae family. The plant is native to India and is usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is cultivated in various other countries such as China, Australia, Nigeria, and Ceylon. The height of the plant ranges from small to medium. The useful parts of this plant are its leaves, roots, and its bark.
Curry leaves are natural flavouring agents with a number of important health benefits, which make your food both healthy and tasty along with giving it a pleasant aroma. They contain various antioxidant properties and have the ability to control diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes, and an unhealthy cholesterol balance. They are also believed to have cancer-fighting properties and are known to protect the liver.
What is Black Pepper?
Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is used as both, a spice and medicine.  The chemical piperine, present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. It is native to Kerala, the southern state of India. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely-traded spices in the world. It is not a seasonal plant and is, therefore, available throughout the year. When dried, this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn. Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is used to preserve food. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.
Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper aids in weight loss, and treats sinus, asthma, and nasal congestion. It also reduces the risk of cancer, and heart and liver ailments. Improves Digestion: Consumption of pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, thereby facilitating digestion. Weight Loss: The outer layer of peppercorn assists in the breakdown of fat cells.  Therefore, peppery foods are a good way to help you shed weight naturally. Skin Care: Pepper helps to cure vitiligo, which is a skin disease that causes some areas of skin to lose its normal pigmentation and turn white.
Provides Respiratory Relief: In Ayurvedic practices, pepper is added to tonics for treating cold and cough. Pepper also provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion. It has an expectorant property that helps break up the mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract.
Antibacterial Quality: The antibacterial property of black pepper helps fight against infections and insect bites.
Green chilli: a well-known Indian food component rich in vitamin B6, vitamin A, iron, copper, potassium and a small amount of protein and carbohydrates. Takes care of your skincare regime, Green chilli is a rich source of vitamin C and eating it helps in keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Aids in digestion: Consuming green chillies can help in the digestion process since it is very high in vitamin C. Also, foods that release saliva while chewing help in proper digestion of the food; thus eating green chillies aids in digestion. Helps in weight loss: since green chilli helps in burning the excess fats of the body, it helps in weight loss and thus increases the metabolism of your body. Good for diabetes: People suffering from diabetes must include green chillies in their diet because it can take care of the increased sugar level and can further help in creating a balance in the body.
There are three types of onions: yellow, red and white.
Onions probably originated in central Asia, in modern-day Iran and Pakistan. Prehistoric people probably ate wild onions long before farming was invented. Onions may have been among the earliest cultivated crops.
Onions also grew in Chinese gardens as early as 5,000 years ago, and they are referred to in the oldest Vedic writings from India. As early as the sixth century B.C., a medical treatise, the Charaka Sanhita, celebrates the onion as medicine, a diuretic, good for digestion, the heart, the eyes and the joints.
Turns out that onions are nothing to cry over — these flavourful bulbs are packed with nutrients.
“Onions are super-healthy,” said Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. “They are excellent sources of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.”
“Foods that are high in antioxidants and amino acids allow your body to function”.
Onions encourage a healthy heart in many ways, including lowering blood pressure and lowering heart attack risk. Sulphur acts as a natural blood thinner and prevents blood platelets from aggregating. When platelets cluster, the risk for heart attack or stroke increases.
Onions’ sulphurs may be effective anti-inflammatory agents, Quercetin has been found to relax the airway muscles and may provide relief of asthma symptoms.
The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulphur in onions helps lower blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production. The polyphenols in onions act as antioxidants, protecting the body against free radicals.
The most impressive health benefits of bay leaves include their ability to detoxify the body and protect it from bacterial infections, slow the aging process, speed wound healing, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimize digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer.
What are Bay Leaves?
There are many types of plants whose leaves are referred to as “bay leaves”, but the true bay leaf is scientifically known as Laurus nobilis, and this is the nutrient-rich variety that is discussed in the article.  Many other leaves have a similar appearance and aroma like true bay leaves, but not the same nutrient content. This plant is a small tree native to the Mediterranean region. Laurel trees were present everywhere in the region, but changing climates have shrunk their natural growth. However, these leaves have been a part of the culinary and medicinal world for thousands of years, dating back at least to Roman times.
Improve Digestion: Bay leaves have a very strong effect on the gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulates vomiting (as an emetic) when something toxic has been consumed.
Treat Respiratory Conditions: When the essential oil of bay leaves is extracted, it can be mixed into a salve and applied to the chest to help alleviate various respiratory conditions.  This can also be achieved with a poultice made of the leaves. Spread it on the chest and allow it to remain overnight. Inhaling the vapor has a similar effect to aromatherapy and can loosen up phlegm and eliminate dangerous bacteria that may be trapped in your respiratory tracts, thanks to its natural antibacterial quality.
Reduce Anxiety & Stress: Linalool is often associated with thyme and basil, but it is also present in bay leaves and can help lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy.  Excess stress hormones can be dangerous for long-term health, so bay leaves can help you calm down and remain relaxed even in your high-anxiety moments.
What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice that originated in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is regarded as the queen of spices and is one of the most expensive spices, ranking third, the first and second being saffron and vanilla, respectively.
The health benefits of cardamom include gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and improvement of blood circulation in the body. It is useful for curing dental diseases and urinary tract infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhoea. Cardamom possesses aphrodisiac properties and is also used as a cure for impotence, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is one of the most popular and recognized spices in the world, which is derived from the bark of a number of trees that fall within the Cinnamomic genus. Cinnamon bark has been used for flavouring both sweet and savoury dishes for thousands of years. The cinnamon tree is native to a number of places, depending on the cultivar being discussed, including Sri Lanka, India, China, and even parts of Africa. “True cinnamon” is the species found in Sri Lanka.
The most impressive health benefits of cinnamon sticks include its ability to help manage diabetes, protect against fungal and bacterial infections, increase brain function, prevent certain cognitive disorders, improve digestion, and boost the strength of the immune system. Cancer Prevention: Two substances, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol present in cinnamon can both actively prevent cancer cells from spreading. Mental Health: Cinnamon, potassium, certain superfoods, and various remedies have been shown to boost focus, concentration, and mental ability. Bone Health:
The high levels of magnesium found in cinnamon sticks give a significant boost to your bone health. Cognitive Disorders: there is no known cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, however, consuming cinnamon capsules can stimulate new neural pathways and increase cognitive ability. This makes it very exciting for keeping people lucid and aware for longer as they age. Cold & Flu: Cinnamon sticks have a naturally warming quality, which has made them valuable for the treatment of the common cold and various forms of flu for generations. This warming ability can help fevers “break” and also prevent the onset of chills or pneumonia in cases of bronchitis.
Dry Red Chili
Dry Red chili: Chilis, despite their fiery hotness, are one of the very popular spices known for their medicinal and health benefiting properties. The chili is a fruit pod of the plant belonging to the nightshade family (Solanaceae), of the genus, Capsicum.
Fight Inflammation: Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their characteristic pungence, producing mild to intense spice when eaten. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. The hottest varieties include habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers.
Regulates Digestion: Cumin is extremely good for treating digestive problems. It is also a carminative, which means that it relieves you from gas troubles, and thereby, improves digestion and appetite. Due to its essential oils, magnesium, and sodium content, cumin promotes digestion and also gives relief from stomach-aches when taken with hot water. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. In a 2013 paper published in the Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases, cumin extract’s efficacy in treating gastrointestinal disorders like bloating, and other symptoms of IBS was revealed.
The very aroma, which comes from an organic compound called cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates the salivary glands in the mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food. Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile, and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and intestines.