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Tamarind

30 Amazing Benefits Of Tamarind For Skin, Hair, And Health


Spice, condiment, and beans – the tangy tamarind is present in the list of kitchen essentials in all these forms. Unarguably a palate pleasing fruit, trust this little genius to add a delicious flavour to your dishes. However, the tamarind benefits go beyond just being a kitchen staple. It can be used to rejuvenate and revamp your skin and hair.

Some of the best benefits of tamarind include weight loss, protection against cancer, and improved digestive health. Packed with assorted vitamins, such as Vitamin C; antioxidants, including carotene; and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, this mushy fruit is a storehouse of nutrients.

So, if you’re yet to try and ‘taste’ this amazing ingredient, here are the top 25 tamarind benefits!

What Is Tamarind?

Scientific Name – Tamarindus indica
Origin – Africa
Other Names – Imli (Hindi), chintapandu (Telugu), tetul (Bengali), amli(Gujarati), chinch (Marathi), hunase (Kannada), vaalanpuli(Malayalam) and tamuru hindiun (Arabic)

Initially, this fruit used to grow in the hot regions of Africa. The sweet tamarind fruit grows atop extremely tall trees of the ‘fabaceae family’ (the family that includes peas and other legumes). The cultivation of tamarind has now spread to most of the warmer, drier regions of Mexico and Asia, including India and Sri Lanka.

It has a tart-sweet taste that is loved by Indian nationals worldwide. No wonder it has carved a special place for itself in the Indian kitchens in the form of chutneys, digestive candies, pickles, and more.

Tamarind is an ace nutrition-wise. Every 100 grams of this tart fruit contains 28 milligrams sodium and 628 milligrams of potassium in addition to 36% of the thiamine, 23% of the magnesium, 35% of the iron, and 16% of the phosphorus of the recommended daily requirement of a healthy woman. Additionally, this amazing fruit also contains niacin, vitamin C, calcium, copper, and pyridoxine.

Tamarinds also have very high levels of tartaric acid (thus the tart taste), a powerful antioxidant that can help scavenge harmful free radicals from the system. The other phytochemicals present in tamarind include limonene, geraniol, safrole, cinnamic acid, pyrazine, methyl salicylate, and alkyl thiazoles.

A cup of tamarind contains 6.88 grams of natural sugars. It has a calorie count of 287, 0.72 grams fat, and 3.36 grams protein. This fruit also contains 6.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, which helps promote digestive health.

Let’s take a look at the skin, hair, and health benefits of tamarind fruit.

 

Skin Benefits

Lightens Skin

Natural Skin Exfoliating Agent

Natural Remedy For Cellulite

Natural Skin Moisturizing And Toning Properties

Natural Anti-Aging Agent

Removes Dark Rings Around The Neck

Eliminates Pigmentation

Helps To Prevent Acne

Hair Benefits

Prevents Hair Loss

Helps Treat Oily And Greasy Scalp

Health Benefits

Works As An Antiseptic

Aids Weight Loss

Is Good During Pregnancy

Treats Bilious Disorders

Controls Cholesterol Levels

Helps To Prevent Malaria

Treats Jaundice

Soothes Inflammation

Prevents Cancer

Treats Constipation

Works As A Cleansing Agent

Treats Piles

Blood Purification

Provides Cardiovascular Health

Cures Mouth Ulcers

Promotes Digestive Health

Aids Proper Blood Circulation

Improves Nerve Function

Helps Manage Diabetes

Boosts Immune System

 

 

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Pepper - White
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Pepper - Black

We so often use salt in our dishes that black peppercorns often lie forgotten. But the benefits of black pepper are far better. Black peppercorns, more commonly called black pepper, dramatically enhance the taste of your dishes – and their health quotient too.

 
How? No, we won’t tell you. Read on and find out for yourself.

Table Of Contents

What Is Black Pepper

Is Black Pepper Good For You

What Is Its History

What Are The Nutrients In Black Pepper

How Is Black Pepper Beneficial For Health

What Are The Benefits For Skin

What About The Benefits For Hair

How To Select And Store Black Pepper

Any Tips For Using Black Pepper In Cooking

Any Black Pepper Recipes

Any Fun Facts About Black Pepper

Does Black Pepper Have Side Effects What Are They

What Is Black Pepper?

Also called ‘kaali mirch’ in Hindi, ‘nalla miriyalu’ in Telugu, ‘karumilaku’ in Tamil, ‘kari menasu’ in Kannada, and ‘kurumulak’ in Malayalam, ‘lada hitam’ in Malay and ‘Pilipili nyeusi’ in Swahili. black pepper is a flowering vine that is cultivated for its fruit.

Scientifically called Piper nigrum, the fruit of this vine is dried and used as spice and seasoning – and this is the black pepper most of us are familiar with. The dried fruit is known as peppercorn. Peppercorns and the ground pepper prepared from them can simply be referred to as pepper – or more accurately as black pepper, green pepper, and white pepper – which are the three types of peppercorns.

Black peppercorns are the most common variety. They are first cooked and then dried.

Green peppercorns are simply the unripe version of the dried fruit.

White peppercorns are taken from nearly ripe peppercorns after the skin is removed.

Also called the ‘King of Spices’ and ‘Black Gold’, black pepper has a unique taste of its own, and it is not intended to be used like salt.

 

KINGDOM

PLANTAE

Genus

Piper

Species

P. nigrum

Binomial name

 Piper nigrum

Common Names

black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, peppercorn, Madagascar pepper (English)

Indian Names

 Kali Mirch (Hindi), Miriyalu (Telugu), Milagu (Tamil), Kurumulaku (Malayalam), Kada Mari (Gujarati), Mire (Marathi) and Golmarich (Bengali)

 

All this fuss about black pepper – well, is it that good for you?

Is Black Pepper Good For You?

You bet. Because just an ounce of this spice has a lot to offer. It is a great source of magnesium, vitamin K, iron, and fiber (1). It also contains the essential oil piperine, which, when used in aromatherapy, helps ease aching muscles, digestive issues, and even inflammatory arthritis.

Black pepper also possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and fever-reducing properties. The pepper, according to studies, can also help individuals quit smoking and is actively used in smoking cessation treatments.

Ah yes – just like any other ingredient on earth, black pepper has a history too.

What Is Its History?

The history of black pepper lies in the Indian soil – the spice is native to South India and other parts of South Asia and has been used in Indian cooking since 2000 BC. The source of pepper exports to neighboring countries was the Malabar Coast, which is present-day Kerala.

Peppercorns were an important trade good, and for this reason, they were also called ‘Black Gold’ and were used in the form of currency. Before the 16th century, pepper was being grown in Java, Sumatra, Madagascar, and in most countries of Southeast Asia.

The nutrients in black pepper are what have given it a powerful culinary status. Which is why it is important that we know about them.

 

What Are The Nutrients In Black Pepper?

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

255 Kcal

13%

Carbohydrates

64.81 g

49%

Protein

10.95 g

19.5%

Total Fat

3.26 g

11%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

26.5 g

69%

VITAMINS

Choline

11.3 mg

2%

Folic acid

10 mcg

2.5%

Niacin

1.142 mg

7%

Pyridoxine

0.340 mg

26%

Riboflavin

0.240 mg

18%

Thiamin

0.109 mg

9%

Vitamin A

299 IU

10%

Vitamin C

21 mg

35%

Vitamin E-γ

4.56 mg

30%

Vitamin K

163.7 mcg

136%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

44 mg

3%

Potassium

1259 mg

27%

MINERALS

Calcium

437 mg

44%

Copper

1.127 mg

122%

Iron

28.86 mg

360%

Magnesium

194 mg

48.5%

Manganese

5.625 mg

244.5%

Phosphorus

173 mg

25%

Zinc

1.42 mg

13%

PHYTO- NUTRIENTS

Carotene-β

156 mcg

Carotene-α

0 mcg

Crypto-xanthin-β

48 mcg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

205 mcg

Lycopene

6 mcg

 

Black pepper should be consumed in moderate quantities and not in excess as it is a spice and not a food type. When used with other ingredients like turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, and cumin, it formulates a great combination of spices. In one tablespoon (6 grams) of black pepper, there are 15.9 calories, 4.1 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of fat and cholesterol. Sodium content is about 3 mg, carbohydrates are 4 grams, and dietary fiber is 2 grams.

Black pepper has vitamin C content of about 2% of the dietary value, calcium content of 3% of what can be consumed in your diet, and iron that has a 10% dietary value share. Proteins are a decent 0.7 grams.

And now, we get to the important benefits this spice has to offer you.

How Is Black Pepper Beneficial For Health?

The piperine in black pepper has numerous beneficial properties (antioxidant, antibacterial, etc.) that can improve your health in many ways. Some of the good effects of black pepper include cancer and diabetes prevention, improved digestive health, and enhanced brain health.  

  1. Improves Digestive Health

Black pepper stimulates the digestive juices and enzymes, thereby promoting digestion. This holds true when you consume black pepper, especially with a meal, which might enhance your body’s ability break down and digest food. Research has shown that black pepper has a positive effect on pancreatic enzymes too, benefiting the overall digestive process (2).

Black pepper also has carminative properties and helps relieve stomach gas. It can also relieve flatulence and colicky pain. Replacing chili powder in your meals with black pepper can treat flatulence.

The pepper is also known to relieve peptic ulcers – but the research is limited.

  1. Prevents Cancer

Studies have shown that the piperine in black pepper exerts protective activity against numerous forms of cancer (3). Piperine also increases the absorption of other nutrients like   selenium, curcumin, beta-carotene, and B vitamins in your intestines – nutrients that are vital for gut health and cancer prevention.

Another Canadian study also credits the anticancer properties of black pepper to piperine. It reduces the stress on the rectum and helps prevent colon cancer. It showed similar properties in cases of prostate cancer too (4). And not just that, piperine also was found to enhance the effectiveness of docetaxel, a chemotherapy medication used in the cancer of the prostate (5).

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure

It’s piperine, again. Reports have shown that piperine can lower blood pressure in animals, and similar effects can be expected in human beings. One Slovakian study states that oral administration of piperine can control the increase in blood pressure (6).

Ingestion of piperine also proved to be effective in controlling blood pressure in yet another study. Interestingly, piperine also enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, another important compound found in turmeric (7).

  1. Promotes Weight Loss

Studies have found that piperine in black pepper, the very compound that makes you sneeze, also fights the formation of fat cells. This can push you a little further towards your weight loss goals. Research says that black pepper might offer an alternative to treatments for fat-related issues (8).

Black pepper’s characteristic to inhibit fat cell formation sets off a chain reaction that can keep fat formation in check at various other biological levels.

Also, black pepper is a welcome addition to a weight loss diet – since a teaspoon of this pepper has just about 8 calories. And instead of that calorie-heavy Italian dressing on your chicken breast or grilled vegetables, simply add a dash of black pepper and squeeze a lemon to save calories.

  1. Relieves Cold And Cough

Black pepper has been used for this purpose even in the ancient Chinese medicine. The pepper is known to stimulate circulation and the mucous flow. And when you combine it with honey, the effect is enhanced – as honey works as a natural cough suppressant.

Simply mix a teaspoon of powdered black pepper with 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup. Fill the cup with boiling water, cover it and let it steep for about 15 minutes. You can strain the drink and sip it. Do it thrice a day to clear congestion and sinuses.

The pepper can also ease asthmatic symptoms. One study conducted on asthmatic patients in a specialty care facility in Trinidad found that administering pepper to the patients had improved their condition (9). Black pepper clears the respiratory tract and eases other respiratory ailments like whooping cough as well.

  1. Fights Infections

The antibacterial properties of black pepper come into play here. As per one South African study, piperine in black pepper exhibits larvicidal effects (targeted towards dangerous insects in their larval stage of life) and help prevent infection and spread of disease (10).

  1. Has Antioxidant Benefits

Black pepper has superb antioxidant effects, which contribute to your health in numerous ways (11). Antioxidants fight the disease-causing free radicals and boost immunity. In another Indian study, rats with induced oxidative stress, when administered with black pepper, showed considerable improvement in their condition (12).

Another test conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition in India found that black pepper had the highest concentration of antioxidants in all of the foods they had analyzed. The pepper also had the highest phenolic content. This high antioxidant content enables pepper to offer various health benefits, some of which include the prevention of serious ailments like cancer.

On top of all this, the piperine in black pepper increases the bioavailability of nutrients in numerous foods and supplements. And this means – it can transform a marginally effective therapeutic substance into a highly effective one – simply by enhancing its intracellular residency time. Also, it is important to note that the more intense the flavour of black pepper, the higher the piperine content.

  1. Improves Oral Health

Certain massaging mixtures contain black pepper as one of the main ingredients. These massages relieve toothache and other oral infections, given piperine’s antibacterial properties.

Pepper also has anti-inflammatory properties that help treat gum inflammation. What else, you can even mix pepper with salt for relief from dental issues. Simply mix equal amounts of salt and pepper in water and rub the mixture on your gums. For toothache, you can mix black pepper with clove oil and apply to the affected area.

However, there is limited research on this. Consult your doctor before use.

  1. Enhances Brain Health

Black pepper has great effects on brain health. The piperine in the pepper inhibits one enzyme that breaks down serotonin, the calming neurotransmitter. This enzyme also degrades the functioning of another hormone called melatonin – which regulates the sleep/wake cycle.

Piperine also has its importance in Parkinson’s disease. It inhibits another type of enzyme that disrupts the production of dopamine, the feel-good hormone. Dopamine is usually deficient in patients with Parkinson’s, and ingesting black pepper can ease the symptoms. Similar effects can be observed in the case of depression too.

Black pepper can also delay brain aging and prevent Alzheimer’s. And it can also enhance the nerve activity in the brain, thereby curing seizures. It also protects the nerve cells and prevents early cell death. Moreover, it also had shown beneficial effects in stroke patients.

As per another Indian study, piperine in black pepper can decrease the formation of amyloidal plaque and prevent Alzheimer’s disease (13).

  1. Improves Fertility In Men

Pepper plays an important role in improving male fertility. It is known to increase testosterone levels as it is rich in zinc and magnesium – two minerals critical for male sex hormones. It also increases sperm count and its concentration. The zinc in pepper also helps in the development and movement of sperms.

  1. Helps Quit Smoking

Studies have shown that inhaling the vapor from black pepper can reduce smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cigarette cravings were also significantly reduced in test subjects who inhaled black pepper vapor (14).

  1. Helps Treat Diabetes

The beneficial antioxidants in black pepper might help stabilize blood sugar levels. They regulate hyperglycemia, thereby aiding in diabetes treatment. And a 2013 study has proved that black pepper oil can inhibit the two enzymes that break down starch into glucose and make diabetic symptoms worse. But ingesting black pepper can delay glucose absorption.

Piperine can also be used as a bio-enhancing agent alongside metformin (a diabetes medication) – it helps reduce the dose of metformin and even its side effects, all the while helping ease the symptoms of the disease (15).

What Are The Benefits For Skin?

The potent antioxidants in black pepper offer excellent anti-aging benefits. The pepper also cleanses the skin and helps treat acne and other skin diseases like vitiligo.  

  1. Fights Wrinkles

The antioxidants in black pepper fight free radicals that cause signs of aging and harm your skin in more than one way. Black pepper fights the signs of premature aging – including wrinkles, fine lines, and even dark spots.

You can simply add black pepper to your daily diet to see its skin-enhancing effects. Or just combine a teaspoon of black pepper with equal amounts of honey or turmeric. Add water for a smoother consistency. Apply the mask to your face twice a day.

  1. Exfoliates The Skin

Black pepper can be used as a scrub to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. This makes your skin smoother.

Crush some black pepper and make a scrub to remove dead skin cells and exfoliate your skin. Just take 1/2 teaspoon of powdered black pepper and 1 teaspoon of yogurt. Apply to your face and wash after 20 minutes.

This face pack will help remove toxins from your skin, leaving it soft and radiant. Black pepper also helps promote blood circulation and provides more oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help prevent acne.

  1. Cures Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition that causes the skin to lose its pigmentation in certain areas. When your skin loses its natural pigmentation, it turns white. There are many different treatments for this skin disease, but a majority of them involve the use of harsh chemicals. Many patients are now turning to black pepper as a cure.

According to researchers from London, piperine found in black pepper provides a safe and natural alternative to chemical-based treatments.

What About The Benefits For Hair?

The antioxidant properties of black pepper help solve serious hair issues like dandruff and hair fall. You can also combine it with honey or turmeric for better effects.  

  1. Helps Treat Dandruff

If you are suffering from dandruff problems, black pepper is the best treatment. Add a teaspoon of crushed pepper to a bowl of curd and apply it to your scalp, leaving it on for about 30 minutes. Wash off with water. Do not use shampoo. If you want, you can shampoo the next day as this will give the mixture ample time to work on dandruff.

Remember not to overdo the pepper as an excess of this ingredient will make your scalp burn, causing extreme discomfort.

  1. Revitalizes Hair

Mix a teaspoon each of lemon and ground black pepper seeds and apply to your scalp and hair. This will revitalize your hair, making it shiny, lustrous, and soft. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

You can also mix a teaspoon of powdered black pepper with equal amounts of honey and apply to your hair. This will strengthen the hair roots and can even help prevent baldness.

That’s the list of benefits of black pepper. But one must also know how to select the pepper and store it.

How To Select And Store Black Pepper?

Selection

Black pepper can be found in crushed and whole varieties. Whole peppercorns are better as they are mostly unadulterated. While purchasing whole peppercorns, always make sure that they are small, heavy, and free of blemishes.

Storage

To store black pepper, keep them in a glass jar that is well-sealed and airtight and store the container in a cool and dry place. Ground pepper can be stored for about three months while whole black peppercorns can be stored for an indefinite amount of time. Freezing pepper is also a great storage method, although the taste may change a little and become stronger.

Any Tips For Using Black Pepper In Cooking?

Increase the quantity. This can help enhance the taste of your dish and would be beneficial to your health too. First, add a regular amount of salt and pepper – and then go on a little more with the pepper.

Since you are adding a little more amount of black pepper to your dish, you might trigger a coughing fit if the black pepper is finely ground. Hence, go for the coarse variety.

You can also use peppercorns as a coating for your food. This will make your dish crunchier.

Any Black Pepper Recipes?

  1. black Pepper Tea

What You Need

2 cups of filtered water

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger

Directions

First, bring the water to a boil.

Add all the ingredients.

Turn off the heat and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain into a mug and drink while hot.

  1. Black Pepper Sauce

What You Need

60 grams of chopped butter

1/4 cup of red wine

2 cups of Massel beef stock

2 finely chopped eschalots

2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper

Directions

Over a medium frying pan placed over medium heat, melt half the butter until it foams.

Add the eschalots.

Keep stirring and cook for about 5 minutes until the eschalots have softened.

Add the red wine and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium.

Cook the sauce for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it is almost evaporated.

Add the stock and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Stirring occasionally, simmer for about 10 minutes. The stock must be reduced to half and slightly thickened.

Whisk in the remaining butter until it melts and the sauce has slightly thickened.

You can serve the sauce with steak.

Black pepper doesn’t just have a spicy side alone. There is a bit of fun too.

Any Fun Facts About Black Pepper?

Indian monks ate several peppercorns a day during their travels to enhance endurance.

Pepper was mostly consumed by the wealthy as it was very expensive.

The Romans used to demand pepper as ransom when they besieged a city.

During the Middle Ages, peppercorns were worth more than gold in weight.

Vietnam is the largest producer and exporter of pepper in the world.

There are thousands of different varieties of pepper, of which 30 are known.

We saw all that is hot about black pepper. But there is another side to it.

Does Black Pepper Have Side Effects? What Are They?

Eye Redness

If black pepper gets into the eye, it can cause redness and burning.

Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Though it is fine to take black pepper in food amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, higher doses can cause complications. In pregnant women, higher doses of black pepper can lead to miscarriage. During breastfeeding, the consequences of intake of excess pepper are not clearly known. So stay safe and limit consumption to normal doses.

Conclusion

When it only makes your food more delicious, why think twice before using it? Spice up your diet with black pepper. Why? Because it is damn good. As simple as that.

And tell us how you liked this post. Leave your valuable comments in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is black pepper bad for your kidneys?

Peppercorns contain oxalates that might cause kidney stones in susceptible individuals. Hence, limit or even prevent intake if you are suffering from kidney complications. And do talk to your doctor.

How much black pepper can I take in a day?

There is not enough information with respect to dosage. Do as directed by your physician.

What are the benefits of taking black pepper in the morning?

Similar to what we have seen in this post. However, there is not enough information on the intake of black pepper on an empty stomach. So refrain from that.

 

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Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a popular spice used across the world for the flavour it imparts. But that’s just one side of the equation. This spice has also been used for thousands of years, primarily for its health benefits. Well, what could they be? How can this ancient spice make your life better? Keep reading. You will get the answers!

 

Table Of Contents

What Is Nutmeg?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Nutmeg?
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Nutmeg?
What Are The Side Effects Of Nutmeg?

What Is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a spice that is made from the seeds of the nutmeg tree (scientifically called Myristica fragrans). It is native to Indonesia, and it has a warm and spicy flavour.

The most common ways nutmeg is used in the United States are in desserts (like apple pie), beverages (like mulled wine), and even as a garnish over certain coffee drinks. In fact, it goes quite well with creamy and cheesy dishes.

But why nutmeg? What’s the big deal?

What Are The Health Benefits Of Nutmeg?

  1. Helps Prevent Cancer

Sources say that the essential oil of nutmeg can act as an antioxidant and prevent cancer in the process. It achieves this by stalling the formation of certain blood vessels that feed tumors. Other studies have also shown how the oil could prevent colon cancer (1).

Another study shows how a spice mixture containing nutmeg can potentially combat cancer. Including nutmeg in your daily diet can have therapeutic effects against cancer (2).

  1. Can Aid Diabetes Treatment

Nutmeg is one rich source of triterpenes, compounds that have antidiabetic properties. Studies show how the oil can relieve symptoms associated with chronic illnesses, diabetes being one of them (3).

  1. Relieves Arthritis Pain

Nutmeg has shown to ease chronic inflammatory pain, which is the primary characteristic of arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of nutmeg can reduce joint pains and inflammation associated with arthritis.

  1. Treats Insomnia

In smaller doses, nutmeg can have a calming effect that can induce sleep and treat insomnia. The spice was also used in ancient medicine as a way to de-stress and calm one’s mind. Adding a pinch of nutmeg to a glass of warm milk and taking before bedtime can aid better sleep.

The mild sedative actions of nutmeg have been recorded in studies, which prove its ability to treat insomnia (4).

  1. Improves Digestion

The essential oils in nutmeg have a carminative effect – meaning they help reduce flatulence. Issues like diarrhea, constipation, gas, and even bloating can be relieved by consuming it. Nutmeg also promotes the secretion of the digestive enzymes, further aiding digestion.

It also contains fiber, which can help in bowel movement.

  1. Eases Pain

Nutmeg is often used to treat spasms and pain. In fact, nutmeg extract is applied to relieve pain – especially in the muscles and joints. Nutmeg also contains methanol that possesses pain-relieving properties. Which is why including this spice in your diet can reduce the pain associated with wounds and injuries and strains.

There are other volatile oils in nutmeg like elemicin, eugenol, and safrole – all of which have anti-inflammatory properties and help alleviate pain associated with inflammation.

  1. May Lower Cholesterol Levels

Though there is less information on this, some sources speak of the manganese levels in nutmeg. The mineral works as a catalyst for cholesterol breakdown, and this may help in lowering cholesterol levels.

  1. Improves Dental Health

Nutmeg is a powerhouse of antibacterial properties, and that is how it contributes to oral health. The spice is known to treat dental issues like cavities, toothache, and even tooth decay in some cases.

The antibacterial properties of nutmeg can also eliminate bad breath.

  1. Might Aid Weight Loss

The only known way nutmeg might aid weight loss is through its soporific (sleep-inducing) properties. Consuming nutmeg in your dinner can make you fall asleep faster, thereby keeping you away from binging. And the fiber in the spice might also contribute to weight loss.

  1. Treats Anxiety

Nutmeg contains trimyristin, which, as per studies, showed to cause anxiogenic (reducing anxiety) responses. Nutmeg also works as an antidepressant and can help in treating depression. The spice is basically a brain tonic that stimulates your brain. It even helps eliminate mental fatigue and stress and boosts mental activity (5).

All of this can be attributed to nutmeg’s ability to trigger neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which impact your mood.

  1. Might Treat Urinary Incontinence

Some reports suggest how nutmeg can treat urinary incontinence. But more research is warranted. We recommend you speak to your doctor before using nutmeg in this regard.

  1. Helps Fight Acne

Nutmeg exhibits strong antibacterial and antifungal activities – and this can help treat acne. And then, there is the anti-inflammatory activity of the spice, which can heal inflammation and redness associated with acne.

You can prepare an acne mask by mixing one teaspoon each of nutmeg and honey (for its additional antibacterial properties). Apply the mixture gently to your face. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and wash off with cold water.

  1. Can Aid Eczema Treatment

Though not scientifically proven to work, several individuals vouch for this method. You can combine one tablespoon of nutmeg with one teaspoon of olive oil. Mix well to form a thick paste, and apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, post which you can wash the cream off with cold water.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of nutmeg, yet again, it can be used as a potential treatment for eczema.

These are the benefits of nutmeg. We just had a glimpse into its essential nutrients, but there is more that you must know.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Nutmeg?

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

525 Kcal

26

Carbohydrates

49.29 g

38%

Protein

5.84 g

10%

Total Fat

36.31 g

180%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

20.8 g

55%

VITAMINS

Folates

76 µg

19%

Niacin

1.299 mg

8%

Pyridoxine

0.160 mg

12%

Riboflavin

0.057 mg

4%

Thiamin

0.346 mg

29%

Vitamin-A

102 IU

3.5%

Vitamin C

3 mg

5%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

16 mg

1%

Potassium

350 mg

7.5%

MINERALS

Calcium

184 mg

18%

Copper

1.027 mg

114%

Iron

3.04 mg

38%

Magnesium

183 mg

46%

Manganese

2.900 mg

126%

Phosphorus

213 mg

30%

Zinc

2.15 mg

20%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

16 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

90 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

0 µg

 

Nutmeg sure contains some powerful nutrients. But this doesn’t mean you can consume as much as of it as you want. Because it might lead to the following side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Nutmeg?

Hallucinations And Other Mental Side Effects

Long-term use of nutmeg in doses higher than 120 mg per day can lead to hallucinations and other mental issues like dizziness and agitation. It can also lead to a high, often called ‘nutmeg high.’

Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Excess consumption can cause miscarriages or birth defects. Talking about breastfeeding, not much is known. Hence, avoid nutmeg in both the instances.

In rare cases, excess consumption of nutmeg can even lead to death.

Conclusion

A popular spice used the world over, nutmeg sure has its share of benefits. And you saw what they are. So, why don’t you start including nutmeg in your diet right away? Also, tell us how this post has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is a good substitute for nutmeg?

Mace is the closest substitute for nutmeg. Mace is nothing but the outer membrane of the nutmeg seed before it is harvested, which is why it has a similar flavour.

How to prepare nutmeg tea?

Add nutmeg powder to boiling water along with a piece of ginger. Allow to steep for 2 to 3 minutes. And your nutmeg tea is ready!

Can you smoke nutmeg?

Yes, but you don’t want to do that. Smoking nutmeg is dangerous.

 

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Mustard

Mustard seeds, also known as ‘Sarso‘ or ‘Rai‘ in Hindi, ‘Kadugu‘ (Tamil & Malayalam), ‘Avalu‘ in Telugu, ‘Rai‘ in Gujarati, ‘Shorshe‘ in Bengali, ‘Mohori‘ in Marathi and ‘Rai‘ in Punjabi. Mustard seeds are a very popular ingredient in the American cuisine. Benefits of mustard seeds are many and popularly used for taste generally in hot dogs, where mustard sauce is very much preferred. It also has medicinal applications dating back to the time of Hippocrates.

It is available in white, brown and black varieties and is used by people all over the world. Greeks, Romans, Asians and Africans have all explored the taste of mustard seeds and have integrated them into their cuisines. Mustard seeds also find their place in the Bible and their first usage record is found in the Sanskrit scripts that date back to thousands of years.

 

Health Benefits Of Mustard Seeds:

Apart from the taste benefits of mustard seeds and the easy availability that made them popular, one can find a number of mustard seed benefits for our health too. Some of the mustard seeds health benefits are mentioned below.

  1. Cancer Treatment:

The presence of compounds like glucosinolates and mirosinase in mustard seeds are known to use phytochemicals to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. This is definitely a major mustard seeds health benefit (1).

  1. Rheumatic Arthritis:

Mustard seeds are a source of relief for people having rheumatic arthritis. The selenium and magnesium content in it helps in providing relief from this problem (2).

  1. Migraine:

Migraine occurrence also reduces owing to the magnesium content present in the mustard seed. A little touch of mustard to your fish can boost the constituting omega-3 content (3).

  1. Respiration Congestion:

Mustard seeds or mustard in general is known to relieve any congestion problems in respiration (4).

  1. Nightshades:

Mustard seeds should find an inclusion in your list of daily spices if you want to avoid nightshades.

  1. Disease Prevention:

There are certain nutrients in mustard seeds that prevent diseases from occurring. They are all a part of the basic structure of the Brassica family to which mustard belongs (5).

  1. Dietary Fibre:

Mustard seeds are a good source of dietary fibres that improve digestion in the body. They make the bowel movements better, thus improving the overall metabolism of the body. The fibre content here is mostly very readily soluble making it effective for use (6).

  1. Cancer Risk Prevention:

Selenium content in mustard seeds provides good resistance to the body against cancer cell formation. It is known to slow down the rate of development of cancer cells and also acts as an anti-oxidant (7).

  1. Blood Pressure and Menopausal Relief:

A number of nutrients present in mustard seeds like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium also assist in the treatment of blood pressure and menopause relief (8).

 

  1. Asthma:

Mustard seeds are also known to be beneficial for Asthma patients. The presence of minerals like copper, magnesium, iron and selenium in it are responsible for the prevention of Asthma Attacks (9).

Skin Benefits Of Mustard Seeds

  1. Natural scrub:Mustard seeds are a natural scrub. You can add it to either lavender or rose essential oil. Use this mix to scrub your face and exfoliate dead skin.
  2. Hydrates skin:Mustard seeds, used with aloe vera gel, can act as a great combination to hydrate your skin. It removes all impurities from your face and nourishes it from within (10).
  3. Slows ageing:Mustard seeds make for a great source of carotene and lutein. It is also a great power house of vitamin A, C and K. Together these nutrients make for an excellent antioxidant (11).
  4. Fights infections:These seeds contain a good amount of sulphur which is known for its anti-fungal properties. They help ward off skin infections (12).

Hair Benefits Of Mustard Seeds

  1. Hair growth:Mustard oil, extracted from mustard seeds, is a good source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a great nutrient for hair growth. It is also a great stimulant which leads to faster hair growth (13).
  2. Strengthens hair:Mustard seeds contain protein, calcium, vitamin A and E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. All of these together strengthen your hair from within. Strengthened hair means lesser hair fall too.
  3. Conditions:Mustard seeds contain fatty acids. These are known to condition your hair from deep within. It also gives hair a good shine and bounce.

Other uses

Removes Odour: If your jars start to smell like the spices or ingredients you store in them, using mustard seeds can help. Warm a little water and add it to the jar. Also add a little mustard seed paste to the jar and shake it well. Pour it out. You would be surprised how the smell goes away.

Relieves Muscle Pains: Stiff muscles or sore and aching muscles can be treated with mustard seeds too. Just soak yourself in a tub of warm water. Now add some mustard seeds powder to the same to relieve pain.

Treats Cold: Mustard is often used to relieve congestion caused by bad cough or cold.

Treats Back Pain: The extract of mustard seeds is useful in relieving spasms and back pain.

Treats Fever: Mustard seeds induce heavy sweating, which is used to lower fever. It helps release the toxins from the body and has been useful in flu and cold too.

How to select mustards seeds

Always try and buy organically-grown mustard seeds.

Check for manufacturing dates.

Check the expiry date.

How to store

Always store mustard seeds in a cool place.

Store it in an air-tight container so that it is sealed properly.

The container must be completely dry.

The shelf where you place the container should not be moist.

Whole mustard seeds can last up to one year (at least) and powdered or ground ones last as long as six months.

How to use

Mustard seeds are largely used for tempering dishes.

It is also used in non-vegetarian dishes to enhance the taste of meats and fishes.

It can also be used for pickling and in chutneys.

Another great way of putting mustard seeds to use is in salad dressings.

Brown mustard seeds are used for garnishing, once sautéed in oil a little.

Make sure you don’t overcook mustard seeds or their taste may turn bitter.

Interesting facts about mustard seeds

Mustard seeds belong to the mustard plant. Mustard plant is a part of cruciferous plant family. This same family of plant includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and even cauliflower.

Mustard seed is the second most popular spice that is traded around the world.

Mustard has been mentioned around 5 times in the Bible. It has once been mentioned as the greatest herb ever.

Recipes using mustard seeds

  1. Mustard seeds rice:

Boil some rice.

Right before serving, temper a little ghee in a pan, add yellow, white and brown mustard seeds.

Add some cumin seeds.

Once they start to splutter, add rice and serve immediately.

Mustard seeds will add a new flavour to the rice.

Serve it hot with other vegetables, curry or dal.

  1. Mustard seeds dip sauce:

Add mustard seeds, honey and few other seasonings of your choice together.

This would make for a pungent yet sweet tasting dip.

  1. Cabbage with mustard seeds:

Chop some cabbage and onions.

Heat some oil. Sprinkle mustard seeds all over and cover the lid immediately.

Wait till the seeds settle down and stop spluttering or popping.

Now add cabbage and onions.

Heat it on a medium flame.

Now cook it till the cabbage turns a little tender and add salt to taste.

Serve it as a crunchy side dish.

It can also be used as a filling in quesadillas.

Many people add this to pasta by tossing it along and make it a main dish.

The next time you use mustard seeds, remember you’re having a plateful of benefits. Hope you can put the information shared through this article to use. Please leave us your comments below. Thank you!

Mustard Seeds USDA Nutrition Chart:

 

 

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

508 Kcal

25%

Carbohydrates

28.09 g

21%

Protein

26.08 g

46%

Total Fat

36.24 g

121%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

12.2 g

32%

VITAMINS

Folates

162 µg

40%

Niacin

4.733 mg

30%

Pantothenic acid

0.810 mg

16%

Pyridoxine

0.397 mg

31%

Riboflavin

0.261 mg

20%

Thiamin

0.805 mg

67%

Vitamin A

31 IU

1%

Vitamin C

7.1 mg

12%

Vitamin E-γ

19.82 mg

132%

Vitamin K

5.4 µg

4%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

13 mg

1%

Potassium

738 mg

16%

MINERALS

Calcium

266 mg

27%

Copper

0.645 mg

71%

Iron

9.21 mg

115%

Magnesium

370 mg

92%

Manganese

2.448 mg

106%

Selenium

208.1 µg

378%

Zinc

6.08 mg

55%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

18 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

508 µg

 

Mustard seeds of weight 11 grams in one serving contain the following nutrients.

It has 52 calories, 3 grams’ fat, 1mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 2 grams of carbohydras and 3 grams of proteins.

Apart from this, the dietary value of Calcium, iron, vitamin C, Vitamin A are 65, 6%, 1% and 0% respectively in this quantity.

Hope you find this post on benefits of mustard seeds was helpful.

 

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Mace
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Lemongrass

The health benefits of lemongrass include relief from stomach disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, fever, aches, infections, rheumatism, and edema. The defensive antioxidant activity of the lemongrass herb protects against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels, cellular health, nervous system, healthy skin, and immune system. It is also effective in treating type 2 diabetescancer, and obesity, while also aiding in detoxification. It is extensively used in aromatherapy and helps combat fatigue, anxiety, and body odour.

 

Lemongrass – An Aromatic Healer

Cymbopogon citratus, also known as lemongrass, is an herb which belongs to the grass family of Poaceae[1] It is utilized for its distinct lemon flavour and citrusy aroma. It is a tall, perennial grass which is native to India and tropical regions of Asia. It is a rough and tufted plant with linear leaves that grows in thick bunches, emerging from a strong base and standing for about 3 meters in height with a meter-wide stretch.

In addition to its culinary usage, this herb offers an array of medicinal benefits and is in extensive demand due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties across Southeast Asia, as well as the African and American continents. [2]

The genus Cymbopogon comprises 55 species of grasses, two of which are referred to as lemongrass. [3] These are Cymbopogon citratus, which is famously preferred for culinary use and Cymbopogon flexuosus, which is used in the manufacturing of fragrances because of its extended shelf life, owing to the low amount of myrcene in that variety.

 

Nutrition Facts

Lemon grass (citronella), raw

Nutrient

Value

Water [g]

70.58

Energy [kcal]

99

Protein [g]

1.82

Total lipid (fat) [g]

0.49

Carbohydrate, by difference [g]

25.31

Calcium, Ca [mg]

65

Iron, Fe [mg]

8.17

Magnesium, Mg [mg]

60

Phosphorus, P [mg]

101

Potassium, K [mg]

723

Sodium, Na [mg]

6

Zinc, Zn [mg]

2.23

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]

2.6

Thiamin [mg]

0.07

Riboflavin [mg]

0.14

Niacin [mg]

1.1

Vitamin B-6 [mg]

0.08

Folate, DFE [µg]

75

Vitamin B-12 [µg]

0

Vitamin A, RAE [µg]

0

Vitamin A, IU [IU]

6

Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]

0

Vitamin D [IU]

0

Fatty acids, total saturated [g]

0.12

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]

0.05

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]

0.17

Fatty acids, total trans [g]

0

Cholesterol [mg]

0

Sources include : USDA [4]

 

Lemongrass Nutrition Facts

Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elemicin, catechol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, all of which help in providing an impressive range of medicinal aids. [1] The main component of this fragrant herb is lemonal or citral, which has anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities, while also providing a distinct lemony smell. [5]

Lemongrass is an aromatic storehouse of essential nutrients providing an array of health benefits. The USDA National Nutrient Database shows that it is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin Avitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3(niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, and vitamin C[4] It also provides essential minerals such as potassiumcalciummagnesium, phosphorous, manganesecopperzinc, and iron, which are required for the healthy functioning of the human body. It offers no harmful cholesterol or fats.

Health Benefits of Lemongrass

Let us look, in details, at some of the most well-known health benefits [6] of lemongrass:

Lowers Cholesterol

Research published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal in the year 2011 revealed that lemongrass possesses anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties that support healthy cholesterol levels. [7] Studies have also shown that the regular consumption helps in sustaining healthy levels of triglycerides and reducing the LDL cholesterol in the body. [8] This helps in preventing the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels and promotes an unobstructed flow of blood in the arteries, preventing various cardiac disorders such as atherosclerosis.

Detoxifies the Body

According to a 2003 study, lemongrass helps in cleansing and flushing harmful toxic wastes out of the body, as a result of its diuretic properties. [9] Detoxification helps in the regulation of various organs of the body, including the liver and kidney, while also helping to lower the levels of uric acid. The diuretic effect of the herb helps in increasing the quantity and frequency of urination, which helps in maintaining digestive health, eliminating accrued fats, and assisting in maintaining a clean system.

Prevents Cancer

Lemongrass is effective in preventing growth of cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells of the body. Research conducted to prove the anti-cancerous activity of lemongrass has shown promising outcomes in the prevention of skin cancer. [10] This is mainly because the presence of a chemical compound called citral in it.

A research conducted on the effects of citral on cancer cells shows that it helps in inhibiting the growth of hepatic cancer cells during the initial phase and prevents any further growth of cancerous cells. [11]Another study provides supporting evidence regarding the anti-proliferative effect of citral in impeding the growth of human breast cancer cells and the induction of apoptosis. [12]

Staphylococcus aureus

Research conducted at the School of Health, The University of Northampton, UK and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology has shown that lemongrass essential oilhas an anti-biofilm capacity and is beneficial against the infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus[13]It contains phenols which possess the capability to spread quickly through the body tissues and cure biofilms located anywhere in the body. [14] It disrupts the growth and communication of germs, which helps in inhibiting the formation of the biofilms. [5] The herb’s essential oil is used for application, both topically as well as internally to cure the diseases diagnosed with biofilms, such as Lyme disease.

Stomach Disorders

Studies have shown that lemongrass essential oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting the infections caused by various pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli[15] It is beneficial in the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcers, helps in stimulating the bowel function, and improves digestion. [16] The anti-inflammatory property of the herb is beneficial for treating constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, nausea and stomach aches.

Treats Insomnia

Lemongrass aids in calming muscles and nerves, which helps in inducing deep sleep. Research has shown that its herbal tea has sedative and hypnotic properties which help in increasing the duration of sleep. [17]

Respiratory Disorders

Lemongrass is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its healingeffects in treating cough and cold. [18] Along with other beneficial components, the vitamin C content present in it helps in providing relief from nasal blockages, flu and other respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma[19]

Cures Fever

Lemongrass is a febrifuge and is also known as the ‘fever grass’, owing to its beneficial effects in lowering fever. [20] The anti-pyretic and diaphoretic effect is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine for curing fevers by inducing sweating.

Treats Infections

Lemongrass works as an antiseptic and is effective in treating infections such as ringworm, sores, Athlete’s Foot, scabies, and urinary tract infections (UTI) because of its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. [21] Studies have shown that the herb exerts healing effects on dermatological infections, such as yeast infections, by inhibiting the growth of pathogens. Another study provides supporting evidence that demonstrated the efficacy of lemongrass over thyme, patchouli, and cedarwood oil in the treatment of various diseases such as oral or vaginal candidiasis. [22]

Reduces Aches

Lemongrass alleviates the pain and discomfort caused by headaches and migraines due to its analgesic properties. [23] The phytonutrients present in it improve blood circulation and help in relieving spasms, muscle cramps, sprains, and backaches. It is valuable in treating sports wounds, including dislocations, internal injuries, and bruises.

Nervous System

Lemongrass is nervine and has been proven to be a tonic for the nervous system. It stimulates the mind and helps in combating convulsions, nervousness, vertigo, and various neuronal disorders. It is used in therapeutic baths, which assist in calming the nerves and alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and fatigue caused by stress.

Type-2 Diabetes

Lemongrass has been proven beneficial in treating type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the citral present in it help maintain optimum levels of insulin and improve the tolerance of glucose in the body. [24]

Prevents Rheumatism

Lemongrass is effective in relieving the pain and discomfort caused by rheumatism. [25] It can be applied topically on both lumbago and sprains and helps in relieving neuralgia.

Boosts Immunity

Lemongrass helps in restoring the vital systems which are operational in the body, including digestion, respiration, excretion, and the nervous system. This assists in the better absorption of nutrients and strengthening of the immune defense mechanism of the body. Lemongrass extracts have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory actions of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules through which the cells communicate and respond to the body. Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts anti-inflammatory action and its constituent, citral, may be the cause of its inhibitory effect on cytokine production. [26]

Skin Care

Lemongrass has been treasured as a skin tonic and makes an effective cleanser for oily or acne-prone skin, due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities. [27] It helps in strengthening the skin tissues and toning up the pores while also sterilizing them. Care should be taken while using lemongrass products, as the undiluted application might lead to dermal irritation in some cases.

Cellular Health

Lemongrass possesses antioxidant qualities and helps in protecting the body cells from oxygen-derived free radicals. [28] It also helps in the cleansing of blood and strengthening the spleen to discard the tarnished red blood cells. It supports the function of the thymus glands which helps produce white blood cells. It helps in stimulating the regeneration of cells. The folate and potassium content in the stem and leaves of lemongrass aids in DNA synthesis and promotes cell division.

Treats Edema

Lemongrass is effective in curing the condition of water retention or edema. [28] It has a cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion and helps soothe the swelling.

Aromatherapy

Lemongrass consists of the beneficial ingredients of essential oils such as neroli, citronellol, myrcene, dipentene, geraniol and methyl heptenone which possess anti-fungal, insecticidal, and antiseptic properties. [29] Lemongrass oil is extensively used in aromatherapy, due to its therapeutic effects, which help in revitalizing the body. The cooling effect of lemongrass oil is beneficial for the body during hot weather and promotes the revival of both the mind and soul. [30] This oil possesses natural astringent and toning qualities which help in stimulating blood circulation and tones up the dermal tissues. [31] It also helps in tightening, uplifting and firming lethargic or sagging skin.

Obesity

Lemongrass contains citral, which has been proven to be effective in combating obesity. [24] It prevents the accumulation of abdominal fat and promotes the use of stored energy, which helps in preventing diet-induced weight gain. It aids in healthy metabolism and enhances the oxidation of fatty acids in the body.

Body Odor

Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of deodorants due to its cleansing and antibacterial properties which help combat unpleasant body-odor and prevent fungal and bacterial infections. [32] It can also be added to footbaths for sanitizing sore and odorous feet.

Insect Repellent

Lemongrass is used as a natural insect repellent and helps in preventing the occurrence of insect-borne diseases such as malariadengue, and Lyme disease. [33] Studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-malarial and anti-protozoan properties of lemongrass, which makes its oil an effective ingredient in mosquito repellents. [33]

Culinary Usage

Apart from folk medicines, lemongrass is commonly used in Asian cuisines, especially those of Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. It is used for adding flavor to beverages such as teas, curries, and soups, and also finds extensive use in the preparation of pudding, meat products, candies, and baked goods.

Other Uses 

Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of perfumes, deodorants, polishes, candles, and waxes. [29] It is also used to add fragrance to soaps and cosmetic products.

It is used to lure and attract honey bees for various commercial purposes. [34]

Hydrophobic Properties: Lemongrass is used for preserving ancient palm leaf manuscripts and protects them from the damage caused by microorganisms. [35] It strengthens the leaves by providing the required moisture to the fragile palm leaves without letting the humidity cause any loss to the stored text. This protective effect can be attributed to the hydrophobic properties of lemongrass oil.

Pet Products: Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of shampoos and grooming products for pets due to its repellent effects on lice and ticks.

Word of Caution

Although considered safe, the topical use of lemongrass oil or the ingestion of herbal tea can result in allergic reactions in some people. [36] In the event of any allergic symptoms, it is always advisable to discontinue the use of its essential oil and seek immediate medical attention.

Undiluted or concentrated lemongrass oil should not be applied directly on the body as it may result in harmful reactions. It is always advisable to keep the pure essential oil out of the reach of children.

It is also strongly recommended to consult a health professional before considering lemongrass oil for therapeutic usage; especially during pregnancy, when trying to conceive, breastfeeding, and during the course of any ongoing medical treatments.

 

11 Amazing Hibiscus Tea Health Benefits

Lemongrass has galactagogic properties, which promote the formation of milk in breasts. [37] It is also effective in stimulating menstrual flow and helps in soothing menstrual cramps and discomfort. It helps in soothing the swelling and its effects on the conditions of varicosity. Used cautiously, it can prove extremely valuable in providing a range of medicinal relief!

Add a refreshing and healthy aroma to your lifestyle with lemongrass!

 

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Ginger - Raw

1) Ginger Reduces Inflammation

According to a large analysis of 9 clinical studies, ginger strongly reduces the inflammation marker CRP in the blood. The dose ranged from 1 to 3 g per day, supplemented over 2-3 months [R].

It seems to be the pungent components in ginger, also known as oleoresins, that have the strongest anti-inflammatory effects based on animal and cellular studies.

One of ginger’s pungent components blocked a pathway (NF-κB) that reduces the activity of inflammatory genes in immune cells [R].

Like NSAIDs (aspirin and Advil), ginger blocks the inflammation- and pain-causing COX enzymes. This way, ginger reduced the production of inflammatory chemicals (called leukotrienes and prostaglandins) in cells and test tubes [R, R, R].

Ginger stopped the release of inflammatory cytokines in immune cells. It could reduce the important inflammation-causing TNF-alpha, as well as IL-1 beta [R].

Some other ginger benefits listed below — such as reducing pain, cramps, and arthritis — are also tightly linked to this key anti-inflammatory activity.

2) Ginger is a Natural Painkiller

Ginger is an effective and safe natural painkiller, according to a review of 7 studies that focused on athletes (SR of RCTs). A ginger dose of roughly 2 g/day may modestly reduce muscle pain from heavy exercise if taken for at least 5 days [R].

Ginger worked as well as the popular painkiller diclofenac (an NSAID also known as Voltaren) in a study of 43 people (RCT). The participants took a ginger extract (340 mg) for 4 weeks. Unlike diclofenac, ginger didn’t damage the stomach lining or cause digestive discomfort [R].

3) Ginger Helps with Menstrual Cramps

Ginger reduced PMS and menstrual pain in 6 trials (RCTs). It was much more effective than placebo and as effective as a painkiller commonly used for menstrual cramps (mefenamic acid, an NSAID) [R, R].

All studies used the powdered form of ginger at 750 mg-2,000 mg/day. It was most commonly used during the first 3 days of menstruation.

4) Ginger May Help with Osteoarthritis

Ginger improved the osteoarthritis symptoms in some studies. In one large study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (DB-RCT), a standardized ginger extract could reduce the symptoms over 6 weeks. The extract was safe and caused only mild stomach upset [R].

In another study of 75 people with osteoarthritis (DB-CT), ginger was effective only short-term, but the benefits were not sustained. The discrepancy could also be due to the different ginger extracts used. More research is needed to determine if ginger alone can help people suffering from osteoarthritis [RR].

5) Ginger May Help with Allergies and Asthma

Ginger is probably better for people with Th2 dominance.

Zerumbone, an active ingredient in ginger, enhanced the Th1 and reduced the Th2 response in mice with allergic asthma. It decreased the production of various Th2 immune substances, helping rebalance the immune system and reduce allergies. Ginger-treated mice had asthmatic symptoms, mucus, and lung inflammation [R].

Additional animal studies validate this traditional ginger use. Ginger helped improve asthma symptoms by suppressing the Th2 immune response and airway inflammation in mice. It could even affect the activity of genes that perpetuate Th2 dominance, possibly with long-term benefits [R, R].

Ginger relaxed the airways under asthmatic attack in a tissue study [R].

6) Ginger Helps with Eczema

6-Shogaol, a ginger compound, reduced eczema in mice. TNF-alpha plays a role in eczema symptoms, such as redness and skin eruptions. Interestingly, eczema is a mixed Th2/Th1 condition, and ginger managed to keep all inflammatory immune substances and pathways under control [R].

For example, TNF-alpha, which is typically a Th1 substance, is high in people with eczema. Eczema is an example of a Th2 condition with some Th1 characteristics. Ginger can reduce TNF-alpha levels, along with other Th2 products. So eczema is still more Th2 dominant, which helps to explain these beneficial effects of ginger on eczema overall [R].

7) Ginger Protects the Stomach

Ginger increased protective prostaglandins in the stomach lining in 43 osteoarthritis patients who used NSAIDs long-term (RCT). NSAIDs cause stomach damage by reducing prostaglandins in the stomach, which otherwise help maintain healthy stomach mucus. Since this is a big issue with long-term NSAIDs use, ginger could be a safe and effective alternative [R].

Cellular studies confirm that ginger reduces stomach damage. Antioxidants in ginger blocked the growth of stomach-ulcer-causing H.Pylori, mainly by fighting free radicals [R].

8) Ginger Helps with Nausea and Vomiting

Ginger is a popular natural remedy for morning sickness during early pregnancy. And according to a review of 6 studies (RCTs), about 1 g/day reduces morning sickness five-fold if used for at least 4 days in a row [RR].

The effects of ginger on nausea are linked to the vagus nerve, the activation of which is usually beneficial. However, over-activating some serotonin receptors (5HT3) in vagus nerve pathway to the gut causes nausea and vomiting [R].

Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting probably by blocking excess serotonin and vagus nerve activation in the stomach and gut, based on tissue and cellular studies. Many chemotherapy drugs cause nausea by increasing gut serotonin, which ginger may help safely counteract  [R, R].

HIV medications also cause nausea. Ginger (1 g/day) given before the medications improved both mild and severe nausea in a study of 105 HIV positive people after 2 weeks (RCT) [R, R].

9) Ginger Reduces Stomach Discomfort

Ginger has a long history of use for digestive disorders. It can both increase gut flow to boost digestion and alleviate painful stomach spasms [R].

Ginger helps with indigestion. In 126 people with indigestion (DB-RCT), a combination of ginger and artichoke improved digestion, nausea, bloating, and stomach pain after 4 weeks [R].

It increased stomach emptying in a study of 24 healthy people (DB-RCT). Each person took 1,200 mg of ginger in capsule form before a meal [R].

Ginger improved digestion, increased antioxidant enzymes, and reduced cortisol in rats with irritable bowel syndrome [R].

Most active components in ginger enhanced digestion in animal studies. Since ginger has over 100 active components, some of them could also relax the gut in animal studies, which could help with painful stomach spasms [ RRR].

Ginger probably doesn’t help with gallbladder issues. It didn’t have any effect on the gallbladder in a small study of 19 people (DB-RCT) [R].

10) Ginger Protects the Liver

Ginger Protects from Drugs and Heavy Metals

Ginger (500 mg/day) helped protect the liver from toxic antituberculosis drugs in a study of 60 people with tuberculosis (RCT) [R].

Ginger helped slow down aging-related liver damage in old rats. It was compared to alpha-lipoic acid, which had even stronger effects [R].

Ginger may protect from the detrimental effects of heavy metals and drugs on the liver. It protected both the liver and kidneys against cadmium toxicity in poisoned rabbits and from aluminum toxicity in rats. It also prevented liver damage and scarring from painkillers such as piroxicam in mice [R,RR].

Ginger Helps with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Ginger (2 g/day) greatly improved liver health, reduced liver enzymes, inflammatory cytokines, and improved insulin resistance in 44 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease after 12 weeks (DB-RCT) [R].

Ginger essential oil prevented liver disease and maintained healthy lipid levels in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. It also improved fatty liver disease and high triglycerides in rats by “turning off” fat-producing liver genes [RR].

11) Ginger Is an Antioxidant

Many active components in ginger and its essential oil, such as gingerol and shogaol, are potent antioxidants. They can scavenge free radicals throughout the body and neutralize them — crucial for preventing numerous chronic diseases [R, R].

This antioxidant activity underlies the immune-balancing and tumor-fighting benefits of ginger, demonstrated in animal and cell studies [R].

Shogaol activated the detox hub — Nrf2 — in brain cells, which may potentially protect from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s [R].

When added to anti-tuberculosis therapy in 69 people (RCT), 3 g of ginger daily boosted antioxidants and reduced inflammation. By combating inflammation, the biggest lung-damaging factor in tuberculosis, ginger can improve the tuberculosis outcomes [R].

12) Ginger May Fight Cancer

Active compounds in ginger could reverse some of the hallmarks of cancer in animal and cellular studies. Clinical studies have not confirmed these effects yet [R].

Triggering Cancer Cell Death

Compounds from a specific steam distilled ginger extract caused cancer uterine cells to die (via apoptosis). This extract reduced the activity of cancer-causing Bcl2 genes by 90% and increased the activity of cancer-fighting genes (p53) [R].

Zerumbone, another ingredient in ginger, triggered pancreatic cancer cell death by acting on the same cancer-fighting pathway (p53). It could also enhance the effects of radiation, making colorectal cancer cells more sensitive to it [RR].

Pungent components from fresh ginger blocked the growth of liver and bone cancer cells. Their antioxidant action rendered the cancer cells less invasive [R,R].

Blocking Cancer Cell Growth

Gingerol blocked cancer blood vessel growth in mice with melanoma and stopped breast cancer from spreading in cells [RR].

It also stopped skin, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, and colon cancer cells from making new blood vessels, which slowed down their growth and spreading. Zerumbone from ginger was mostly responsible for these effects, as it could block an important cancer pathway (NF-κB) in these cell studies [RRR, R, R].

13) Ginger Protects the DNA

Ginger protected sperm DNA against oxidative damage in a study of 100 infertile men (DB-RCT). All men took 500 mg of ginger powder daily for 3 months, after which their sperm DNA quality greatly increased [R].

Ginger’s DNA-protective effects are not important only for fertility. Ginger essential oil also reduced DNA damage from a mold toxin (aflatoxin B1) in cells [R].

14) Ginger Protects the Heart

Ginger can reduce an important inflammation marker (CRP), increase HDL and reduce triglycerides according to a review of 9 clinical studies (SR). Taken together, this means that ginger may protect the heart and prevent heart disease [R].

It also lowered blood pressure in rats by relaxing the blood vessels [R, R].

6-Gingerol can protect blood vessel cells from oxidative stress, which may help prevent hardening of the arteries [R].

15) Ginger Improves Blood Sugar Levels

A review of 9 clinical trials revealed that ginger can reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, a marker of long-term glucose levels [R].

16) Ginger May Prevent Weight Gain

Ginger could keep mice on a high-fat diet from gaining excessive weight. It enhanced fat burning and improved their exercise endurance by activating the PPAR delta pathway [R].

17) Ginger Fights Microbes

Ginger could kill viruses, bacteria, and yeast in numerous cellular studies. Clinical studies would need to confirm the safety and effectiveness of ginger for various types of infections. Ginger did enhance the effects of anti-tuberculosis drugs in humans, but no clinical studies have explored it yet as a stand-alone remedy.

Fresh Ginger Fights the Flu

In one cell study, only fresh ginger prevented the common cold virus from entering human cells. In another study, the dried ginger worked just as well [R,R].

Ginger Kills Bacteria

Ginger tinctures were antibacterial in cell studies, helping to fight many disease-causing bacteria such as [R, R, R]:

  • Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections
  • Staphylococcus pneumoniae, which can cause serious lung infections
  • Haemophilus influenzae, the common cold
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes hard-to-treat hospital infections
  • Salmonella, a cause of food poisoning
  • Escherichia coli, a common cause of UTIs

Ginger extracts also blocked the growth of 19 strains of stomach-ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori, including the drug-resistant ones, in the lab [R].

Ginger Kills Yeast and Fungus

In cells, ginger could kill 13 types of fungus that cause human diseases [R].

Ginger tincture blocked the growth of Candida in test tubes [R].

18) Ginger In Men for Boosting Testosterone

More than 20 years ago, scientists discovered the link between ginger and testosterone for the first time. Ever since, the studies have been scattered in the scientific literature. According to a recent review, ginger is able to boost testosterone levels in men, especially in those who are under oxidative stress [R].

In one open-label study of 75 infertile men, 3-month ginger supplementation increased testosterone by 17%. It also increased testosterone-boosting hormones, sperm count and sperm motility. Some parameters were up by 50% [R].

Ginger affects several pathways that in the end lead to increased testosterone, such as the following [R]:

  • Boosting testosterone production (by Increasing LHin the brain and cholesterol in the testes)
  • Combating oxidative stress in the testes
  • Boosting antioxidant enzymes
  • Increasing blood flow in the testes and their weight
  • Preserving testosterone receptors

 

And although ginger generally considered safe, these testosterone-boosting effects have not yet been confirmed in large clinical studies.

19) Ginger May Boost Cognition

Ginger extract enhanced cognition and working memory in a study of 60 middle-aged women (DB-RCT). All women took 400-800 mg of the extract for 2 months. Ginger’s antioxidant action may be the key to its nootropic effects [R].

 

Buy Ginger Supplements

 

Ginger Use and Dosage

Ginger dosage varies between 400 mg-2 g day, depending on the intended use and formulation:

  • Ginger dry extracts are stronger than ginger powder or fresh ginger. The typical dose rarely exceeds 1g/day. For boosting cognition, 400-800 mg/day was used in clinical studies
  • Capsules with dried ginger usually contain about 1 g of ginger, a dose that worked well as a digestive aid in studies
  • 1 g/day was used for reducing nausea in studies
  • 750 mg-2 g/day could reduce menstrual and PMS symptoms
  • 2 g/day of dried or fresh ginger has been researched for reducing inflammation.
  • Ginger tea or a water extract is used for fighting the common cold and for digestive symptoms.
  • Fresh ginger could ward off cold viruses in cellular studies [R].

At a high dose, ginger may cause acid reflux and stomach upset. While ginger is generally safe up to 10 grams daily, some people may be more sensitive to it.

Ginger Risks and Side Effects

Ginger seems to have little or no side-effects. However, have in mind the following:

  • Some people are sensitive to ginger.
  • Ginger may aggravate heartburn.
  • Ginger may reduce blood clotting, so consult your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medications [R].
  • The effects of long-term supplementation are unknown.
  • Ginger may reduce the activity of liver enzymes that break down nutrients and drugs. Consult your doctor about any drugs you are taking [R].

 

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Ginger - Dry
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Garlic

Not only is garlic a delicious aromatic that is used in cooking, but it also boosts your health. Garlic has been used as medicine for thousands of years by the Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Read on to learn more about the many benefits of garlic.

 

CONTENTS 

Garlic has a high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds. Thiosulfinates, which include allicin, are the main active components in garlic. It also contains:

High levels of saponins, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and zinc

Moderate levels of selenium and vitamins A and C

Low levels of calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese, and B-complex vitamins [R]

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic Treats Infections

Garlic has an antimicrobial effect on bacteria, yeast, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Allicin and sulfur-containing compounds in garlic inhibit DNA, RNA, and protein production in microbes [RRR].

1) Garlic Boosts the Immune System

In animal and cell-based studies, aged garlic extract stimulates white blood cells (lymphocytes, macrophages, monocytes, and neutrophils) by increasing glutathione. White blood cells are immune cells that provide protection against infections, while glutathione is an antioxidant that protects immune cells from free radicals [RRR].

2) Garlic Helps Treat Cold and Flu

In a study (DB-RCT) of 120 individuals, aged garlic extract reduced the severity of colds and the flu by increasing the number of immune cells (T cells and NK cells) and by boosting the immune system. Aged garlic extract increases the activity of immune cells while lowering inflammatory proteins (cytokines) [RR].

3) Garlic Treats Yeast Infections

In petri-dish studies, fresh garlic extract inhibited the growth of Candida, the most common type of yeast infections. Allicin in garlic inhibits the growth of candida by destroying fats present in the outer surface of the yeast [RRR].

4) Garlic Prevents Tooth Decay and Treats Oral Infections

Garlic has antibacterial effects on dental plaque bacteria that cause tooth decay if left untreated. Garlic also treats oral infections like periodontitis, oral thrush, and sore mouth from dentures. Garlic may be used in conjunction with antibiotics or to treat multidrug-resistant bacteria [RRRR].

Allicin in garlic combats bacteria by inhibiting sulfur-containing enzymes that bacteria need for survival [R].

5) Garlic May Help Treat HIV Infection

In a cell-based study, diallyl disulfide in garlic inhibited cell growth and selectively killed HIV-infected immune cells. Diallyl disulfide also inhibits virus replication by decreasing the production of proteins involved in HIV replication [R].

Ajoene, a garlic extract, prevents normal blood cells from fusing with HIV-infected cells and inhibits HIV replication in infected cells. Ajoene may prevent cell fusion by inactivating platelet integrins (a protein that causes blood cells to fuse together) in the blood [R].

6) Garlic Helps Treat Ulcers Caused By H. pylori

Raw garlic has antibacterial effects against H. pylori, the most common bacterial infection in the world and the main cause of ulcers in human and animal studies. Allicin in garlic reacts with proteins resulting in the inhibition of pathways associated with inflammation (TLR4 and NF-kB) [RRR].

Garlic oil treats ulcers in rats by increasing the concentration of antioxidant enzymes and by inhibiting proteins that cause inflammation [R].

7) Garlic Helps Treat Intestinal Infections Caused By Parasites

Garlic treats parasitic intestinal infections like giardiasis and tapeworm infections in rats.

Allicin in garlic disrupts the mobility, food absorption, and reproduction of the parasites by blocking fat synthesis in the parasites. Garlic also promotes immune function and strengthens the body’s defense mechanism against parasitic infections by stimulating white blood cells [RR].

Garlic May Prevent and Help Treat Cancer

S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC), a sulfur compound in garlic, decreases the growth of cancer cells and causes the death of cancer cells in cell-based studies. SAMC binds to a protein involved in cell reproduction (tubulin) and disrupts cell growth, activating proteins (JNK1 and caspase-3) that cause tumor cell death [RRR].

8) Garlic May Help Treat Brain Cancer

Diallyl trisulfide, a sulfur-containing compound in garlic, decreases the size of brain tumors in mice by inhibiting the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), which causes tumor cell death [R].

9) Garlic May Prevent Esophagus Cancer

Diallyl sulfide in garlic inhibits esophagus tumor formation in rats by disrupting the energy production of NMBA, which is a chemical found in fungi-contaminated foods that can cause liver and esophagus cancer [RR].

10) Garlic May Stop the Progression of Skin Cancer

Allyl sulfides in garlic control the growth of human skin cancer cells by causing DNA damage in cancer cells in human studies. The DNA damage in cancer cells signals the p53 protein to stop cancer cell growth and to kill cancer cells [RR].

11) Garlic May Slow Down Breast Cancer Growth

Diallyl disulfide in garlic prevents the growth of breast tumors by promoting tumor cell death and inhibiting its growth (via Bcl-2 proteins and the enzyme caspase) in rats [R].

12) Garlic Slows the Progression of and Treats Lung Cancer

Diallyl trisulfide in garlic works in combination with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin to inhibit lung tumor growth in mice. Diallyl trisulfide activates pathways that cause tumor cell death and prevents tumor cell growth (p53, Bcl-2, JNK, p38, and caspase) [R].

13) Garlic May Suppress Stomach Cancer Growth

S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC) in garlic suppresses the growth of stomach tumors in rats. SAMC causes tumor cell death by activating the enzymes caspase and protein kinases (MAPK and PI3K/Akt) [R].

14) Garlic May Slow Down Liver CancerProgression

Sulfur compounds in garlic inhibit liver cancer cell growth by activating proteins (p53, p21, and JNK) that stop tumor cell growth and cause cell death in rats [RR]

15) Garlic May Stop Colon Cancer Progression

Diallyl disulfide and S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC) in garlic suppress colon tumor growth by stopping cancer cell growth and increasing tumor cell death in cell and rat studies.

Diallyl disulfide disrupts the tumor cell cycle by activating the protein ERK. SAMC, which increases tumor cell death by activating the protein JNK1 and the enzyme caspase [RRR].

16) Garlic Helps Prevent Bladder Cancer

Garlic inhibits bladder tumor growth by stimulating immune cells and detoxifying carcinogens in mice.

Garlic increases the activity of macrophages and lymphocytes, which attack tumor cells. Garlic detoxifies carcinogens by activating the antioxidant enzyme CYP2E1 [RRR].

17) Garlic May Help Stop Prostate CancerProgression

S-allyl cysteine and SAMC inhibit prostate cancer cells growth by re-activating E-cadherin, a molecule that suppresses tumor invasion, in cancer patients. A low level of E-cadherin is associated with a high number of tumors and poor prognosis in prostate cancer patients [RRR].

Garlic Prevents and Treats Skin and Hair Conditions

18) Garlic May Help Treat Allergies

Aged garlic extract suppressed allergic reactions in mice. Ethyl acetate in aged garlic extract may directly suppress the immune protein FceRI, which is associated with the release of inflammatory factors during allergy responses. Aged garlic extract prevents inflammation during allergic reactions by inhibiting the release of histamine [RR].

19) Garlic Protects the Skin from Ultraviolet Rays

Garlic protects the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation by stimulating immune cells in human studies [R].

When exposed to UV rays, the urocanic acid in the skin changes, which causes suppression of the immune system. Aged garlic extract lessens the suppression of immune cells by decreasing the concentration of urocanic acid in rats [R].

20) Garlic Has Anti-Aging Effects

Long-term topical treatment with garlic extract may have anti-aging effects since garlic increases the growth and lifespan of skin cells. Garlic-treated skin cells are more healthy compared to untreated cells [R].

Antioxidants in garlic prevent damage caused by free radicals. Garlic also contains cytokinin, a hormone that promotes cell growth and delays aging through its antioxidant effects [RR].

21) Garlic May Help Skin Rashes

Garlic treats skin rashes like psoriasis and eczema. Activation of the compound NF-kB has been linked to skin rashes. NF-kB, which is activated by free radicals, cancer-causing agents, and UV light, causes inflammation.

S-allyl cysteine in garlic suppresses the pathway of NF-kB by inhibiting free radicals and lowering oxidative stress in cell model and human studies [R].

22) Garlic May Help Remove Scars

Garlic helps treat keloid scars, which are tough scars caused by the overgrowth of skin collagen. Garlic inhibits growth factors, nitric oxide, and enzymes involved in the production of collagen [R].

23) Garlic Helps with Hair Loss

Garlic gel in combination with steroid cream helps treat patients suffering from alopecia, a type of hair loss that results from immune cells attacking hair follicles. Diallyl disulfide in garlic may prevent the autoimmune response and induce hair re-growth by increasing immune suppressor cells [RRR].

Garlic Improves Heart Health and Metabolic Syndrome

24) Garlic Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Garlic lowers total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in the liver in human and animal studies. LDL cholesterol is harmful because it clogs blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke [RRR].

Garlic lowered cholesterol by deactivating cholesterol-producing enzymes in 70 diabetic patients [RR].

25) Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure

Garlic reduces blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). Aged garlic extract reduces blood pressure by increasing calcium and reducing C-reactive protein levels, which cause inflammation and elevated blood pressure [RRR].

On the other hand, sulfur deficiency may play a role in hypertension. Allicin is a sulfur compound in garlic that lowers blood pressure by increasing hydrogen sulfide concentrations. Hydrogen sulfide relaxes blood vessels (through nitric oxide) and prevents blood vessel constriction (by endothelin-1) [RRR].

26) Garlic Helps Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is associated with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased platelet aggregation, and the hardening of blood vessels. Platelets stop bleeding by clotting blood vessel injuries. However, platelet aggregation also leads to blood clots, which increase the risk of heart disease.

Garlic lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, treats hardened blood vessels, and prevents platelet aggregation in patients with heart disease [RR].

S-allyl cysteine in aged garlic extract inhibits enzymes involved in cholesterol production. Garlic extract also increases the production and function of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure [R].

Garlic also prevents platelets from binding to proteins (fibrinogen) that form blood clots and increase compounds (cAMP) that inhibit platelet formation [RR].

27) Garlic May Help Prevent Obesity

Garlic prevents obesity by reducing body weight and fat accumulation in mice studies. In animal studies, garlic activates proteins (AMPK and uncoupling proteins) in fat tissue, liver, and muscle, which converts nutrients into heat instead of energy storage [RRR].

Ajoene, a compound found in garlic, prevents obesity by decreasing fat tissue in rats. Ajoene generates hydrogen peroxide, which activates enzymes (protein kinases) that kill fat cells [R].

28) Garlic Helps Treat Diabetes

Diabetes is caused by genetics, obesity, high cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood glucose. Insulin resistance occurs when the body no longer responds to insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels and a high risk of developing diabetes.

Garlic reduces insulin resistance, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels in patients with diabetes [RR].

Garlic reduced blood sugar levels in rats by decreasing the activity of enzymes (phosphatases and aminotransferases) involved in the transportation of glucosein the liver, a sugar that is the body’s main source of energy [R].

Also, garlic may reduce insulin resistance by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down drugs (CYP2E1), ultimately disrupting insulin function by increasing oxidative stress [R].

Garlic Detoxifies the Body

29) Garlic Helps Detoxification By the Liver

Toxins like pesticides, environmental pollutants, and chemicals cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Garlic detoxifies the body through its antioxidant effects. Sulfur-containing compounds in garlic decrease oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in rats [R].

Garlic detoxifies the liver by increasing the activity of detoxifying enzymes glutathione S-transferase (GST) and CYP2B. Garlic also inhibits CYP2E1enzymes, which produce free radicals and cause oxidative stress-induced damage and inflammation [RR].

30) Garlic Helps Damage Caused By Liver Toxicity

Garlic powder protects against damage from liver toxicity caused by high doses of antibiotics, Tylenol, and lead in rat studies. Garlic acts as an antioxidant and prevents oxidative stress by stabilizing free radicals. The decrease in oxidative stress may increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes, which prevents further damage to the liver [RRRR].

31) Garlic Helps Damage Caused By Kidney Toxicity

Garlic helps treat kidney failure caused by the antibiotic gentamicin and kidney damage caused by cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug, in rats [R].

S-allyl cysteine, a sulfur compound in garlic, acts as an antioxidant by inhibiting free radicals, which cause cellular damage in the body. By lowering free radicals, it increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the kidney. S-allyl cysteine also inhibits the enzymes that produce free radicals [R].

Garlic Improves Brain Functions

32) Garlic Prevents Brain Damage Caused By Aging and Brain Diseases

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are formed when oxygen is used in the body to produce energy. Bodily antioxidants inhibit free radicals by stabilizing the molecules. Without enough antioxidants, free radicals cause cellular damage in the body [R].

S-allyl cysteine is an antioxidant found in aged garlic extract that protects against brain damage in a cell model study. S-allyl cysteine activates antioxidant enzymes in the brain (hippocampus) that decreases free radicals preventing damage [R].

33) Garlic Improves Memory

Garlic increases brain serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enhances cognitiveperformance. Garlic oil improves memory function and cognitive performance in rats by increasing neuronal growth [RR].

Side Effects and Precautions

Although garlic consumption is safe, ingested garlic can cause bad breath and body odor. Consuming an excessive amount of raw garlic, especially on an empty stomach, may lead to an upset stomach, gas, and changes in intestinal bacteria [RR].

Handling garlic during cooking, and topical application of garlic can cause allergic skin rashes, burns, and blisters [RRR].

Due to its anti-blood clotting abilities, a high dose of garlic has an interaction with blood thinners like aspirin and warfarin. Garlic supplements should be stopped seven days before surgical procedures to prevent any complications [R].

TRPV1 Gene and Garlic Interaction

Mutations in the transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1) gene may cause hypersensitivity to allicin in garlic extract in humans. The TRPV1 gene is found throughout the nervous system, bladder, tongue, and skin.

The mutations in the gene might cause structural changes in the TRPA1 protein, making it more sensitive to allicin. The TRPA1 protein is an allicin receptor that triggers inflammation and a pain response when activated [RR].

Dosage

For adults, the recommended amount is 4 grams (1 to 2 cloves) of raw garlic, 300 mg dried garlic powder tablet 2 to 3 times or 7.2 grams of garlic extract per day [R].

Preparations

Alliin, an amino acid containing sulfur, is broken down by the enzyme alliinase and converted to allicin when raw garlic is chopped or crushed. Allicin is an unstable compound that degrades quickly, so be sure to chop your garlic right before use [R].

Cooked garlic is less potent than raw garlic because the enzymes that form sulfur compounds are deactivated by heat [RR].

Black Garlic

Aged black garlic is a garlic preparation with a sweet and sour taste and no strong odor.

Aged black garlic is produced by aging garlic at high temperature for two to three weeks. It contains high levels of organic sulfur compounds like water-soluble S-allyl cysteine and polyphenols.

Aged black garlic has stronger antioxidant effects than raw fresh garlic, but lower anti-inflammatory, anticoagulation, anti-allergy, and immune effects [RR].

Garlic Supplements

Garlic supplements are classified into four groups [RR]:

Garlic oil – Water soluble compounds and allicin are eliminated by this process. It contains a variety of sulfides, including diallyl disulfide

Garlic oil macerate – Made of encapsulated garlic cloves ground into vegetable oil. Oil macerate contains allicin, which decomposes quickly into other compounds (dithiins, ajoene, and sulfides)

Garlic powder – Dried and pulverized into powder. The main sulfur compound in garlic powder is alliin. Garlic powder does not contain allicin

Aged garlic extract – Aged raw garlic has an increased concentration of antioxidant compounds. Allicin decomposes into other compounds, including S-allyl cysteine, which is one of the most active compounds in aged garlic extract

 

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Gambooge

Gambooge, known as kudam pulli or pot tamarind is a popular condiment used in coastal cuisines of Kerala, Karnataka, and Sri Lanka. Today, gambooge is targeted as a weight loss enabler, and used in many weight-loss supplements. Dried gambooge rinds have longer shelf life than green gambooge fruits and they are substituted for tamarind in many South Indian preparations. Gambooge finds mention in various ancient Ayurvedic remedies. Gambooge is also used as a preservative and it enhances the shelf life of a food.

 

Culinary Benefits

Gambooge is used in various Asian cuisines and few Latin American recipes.

The gambooge is a dried sour condiment, which is soaked in water for few minutes before adding to fish or meat curries in Central Kerala. In Kerala, gambooge rinds are substituted for tamarind.

Gambooge is a natural meat tenderizer and is added to several slow-cooked Latin American meat stews.

In Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia, gambooge rinds are used in pickles as a preservative and flavouring agent.

 

Health Benefits

Gambooge suppresses appetite and promotes digestion. Kudampuli rinds are rich source of hydroxycitric acid HCA which tackles obesity.

Kudampuli is valued for its anti-inflammatory properties and recommended for arthritis, bowel complaints, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. Ayurvedic decoction made of kudampuli is recommended for uterine diseases.

Kudampuli boosts immunity, cleanses liver and flushes out toxins out of the body. Gambooge is also a well-known cholesterol buster. Kudampuli is also known to cure ulcers.

 

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Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a herb whose leaves and seeds have been used since millennia. Fenugreek, commonly referred as ‘Methi’ in Hindi, ‘Menthulu‘ in Telugu, ‘Vendhayam‘ in Tamil, ‘Uluva‘ in Malayalam, ‘Menthe‘ in Kannada, ‘Meth‘ in Punjabi, ‘Methi Dane‘ in Marathi and ‘Methi‘ in Bengali, has made a permanent place for itself in many households. Traditionally, fenugreek seeds have been used as a condiment to promote better health and as a potent hair potion. But recent research indicates that they can do much more than that. From adding flavor to dishes and controlling diabetes to inducing labor, fenugreek seeds have had diverse benefits for your skin, hair, and health.

 

What Fenugreek Seeds Can Do For You

Skin Benefits

Have Anti-Aging Effects

Cure Acne

Moisturize Skin

Hair Benefits

Prevent Hair Loss

Add Shine

Fight Dandruff

Prevent Premature Graying

Health Benefits

Help Control Diabetes

Prevent Heart Attacks

Help Prevent Cancer

Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

Improve Breast Milk Production

Reduce Cholesterol

Help Reduce Pain Due To Arthritis

Aid Digestion

Help with Weight Loss

Improve Kidney Function

Protect The Liver

 

 

Skin Benefits

  1. Have Anti-Aging Effects

Fenugreek seeds can have surprising benefits for your skin, including eliminating the signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

What You Need

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds soaked overnight

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

What You Need To Do

Blend the fenugreek seeds and yogurt till a smooth paste is formed.

Apply this paste on your face.

Keep it on for 30 minutes and then rinse with cold water.

Why Does It Work

Germinated fenugreek seeds show a significant amount of antioxidant activity and fight the free radicals that accelerate the process of aging (1).

Yogurt has lactic acid that gently exfoliates your skin (2). It also leaves your skin feeling smoother and softer.

  1. Cure Acne

Those who are suffering from acne can give fenugreek seeds a try because they are very effective in getting rid of acne.

What You Need

4 tablespoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in water

4 cups water

What You Need To Do

Add the fenugreek seeds to water and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Strain the water and let it cool.

Using a cotton wool, dab the water onto your face twice a day. Store the excess in the refrigerator.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek has a compound named diosgenin that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (3). This helps fenugreek fight against acne.

  1. Moisturize Skin

Fenugreek seeds can help moisturize and nourish your skin and remove all traces of dryness.

What You Need

1 teaspoon fenugreek seed powder

1 tablespoon water

What You Need To Do

Mix fenugreek powder and water to make a smooth paste.

Using a cotton ball, apply the paste all over your face.

Keep it on for half an hour. Rinse with water.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds prevent your skin from getting coarse or dry. The slippery texture moisturizes your skin (4).

Hair Benefits

  1. Prevent Hair Loss

Fenugreek is extremely effective in strengthening the hair from the roots and treating follicular problems.

What You Need

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 cup coconut oil

What You Need To Do

Place the coconut oil and fenugreek seeds in a mason jar. Seal the jar and store it for three weeks in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.

Strain the oil and use it for oil massages.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds have hormones that help promote hair growth (5). They are a good source of protein and nicotinic acid that strengthen the hair shaft and prevent breakage.

  1. Add Shine

To make your hair look shiny and glossy, try using a fenugreek hair mask.

What You Need

2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds

1 cup water

What You Need To Do

Soak the whole ground seeds in boiling water and leave them overnight.

When the seeds turn slimy to touch, grind them into a paste. Apply the mixture on your scalp and roots, and then along the whole length of your hair.

Keep it on for 30 minutes and wash it off.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds contain lecithin, an emulsifying substance (6). When soaked in water, the seeds produce a slippery substance that imparts shine to your hair.

  1. Fight Dandruff

Dandruff is a common hair ailment, and it generally surfaces during winter.

There are various treatments and procedures to treat dandruff. One of the most basic and effective cures is using methi seeds. They are also an effective cure for dry scalp and dermatitis.

Why Does It Work

Dandruff is usually caused by a dry scalp or fungal infection. Fenugreek helps remove dandruff (7).

  1. Prevent Premature Graying

A part of folk medicine, fenugreek seeds have been used for a long time to prevent the graying of hair.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds have properties that help hair retain its pigment (8). This helps delay graying.

 

Health Benefits

  1. Help Control Diabetes

Diabetics are often recommended to include fenugreek seeds in their diet because of the positive effects they can have on their health.

Why Does It Work

Studies conducted on the effect of fenugreek seeds on type 2 diabetes have produced favorable results (9). It was found that fenugreek seeds help control blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance.

  1. Prevent Heart Attacks

Fenugreek seeds display a significant effect on cardiovascular health. They protect the heart from serious damage during a heart attack.

Why Does It Work

Heart attacks are a major cause of death, and they occur when an artery leading to the heart gets clogged. Fenugreek seeds prevent further damage to the heart and counteract the oxidative stress that occurs during a heart attack (10).

  1. Help Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that the oil extracted from fenugreek seeds can help fight against cancer.

Why Does It Work

A study conducted to investigate the anticancer effects of fenugreek found that fenugreek oil fights against certain cancer cell lines (11).

 

  1. Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

Studies have shown that fenugreek seeds can also help in reducing the pain of menstrual cramps as well as other symptoms associated with menstruation.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which is why studies sought to investigate the effect they might have on the pain caused by menstruation (12). It was found that fenugreek seed powder substantially reduced the pain and symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and nausea.

  1. Improve Breast Milk Production

In Asia, fenugreek seeds have been used by women to increase their breast milk production.

Why Does It Work

This herb contains phytoestrogen that boosts milk production in lactating mothers (13). Drinking fenugreek tea seems to increase the supply of breast milk in mothers, which promotes weight gain in the infants (14).

  1. Reduce Cholesterol

Research has proven that fenugreek seeds help to lower the cholesterol level, especially the ‘bad’ cholesterol or LDL in our body.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds have a flavonoid named naringenin that lowers the lipid levels in those with high cholesterol (15).

 

  1. Help Reduce Pain From Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder that causes inflammation in one or more joints. This causes severe pain, and more than the regular wear and tear of the joint muscles.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce the pain caused by arthritis (16).

  1. Aid Digestion

For those suffering from stomach ailments, fenugreek can be a boon.

Why Does It Work

It is an effective treatment for gastritis and indigestion. It helps prevent constipation as well as digestive problems created by stomach ulcers. This is because it is a natural digestive tonic, and its lubricating properties help soothe your stomach and intestines (17).

  1. Help In Weight Loss

If you are seeking to lose weight, adding fenugreek seeds to your diet is a must.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds prevent the accumulation of fat and improve the metabolism of lipids and glucose that help in weight loss (18).

  1. Improve Kidney Function

Ingesting fenugreek seeds has been linked to better functioning kidneys.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds have polyphenolic flavonoids that improve kidney function and prevent the deterioration of cells by forming a membrane around them (19).

  1. Protect Liver

Your liver cleanses your body of toxins. An injury to the liver can have a serious impact on your health. One of the main causes for decreased liver function is excessive alcohol intake, and studies have shown that fenugreek seeds are very effective in controlling the impact of alcohol on your liver.

Why Does It Work

Fenugreek seeds protect the liver from alcohol toxicity (20). Excessive alcohol intake can cause chronic liver damage. The polyphenolic compounds present in fenugreek seeds reduce liver damage and help metabolize the alcohol.

Back To TOC

Selection And Storage

Fenugreek seeds are easily available in departmental stores and markets. They are available as seeds and in the powder form as well.
Fenugreek seeds should always be stored in a cool, dark place in airtight glass containers. This keeps them fresh for longer, up to several months. Fenugreek seed powder should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight packet.

 

Nutritional Chart

Caution

SERVING SIZE 100 GRAMS

Amount Per serving

Calories 323

Calories from Fat 54

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 6g

10%

Saturated Fat 1g

7%

Cholesterol  0gm

0%

Sodium 67mg

3%

Total Carbohydrate 58g

19%

Dietary Fiber 25g

98%

Protein 23g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

VITAMINS

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Vitamin A

60.0IU

1%

Vitamin

C3.0mg

5%

Thiamin

0.3mg

21%

Riboflavin

0.4mg

22%

Niacin

1.6mg

8%

Vitamin B6

0.6mg

30%

Folate

57.0mcg

14%

Vitamin B1

20.0mcg

0%

MINERALS

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Calcium

176mg

18%

Iron

33.5mg

186%

Magnesium

191mg

48%

Phosphorus

296mg

30%

Potassium

770mg

22%

Sodium

67.0mg

3%

Zinc

2.5mg

17%

Copper

1.1mg

56%

Manganese

1.2mg

61%

Selenium

6.3mcg

9%

 

 

Fenugreek seeds should not be consumed by pregnant women because it can lead to early contractions (21). Consuming fenugreek seeds right before delivery can also cause a newborn baby to have an unusual body odor.

Fenugreek seeds interact with certain oral medications, including anti-diabetic drugs and anticoagulants. If you are using these medications, it is better to consult your medical practitioner before including fenugreek seeds in your diet.

Additionally, children should not be given fenugreek in any form. Consuming fenugreek tea has been linked to loss of consciousness in children.

 

PRICE VARIATION OF THE YEAR – BETWEEN $ 1.78 AND $ 3.06
$1.94
Fennel

Fennel seeds are considered quite useful for relieving various ailments, ranging from congestion and stomach gas to asthma and diabetes. The seeds contain powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants, the most potent of them being anethole, which makes them highly nutritious and powerful. Also called semillas de hinojo in Spanish, graines de fenouil in French, and budhur alfianal in Arabic, the seeds are too beneficial to ignore. Keep reading to know more.

 

  1. Improve Digestive Health

The seeds are often used to treat an array of digestive ailments, including heartburn, intestinal gas (and infant gas), bloating, and even colic in infants. The seeds have antispasmodic and carminative effects, which can help treat other serious digestive ailments like irritable bowel syndrome (1).

Though there is less information, some sources suggest that fennel seeds might also help treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diarrhea, constipation, and ulcerative colitis.

  1. Treat Asthma And Other Respiratory Ailments

The phytonutrients in fennel seeds help clear sinuses – and this can relieve asthma symptoms. And their expectorant properties heal other respiratory ailments like bronchitis, cough, and congestion.

However, some studies suggest that fennel seeds might cause asthmatic symptoms. We recommend you talk to your doctor in this regard.

  1. Benefit Breastfeeding Women

Fennel seeds contain a compound called anethole, which is a phytoestrogen that mimics the properties of the estrogen hormone and increases milk secretion in women. This is particularly helpful for lactating women.

Talking about pregnancy, we don’t have enough information to suggest if fennel seeds can be helpful during this period.

  1. Combat Bad Breath

Chewing fennel seeds can freshen your breath. They have anise (or licorice) flavor. Simply munching on 5 to 10 fennel seeds freshens your breath. The seeds increase the production of saliva – thereby washing out the bacteria. The essential oil has antibacterial properties that help fight the germs that cause bad breath.

The longer you chew the seeds, the more refreshing they are.

  1. Help Fight Diabetes

A 2008 study found that fennel essential oil might lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. Fennel seeds are also a good source of vitamin C, the high intake of which was also found to lower blood sugar levels. Beta-carotene, another antioxidant in fennel seeds, has also been linked to reduced cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Also, since fennel seeds are low in glycemic index, they can be a good addition to a diabetes diet.

  1. Increase Breast Growth

We have already seen that fennel can mimic the properties of human estrogen, which is why it can promote breast growth. However, due to limited information, we suggest you talk to your doctor before using fennel seeds for this purpose.

  1. Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

The fiber in fennel seeds prevents the reabsorption of cholesterol. It achieves this by binding the bile salts, which consequently prevents heart-related ailments.

  1. Cure Edema

Edema is the swelling of tissues in the body due to excess of fluid. Though there are no concrete studies, anecdotal evidence supports the efficacy of fennel seeds in curing edema. Anethole, one important compound in fennel seeds, can control blood pressure and flush out the excess water from the body. In addition, the seeds also improve kidney function, ultimately helping in flushing out toxins.

  1. Boost Fertility

This might be true with fennel tea. Given its estrogenic properties, it might promote fertility and even induce labor in pregnant women.

However, there is lack of concrete research. We advise you to consult your doctor before using fennel for this purpose.

  1. Regulate Blood Pressure Levels

One reason fennel seeds work wonders on blood pressure levels is their potassium levels. This mineral counteracts the ill effects of sodium and regulates the fluid amount in the bloodstream.

The seeds are also rich in calcium, another mineral imperative for optimum blood pressure. It helps keep the blood vessels toned – and even helps maintain heart rate. And the fiber in fennel seeds has also shown to regulate blood pressure levels.

Fennel seeds also contain nitrites (in fact, the highest amongst other seeds), compounds known to lower blood pressure levels. They are also rich in magnesium, which, as per some studies, can cut the risk of high blood pressure in women (2).

  1. Aid Hernia Treatment

Some sources mention the use of fennel seeds by traditional Chinese medicine for treating hernia (3). However, we need more research to confirm if they can be used in mainstream hernia treatment.

  1. Enhance Liver Health

In one 2011 study, fennel seeds inhibited liver cancer cells and increased the activity of certain antioxidant cells in the liver. Fennel seeds are rich in selenium, which improves the function of the liver enzymes and detoxifies some harmful compounds in the body.

Some sources suggest that fennel seeds might even help relieve urinary tract infection – but we need more research on this.

  1. Can Promote Weight Loss

Being rich in fiber, fennel seeds can aid weight loss and keep hunger pangs at bay. The seeds also are said to decrease fat storage as they improve nutrient absorption.

Also, fennel seeds have diuretic properties. They increase urine output and flush out the excess fluid from the body (we already saw this). This also might contribute to weight loss. But there is something to be kept in mind – most often, the weight loss induced by fennel could be a direct consequence of water loss, and not fat loss.

One Korean study proved that intake of fennel tea could suppress appetite in overweight people (4).

  1. Ease Morning Sickness

Fennel seeds can be used to calm the stomach and offer quick relief from morning sickness. Chewing fennel seeds or having fennel tea can help achieve this.

Fennel seeds also prevent stomach gas and encourage the expulsion of gas. This can help treat nausea, especially if it is caused due to digestive issues like flatulence or intestinal gas.

  1. Improve Menstrual Symptoms

Preliminary studies have confirmed that fennel is safe and effective for easing menopause symptoms. Other studies have also confirmed the effectiveness of fennel in treating postmenopausal symptoms (5).

Interestingly, the phytoestrogenic properties of fennel seeds can also help treat menstrual symptoms like cramps and hot flashes (6).

  1. Enhance Sleep Quality

Some sources suggest that the magnesium in fennel seeds can improve the quality and duration of sleep. The mineral also treats sleep disorders like insomnia.

  1. Treat Candida

The antioxidants in fennel seeds can help treat candida. The seeds also possess antibacterial and antifungal properties – and can hence be effective against E.coli and Candida albicans, both of which cause candida.

In fact, fermented fennel seeds are far more powerful than the unfermented ones – when it comes to offering antifungal benefits. Taking a tablespoon of fennel seeds along with breakfast can help ease the symptoms. You can crush them and add to your breakfast. You can also consume fennel tea by steeping the seeds in hot water and taking the infused tea in the morning.

  1. Tone And Improve Skin Appearance

We already spoke about the antimicrobial properties of fennel seeds – which also make them a wonderful remedy for skin problems.

For toning your skin, you can take a handful of fennel seeds and add them to boiling water. Allowed it to cool down. Then, add a few drops of fennel essential oil to the mixture. Filter it. Dab it on your face with the help of cotton balls as many times as you can throughout the day. Your skin will feel toned and thoroughly refreshed.

You can also use fennel seed steam facial for enhanced skin texture. Add a tablespoon of fennel seeds to one liter of boiling water. Lean over it and cover your head and neck with a towel for 5 minutes. Do this twice a week to clean the pores and make your skin glow.

You can also use a face mask, which is quite easy to prepare. Prepare a fennel seed infusion by adding a tablespoon of fennel seeds to half a cup of boiling water. Wait for 30 minutes and add a tablespoon each of oatmeal and honey to it. Make a smooth paste and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.

  1. Improve Hair Health

The antioxidants and other antimicrobial properties in fennel seeds help treat a host of hair ailments. Some of these include dandruff, scalp itchiness, hair breakage, and hair fall. There are two ways you can use fennel seeds for boosting hair health.

One is fennel seed tea. You can pound three tablespoons of fennel seeds. Alternately, you may choose to invest in readymade fennel seed powder. Boil two cups of water and add it to the powdered seeds. Keep the solution aside for about 15 minutes. Use it as the last rinse after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair. This will boost hair health and prevent hair breakage and hair fall.

The other way is using a fennel seed-vinegar solution. You can use apple cider vinegar and glycerin along with fennel seeds to prepare a solution to treat an itchy and dry scalp. Boil a cup of water. Pour it over a spoon of crushed fennel seeds placed in a small bowl. Wait for 30 minutes. Add a spoon of vegetable glycerin and apple cider vinegar. Filter the solution with a cheesecloth. Massage it into your scalp and hair and leave it on for some time. Rinse it off. The best part is that this tonic can be stored in a glass container for weeks.

That’s with the list of benefits of fennel seeds. All of this wouldn’t be possible without the powerful nutrients in the seeds. Which is what we will look at now.

What Are The Nutrients In Fennel Seeds?

  

 Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 87g

 

Amounts Per Selected Serving

Calories 27

Calories from Fat 1

% Daily Value

Total Fat

0 g

 0%

Cholesterol

0 mg

 0%

Sodium

45 mg

 2%

Total Carbohydrate

6 g

  2%

Dietary Fibre

3 g

 11%

Protein

1 g

Vitamins

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Vitamin A

117 IU

2%

Vitamin C

10.4 mg

 17%

Vitamin D

~

 ~

Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

~

~

Vitamin K

~

~

Thiamin

0.0 mg

 1%

Riboflavin

0.0 mg

 2%

Niacin

0.6 mg

 3%

Vitamin B6

0.0 mg

 2%

Folate

23.5 mcg

 6%

Vitamin B12

0.0 mcg

 0%

Pantothenic Acid

0.2 mg

 2%

Choline

~

Betaine

~

Minerals

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Calcium

42.6 mg

  4%

Iron

0.6 mg

 4%

Magnesium

14.8 mg

 4%

Phosphorus

 43.5 mg

 4%

Potassium

360 mg

 10%

Sodium

45.2 mg

 2%

Zinc

2.5 mg

 1%

Copper

 0.2 mg

 3%

Manganese

0.1 mg

 8%

Selenium

0.6 mcg

 1%

Fluoride

~

 

Conclusion

Though research is lacking in some aspects, overall, fennel seeds can give a boost to your health. Include them in your routine, and you will see the difference.

And tell us how this post has made your life better. Simply leave a comment below.  

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How much fennel can I consume in a day?

Five to seven grams of fennel seeds or 0.1 mL to 0.6 mL of the oil would do.

What can I substitute fennel seeds with?

Anise seeds can be a good substitute as they also have a licorice flavor. And since anise seeds have a stronger flavor, you can use them in small amounts.

Which part of fennel can we use?

The white fennel bulb and the green fronds are usually used. Fennel stalks are quite tough and generally not consumed.

PRICE VARIATION OF THE YEAR – BETWEEN $ 3.33 AND $ 4.72
$3.61
Dry Chili

Chili Pepper health benefits includes improving cognitive function, contribute to red blood cell formation, reduce blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular disease, acts as natural pain reliever, clears nasal congestion, soothe intestinal diseases and disorders, boost immunity and maintaining healthy eyes. Other benefits include preventing cancer, preventing stomach ulcers, promoting weight loss and improving longevity.

 

What is Chili Pepper? 

The chili pepper, also known as Chile pepper in the Southern US or chili in the UK, is a member of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Chili peppers are the fruits of the genus Capsicum plants. It is believed that chili peppers originated in Mexico; and from there journeyed to India, China, and Turkey until it was propagated across the entire world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers between the 16th and 17th centuries. Now it has become among the most in-demand commercial crops. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database or FAOSTAT, China currently produces roughly 33.2 million tons of fresh green Birds Eye chilies each year. Meanwhile, Peru is considered as the country with the most diverse cultivation of Capsicum plants. Varieties of chili peppers include Habanero, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Piri Piri, Fresno, etc.
Since its introduction, Chili peppers have become a staple in various cuisines. The chili pepper can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or added as the main ingredient in powders and sauces. It heavily features its strong, spicy flavor. The chilies’ pungency is due to an active alkaloid called capsaicin. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter the chili. However, the spicy heat of a chili pepper may still vary depending on its type and growing conditions. So what do chili peppers offer aside from spicing up mouth-watering dishes?

 

Nutrition Info of Chili Pepper (per 100g serving)

Calories

 40

Protein

 2 g

Total Carbohydrates

8.8 g

• Sugar

5.3 g

• Dietary Fiber

1.5 g

Fat

0.4 g

• Saturated

0.04 g

• Monounsaturated

 0.02 g

• Polyunsaturated

0.24g

• Omega 3

0.01 g

Niacin

1.244 mg

Pantothenic acid

 0.201 mg

Pyridoxine

 0.506 mg

Riboflavin

 0.086 mg

Thiamine

 0.72 mg

Vitamin A

952 UI

Vitamin C

143.7 mg

Vitamin E

 0.69 mg

Vitamin K

14 mcg

Potassium

322 mg

Calcium

 14 mg

Copper

0.129 mg

Iron

 1.03 mg

Magnesium

 23 mg

Manganese

0.187 mg

Phosphorus

 43 mg

Selenium

 0.5 mcg

Zinc

0.26 mg

 

12 Amazing Health Benefits of Chili Pepper

  1. Improves Cognitive Functioning

You need proper amounts of oxygen and iron for you to achieve and maintain good cognitive performance. Spicing up your meals with chili peppers everyday can decrease your chance of getting cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease when you reach old age.

  1. Contributes To Red Blood Cell Formation

Anemia and fatigue are caused by iron deficiency. Chili peppers contain copper and iron. These minerals are vital for new blood cell formation.

Chili pepper is also rich in folic acid. Folic acid aids in the production of red blood cells and fights anemia. It also plays a vital role in rapid cell division and growth in pregnancy. Pregnant women must never undergo folic acid deficiency; otherwise it could lead to certain birth defects in newborns.

  1. Reduce Blood Pressure and Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Chilies contain potassium. Potassium is a mineral that plays different functions in the body. An adequate intake of potassium combined with folate can greatly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Potassium relaxes blood vessels; thus creating ideal blood flow.

Chili peppers are also an excellent source of riboflavin and niacin. Niacin increases a person’s good cholesterol levels, also reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Niacin deficiency can only lead to a disease called Pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by insomnia, dementia, and diarrhea.

Spicing up your meals with hot peppers is the first step you can take in preventing atherosclerosis.

  1. Acts as Natural Pain Relief

Topical capsaicin is used to alleviate pain caused by for osteoarthritis and diabetic neuropathy. It works by desensitizing sensory receptors, and also possesses anti-inflammatory effects.

Spicing up your meals with hot peppers is an excellent first step in preventing atherosclerosis.

  1. Clears Nasal Congestion

Capsaicin not only alleviates pain but also relieves congestion. Its fiery heat stimulates secretions that aid in clearing mucus from stuffy nose. Capsaicin has antibacterial properties that combat against chronic sinus infections, thanks to its ability to induce vasoconstriction in the blood vessels of the nasal cavity.

  1. Soothe Intestinal Diseases And Disorders

Chili peppers are often used as food preservatives because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Capsaicin can kill bacteria such as H. pylori and cure inflammatory bowel diseases.

  1. Boosts Immunity

The bright red color of chili peppers indicates its high pro-vitamin A or beta-carotene content. You can achieve about 6% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C with just a meager two teaspoons of red chili peppers. Vitamin A is vital in keeping a healthy respiratory tract, intestinal tract, and urinary tract. Vitamin A is also known as the anti-infection vitamin and serves as the first line of defense against infections.

  1. Maintain Healthy Eyes

We need vitamin A to keep our eyes healthy at all times. Including chili peppers in our regular diet, approximately one tablespoon each day, can definitely improve your eyesight. It also prevents night blindness as well as macular degeneration.

  1. Inhibits Cancer

American Association for Cancer Research has stated that capsaicin has the power to kill leukemia and cancer cells. Just like turmeric, a spice used in making curry, chilies can inhibit tumor growth and cancer. Medical News Today has cited that Capsaicin might actually have the ability to stop breast cancer.

However, further studies are still required and is not yet declared as a means to fully treat cancer. 

  1. Chili Pepper Can Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers

Chilies can actually prevent stomach ulcers. Red hot chili peppers kill bacteria that you may have ingested and stimulates the cells lining the stomach to release buffering juices. This is in direct contrast to the belief that peppers worsen the development or outcome of these ulcers.

  1. Promotes Weight Loss

Obesity is a serious health condition and must not be taken lightly. You can lose weight by eating chilies regularly with the inclusion of regular exercise, of course. Capsaicin is thermogenic. It reduces your cravings and increases your metabolism. The heat you feel after consuming chili pepper already takes energy and burn calories. Even cosmetic manufacturers have incorporated chili peppers in slimming lotions.

According to Jong Won Yun, a biotechnologist in Daegu University, people who have regular consumption of capsaicin have reported lower calorie intake and fat levels in the body.

Moreover, preventing obesity can lead to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

  1. Improve Longevity

Several researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have been observing the eating habits of roughly half a million Chinese people starting from age 30. They noticed that in a span of seven years, those who include chili peppers in their  diet six or seven times a week had a lower risk of mortality that those who do not consume these peppers on a regular basis. This could be due to the little known fact that chili peppers increase levels of IGF-1 in blood, an anti-aging hormone.

Conclusion

The next time you prepare a meal, add an extra spark with chili peppers. Getting a teary eye or a slight burn in your tongue can be all worth getting used to, especially when you can stand to benefit from such a long list of health benefits. Chili peppers are in demand in many parts of the world for two reasons: its fiery flavor and its positive effects to the body. It can effectively reduce blood cholesterol, platelet aggregation, and triglyceride levels among many others. Whether you like spicy food or not, chili peppers will always provide you an abundance of vitamins and minerals. In fact a chili pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange.

A few concerns may also tag along such as skin irritation and hypersensitivity in some individuals; but just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and be cautious enough not to irritate your eyes. If you cannot handle the heat, drink a glass of milk. However, this varies on a case to case basis. Anything taken in excess will always bring more harm than good. So it is better to always use everything in moderation.

 

PRICE VARIATION OF THE YEAR – BETWEEN $ 2.50 AND $ 3.61
$2.78
Cumin

Spices play an important role in making a dish more flavourful. Indian cuisine is especially known to have some of the healthiest traditional spices as its main ingredients.

 

Cumin is one such spice that forms an integral part of various dishes in the Indian cuisine. Cumin or ‘Jeera’ in Hindi, ‘Jilakara‘ in Telugu, ‘Jeeragam‘ in Tamil, ‘Jeerakam‘ in Malayalam, ‘Jeerige‘ in Kannada, ‘Jeeru‘ in Gujarati, ‘Jeere‘ in Marathi and ‘Jeerey‘ in Bengali is basically a tiny seed of an annual plant in the parsley family, native to the Mediterranean (1). A typical cumin seed has a striped pattern of nine ridges and oil canals. It is brownish in colour and oblong shaped, tapering at each extremity with tiny stalks attached. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds in appearance. However, they are lighter in colour, hotter to taste, larger in size and unlike caraway, have minute bristles that are hardly visible to the naked eye.

 

Cumin Seeds – The Delightful Spice!

The warm and bitter flavour of this aromatic spice as well as its abundant oil content make it usable in Indian, Mexican, North African, Middle Eastern and western Chinese cuisines. In India, cumin seeds are an important component of curry powder and “garam masala”. They are generally fried or roasted before usage. Cumin seeds are generally available dried or ground to a brownish-green powder.

Cumin seeds are generally available in three colours- amber, white and black. The amber seeds are the most common. The black ones have a complex flavor and cannot be substituted for the other two. Black cumin seeds or nigella are different from cumin seeds though both are similar in appearance. Known as “kalonji” in northern India and ‘kaalo jeere’ in Bengal, they have a pungent, powerful, sharp and slightly bitter flavor and a spicy-sweet aroma. They have a thin crescent shape.

19 Amazing Benefits Of Jeera/Cumin:

Besides its culinary uses, this aromatic spice is known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Being an excellent source of iron, it aids in digestion, boosts the immune system and has anti-carcinogenic properties.

Black cumin seeds contain about 100 chemical compounds including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and fatty acids. They are known for their healing qualities. The Islam culture believes that these can heal any type of disease except death while in Bible they are referred to as the curative black seeds. Thus, this spice has a rich history and was particularly favoured by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. In ancient times, it was even used as a method for payment of taxes and debts.

Skin Benefits Of Cumin:

As stated earlier, this aromatic spice is renowned for its medicinal value and health benefits. Hence, it can be beneficial to your skin as well. Some of the cumin or jeera benefits in skincare are as follows.

  1. Treatment of Boils:

Boils are outlet for the elimination of toxic substances and foreign matters such as microbes etc. Occurrence of boils indicates the accumulation of toxic substances in the body. Regular usage of cumin in your food helps in keeping your skin free from boils, rashes, pimples etc. This is because it has components such as Cumin aldehyde (2), Thymol and phosphorus which are good detoxifying agents. They help in facilitating regular removal of toxins from the body through the excretory system and not through boils.

If you are suffering from acne or boils, you can try applying vinegar with ground cumin seeds.

  1. Treatment of Skin Disorders:

Cumin has a high content of vitamin E which keeps your skin healthy and glowing. Besides, the essential oils, cumin have disinfectant and anti-fungal properties which protect your skin from fungal and microbial infections. Topical application of cumin paste on boils, pimples, eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders facilitates quick healing (3). A dash of ground cumin powder can also be added to your face pack to treat skin issues. Cumin is also a good source of dietary fiber which helps in the cleaning process and removes toxins.

  1. Anti-Ageing Benefits:

Vitamin E present in cumin triggers the anti-ageing processes within the body, thus preventing pre mature ageing symptoms. It acts as an antioxidant to combat the free radicals that attack the skin and cause signs of ageing like wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. This combination of antioxidant effect and antibacterial capacity of cumin provides you with a healthy, beautiful skin that lasts far into your old age (4).

  1. Cures Itchiness and Body Heat:

If you are suffering from body heat and skin itchiness, you can put some cumin seeds in boiled water. Once it is cooled, take a bath with that water (5).

  1. Treatment of Burning Sensation:

Drinking cumin water can relieve the burning sensation of the palms and the soles (6).

All you need to do is add one teaspoon of cumin seeds to 4 litres of water and boil.

Remove it from the heat and keep it covered.

You can drink this water whenever you feel thirsty as well as after your meals.

It is advisable to drink it warm in order to reap greater benefits.

  1. Cumin Face Pack for Glowing Skin:

You can prepare a face pack by mixing finely ground turmeric and cumin in the ratio 3: 1.

In order to prepare a peel off face mask, you can use honey instead of water to mix both the ingredients.

Apply this on your face and wait till it dries up.

Wash off.

This will make your skin smooth and glowing.

Honey can soothe the inflamed tissue and prevents the spices from becoming too dry.

If you have sunburns or acne prone or blotchy skin, you can mix plain organic yoghurt with the spices.

Apply some jojoba oil after washing off your face.

Hair Benefits of Cumin:

Our hair is composed of many nutrients such as protein, fat, water and carbohydrates. These nutrients are required to enable proper growth of hair. Black cumin contains more than 100 nutrients and vitamins to replenish your hair, thus providing you with a healthy mane. Benefits of cumin for hair are surplus, let’s have a look at few of them:

  1. Treatment of Hair Loss:

Nigella sativa or black cumin is known to combat thinning of hair, baldness and falling hair (7).

You can mix equal quantities of black cumin oil and olive oil.

After a bath, apply this on your hair or on the bald portion of your head.

This will promote hair growth as well as treat hair loss.

You can also consume black cumin oil in the form of capsules for a few months.

  1. Long and Shiny Hair:

Black cumin seeds can provide you with those long and lustrous tresses.

For this purpose, boil 1.5 tablespoons of black cumin seeds in ¾ cup of water for 10 minutes.

When the mixture cools down, use a strainer to separate the seeds from the water.

Add a raw egg yolk to the black cumin water and mix well to get a homogeneous creamy solution.

If you want, you can add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the mixture.

Massage it on your scalp and allow it to stay for 30 minutes to an hour.

Wash off with water.

This should be done every week or every alternate week for best results.

  1. Treatment of Dandruff:

Oil extract from cumin is a great stimulant, carminative, antioxidant and diuretic. It is often used for massage in aromatherapy and scalp treatments to get rid of dandruff (8).

Health Benefits Of Cumin:

Let’s have a look at the health benefits of cumin seeds:

  1. For Blood Levels:

Cumin helps to lower blood sugar levels and thus helps in maintaining proper blood content levels in the body. This is a great boon for people suffering from Diabetes (9).

  1. For Iron:

Cumin seeds are very rich in iron, which makes it an essential natural health ingredient. This iron content helps to treat anaemia, makes blood rich in haemoglobin content and also helps in acting as a carrier of oxygen to the cells in the body (10).

  1. Fights Asthma:

Cumin seeds contain Thymoquinone, which reduces inflammatory processes and other mediators that cause asthma. They also act as a bronchodilator (11).

  1. Immunity:

This is achieved by its anti-oxidant characteristics that fight against impurities and free radicals (12). This helps in making the body’s immunity better in combating diseases.

  1. Anaemia:

Cumin seeds are rich in iron which is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin in the blood. This in turn is required for the transportation of oxygen in the body. Consuming cumin seeds will keep one protected from anaemia (13).

  1. Menstrual Cycle:

Cumin is healthy for women of all age groups and is known to influence a healthy menstrual cycle (14).

  1. Cancer:

Cumin is helpful in treating colon and breast cancer. The seeds contain thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol which are anti-carcinogenic agents (15).

  1. Cold and Respiration:

Cumin is rich in Vitamin C and has anti-fungal properties. These help to cure cold and other respiratory problems. Cumin seeds are also suggested for kidney health (16).

  1. Metabolism:

Good metabolism process helps to keep all the other body processes in check. Iron present in cumin helps to properly maintain our metabolic activity (17).

  1. Digestion:

Enzymes present in cumin help to breakdown foods and thus aid in digestion (18).

 

How to Select and Store?

This spice is widely available in supermarkets, local spice stores and ethnic markets in both whole and ground form.

When buying cumin, always prefer whole seeds rather than cumin powder as the latter loses its flavour more quickly and may contain adulterated inferior quality spice mixtures.

If you need it in powdered form, these seeds can be ground at home with a mortar and pestle.

Like other dried spices, always select organically grown dried cumin seeds as they are less likely to be irradiated.

They should release pleasant yet peppery flavour when squeezed between index finger and thumb which indicates that they are of superior quality.

The seeds should not be broken and should be in well packaged conditions.

It is advisable to buy spices like cumin from local stores or ethnic markets in your area as they feature an expansive collection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness in comparison to those available in regular markets.

Storage:

Cumin seeds and cumin powder should be stored in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.

It can be stored for months and the seeds can be milled using a hand mill as and when required.

Ground and powdered cumin can be stored in the refrigerator in an air sealed container.

It is advisable to use ground cumin as early as possible since it loses its flavour quickly.

Whole cumin seeds can stay fresh up to a year whereas cumin powder has a shelf life of 6 months.

Tips for Usage (Cooking/Eating):

Cumin is an important ingredient in Indian kitchen. Both ground and whole cumin seeds are used to season a variety of recipes such as curries, soups and stews. Since they might have a raw and unpleasant flavour, whole cumin seeds should be lightly roasted before adding them to any recipe to obtain their full aroma and flavour. Given below are certain tips for using this spice.

  1. Jeera Rice:

Jeera rice is a common dish in India which is prepared by roasting cumin seeds in butter, frying rice in it and cooking it with water. It is a tasty combination that can be used to flavour vegetables, chicken and fish dishes. Cumin seeds can also be added to brown rice along with dried apricots and almonds.

  1. Flavour In Dal And Curry Varieties:

This spice is a healthy addition to enhance the flavour of legumes such as lentils, garbanzo beans etc. Its aroma and taste greatly complements the recipe made from these foods.

  1. Chilli-Cumin Bean Salad:

Chilli-cumin bean salad is a healthy meal that requires minimal preparation.

You can prepare this salad by mixing some pinto beans, black beans, drained hominy, chopped onions and tomatoes, and fresh cilantro in a salad bowl.

Combine lime juice, canola oil, onions, ground cumin, chilli powder, salt and pepper in a jar.

Seal this jar and shake it well.

Toss your salad with this cumin mixture and refrigerate it for two hours before serving.

  1. Tadka In Dal:

Dal is regarded as a staple diet of Indian cuisine. Whole cumin seeds are used for tempering (providing tadka) dal, thus imparting a warm flavour. It is also used to temper meat dishes, particularly North Indian tandoori dishes.

  1. Seasoning In Sauteed Vegetables:

Healthy sautéed vegetables can be seasoned with cumin. For instance, beet can be easily prepared with cumin.

All you need to do is heat a saucepan over medium heat and add canola oil, chopped onion and minced garlic.

These should be sautéed until they are slightly cooked.

Now add some cumin powder and sauté for two minutes.

Add some flour and stir for a minute.

After this, add water, salt, chopped tomatoes, and peeled and quartered beet slices.

Simmer the mixture for at least half an hour until the beets are cooked and tender.

  1. Chicken Preparation:

Besides dal and vegetables, cumin can be used in preparing chicken.

For this purpose, grease a large skillet with butter and cook chicken leg quarters in it until they turn brown.

Place the chicken pieces on a greased baking dish.

Saute the mushroom pieces, chopped apples and sliced onions until the apple pieces become crisp.

Add some flour, condensed cream of mushroom, ground cumin, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to this mixture and pour it over the chicken pieces.

Covering the baking dish, bake it for an hour at a temperature of 350 degrees.

Sprinkle some chilli powder on the cooked chicken and serve with rice.

  1. Panch Phoron:

Cumin seeds are used in preparing Bengali spice mixture known as “panch phoron”. It is basically a combination of nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and cumin. This spice mix is used in several dishes such as potato curry, pan roasted potatoes and salmon.

  1. Cumin Tea:

A warming and soothing cumin tea can be prepared by boiling cumin seeds in water and allowing it to steep for 8 to 10 minutes.

  1. Flavouring In Rasam:

Roasted cumin seeds along with ground black pepper are used in flavouring rasams. They are toasted with coriander to provide a distinct aroma and are widely used in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.

  1. Preparation Of Soups, Sauces And Pickles:

Cumin seeds are used in the preparation of soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and is one of the ingredients in curry powder. Black cumin seeds are used as a spice in Persian and Mughlai cuisine.

Cumin Nutrition Value: (USDA)
 

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

375 Kcal

19%

Carbohydrates

44.24 g

34%

Protein

17.8 g

32%

Total Fat

22.27g

74%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

10.5 g

26%

VITAMINS

Folates

10 µg

2.5%

Niacin

4.58 mg

28.5%

Pyridoxine

0.435 mg

33%

Riboflavin

0.32 mg

24.5%

Thiamin

0.628 mg

52%

Vitamin A

1270 IU

42%

Vitamin C

7.7 mg

13%

Vitamin E

3.3 mg

22%

Vitamin K

5.4 µg

4.5%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

1788 mg

38%

Potassium

68 mg

11%

MINERALS

Calcium

931 mg

93%

Copper

0.867 mg

96%

Iron

66.36 mg

829%

Magnesium

366 mg

91%

Manganese

3.3 mg

145%

Phosphorus

499 mg

71%

Zinc

4.8 mg

43.5%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

762 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

448 µg

 

We will discuss the nutritional benefits of jeera in a quantity of a table spoon which weighs close to 6 grams.

It contains 22 calories, 1 gram of fat, which contributes about 11 calories.

It is a zero cholesterol herb that can be consumed in good proportions without worrying about cholesterol content.

Carbohydrates are about 3 grams and proteins 1 gram in this quantity of cumin.

The low saturated fat and sodium contents are low in this spice and it is also a good source of thiamine, phosphorous, thiamine, fiber and copper.

This amount of cumin contains 2% DV of Vitamin A, 1% DV of Vitamin C, 6% of calcium and 22% of iron.

These daily values are based on a daily 2000 calorie intake of a human body. It is mildly inflammatory and is a good source of proteins and fibers.

Experience all these jeera benefits and let us know if you already have them in your diet and list of topical treatments.

 

PRICE VARIATION OF THE YEAR – BETWEEN $ 4.72 AND $ 6.39
$5.28
Coriander

Cilantro is kind of an exotic herb to many people; if you’re a regular meat and potatoes kind of person you may not have had it served to you before or had it called for in one of your recipes.

If you like to indulge in different kinds of foods and explore the world of herbs and spices though, you’ve probably had plenty of cilantro, usually in Indian or Mexican dishes.  

 “Fresh cilantro can revive virtually any meal. Not just for pico de gallo or salsa, try adding a bit to your morning smoothie or juice for a delightfully unexpected fresh taste. With so few calories and no cholesterol, this deep-green cleansing food will be your next favorite secret ingredient.”

If cilantro is new to you, it may surprise you to know that it can be quite a controversial subject around the dinner table.

There are two types of people in the world: those who love cilantro and those who hate it.

There is no in-between.

In fact, according to the Huffington Post, there’s actually a genetic reason that some people hate cilantro. They reported that “after conducting a few separate studies, scientists were able to pin down most cilantro haters as people with a shared group of olfactory-receptor genes, called OR6A2, that pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals. Aldehyde chemicals are found in both cilantro and soap. Uh, yummy?”

For people who love cilantro, the reports of soapy-ness are a mystery.

Whether you love it or hate it, the fact is, cilantro has some powerful benefits for your health, and if you don’t enjoy eating it, you might want to consider finding another way to incorporate this exceptional herb into your nutrition regime.

Exclusive Bonus: Discover our favourite ways to use coriander. Click here for your free list.

You may have heard cilantro referred to as coriander. Technically they’re the same plant, but usually when someone says ‘cilantro’, they’re referring to the leaf of the herb, and when they say ‘coriander’, they’re talking about the seed.

One way to get the benefits of the plant is to put coriander oil in your food or take it as a supplement.

Here are our top 20 coriander benefits:   

  1. It’s Great for Digestion

Coriander is your gut’s best friend. The plant contains powerful antioxidants and antibacterial properties that, when ingested, support the production of digestive enzymes in your body. It’s high in vitamins A, C, and K and is an excellent source of fiber.

Adding it to your food (or consuming it on its own) on a daily basis can help your stomach, liver and bowels function at their best. 

Plus, organicfacts.net say that: “Studies have shown that dyspepsia(indigestion) is reduced if coriander is regularly added to the diet.”

It also helps to promote a friendly environment for good bacteria, that help to keep things in balance in there. 

  1. It’s High in Iron

Coriander is packed with iron. In fact, every 100 grams has 91% of your daily recommended dose of iron. It’s also rich in magnesium and calcium, which means it’s a great way to help your body if you’re anemic or deficient in any of these minerals.

Iron is particularly important for energy and brain function and has been linked to proper organ function. If you’ve got low iron levels, consider making coriander a regular part of your diet.  

  1. It Helps Your Body Detoxify

Just by breathing, eating, drinking water and letting certain things touch your skin, you are at risk of letting toxic metals seep into your body. Once in your body, toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, aluminium and even lead enter your bloodstream and can slowly embed themselves in your central nervous system.

Your body should be able to rid itself of these toxins on its own, but your organs have to be functioning at their peak in order to do that.

Coriander supports your body’s ability to pull those toxic metals from the hiding places in your nervous system and flush them out of your system entirely.

  1. It’s a Powerful Natural Antioxidant

You already know that you need oxygen to survive, but what you may not know is that too muchoxygen can create serious problems for proper joint, muscle, organ and brain function. Too much oxygen causes free radicals to form during the metabolic process, which can cause cellular damage.

Luckily, coriander is a powerful natural antioxidant; its high vitamin content and other antioxidant properties help your body get rid of unneeded oxygen within or around cells.    

  1. It Helps with Irregular Periods

If you suffer from irregular periods, coriander seeds are a great home remedy that can help to restore balance. 

In the few days before you expect your period to begin, boil the seeds whole and remove them with a strainer, then drink the water.

HomeRemedyHacks.com advise that you should: “drink it three times a day for a few days prior the onset of your period. Follow this remedy for one or two months. Alternatively, you can also drink coriander juice on a daily basis.” Coriander juice is made by crushing fresh cilantro, which requires quite a supply fresh leaves. Eating coriander or cilantro regularly throughout the month also helps, but for the easiest and most convenient option, try coriander seed oil.

Eating coriander or cilantro regularly throughout the month also helps.

 

  1. It Helps with Pimples & Other Skin Issues

Coriander has powerful benefits for your whole body, but perhaps one of the first places you’ll notice it working its magic is your skin. A natural remedy for pimples, blackheads and other skin issues is the ingestion of coriander or the application of coriander oil directly to your skin (spot test to see if your skin is sensitive first).

Coriander is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent; combine that with its antioxidant properties and that makes it the perfect natural remedy for clearing up your skin. For a list of 15 Coriander oil home remedies, click here to read our blog on the subject.

  1. It Has Natural Antibacterial Properties

Dodecenal is an antibacterial agent found in coriander that fights salmonella and supports better oral health. Among other health benefits, coriander has been found to fight fungus and many different strains of bacteria in the gut that can impede the proper digestion of nutrients or even lead to illness. This also makes it good for topical uses, to prevent infection. 

  1. It Helps with Anxiety

Coriander, or rather the oil found within its seeds, can have powerful effects on your brain. If you experience anxiety regularly, coriander is a natural remedy which can help to alleviate your stress and soothe your symptoms.

The hydroalcoholic extract of Coriandrum sativum (the scientific name for coriander) has a calming effect on your nerves and can improve your sleep.

  1. It’s an Antidiabetic Home Remedy

Coriander is a helpful plant for those suffering from symptoms of diabetes; it supports the body in maintaining proper blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

According to NaturalHealth365.com “Coriander seeds contain two volatile oils – linalool and geranyl acetate – which are powerful antioxidants that work at a cellular level. Lab studies have shown that coriander seed extracts were able to decrease the plasma glucose, improve insulin sensitivity and improved the serum lipid levels in rat models.”

 

  1. It Prevents Hair Loss

As it turns out, coriander can help your hair. Free radicals damage cells, including hair cells. By stopping the damage to these cells, coriander encourages fuller, thicker hair to grow.

Fitnistic.com are big fans of using coriander for hair and scalp benefits. “Coriander oil is great in curing dandruff and healing dry scalp. It helps the hair become shinier and get more life. It helps in hair regrowth and hair fall, but you will have to give it a few weeks to see the results.“

  1. It Helps Balance Cholesterol Levels

Coriander contains healthy acids (linoleic, ascorbic, oleic, stearic and palmitic) that go to work in your body to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This makes the herb effective for reducing the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your system (thus improving your cardiovascular health), but also for promoting healthy levels of the good cholesterol (HDL), which is essential for protecting your body from a number of conditions and complications.

 

  1. It’s Excellent for Promoting Eye Health

Coriander is loaded with vitamins A and C and phosphorous, all of which are antioxidants that can help to prevent vision disorders and degeneration, as well as reducing strain and stress on your eyes.

Its leaves are a source of beta-carotene which protects your eyes from various disorders and illnesses and which some studies suggest might help to reverse degeneration in seniors.

  1. It Can Help to Reduce High Blood Pressure

The interaction of calcium ions and cholinergic (a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system) allows coriander to assist those suffering from hypertension by relaxing blood vessel tension.

High blood pressure can be a problem for people for various reasons, but one of those reasons is stress, and as previously stated consuming coriander can help to alleviate anxiety and stress, thus potentially reducing blood pressure for those individuals. Plus, by lowering your blood pressure coriander helps to protect your heart.

  1. It Can Help to Prevent and Treat Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the body and inflame the urinary tract, including the bladder and potentially even the kidneys. The antibacterial properties of coriander can help to clear out harmful bacteria and prevent infections before they start.

Promoting healthy gut bacteria (see #1) is an added bonus if you’re taking antibiotics for a UTI or other infection as they tend to wipe out the good bacteria along with the bad.

 

  1. It Alleviates Pain from Arthritis

HerbWisdom.com explores some of the other ways to use coriander for pain relief: “Coriander may also be used in treating muscle pain, headaches and stiffness. Because of its heating and analgesic effect, this plant is used to treat arthritis, pain in bones and rheumatism. The high content of bioflavonoids from the leaves helps in treating varices and haemorrhoids.”

  1. It Can Prevent and Treat Food Poisoning

In the same way that it can prevent and treat UTIs, coriander, when taken regularly, can prevent food poisoning by combatting nasty bacteria and keeping your body clear of them.

It can also be used as a treatment, as it quickly attacks bad bacteria and soothes your system. This benefit, combined with #18, make it a must-have when you’re traveling to exotic locales…

 

  1. It is Effective Against Mouth Ulcers, Infections and Halitosis

Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities coriander is excellent for fighting mouth ulcers and killing off bad bacteria that cause infections. It is also extremely useful for treating halitosis (extreme and constant bad breath) for the same reasons and is often used in natural toothpaste (check out our recipe, here). Additionally, coriander has antimicrobial and healing effects that ensure that ulcers heal quickly. 

 

  1. It Increases Milk Production

Coriander is reported to be a galactogogue (a substance used to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding moms) and is used in many teas and supplements that are marketed to nursing mothers.

Due to coriander’s strength as a medicinal herb, you’d be best to seek out supplements made specifically for women who are breastfeeding and/or speak to your healthcare provider about safe ways to use coriander to promote better milk production.

An herbalist with knowledge of lactation can teach you how to easily make an effective infusion with coriander. It’s important to remember that everything you eat or supplement with can make its way into your breastmilk, so safety should be first on your mind.

What’s the best way to get coriander into your body?

Coriander is one of nature’s most powerful plants. Getting enough of its nutrients on a regular basis is going to make long-term health a lot more achievable.

There are three forms of coriander:

the seed (coriander)

the leafy herb (cilantro)

the oil (pressed from the seed)

You can eat it, make it into a paste and put it on your skin or boil it and drink the water as a tea or infusion, but the easiest way to get the most concentrated dose of its powerful health benefits is with coriander seed oil.

Coriander seed oil is made by pressing thousands of coriander seeds, which makes it the fastest way to get your body the most nutrients possible. Also, it’s quite easy to disguise for people who hate the taste of cilantro; because it’s so concentrated, you don’t need to add as much to your food or smoothie.

Another reason that the seed oil is the best way to take coriander is because of industrial farming practices like monoculture and the use of pesticides and herbicides. These practices have severely depleted many crops of their nutrition.

This means that you need to actually eat more cilantro than before to get the same amount of nutrition. Organic coriander seed oil is the easiest and fastest way to get all the nutrition you need.

Click on the link below to learn even more reasons why coriander oil is essential for your health and how you can easily start benefitting from the powerful nutrients in thousands of coriander seeds today.

 

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$2.78
Cloves

Cloves health benefits include improving digestion, fighting bacteria, protecting the liver, fighting lung cancer, regulating blood sugar, preventing mutation, enhancing immune system, fighting inflammation, supporting oral health, curing respiratory infection, curing headaches, relieving stress, treating wounds, supporting healthy bones, treat acne, promoting youthful skin, and preventing stomach ulcers.

Cloves are a spice that is widely used to add flavour to various East Asian dishes. However, their contribution isn’t limited to adding flavour, but it provides various health benefits as well. Not to be taken lightly because of their small size, they are beneficial for the digestive process, blood sugar regulation and much more.

 

What are Cloves?

The spice is indigenous to countries in East Asia and is grown as the flower buds of the tree which is scientifically known as Syzygium aromaticum. It is increasingly being added to western dishes such as roasts and baked goods to give them a dash of warmth.

 

Nutritional Value of Cloves (1 Tbsp)

Nutrients

Amount

%DV

Protein

0.4 g

0%

Carbohydrate

4.3 g

1%

Energy

18 Kcal             

-

Dietary Fiber

2.2 g

8%

Total Fat

0.8 g

0.0%

Sugar

0.2 g

-

 

Furthermore, cloves contain essential minerals such as magnesiumpotassiumiron, and calcium.

17 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cloves

 

  1. Improve Digestion

Using cloves in your meals will add a burst of flavour to them and also aid the digestive process by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. They eliminate gas that collects in the digestive tracts which makes them a good cure for flatulence. They can be used in powder form with honey as a home-treatment for stomach disorders. As a result, you’re less likely to feel nauseous because of indigestion.

  1. It Is Antibacterial

Cloves have been widely researched to test their medicinal properties and effects on human-infecting pathogens. As expected, the extract from cloves is enough to do so and proves its antibacterial properties. To be specific, they are highly effective in killing strains of bacteria that cause diseases such as cholera.

  1. Anti-Carcinogenic

Studies show that cloves can act as an effective anti-carcinogenic which is a substance that can protect that body against the growth of cancers by inhibiting them. This was applied specifically to lung cancer, and results showed that cloves stopped the growth completely.

  1. Protects The Liver

The liver is an important organ which functions to break down complex substances which are consumed by the body. Cloves are fairly rich in antioxidants which protect the body against the harmful effects of freely roaming radicals. These can take a toll on the body over long periods of time, especially the liver. Cloves protect it against the increase in radical and lipid production which is a result of metabolism.

  1. Regulate Blood Sugar

Cloves have been used as traditional medicine for a variety of illnesses such as diabetes. Patients that suffered from this disease would face the problem of insufficient or no insulin being produced in the body. Cloves seem to imitate the effects of insulin in the body and have the potential in regulating the levels of blood sugar in the body.

  1. Prevents Mutation

Cloves contain certain compounds such as phenylpropanoids which can reduce the harmful effects of mutagens. This anti-mutagenic property possessed by cloves helps in preventing against changes in the genetic makeup of the DNA.

  1. Enhances Immune System

The science of Ayurvedic medicine has described the spice to b effective in developing the immune system of the body. They stimulate the production of white blood cells and lead to better defense against bacterial infections.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory

Cloves possess a compound called eugenol which has an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies show that its presence is correlated with the reduction of inflammation. Results also show that the compound eugenol can reduce the pain felt by stimulating receptors.

  1. Oral health

Cloves are beneficial for gum diseases such as gingivitis, and the extracts are effective in inhibiting the growth of pathogens. They also have properties which mimic those of pain-killers so they can be used for toothaches as well.

  1. Cures Respiratory Infection

Ayurvedic medicine shows a wide use of the spice in teas to lessen the symptoms of colds or the flu. It also acts as an expectorant and help is relieving congestion and makes it easier to rid the respiratory tracts of phlegm.

  1. Cures Headaches

The presence of eugenol in cloves makes it an excellent alternative to painkilling medicine which is usually used to treat headaches. Using cloves to make a tea is effective in curing a headache and does not result in the harmful side effects of using medication.

  1. Relieve Stress

Cloves have a calming effect on the nerves which can be useful when a person is under stress. This induces the production of hormones which regulate the stress level and uplift the mood. Using cloves to make some aromatic tea will soothe the nerves and reduce any anxiety that the person is facing.

  1. Treat Wounds

Being an exceptional analgesic and antiseptic, cloves are highly regarded as being effective for treating bruises and scrapes. Considering that it also has anti-inflammatory properties, it will work well for swellings as well.

  1. Healthy Bones

The presence of phenolic compounds such as is flavones, flavones, and flavonoids in clove extracts is beneficial for healthy bones. This is because they aid in retaining bones mass and prevent it from deteriorating. This proves its effectiveness in reducing the painful symptoms of rheumatic arthritis.

  1. Treat Acne

The antibacterial properties of cloves are extremely helpful in reducing acne on the skin. Pimples and acne are caused by the accumulation of dirt and harmful bacteria which uses your skin as a breeding ground. The antibacterial properties of clove extracts can reduce such skin problems while the anti-inflammatory characteristic lessens the redness and swelling of such issues.

  1. Youthful Skin

The presence of antioxidants in cloves makes it a great addition to the lifestyle of youthful skin. Harmful radicals cause the skin cells to age rapidly, and this causes premature wrinkles. Cloves can battle such radicals with antioxidants and help your skin stay youthful.

  1. Prevent Stomach Ulcers

Research on clove extracts shows that they contain certain compounds which can help in treating painful ulcers which emerge in the stomach. These are often caused by a thinning of the lining which exposes the delicate tissue underneath. This occurs due to factors like infections, stressful lifestyles, and heredity. The study shows that cloves stimulate the production of mucus in the stomach. This gastric mucus can prevent the thinning of the lining which would lead to the erosion of tissues by gastric acids.

Conclusion

To conclude, the various benefits provided by cloves lead to a healthier lifestyle highlighted by youthfulness and vitality. It’s beneficial for problems such as inflammation and indigestion which makes it a household staple that every kitchen cabinet should hold.

 

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Cinnamon

13 Health Benefits of Cinnamon - Functional Food Pantry Staple?


Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. And while these days, most of us would rather get our hands on 24 karats instead of 24 ounces, it turns out that this aromatic tree bark could be more valuable than gold, especially when it comes to health benefits.

 

Research on cinnamon is still ongoing, and while preliminary research is promising, more well-designed human trials still need to be completed. There are, however, a few health benefits that seem particularly promising (and it certainly doesn't hurt to season up your food with this spice). From diabetes to pain management, an extra dash of cinnamon may be part of a plan to fight these common problems.

To help us sort myth from fact, we’ve enlisted the help of several health experts to give us their two cents on one of our favourite spices. We've vetted each claim, scouring the latest research to bring you the most complete guide to cinnamon's health benefits.

Cinnamon As Medicine Through History

Cinnamon has been used as a medicine in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. Known for its benefits linked to digestion and gastrointestinal complaints, cinnamon has long been used as a home remedy for heartburn, indigestion, and nausea.

In a 2011 systematic research review, dozens of "folkloric" benefits of cinnamon, from acne to premature ejaculation (and even possible uses as a snake repellent) were highlighted; many of these have yet to be confirmed by modern science.

What You Need to Know

Scientific research is complex and constantly changing. To prove the benefits of any supplement, medicine, or food, researchers undertake a process that can go on for years, testing first in lab conditions followed by in animals. Only once human trials have confirmed alleged benefits can they truly be considered to be proven.

This is problematic given the "clickbait" trends of modern media today. Research that is far from conclusive will often be touted as fact.

At Organic Authority, we distil ongoing research, exploring both the clinically proven benefits and the promising, if not yet conclusive, studies. We update our guides periodically in order to ensure that you always have access to the latest research out there.

 

13 Health Claims of Cinnamon

Many of cinnamon’s fantastic properties come from one substance, something called cinnamaldehyde, which is naturally present in cinnamon. According to Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR, the holistic nutritionist for Kate Naumes ND Holistic Wellness in Dallas, cinnamaldehyde is the source many of the antifungal and antibacterial properties that make cinnamon such a great addition to your diet.

  1. Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 diabetes.

Perhaps the most promising research pointing to the health benefits of cinnamon is linked to type 2 diabetes. While there is certainly no cure for this metabolic disease, cinnamon can be an important tool in managing its symptoms.

According to Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in wellness, fitness and anti-aging and one of the experts behind Project Juice, cinnamon can help manage this disease in two different ways. “It can reduce blood pressure and have a positive effect on blood markers for those with Type 2 diabetes,” she explains. Cinnamon can also reduce insulin resistance, which, Farley explains, “has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29%, which can reduce the instance of Type 2 diabetes.”

Shane Ellison, MS, a medicinal chemist and founder of the Sugar Detox, explains how exactly this works. “(Cinnamon) works directly on the muscle cells to force them to remove sugar from the bloodstream, where it is converted to energy,” he says. “It’s even shown to work better than most prescription meds.”

The key is in increasing insulin sensitivity in the body, a sensitivity that, while present at birth for those without type 1 diabetes, slowly decreases as we age and consume more sugar. As a result, sugar floats around in the blood, causing diabetes and other health problems. “Cinnamon, which is completely non-toxic, repairs the receptors so they are once again responsive to insulin,” Ellison explains. “In time, sugar levels normalize due to an increase in insulin sensitivity.”

Several studies have highlighted these possible benefits, including one 2016 research review that found that cinnamon supplements, in conjunction with standard hypoglycemic medications, had "modest effects" on Fasting Plasma Glucose and HbA1c, though the authors noted that "larger and more rigorous" studies were necessary.

  1. Cinnamon may help manage metabolic disease.

It's perhaps no surprise that if cinnamon has possible beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes, it would also be helpful in the management of metabolic disease. One 2016 literature review found that cinnamon could be effective in reducing complications, morbidity, and mortality in metabolic syndrome, including reducing blood pressure, plasma glucose, obesity, and dyslipidemia. But while these possible results of consuming cinnamon are certainly promising, more well-designed subject trials are necessary before true conclusions can be drawn.

Cinnamon can also be used as an appetite suppressant to those with a sugar addiction, thanks to its naturally sweet taste.

  1. Cinnamon could lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL).

Even if you do not suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you may want to include cinnamon in your diet for many of the same reasons as those who do.

As Parikh explains, the positive impact on Type 2 diabetes symptoms is due to a number of factors, notably “improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.” These are all benefits that can help even those not suffering from diabetes, including those with hereditary cholesterol worries or problems.

“(Cinnamon) also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol,” she explains. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the body.

And that’s not all. “Regular intake of cinnamon may also help to mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the increase in blood sugar post-meal,” says Parikh. This means that when cinnamon is added to your diet, the effects of occasional high-fat choices may not be quite as detrimental to your health as they would otherwise be.

But while one 2013 research review found a promising link between cinnamon and lowered cholesterol, studies thus far have been small and show conflicting results. More research is necessary to prove these benefits conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties.

Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods: It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavoured with the spice.

But these properties of cinnamon do not extend merely to the foods cinnamon seasons. Consumers of cinnamon can benefit from these properties as well, according to our experts, who say cinnamon can be used as part of a treatment for anything from lung problems to the common cold.

Denise Baron, a wellness educator and director of Ayurveda for Modern Living explains that cinnamon can help with all sorts of lung congestion issues. “It helps clear up mucus and encourages circulation,” she explains, thus lending its powers to everything from a simple seasonal cough to bronchitis, when used in tandem with other remedies.

These benefits were highlighted in a research review, which pointed to evidence that cinnamon can inhibit bacteria by damaging cell membranes and altering their lipid profile, among other means. But while preliminary results are promising, more well-designed trials are necessary before conclusive benefits can be proven.

  1. Cinnamon could help manage HIV.

Cinnamon's antimicrobial properties extend to viruses, thus indicating that it may help fight or manage HIV.

“Research shows that cinnamon extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells,” says Parikh. “Therefore, cinnamon extract could potentially contribute to the management of HIV.”

A 2016 study in peer-reviewed PLoS One found that a cinnamon-derived substance could block viral entry, which the study notes is one of the most promising approaches to preventing HIV's development into AIDS. More human trials are necessary to prove this benefit conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon could treat candidiasis.

Similarly, cinnamon's anti-microbial properties extend to fungi, thus rendering it a promising treatment for candidiasis. According to a 2011 research review, while cinnamon was shown to have activity against Candida in in-vitro studies, human trials, including a pilot study in five HIV-positive patients with oral candidiasis, showed mixed results. Further clinical trials are necessary to prove these benefits conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon can help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are two neurological conditions that, for the moment, are incurable. An enormous part of treating these diseases is therefore in symptom management, and this can be boosted with the addition of cinnamon to a regular regime.

“Cinnamon has been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s,” explains Farley. These contributions can help sufferers of these two diseases continue their regular routines with far less impediment.

A 2018 study in Pharmacological Research called these benefits "promising," noting cinnamon's ability to inhibit tau protein aggregation and amyloid-β peptides, both trademarks of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers did, however, note that further molecular and translational research studies, not to mention clinical trials, would be necessary in order to prove these benefits conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic properties.

Many superfoods are attributed with anti-carcinogenic properties, but it’s important not to jump from super food to super power. Parikh explains why it’s important not to get carried away.

“Evidence suggests that cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic effects as well, although the research thus far is limited to animal studies,” she says. “These experiments demonstrate that cinnamon extract slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cancerous cell death.”

A 2011 research review highlighted preliminary evidence of cinnamon's positive benefits on both lung cancer and stomach cancer, noting however that "well-designed trials are needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

  1. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties.

It is possible that the consumption of cinnamon could reduce both systemic and specific inflammation, though more human trials are needed in order to render these possible benefits conclusive. The former is particularly important in the Western world, according to Parekh.

She says that in the West, “Systemic inflammation is a prominent problem that has led to the rise in chronic disease.” By adding cinnamon to a regular diet, this systemic inflammation can be reduced significantly.”

Specific inflammation reduction means that consumption of cinnamon could help treat certain types of pain and headaches, as well as arthritis pain. It plays a double role in this particular type of pain, according to Baron, as cinnamon can also boost circulation. “With circulation problems such as Raynaud’s syndrome or arthritis, this helps stimulate and push circulation to the joints,” she explains.

  1. Cinnamon can help manage PCOS.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a problem with numerous symptoms that need to be managed, and cinnamon may be a key element of this management due to a number of characteristics.

First would be the management of insulin resistance in women with PCOS, which can contribute to weight gain.

“A recent pilot study found that cinnamon reduced insulin resistance in women with PCOS,” explains Parekh, extending cinnamon’s recommended consumption from diabetes sufferers to anyone with an insulin resistance problem.

“Cinnamon can also help mitigate heavy menstrual bleeding associated with common conditions of female health, such as endometriosis, menorrhagia, and uterine fibroids,” she continues. A clinical trial testing these benefits is currently ongoing.

  1. Cinnamon has antioxidant benefits.

Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to have powerful antioxidant benefits: one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that cinnamon could improve the antioxidant status of overweight or obese individuals, and a 2013 study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that cinnamon essential oils had "very powerful" antioxidant activities in vitro.

“Cinnamon’s high concentration of antioxidants can help protect the body from damage from free radicals and reduce inflammation, reducing risk of cancer and other diseases,” explains Farley.

More human trials are needed to prove this benefit conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon can help your eyes.

Some studies have shown that cinnamon, when used in conjunction with other herbs, may be useful in the treatment of eye disorders including conjunctivitis and dry eye. An evaluation of the OphtaCare brand, which features cinnamon and turmeric, among other ingredients, found that the preparation could be useful in the treatment of these and other eye disorders, but a 2011 research review noted that more research would be necessary in order to prove these benefits conclusively.

  1. Cinnamon is a natural insect repellent.

Anecdotal evidence points to cinnamon as a natural insect repellent, and a 2013 study in the Journal of Medicinal Entomology found that cinnamon essential oil, in addition to eucalyptus and star anise, could indeed be natural insect repellents, specifically with regards to certain mites. The study authors, however, noted that the oils' benefits "merit further study."

It’s possible we’re just brushing the surface here. After all, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon for its near superpowers, using it to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps, not to mention for its anti-clotting properties as well as attributes for cognitive function and memory. These societies also believed cinnamon could improve energy, vitality and circulation. It’s no wonder we’ve dubbed it a superfood!

 

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Cardamoms

24 Amazing Benefits Of Cardamom For Skin, Hair, And Health


You would have seen this spice in almost every major dish prepared at your home. And it is so for a reason – the benefits of cardamom are immense.

This post covers the numerous ways cardamom can make your life better. Keep reading!

 

Table Of Contents

What Is Cardamom

What Are The Different Types Of Cardamom

What Is The History Of Cardamom

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Cardamom

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cardamom

What Are The Benefits For The Skin

What About The Benefits For Hair

Cardamom Vs. Coriander – What’s With The Comparison

How To Use Cardamom In Cooking

How To Select And Store Cardamom

What Recipes Can You Use Cardamom In

Any Cool Facts About This Spice

Where To Buy Cardamom

Does Cardamom Have Any Side Effects

What Is Cardamom?

Popularly known as “Elaichi” in Hindi, “Aelakka” in Malayalam, “Elakkai” in Tamil, “Yelakulu” in Telugu, “Yalakki” in Kannada, “Ilaychi” in Gujarati, “Hr̥daya rōga” in Nepali and “Huba alhal” in Arabic – cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants belonging to the family Zingiberaceae.

The spice is native to India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. Cardamom pods are small (that’s how they are recognized), triangular in cross-section, and shaped as spindles.

Called the Queen of Spices, cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice – surpassed only by saffron and vanilla. And not just that – this spice comes in different types as well.

What Are The Different Types Of Cardamom?

Green and black cardamom – the two major types.

Green cardamomalso known as true cardamom, is the commonest variety. This is distributed from India to Malaysia.

It is used to flavour both sweet and savoury dishes.

It is also added to rich curries and milk-based preparations for its fragrance.

Tea and coffee are also spiced with cardamom.

Black cardamom is native to the Eastern Himalayas and is mostly cultivated in Sikkim, Eastern Nepal, and parts of West Bengal in India. It is brown and slightly elongated.

It is used only in savoury dishes like curries and biryani.

It is also an essential ingredient in garam masala (the blend of spices).

The dark brown seeds are known for their medicinal values – particularly so because of their nutrient content (volatile oils, calcium, iron, etc.).

We also have ground cardamom – which is nothing but what we get when the spice is crushed to obtain cardamom powder.

 This spice does have an interesting history.

What Is The History Of Cardamom?

The use of cardamom dates back to at least 4,000 years. Considered one of the world’s oldest spices, it was used in ancient Egypt for its medicinal properties – and even as a part of rituals and embalming. And the Romans and Greeks used this spice for its pungent aroma. The Vikings discovered it during their travels and brought it back to Scandinavia.

As of today, Guatemala is the largest producer of this spice in the world.

The spice is believed to have originally come from the Western Ghats in Southern India.

All of this is not as important as what is inside cardamom – the nutrients that make it what it is today.

 

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Cardamom?

 

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

311 Kcal

15.5%

Carbohydrates

68.47 g

52.5%

Protein

10.76 g

19%

Total Fat

6.7 g

23%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

28 g

70%

VITAMINS

Niacin

1.102 mg

7%

Pyridoxine

0.230 mg

18%

Riboflavin

0.182 mg

14%

Thiamin

0.198 mg

16.5%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

21 mg

35%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

18 mg

1%

Potassium

1119 mg

24%

MINERALS

Calcium

383 mg

38%

Copper

0.383 mg

42.5%

Iron

13.97 mg

175%

Magnesium

229 mg

57%

Manganese

28 mg

1217%

Phosphorus

178 mg

25%

Zinc

7.47 mg

68%

 

 And now, we head to the benefits.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cardamom?

Cardamom helps improve digestive health and prevents certain serious ailments like cancer. It also aids in diabetes treatment and helps you cope with depression. You can include cardamom in your diet as you usually do or even take cardamom milk (also called elaichi milk) to avail the wondrous benefits.

  1. Improves Digestive Health

According to an Indian study, cardamom can be used in cuisines not just for flavour, but also for enhancing digestion (1). The spice also stimulates metabolism, given its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (2).

 Cardamom is also known to stimulate the secretion of bile acid in the stomach, further aiding in digestion (3). The spice also prevents other gastrointestinal ailments like acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.

  1. Promotes Heart Health

Its antioxidant properties can promote heart health. Cardamom also contains fiber, the nutrient that can help lower cholesterol levels and enhance heart health.

 The spice also can lower blood pressure levels – and this benefits the heart. Simply have a concoction of a teaspoon of coriander and a pinch of cardamom along with a cup of freshly squeezed peach juice.

 Black cardamom seems to work much better than its green cousin when it comes to heart health. One study conducted on patients with ischemic heart disease had their plasma lipid profiles and antioxidant status and fibrinolytic activity (a process that prevents blood clots from growing and causing problems) getting better post the ingestion of black cardamom (4).

 As per a report by the Harvard Medical School, cardamom is one of the ingredients heart experts usually include in their dinners (5). 

  1. Aids In Cancer Prevention

Cardamom has exhibited its potential as a natural cancer treatment.  Several animal studies have shown that the spice can be used to prevent, delay, and even reverse cancer formation.

As per one Saudi Arabian study, administration of cardamom powder had reduced the occurrence of tumors (6). Cardamom also decreases general inflammation, which inhibits the growth of cancer cells and encourages their death. Another Saudi Arabian study states that cardamom has the potential to treat forestomach cancer.

The spice had also shown desirable effects on chemically induced colorectal cancer in mice (7).

  1. Has Diuretic Properties

Cardamom has diuretic properties that can benefit cases of hypertension and epilepsy (8). These diuretic properties of cardamom also aid in detoxification.

  1. Helps Fight Depression

According to a health report, cardamom can indeed help people cope with depression. Just powder a few seeds of cardamom and boil them in water along with your everyday tea. Take the tea regularly for better results (9).

  1. Fights Asthma

Cardamom plays a role in fighting asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. The spice makes breathing easier by enhancing blood circulation within the lungs. It also fights related inflammation by soothing the mucus membranes.

Another report says that green cardamom can be used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and numerous other respiratory issues (10).

  1. Aids In Diabetes Treatment

Cardamom is extremely rich in manganese – a mineral that can lower the risk of diabetes. However, a lot more research is required in this aspect.

  1. Improves Oral Health

Cardamom possesses antimicrobial properties that enhance oral health. According to the European Journal of General Dentistry, cardamom can protect against oral pathogens like Streptococci mutans (11). The pungent taste of cardamom even stimulates the salivary flow – and this can help prevent dental caries.

Cardamom can also work well in treating bad breath. Especially when you take a mixture of spices, including the seeds of anise, cardamom, and fennel – bad breath wouldn’t be a problem anymore (12).

  1. Enhances Appetite

One Polish study emphasizes on the use of cardamom for treating a lack of appetite (13). Even cardamom oil can be used as an appetite stimulant (14).

Cardamom can also aid in the treatment of histoplasmosis – a condition in which one of the symptoms is a lack of appetite (15).

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure Levels

According to an Indian study, cardamom effectively lowers blood pressure (16). You can simply include cardamom in your soups and stews or even baked items to keep your blood pressure levels in check.

  1. Improves Sexual Health

Cardamom is a proven aphrodisiac. The spice is rich in a compound called cineole, and just a small pinch of cardamom powder can release nerve stimulants and fuel your passions.

Some reports say that cardamom can also treat impotence. Further research is warranted.

  1. Can Treat Hiccups

Cardamom has muscle-relaxing properties, and these can help relieve hiccups. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of cardamom powder to hot water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes. Strain and consume slowly.

  1. Helps Treat Sore Throat

A mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper can work wonders for treating a sore throat. While cardamom soothes the sore throat and reduces irritation, cinnamon offers antibacterial protection. And black pepper improves the bioavailability of the two ingredients. You can take 1 gram each of cardamom and cinnamon powders, 125 mg of black pepper, along with 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix all ingredients and lick the mixture thrice a day.

Cardamom also has been found to reduce nausea and prevent vomiting. In one study, test subjects who were given cardamom powder showed less frequency and duration of nausea and less frequency of vomiting.

  1. Prevents Blood Clots

According to the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India, cardamom contains several components that relieve blood clots. But yes, adequate research is lacking in this aspect.

What Are The Benefits For The Skin?

The skin benefits of cardamom can be attributed to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The spice helps treat skin allergies and improves skin complexion. It can also be used as a tool to cleanse the skin.

  1. Improves Complexion

One of the benefits of cardamom is that it can give you fair skin. Cardamom essential oil helps in removing blemishes, thus giving you a fairer complexion.

You can either buy skin care products containing cardamom or its essential oil. Or you can simply mix cardamom powder with honey and apply it as a face mask.

  1. Improves Blood Circulation

Cardamom contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. It improves blood circulation throughout the body. Also, the many layers of phytonutrients in the spice can improve blood circulation – which invariably enhances skin health.

  1. Treats Skin Allergies

Cardamom, especially the black variety, has antibacterial properties. Applying a cardamom and honey mask (a mixture of cardamom powder and honey) to the affected area can give relief.

  1. Imparts Fragrance

Cardamom is often used in cosmetics to impart fragrance. Due to its distinct spicy, sweet scent, both cardamom and cardamom oil are used in perfumes, soaps, body washes, powders, and other cosmetics. Oriental style perfumes and other scented products often use cardamom as an ingredient in addition to other essential oils.

  1. Offers Therapeutic Benefits To The Skin

Cardamom can be used in skin care products for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory purposes to calm and soothe the skin, thanks to its therapeutic effects. When added to perfumes, it can stimulate the senses. Facial soaps use cardamom to impart a warming sensation to the skin.These cosmetics using cardamom for therapeutic reasons are known as aromatherapy products.

  1. Works As A Great Masking Agent

The strong scent of cardamom can ward off unpleasant odors. This makes it a great addition to cosmetic products, such as toners, that serve a specific function but smell unappealing due to the inclusion of certain ingredients. Cardamom is added to these products to mask the unpleasant scent while retaining the benefit of the cosmetic.

  1. Offers Lip Care

Cardamom essential oil is often added to cosmetics that are applied to the lips (such as lip balms) to impart the taste of the oil and make the lips smooth.

You can simply apply the oil to your skin before you go to bed and wash it off in the morning.

  1. Helps You Achieve Clear Skin

Black cardamom helps in flushing out the toxins that could otherwise harm your skin. Chewing some black cardamom detoxifies your body, thus providing you with clearer skin.

What About The Benefits For Hair?

Cardamom can contribute to improved hair growth and the treatment of certain scalp issues.

  1. Nourishes Your Scalp

The antioxidant properties of cardamom, and especially the black type, nourish your scalp and improve its health. The spice also nourishes the hair follicles and enhances hair strength. You can wash your hair with cardamom water (mix the powder with water and use before shampoo) to achieve the desired results.

The antibacterial properties of the spice even treat scalp infections, if any.

  1. Improves Hair Health

This is a given. Improved scalp health most often means stronger and better-looking hair. The spice strengthens your hair roots and offers shine and luster to your hair.

These were the benefits. A simple spice can transform your health, provided you take it on a regular basis. And now, we have an important question to address – what is the difference between cardamom and coriander? Firstly, why should we care about such a comparison?

Cardamom Vs. Coriander – What’s With The Comparison?

The two are spices with similar benefits (which is why we are interested in this comparison). Like, say, the two are used to treat high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and other digestive issues. Also, cardamom and coriander are two of the five digestive spices mentioned in Ayurveda. The other three are cumin, ginger, and fennel.

But there are a few factors on which the two spices differ.

Cardamom

Coriander

Made from the seed pods of plants in the ginger family

Comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant

Is considered a warming spice

Is considered a cooling spice

Is native to Southern Asia and India

Is native to the Mediterranean and parts of Southern Europe

Guatemala is the largest producer as of today

India is the largest producer as of today

Used as a remedy for bad breath and asthma

Used to prevent food poisoning

 

Alright. Now that you are convinced cardamom has excellent benefits, how do you use the spice in cooking?

How To Use Cardamom In Cooking?

Cardamom is one of the most prized spices all over the world. It can be used in the whole as well as ground form in a variety of dishes ranging from curry powders, dals, and masalas to desserts and drinks. While cooking the seeds, they should be bruised with the back of a knife or ground with other spices before frying. Given below are the tips for the usage of cardamom as an ingredient.

In India, cardamom is one of the main constituents of garam masala, a combination of spices used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is also an important ingredient in the preparation of curry powder commonly used in Indian cooking.

Cardamom can be added to tea or coffee to impart its pleasant and refreshing aroma. You can add some cardamom to your ground coffee before brewing and then sweeten and top with cream.

Whole green cardamom pods are added to pulaos, curries, and hot dishes. As the shell integrates while cooking, it infuses the dish with its essence and refreshing aroma. Thus, it is often used to impart aroma to biryanis, pulaos, and kebabs.

Besides the savory dishes, cardamom can be used in desserts like kheer and firni as well as sweets like gulab jamun, gajar ka halwa, etc. to impart its distinctive flavor. In Scandinavian countries, it is used for flavoring all types of sweet pastry and bread dishes instead of cinnamon.

Ground cardamom seeds can be used to flavor foods like soups, pates, stews, purees, and rice dishes. You can try adding some seeds to your homemade rice pudding, ice cream, custard, or sprinkle them over a fresh fruit salad.

Chicken can be marinated in honey, cardamom, and pepper. It can then be roasted on the stove top and baked to prepare the delicious cardamom honey chicken.

You can prepare a citrus fruit salad comprising of citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges, sweeten it with honey, and season it with lime juice and cardamom.

Swedish coffee bread is slightly sweet yeast bread. It is generally flavored with cardamom and braided or made into a wreath-shaped pastry.

Lemons can be preserved in cardamom. These can be then used in a variety of dishes.

Cut the lemons lengthwise into quarters, leaving the stem attached.

Rub their flesh with some kosher salt and put one tablespoon of salt at the bottom of a glass jar.

Place these lemon quarters in this jar alternating with salt, cardamom pods, and bay leaves.

Pour in some juice that is enough to cover the lemons and cover tightly. Allow the mixture to stand for about 3 weeks,

Keep shaking the jar daily to mix the salt. These preserved lemons can be refrigerated for up to 6 months covered with lemon juice.

Lassi is a refreshing drink rather popular in India. Cardamom powder can be added to lassi to provide it with a distinct taste. You can prepare it by combining curd, full-fat milk, powdered sugar, and cardamom powder, and blending these ingredients in a mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve it in glasses after adding sugar cubes. You can also garnish lassi with cardamom powder and chopped dry fruits.

Indian style basmati rice is a savory dish that is flavoured with whole spices, including cardamom.

All you need to do is put some rice in a bowl, adding enough water to cover it.

Heat some oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seeds.

After cooking for about a minute, add some chopped onion. Sauté it until golden brown for about 10 minutes.

Drain the water from the rice, and cook and stir the pot for a few minutes. Add salt and water. Simmer for about 15 minutes at low heat until all the water has been absorbed.

Allow it to stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork before serving. It can be served with curry or dal (lentils).

That’s the different ways you can use cardamom in your cooking. But even before you do that, you need to first select and store the spice, right?

How are you going to do that?

How To Select And Store Cardamom

Selection

Both ground and loose seeds of cardamom are available in the spice section of the supermarkets while whole pods are available in specialty stores.

When buying cardamom, always prefer the green one as it has a complex flavour that is suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. Moreover, whole cardamom pods should be chosen over ground ones. Look for small football-shaped pods having a green tint. They should smell like a combination of pine and flowers.

If ground cardamom is needed, it is advisable to grind the seeds from a whole pod with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. However, ground cardamom loses its flavour rapidly while the whole spice stays potent for a year or even longer.

Cardamom is an expensive spice, and so, other spices are often added to ground cardamom to reduce the cost. The opening of the pods or the grinding of the seeds causes a quick loss of the flavor and aroma of the cardamom due to the rapid loss of the essential oils.

Storage

Proper storage of cardamom is of prime importance to retain its taste and aroma and extend its shelf life.

The best way is to store cardamom in the form of pods because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they lose their flavour and aroma rapidly.

Cardamom pods can last up to a year when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Dry cardamom capsules should be kept in moisture-proof containers away from direct sunlight.

For bulk storage on a long-term basis, the pods should be kept in polythene lined gunny bags inside wooden boxes. This will preserve the green colour of the pods. Before placing the capsule in the gunny bags for storage, ensure that they are fully dry. Any moisture in the bag will cause them to rot. Moreover, they should be inspected regularly for signs of moisture or spoilage.

The storage room should be dark, dry, clean, cool, and free from pests. To protect the pods from pests and insects, mosquito nettings should be fitted on the windows. They should be kept away from strong smelling food, detergents, and paints as they will spoil the delicate aroma of cardamom.

Okay. Now you know how to pick the right kind of cardamom and store it properly. How about using the spice in some delectable recipes?

What Recipes Can You Use Cardamom In?

  1. Cardamom Spiced Tea

What You Need

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon each of ground cloves and black pepper

1 cinnamon stick

2 1/2 cups of water

2 black tea bags

2 1/2 cups of low-fat milk

2 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of orange zest, for garnish

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. Set aside.

Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a full boil. Place the tea bags and cinnamon stick in the water. Stir in the spice mixture and reduce to simmer.

Steep for about 5 minutes for a rich tea flavour.

Remove the tea bags and cinnamon stick.

Add the milk and honey. Continue to simmer until the tea is heated enough. Keep stirring gently to keep the scum from forming on the milk.

Pour the tea into mugs and sprinkle with orange zest.

  1. Cardamom Honey Chicken

What You Need

For the marinade

4 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of sherry

1 teaspoon each of ground cardamom seeds and ground peppercorn

For the chicken

1 whole chicken cut into parts

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 thinly sliced lemon

Salt and pepper

Directions

For marinating the chicken, slightly warm the honey and stir in the shrerry, cardamom, and peppercorn. Place the marinade and chicken in a large bowl and coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes (at room temperature).

Preheat the oven to 390o F.

Heat the olive oil at medium heat in a large frying pan. Sear the chicken for about 30 seconds until it turns golden.

Now, place the lemon slices in a roasting pan and lay the chicken pieces on the top. Brush them with the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the foil.

Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 more minutes. In case the chicken gets too dark, tent with the foil.

Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

The recipes are great for sure. But the facts about cardamom give you an entirely new perspective about the spice.

Any Cool Facts About This Spice?

Cardamom was first introduced to Guatemala in 1914, and today, it is the largest producer of the spice.

Cardamom, turmeric, and ginger belong to the same botanical family (Zingiberaceae).

You don’t have to really discard the cardamom pods (the green covers). You can use them as they are.

White cardamom is not a variety of cardamom, but just the green ones bleached.

Wondering where to buy this spice?

Where To Buy Cardamom?

Your nearest supermarket is the best place.

Cardamom is wonderully nutritious. But it is important to know of its other side too – the not-so-appealing one.

Does Cardamom Have Any Side Effects?

Yes. And here they are.

Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding 

Though taking cardamom in normal amounts is safe, taking the spice as a medicine might have some undesirable effects. Stay safe and consume it only in food amounts. Or avoid use altogether.

Gallstone Colic 

If you have gallstones, avoid intake. Cardamom seed is known to trigger gallstone colic.

Conclusion

Continue adding this spice to every major dish in your home. And continue to appreciate its benefits too.

And yes, tell us how this post has helped you. Your feedback will help us serve you better. Leave a comment below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is a good substitute for black cardamom?

As obvious it may sound, it is green cardamom. But the green variety lacks the smoky and hot flavour.

What are the benefits of drinking boiled cardamom water?

It would be most effective in calming nausea and vomiting. And, it offers the other benefits too. Gargling with the water can help ease a sore throat.

 

 

 

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