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Turmeric

A plant vital for good health

Tumeric powder that is cooked before use

One of the most popular of the Indian spices, turmeric is also known as halad or haldi and its botanical name is Curcuma longa. Turmeric is a perennial herb with short and thick stem and multiple branches with unforgettable aromatic smell. The stems are underground (called rhizomes) and have food, medicinal as well as ritual value.

Turmeric is regularly included in Indian cookery for giving musky mouth watering flavour and beautiful yellow colour to recipe. See the Golden Milk recipe below.

The use of turmeric starts from day 1 in Indian life. A mixture of turmeric+ split gram floor+ milk is used to give bath to

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Cinnamon

A delicious sweet spice – Cinnamomum verum

We all know the rhyme ‘cinnamon and spice make all things nice’. Cinnamon of course is a spice best known for flavouring cakes and sweets, it’s great sprinkled on top of hot chocolate drinks although it can be mixed into almost any hot drink, especially coffee.

Cinnamon was once one of the world’s most highly sought after commodities, it has been in use for thousands of years as a medicine, an embalming agent, a means of preserving food, and as a flavouring. The earliest reports of cinnamon date back to ancient Egypt in 2000 B.C. Cinnamon is also described in the Old Testament as an ingredient in anointing oil.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is

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Ginger

Zingiber officinalis

Also known as zingiber, Ginger is a potent culinary spice, often used for extra flavour in both sweet and savoury dishes. The root is the active component, which is widely available, both fresh and dried. A rich source of vitamin C, it also contains vitamin A along with magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Healing properties: A ginger bath is a very healing experience. It promotes perspiration, which can hasten the process of eliminating toxins from the body, and stimulates circulation. In addition, a ginger bath will ease stress and menstrual cramps, and aid the healing of muscular injuries. When running a bath, add 2 tablespoons of powdered ginger to the water. Test the potency and add more ginger according

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Fenugreek

Trigonella foenum graecum

Known as methi in India, Fenugreek is an annual herb with dark green colour compound leaves. Seeds are brownish in color and have typical odor. They are in long seed vessels i.e. pods. Leaves and seeds are edible part of the plant which have food as well as medicinal value.

Including fenugreek in diet is a normal practice in India and neighboring countries. Ayurved recommends shat-rasatmak ahar (food including 6 types of juices). These are madhur (sweet),amla (sour), lavana (salty), tikta (bitter), katu (pungent) and kashay (astringent). If we will deliberately include all the 6 juices our diet, then the diet will be a really balanced diet which ultimately will give us long life and good health.

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Cardamom

Elettaria Cardamomum, ilayachi or veldoda

Cardamom is one of the world’s famous spices. In India, it is used for flavoring curries, puddings and many other sweet dishes. It is often added to teas, coffees and milk, which adds to their taste. It adds to flavour of the many recipes and in addition, it has medicinal value.

Cardamom grows as a perennial herb. It has underground leafy stems and leafy greenish roots. Other parts of herb are large leaves, greenish, yellow flowers and multiple seeded green or off-white colored fruits. Fruits are dried and used for medicinal as well as flavoring purpose. Fruits contain triangular blackish seeds wrapped in a thin, transparent cover in bunches. These seeds are important part of

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Curry Leaves

Curraya koenigi or curry patta

Curry plant

Curry leaves grow on a small shrub commonly found in backyards or gardens around Indian houses. The leaves are the edible part and they are shiny, dark green, aromatic and slightly bitter in taste. As the colloquial name suggests, these leaves are one of the ingredients of Indian curries, cooked vegetables, salads, chutneys and spices. They add to the smell and taste of food and in addition to the food value. Although the leaves are added to Indian dishes as a natural flavoring agent, it is well known that they have some medicinal value as well.

Curry leaves improve functioning of the stomach and small intestine and promote their action. They improve

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