Spices as Medicine

Herbs and spices are the main medicinal agents in Ayurveda. Many health issues can be alleviated by adjusting the balance of diet. Recent studies suggest that spices can be effective health remedies just like cinnamon being effective against diabetes and in improving lipid metabolism; turmeric fights against cancer; ginger is effective in the treatment of arthritis.

Below are a few home remedies with spices from your kitchen shelf.


Halitosis and Toothache – mouth gargle with  hot infusion of cinnamon twice daily

Diabetes – cinnamon tea twice daily

Cold and Cough – 1 cup hot cinnamon infusion mixed with 1 tsp ginger juice 3 to 4 times per day

Nausea and Vomiting – chew a small piece of cinnamon bark


Painful menses and PMS – 5 to 8 strands can be taken with water on an empty stomach or before food 


Pimples and cracks in the feet – apply a paste of nutmeg and milk on the affected area

Insomnia –  1/4 tsp nutmeg powder is taken with warm milk at night


Urinary tract infection – cold infusion of clove 5-10 ml is ingested every 15 min

Anorexia and Vomiting during pregnancy – hot clove infusion is given every few hours


Low energy – cardamom milk or cardamom tea

Halitosis –  chew a few cardamom deeds after each meal

Fresh Ginger

Anorexia, Indigestion – 1 tsp ginger juice mixed with salt taken before meals

Productive Cough – 1 tsp ginger juice with  pinch of turmeric taken 3-4 times a day

Nausea, Vomiting, Gastritis – 1 tsp ginger uce with a pinch of rock salt and asafetida (hing)

Dry Ginger Powder

Acute stomachache – drink  1/2 tsp dry ginger mixed in warm water


Post partum period – 1 tsp fenugreek powder mixed with jaggery is taken to cleanse the uterus and to enhance lactation

Spasmodic pain due to indigestion – 1 tsp fenugreek powder mixed with curd

Leucorrhoea – fenugreek seeds are boiled in water, filtered , and used as vaginal wash

Localized edema and pain – topical application with a mix of fenugreek powder and mustard oil

Coriander Seeds

Burning micturition – frequent intake of small quantities of  cold infusion of coriander and cumin seeds

Swollen feet – hot infusion of coriander seeds taken 2-3 times per day


Bronchitis – ajwain added to steam inhalation enhances breathing

Recurrent cold – 1 tsp toasted ajwain seeds taken with warm water twic daily


Indigestion, Abdominal distention – boil water with cumin, filter and drink 3-4 times daily

Anorexia – drink 1 glass buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds or powder and a pinch of rock salt


External wounds and insect bites – apply a paste of turmeric powder and water on affected areas

Cold and Cough – 1/4 tsp turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk

Black Pepper

Cough and asthma – black pepper is taken with honey

Sore throat – gargling with warm water which was boiled with black pepper corns and rock salt


Diarrhea – take 1 tsp fennel seed and 1/2 tsp ginger powder taken with warm water 2-3 times a day

Abdominal distention in infants –  5-6 drops of cold infusion of fennel seeds should be given before nursing to prevent abdominal distention and loose motions

Burning sensation and dryness in the throat, excessive thirst – fennel and coriander decoctin to be consumed 2-3 times a da