Indian Spices are known to be simple, flavourful and nutritionally rich too. “They also have a specific tendency to provide the body with warmth and immunity to keep cold and influenza at bay,’’ says Manjari Chandra, Sr. Consultant Nutritionist, Max Healthcare and Manjari Wellness, New Delhi.
Mentioned below is a list of some common Indian spices and the medicinal benefits that each one provides:
- Drinking ginger tea a few times a day can prevent you from catching a cold or influenza.
- Ginger contains heat-producing oils called gingerols. The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in the ginger root help relieve a sore throat quickly. They also kill rhinoviruses, which cause a cold in the first place.
- Adding ginger to your meal helps keep the body warm. It also aids in digestion.
- Using cloves to clear up a cold has been an ancient natural remedy. A healing brew of some cloves, cinnamon and whole cardamoms infused in tea can do the trick.
- You can even inhale the vapours of cloves or clove oil and then sit back and breathe easy.
- Cloves are also believed to be effective expectorants, which means they help loosen the mucous in the throat to help you cough it out.
- Known as a warm spice, black pepper contains nutrients like vitamin C, flavonoids and anti-oxidants, and also has anti-bacterial properties, which act as a natural remedy for cough and cold, along with providing a delightful spicy aroma.
- When used in combination with honey, black pepper loosens up the phlegm and helps you breathe. To one-fourth spoon of honey, add a pinch of pepper powder, mix and consume. Do this regularly every morning to prevent cough and also stay away from cold and sore throat.
- Cinnamon is a winter spice that will build microcirculation throughout the body to keep your body warm and transport important supplements to the surface of the skin.
- Cinnamon also helps in boosting metabolism and improving immune response to infections.
- Turmeric powder works on enhancing immunity as it is hostile to bacterial, parasitic and viral pathogens.
- The curcumin compound present in turmeric helps in raising the body temperature.
- In case you’re asthmatic, adding turmeric to your food could counter respiratory issues in winter.
- Turmeric is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice which helps combat cold and cough, especially dry and painful cough.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to your smoothies for added immunity.
- Cayenne chilli has capsaicin compound that provides a heating effect and helps in warming up the body.
- It is also rich in vitamin C. A favourite old-time folk remedy was to sprinkle some cayenne pepper into a person’s socks or a hot foot bath during winter to drive out the chill and soothe the chilblains of painfully cold feet.