Herbs and Spices
Aamchoor (Raw manao powder)
The raw mango is dried and powdered and is used as asouring agent in foods.
Adrak (Fresh Ginger)
A root with a tan skin and flesh that ranges in color from pale green / yellow to ivory. This tangy, pungent and spicy flavored root ginger forms an essential base in masalas for curries and other Asian dishes. Fresh unpeeled root ginger tightly wrapped can be refrigerated up to three weeks and frozen for up to six months.
Origin - Product of India and Jamaica
Curative properties To cure coughsand colds, mix together 2 tsp fresh ginger juice, 1tsp of honey, 2 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of ground pepper, and consume several times daily. To increase your appetite and digestion power eat a few pieces of sliced ginger dipped in lemon juice and sprinkled with salt 10-15 minutes before meals.
Small caraway like fruits. Parsley family, similar to thyme but less strong and less subtle.
Strong aromatic smell. Goes well with fish and potatoes.
Origin - East Mediterranean, may be Egypt.
Curative properties - Boil 1 liter of water with 1 tsp of fresh new ajwain until water volume
reduces to half. Drink cool. This water is good for flatulence and phlegm (Kaf).
For severe colds, roast about 1 tbsp ajwain on a hot griddle. Wrap the ajwain in a piece of
cloth and inhale while still warm. Repeat the process a couple of times.
Ajwain is good for chest pains, indigestion, hiccups, loss of appetite, stomach worms, back
pain, diarrhoea, cough and cold, excessive urination, diabetes, nausea, etc.
Ajwain Patta (Parsley)
Tiny green leaves growing in clusters, with a light and freshly scented flavor, available whole, dry ground or in dry flakes and used as a garnish in soups, vegetables, meats and sauces.
Origin - Grown in California
Curative properties - High in iron, iodine, copper and vitamins A and C.
A royal oval nut with a mellow, sweet flavour, used a lot in Mogul style of cooking in northern
India. Almonds combine successfully with Indian savory dishes, Indian sweets, ice creams
and confectioneries. Almond paste is used to thicken gravies. An excellent garnish
Origin - West or central Asia. Cultivated in the Mediterranean for more than two thousand
Curative properties - To strengthen the power of a child's mental state, soak five almonds
in water overnight, peel and chew every day.
It is good for the heart and acts as a cleansing agent for blood.
Badi Elaichi/Elcha (Black Cardamom)
Large brown cardamom pods, strong in flavor and larger in size than green cardamom. Is used to flavor meat, poultry and rice dishes.
Origin - Native to South Western India.
Cake Jeera (Caraway Seeds)
slightly peppery, warm, sweet, tangy flavor. Used in rye bread, soups, cheese, cakes and cabbage dishes.
Origin - Grown in Germany, Russia, Morocco, Holland, Canada and USA. Holland is the world's largest caraway producer.
Chakra Phool/Starini (Staranise)
Star shaped spice used in curries and Asian dishes.
Dried bark of sweet bay or laurel trees. A woody texture with a sweet, warm and pleasing
aromatic taste. Light brown, smooth cinnamon sticks are used in rice, meat.sweet dishes
and hot beverages. Ground cinnamon is commonly used in baking.
Origin - Native to Sri Lanka. Grown in India and Mediterranean region.
Curative properties - To control cholesterol, boil 1 -2 gm of powdered cinnamon in a glass
of water. Filter and add a spoon of honey to it. Drinkthis decoction once daily for 15-25 days.
It is best to consume this decoction in winter because cinnamon produces heat in the body.
Cinnamon which is derived from the dried bark of sweet bay or laurel trees is of woody texture with a warm and pleasing aromatic taste. Here is a remedy for your high cholesterol:
Boil 1-2 gm of powdered cinnamon in a glass of water Filter and add a spoon of honey to it. Drink this decoction once daily for 15-25 days. As cinnamon produces heat it is best to consume this decoction in winter.
It is a powerful antimicrobial agents that kill E. coli and many other bacteria.
It is an excellent remedy for whooping cough.
Round, sweet smelling, heady, aromatic, mild distinct taste seeds, similar to a blend of
lemon and sage, belonging to the parsley family. Generally used whole, roasted or ground
mostly in pickles and masala.
Coriander leaves (hara dhania ) are used extensively as a seasoning and garnishing in
curries, savories and snacks.
Origin - Product of Morocco and Romania.
Curative properties - For an effective remedy for pimples, black heads and dry skin, take a
teaspoon of coriander juice mixed with a little turmeric powder to form a paste. This mixture
should be applied to washed face every night before bed.
To relieve problems such as nausea due to bile, burning sensation of the stomach, acidity,
nose bleeds, dry summer coughs, excessive thirst, menstrual disorders and detoxification
effects of coffee, boil 1 litre of water with 1/2 tsp of old coriander seeds until water
reduces to 750ml. Sieve when cool. This decoction should be drunk 4 to 5 times daily. To
relieve itchy/ burning sensation of the eyes, splash the water into eyes 4 to 5 times daily.
Whole or ground fruit of parsley family. Aromatic flavor. Used in pickling.
Origin - Product of India and US.
Aromatic and cool eucalyptus-scented seed usually used as a flavoring in pulao, biryani, meat and sweet dishes. Belongsto the gingerfamily.
Origin - Product of India, Guatemala and Sri Lanka.
Ginger Garlic Tonic boosts immunity
Our immune system is what helps us fight off the viruses such as the common cold. Toxins wear our immune system down Ginger contains many anti oxidants and promotes sweating thereby speeding up the elimination of toxins from the body.
It is amazing how nature provides for our health with special plants in the original diet. The following information on ginger, an antiviral herb containing at least a dozen anti viral compounds, pain relieving, antioxidant and antiseptic, valuable in preventing colds, coughs, fighting fatigue and preventing inflammation of mucus membranes will give you another natural non toxic herb which will help you achieve and maintain optimal health. New studies are showing very important health benefits of ginger with various cancer cells. There is no question that ginger used in cooking and as medicinal help has many special health qualities that we have yet to recognize. Enjoy ginger as one of the power foods that God gave us to boost our immune system and promote good health. Tasty with no lingering odours ginger has a mild sedative effect which is good for rest in times of pain and fever, coughs and colds during all winters. Garlic and ginger are used widely around the world that has immune boosting properties and can be safely relied on to strengthen the immune system. Ginger that can be used internally or externally is heat producing and so should be used sparingly during summer months. It stimulates digestive, respiratory and nervous system and helps in blood circulation. Make ginger a part of your daily diet.
No treatment of colds would be complete without Garlic. This pungent herb was highly esteemed by the ancient Egyptians, who ensured that the slaves building the Great Pyramids at Cheops were given a daily supply. The Romans also acknowledged garlic's strengthening powers and fed it to their soldiers before battle. Garlic has anti-bacterial properties that help boost the immune system to fight infection. The reason for this is garlic contains several helpful compounds, including allicin, one of the plant kingdom's most potent antibiotics. Garlic combines well with echinacea and together make a strong fighting force against infections.]
Garlic ( Lasoon ) is a natural antibiotic, and immune system stimulator. It increases the effectiveness of the white blood cells [WBCs] and T cells - the infection fighting cells within the body. It also blocks the production of toxins by germs.
Ginger (ADRAK) and the Immune System
- strong antioxidant
- Antimicrobial (kills bacteria - including salmonella) - internally and topically as an antiseptic
- two natural antibiotics are found in ginger
- contains anti-inflammatory agents
- helps eliminate congestion
- contains zingibain that dissolves parasites and their eggs
- ginger root tea eases some throat pain
- kills cold viruses
- inhibits production of cytokines which cause pain and swelling
- combats chills and fever
- ginger inhibits 5-LO enzymes, the only food for prostate cancer cells , prostate cancer cells die in one to two hours without this enzyme
- gingerol (an extract of ginger) inhibits pancreatic cell growth
- beneficial to prevent constipation-related cancer
- an effective ani-tumor agent in leukemia cells
- an extract of ginger causes lung cancer cell death
- gingerols inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori associated with dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease and the development of gastric and colon cancer
- ginger extract raises significantly the thymus index, spleen index, percentage of phagocytosis, and thus improves the immunologic function relating to tumors
- gingerol inhibits cell adhesion, invasion, motility and activities of breast cancer cell lines
- gingerol induces viability reduction (killed) gastric cancer cells
- a ginger extract causes apoptosis (cell death) of breast carcinoma cells
- ginger inhibits cell growth and modulates angiogenic factor in ovarian cancer cells
- 6-shogaol (component of ginger) induces cell death in colorectal carcinoma cells
- compounds of ginger inhibits proliferation (stops growth) of ovarian cancer cells
A component of ginger suppresses metastasis (stops the spread) in any type of cancer cell including leukemic, skin, kidney, lung, and pancreatic cancer cells - one of the most exciting and powerful health benefits.
Ginger and Circulation
- stimulates circulation
- may help prevent heart attacks
- has natural blood thinning properties
- lowers blood cholesterol levels
- cleanses and stimulates blood
- prevents internal blood clots
- may prevent TIA’s (mini strokes)
- therapeutic properties for hypertension
Ginger and Digestion
- cleanses colon
- reduces colon spasms and cramps
- helps clear gas
- relieves indigestion
- excellent for nausea, vomiting and motion sickness
- stimulates production of digestive juices
- helps bowel disorders
Ginger and other Body Systems
- lungs: helps with respiratory problems, eases asthma symptoms
- helps eliminate hot flashes
- relieves headaches
- promotes menstrual regularity
- helps with morning sickness
- helps reduce inflammation of arthritis
- supports kidney health
- topical gingerol provides protection against UVB-induced skin disorders
- reduces the severity of post chemotherapy nausea
Ginger and its Nutrients
- high in potassium
- manganese which builds resistance to disease, protects lining of heart, blood vessels and urinary passages
- silicon which promotes healthy skin, hair, teeth and nails
- helps assimilate calcium
- contains Vit. A, C, E, B-complex, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium, beta-carotene
Other Facts and Health Benefits of Ginger
- British research has found ginger to be as effective as drugs at relieving nausea after surgery
- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis got relief from pain and swelling after taking ginger daily for three months
- Ginger promotes healing of inflammation and minor burns
- may prevent mini strokes
- Research shows that ginger has good effect on cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol levels and preventing oxidation of LDL which contributes to cholesterol deposits on artery walls
Try this mixture, you will never look back.
1 cup honey
1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger root
Warm Honey gently over very low heat without letting it boil. Place the garlic and ginger in a jar with rubber seal and pour warm honey over them. Mix well and cap tightly.
Place this mixture in a warm sunny window sill and stir daily for three days, then refrigerate.
Use within 6 weeks
Boost your immune system with this garlic recipe. Steeping garlic in wine allows the antibiotic, anti-viral properties of the garlic to leach out into the wine. The alcohol acts to preserve the nutritional properties.
Peel and crush 5 cloves of fresh garlic. Add to a .5 litre bottle of red wine. Let this sit for 48 hours. Strain the garlic out and return the wine to its bottle. Add 20 to 30 drops to an 8 ounce glass of water and drink at first sign of cold. Repeat twice a day as needed.
Mix together half a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of ground pepper, and consume several times daily. To increase your appetite and digestion power Eat a few pieces of sliced ginger dipped in lemon juice and sprinkled with salt 10-15 minutes before meals.
A wholesome, pure, unrefined, traditional sugar often called the'medicinal sugar. It contains
the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice and this
crowns it as one of the most wholesome and healthy sugars in the world. In Mexico & South
America, it is also known as panela.
Intake of 1 tsp jaggery is highly recommended to prevent disorders related to anemia,
menstrual disorders and flatulence.
For hiccups, mix liquid jaggery and dry ginger powder and consume this with 1 tsp warm
For problems related to high blood pressure, liquid Jaggery should be eaten for 15 days
daily; skip for next 15 days, continue this process for 3 months.
For coughs, mix 1/2 tsp jaggery with 1/2 tsp black pepper powder and take this with warm
For headaches, make a paste with 10 gm jaggery. 6 gm sesame seeds and 2-3 drops of milk.
Apply this paste on the forehead.
For arthritic pains, eat a marble sized ball of jaggery coated with 2 tsp of amla powder every
day for three months.
A root plant of the gingerfamily, dried and ground to a powder that is brilliant yellow in color with pungent bitter flavor and aromas of orange and ginger. Used as a spice and a coloring agent in lentils, meats, chutneys, pickles and relishes.
Origin - Product of India, China and Indonesia.
Curative properties - A powerful antioxidant and anti- inflammatory. Its antiseptic properties, heals wounds and stops bleeding. Taken internally it is good for brittle bones. Drink a glass of hot milk to which sugar cubes and pinch of haldi are added, to help reduce swelling of body parts and severe coughs and colds.
General immune system booster due to its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity. It is 5-8 times stronger than vitamins C and E and even strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical which is considered to be the most reactive of all oxidants. Its antiseptic properties heal wounds and stops bleeding. Taken internally it is good for brittle bones.
Drink a glass of hot milk to which sugar cubes and a pinch of turmeric powder are added, to help reduce swelling of body parts and severe coughs and colds.
A dried gum resin of an East Indian plant with a garlicky smell. Mostly used in pickles, fish
and vegetables. Available in ayellow powdered form.
Curative properties - To reduce flatulence in new born and young babies, grind a little hing,
mix in hot water and rub around naval area.
for flatulence in adults, take 1/2 tsp hing powder mixed in a little warm water and drink at night.
A brown to black fruit with a distinct sour taste, mostly used as a souring agent in meat and
fish dishes, lentils and in chutneys.
Curative properties - To reduce high fevers and to cure boils, drink runny pulp of tamarind
several times daily, Soak 50 gm of tamarind in water, strain pulp, add sugar to taste and drink a few times daily
to relieve head aches in hot climates.
A hard dried nut with a pleasing fragrance and a sweet but slightly bitter flavor. Used in
powdered /grated form to flavor meats, soups and a variety of baked dishes.
Origin - Grown in Indonesia, Grenada.
Curative properties - To remove blemishes and pigments from skin, make a paste of
grated nutmeg and cold milkand rub on affected areas.
to relieve colds and coughs in babies, mix a little nutmeg powder in water with a pinch of
black salt and give to babies orally.
A paste of nutmeg powder and a little water rubbed on forehead relieves headaches and
The outer skin of nutmeg, used for flavoring pulaos and curries.
Origin - Geographical sources-Indonesia and Grenada.
Jeera (Cumin seed)
Oval shaped, greyish-brown seeds with a strong aromatic smell and warm bitter taste,
belonging to the parsley family. Used whole, ground or roasted in curries, dhal and savory
Curative properties - To cure problems arising due to bile, miscarriage due to uterus
bleeding, fevers cause by malaria, nausea due to flatulence, irregular menstrual cycle,
inflammation of uterus, worms, and urination problems, boil 1 litre of water with 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of
cumin seeds until water reduces to 750 ml. Sieve when cool. This decoction should be
drunk 4 to 5 times daily.
To get relief from pain due to flatulence in the stomach, roast a handful of jeera seeds,
powder it and mix with honey. Take a tsp of this mixture after meals.
To cure diarrhoea, saute cumin seeds, mix in half a teaspoon of honey and take this 4 times
daily. Alternatively drink diluted natural yoghurt mixed with roasted ground cumin powder
and black salt.
For itchy body and relief from rashes, boil cumin seeds in water and use this water to bathe
Cumin seeds are given to nursing mothers to aid lactation.
Kali Mirch (BlackPepper)
Dried berries of the pepper plant. Pungent and hot. Used as condiment in stocks, pickles,
meat and vegetable dishes.
Origin Grown in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil.
Curative properties - Intake of adash of black pepperat nighttime gives relief from colds.
To relieve coughs, add 50 gm of black pepper powder to 200 gm of molasses (gud) and
make into small balls. Suck3-4 balls daily.
Increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods.
Kaddi Patta (Curryleaf)
Used in curries, chutney's, soups and rice dishes.
Curative properties - Liberal intake of curry leaves is considered beneficial in preventing
the premature greying of hair and it gives vitality and strength to hair roots.
Kala Namak/Sanchal(Black Salt)
A salt with a unique flavor.
Kalonji (Black Onion Seed)
Used extensively in Bengali dishes as a flavoring agent.
Kasuri Methi (DriedFenugreek Leaves)
It is the main flavoring agent for butter chicken. Also used as a flavoring agent in samosas,
meats and other dishes.
Origin - A native to India and southern Europe.
Kesar (Saffron Strands)
World's most expensive spice. An orange red colored stigma of the Crocus Sativus. Kesar has a unique, sharp penetrating aroma, spicy and pungent flavor which has no substitute and is used to add color and flavor to sweets, biryani's and pulao's and used extensively in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Origin - Native to Mediterranean. Cultivated in Spain today.
Khuskhus (Poppy Seeds)
Nutty tasting seeds, used in fish dishes, vegetables, breads, cakes and fillings. Seeds will
give enhanced flavor if roasted before use.
Origin - Native to India, china, Mediterranean regions, Turkey, Iran. Holland and Canada are
the main producers today.
Curative properties - To relieve hip pains, take 10gm of equal parts of khuskhus and misri
(special sugar cubes available from spice shops) ground together in hot milk daily.
To relieve diarrhoea, soak two teaspoons of khuskhus in water, grind and drink it mixed with
quarter cup unsweetened yoghurt.
Kurass Seeds (Celery Seeds)
Small round light brown seeds grown from a domesticated variety of wild plant known as Smallage. Belongs to the parsley family. Strong pungent flavor. Used to flavor sauces, soups, tomato juice, meat dishes and marinades.
Origin - Grown in France and India.
A bulb made up of segments called cloves with distinctive flavor belonging to the lily family.
This pungent herb is a base in masalas used for most curries, pickles and chutneys.
Origin - Geographical source is California. Native to Central Asia.
Curative properties - 2 cloves of chopped raw garlic eaten with meals, helps to reduce
A deep brown nail shaped spice, with a powerful fragrance and a strong hot and pungent acidy taste. Used in rice, meat and sweetdishes.
Curative properties - To relieve flatulence, grind two cloves and boil in half cup of water. Drink throughout the day. An excellent remedy for whooping cough, take a few cloves, dry roast, powder it, mix with honey and sip. Chew cloves for bad breath. To bring down high levers, drink the mixture of 1/2 a cup of warm water mixed with the powder of 1 clove.
To bring down high fever try this : Drink the mixture of half a cup of warm water mixed with the powder of 1 clove. To relieve flatulence, grind two cloves and boil in half cup of water-drink throughout the day.
It is a powerful antimicrobial agents that kill E. coli and many other bacteria.
Clove is an excellent remedy for whooping cough.
Small, light brown, rectangular shaped seeds used for flavoring curries and pickles.
Origin - A native to India and southern Europe.
Curative properties - Consuming methi seeds in any form helps digestion.
For diabetes and high blood pressure problems, soak 10 gm of fenugreek seeds in 100 ml of
water overnight. In the morning eat the fenugreek seeds and drink the water it has been
To aid lactation, soak 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds overnight and boil in 50 ml coconut cream together with 50 ml water to form porridge. This should be consumed daily by nursing mothers.
Available fresh, dried, powdered, flaked, in oil, in sauce, bottled and pickled. Fresh ones
come in shades of red and green. The dried ones are red, yel lowish brown. They add the zing
to Indian cooking.
Origin - Grows abundantly in tropical climate.
Curative properties - High in vitamin A & C. Also added to herbal medicines to relieve
A herb with strong, sweet and bitter flavor.
Curative properties - To cure sore throat and colds, boil a few mint leaves in a cup of water until reduced to 1/2 strain and add to it 1 tsp honey and sip slowly. This should be taken several times daily.
Rai (Mustard Seed-Small)
A pungent, round, reddish brown seed used to flavor vegetables, meats, fish, sauces, salad dressings and chutneys.
Origin - Native to Asia.
Sarso (Mustard Seeds Large)
A bitter, round, reddish brown seed used specially for making mustard paste for pickles and other food preparations. Belongs to the Rai family.
Origin -Native to Asia
Aromatic tiny yellow seeds with licorice and anise like flavor belonging to the parsley family. Goes well I with fish and some curry powder mixes.
Origin - Product of India and Egypt.
Curative properties - To relieve flatulence, soak fennel seeds in lemon juice and eat after meals.
To relieve constipation, take a small spoon of fennel powder with warm water at bed time. Insomnia problems can be dealt with by mixing a little ground black pepper, fennel and
sugar in unsweetened yoghurt and eating it.
To get rid of colds and sneezes, boil 15 gm fennel seeds with 5 cloves in 500 ml water until
water reduces to quarter. Add sugar and consume small quantities of this decoction several times
For high fevers, boil 3 small spoons of fennel seeds in 2 cups water and consume small
amounts several times daily.
To prevent mouth ulcers, for sharper vision and to increase appetite, chew fennel seeds after
To get relief from all types of rashes grind equal parts of fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Mix with ghee and brown sugar. Take 30 gm of this mixture morning and night. To relive fatigue, boil 10 gm of fennel seeds in 500 ml of water until reduced to quarter Add a little salt and drink this morning and nightfor five days.
Saunth (Dry Giner)
Available in whole or powder form. Used in sweet dishes.
curative properties - To cure chronic cough and colds, asthma, breathing problems, hiccups, indigestion, diarrhoea, stomach worms, diabetes and low blood pressure, boil a whole piece of dry ginger in a large pot of water until the water decreases to 1/2. Cool and sieve it through a thick cloth. Drink this decoction throughout the day. Dry ginger powder can be substituted for whole dry ginger.
Small oval seeds which are light brown in color and commonly used in pickles.
Curative properties - Good for indigestion.
Tej Patta (Bay leaf)
A pungent and bitter tasting aromatic leaf of sweet bay or laurel tree used to flavor curries,
soups, stews, rice, meat and vegetable dishes.
Origin - Native to Sri Lanka. Grown in India and Mediterranean region.
Til (Sesame Seed)
Tiny white or blackseeds that add a mild nutty flavorto foods.
Tender fresh aromatic leaves used in garnishing.
Curative properties - Eat a few leaves of holy basil daily to relieve tooth problems,
enhance memory, cure coughs, bad breath, acidity, menstrual problems, diarrhoea,
vomiting, intestinal and heart disorders, control cholesterol, improve appetite and purify
10 gm of tulsi juice mixed with 5 gm of pure honey consumed in the morning and evening
and 10 gm of tulsi juice mixed with 50 gm of freshly prepared curd (yoghurt) taken in the
afternoon regularly is believed to cure cancer.
Decoction of tulsi leaves, fennel seeds, cardamom, mint leaves, dried ginger powder, black
pepper, and cinnamon taken a few times daily is believed to cure fever. 1/2 tsp tulsi leaves (chopped) mixed with 1 tsp honey and 1/2 tsp ginger juice and consumed
several times daily is an effective remedy for bronchitis, influenza, asthma, common cold,
coughs and fever.
To get rid of blemishes and for a glowing complexion, rub juice of tulsi leaves and lemon
Juice on the face morning and evening.