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Indian cuisine. It’s colorful, flavorful, and the spices are not only tasty—they come with a plethora of health benefits. These spices can be used in either sweet or savory dishes and they will leave our taste buds asking for more. Here is a list of 5 common Indian spices and the medicinal benefits that each one provides.

  • Turmeric 黄姜

This bright orange spice is not only great for adding color to our dish, but the health benefits are immense. It is a member of the ginger family, it harvested from the root of a curcuma longa plant. Turmeric aids in helping to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, and loss of appetite. Turmeric is also used as a topical treatment for issues like skin inflammation, infected wounds, and ringworm.

  • Black Pepper 黑胡椒

Black pepper is not a spice that many people associate with Indian cooking. However, these little peppercorns have their most ancient roots in India. By now, they are one of the most traded spices in the world and are commonly found in our Malaysian dishes for its aroma and hot taste. Black pepper aids in digestion, congestion, an upset stomach and can also help to stop the bleeding on a cut when applied topically.

  • Cardamom 豆蔻

Native to the forests in India, these green pods are commonly used not only in Indian cooking, but also in Chai (Indian tea). In order to get the full benefits of this spice, the outer shell needs to be broken to expose the tiny pods inside. It can be used to counteract a number of digestive problems including, bloating, gas, heartburn and loss of appetite—it can even treat bad breath and is commonly used as an after-meal breath freshener. In preliminary studies it has also been shown to have cancer fighting effects against non-melanoma skin cancer. However, more research is needed before cardamom can be recommended for cancer prevention.

  • Clove 丁香

The little bud resembles a tiny flower used not only in Indian cuisines, but in African and Middle Eastern as well. In cosmetic uses, clove is found in toothpastes, soaps, and perfumes. Indian healers have used the oils, flower buds, and stems from the plant in an array of medicine. For example, clove is possibly effective in helping with premature ejaculation. Clove oil can also help with pain when applied topically, and can help with stomach issues like gas, diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

  • Cinnamon 肉桂

This bark-like spice originates from Sri Lanka, and was originally harvested by Arabian traders from a tall tree and ground to create the powder form of cinnamon. Cinnamon might help to regulate treatment for people with type 2 diabetes. The theory is that cinnamon increases insulin action.

If we have never tried any of these before, please make sure to check with our doctor before enjoying any of these spices especially if we are taking any medicines. Any information presented here is not intended to cure, aid, or prevent any disease.

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