Setting Up The Ayurvedic Kitchen -- Spices & Herbs
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Diet


 

Asafetida

Botanical Name: Ferula Asafoetida
Family: Apiaceae
Hindi Name: Hing
Part Used: Oleogum resin from rhizome and thickened root


Kitchen value - It releases an onion/garlic flavor when heated. Asafetida is extensively used for flavoring sauces curries, and pickles.

Medicinal value - It has antibiotic properties, so also used in medicines. Ayurveda believes that it can cure all abdominal discomfort. It increases appetite and hence helps in digestion.

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Bay Leaves

Botanical Name : Laurus nobilis L.
Family : Lauraceae
Hindi Name : Tez Patta
Part Used : Bark and Leaf

Kitchen value - Bay leaf is one of the most sought-after culinary spices. They are also known as sweet laurel. Bay leaves are used as flavoring and seasoning in, fish, sauces soups, meat, stews, pickles and in confectioneries. The bay leaves are dried and used as a whole, crumbled or ground. Leaves possess aromatic, stimulant and narcotic properties. The essential oil extracted from the leaves is also used as spice and food flavoring agent

Medicinal valueit is applied over the wounds and has topical value in ayurveda. It is also helpful in digestion as it increases the digestive fire.

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Bishop's Weed


Botanical Name : Carum Copticum
Family :
Sprague Apiaceae
Hindi Name :
Ajwain
Part Used :
Fruit Seed

Kitchen value - Bishp's weed is popularly known as ajwain, which is aromatic spice used in cuisines. Besides being used as a culinary spice, it increases the taste and also the pungent flavor.

Medicinal value - Bishop's weed is widely recommended for medicinal purposes like as a calming herb to ease intestinal colic, bronchitis, bronchial asthma stimulating the appetite, treatment of diarrhea, and in laryngitis as a gargle. It is very useful to increase milk flow in nursing mothers.

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Cardamom (Large)


Botanical Name :
Amomum subulatum Roxb.
Family :
Zingiberaceae
Hindi Name :
Badi Elaichi
Part Used :
Fruit

Kitchen value - The demand for large cardamom in the export market is increasing steadily. It is also an important spice crop grown in India. The internal consumption of large cardamom is also increasing day by day which is resulting in a great demand. It is widely used preparing the tea in India.

Medicinal value – this is used as mouth freshener in ayurveda. It also cure the upper respiratory tract infections. It makes relief in sore throat and also useful in nausea tic condition.

Cardamom (Small)

The kitchen and the Medicinal value remain almost same as of big one.

Family:
Zingiberaceae
Hindi Name:
Choti Elaichi
Part Used:
Fruit

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Cassia

Botanical Name : Cinnamomum Aromaticum
Family : Lauraceae
Hindi Name : Jangli Dalchini
Part Used : Bark

Kitchen value - Cassia spice is strongly aromatic, sweet, warm and is considered as substitute to cinnamon in countries including USA and Canada. Today, this spice is the most preferred cinnamon species from peninsular South East Asia to Central Asia. Cassia, both powdered and in whole, are used as a flavoring agent for baked goods, candies, desserts, and meat and also specified in many curry recipes, where cinnamon is less suitable.

Medicinal value – this gives the taste to the buds, it also increases the digestion power into the food. It provokes the digestive Agni – fire into the body. It is also used as expectorant and cough formulae.

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Celery

Botanical Name : Apium graveolens L.
Family : Apiaceae
Hindi Name : Shalari, Ajmud, Randhuni
Part Used : Fruit

Kitchen value – it is widely used as a spice in various cuisines in different parts of the world. It is used in flavoring beverages, in meat seasonings, ice creams and baked goods, confectioneries etc.

Medicinal value - it is used as a stimulant for treating Asthma and liver diseases. It is also considered as a natural medicine in different cultures.

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Chilli

Botanical Name: Capsicum Annum
Family: Solanaceae
Hindi Name: Mirchi
Part Used: Fruit Seed

Kitchen value – it is the king of the spices used in various ways as ground form, seeds, whole form, powder and paste. Chilies made revolution to the cooking of tropical countries by their flavor, color and taste. It is used in both the form that is green and red. There are many other types like capsicum and so on. They are used to decorate the dish as in pizza.

Medicinal value - They have a chemical effect on our bodies as they stimulate the appetite and also increase the appetite. It is believed that it kills the pesticides and microorganisms present in food particles

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Cinnamon

Botanical Name : Cinnamomum verum
Family : Lauraceae
Hindi Name : Dal Chinni
Part Used : Bark

`Kitchen value – it used to be more precious than gold in ancient times, cinnamon is a staple ingredient in many recipes. Cinnamon acts as a flavor in most dishes.

Medicinal value – it is stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, astringent, cinnamon is prescribed in powder and infusion and usually combined with other medicines. It is very useful treating nausea and in diarrhoea specially when used in combination to treat diarrhea.

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Coconut

Origin & introduction – the heart of kerala state in India. The Botanical Name for the coconut is cocos nucifera , with cocos believed to come from Spanish, meaning "monkey-faced" or "eerie-faced" and nucifera from Latin meaning nut-bearing plant (from fero = I bear and nux-nucis = nut). It's nut, perhaps bearing three germinating pores, resembles a monkey face.

Coconut palm has been eulogized as “Kalpavriksha” (kalpa means omnipotent and vriksha means Tree in sanskrit), the all-giving tree in the classics of India. Its fruit is called “Shree Phal” (shree means holy) which is used in most of the social, religious and auspicious functions in India through out the nation. Irrespective of whether the palm is grown locally.

Kitchen value – each part is used in different way…

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COPRA

Copra is nothing but the meat of the coconut and in shredded form probably the most familiar to those who do not live in the tropics. It is an oil-rich pulp with a very light, slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It used in different types of Indian dishes especially south Indian dishes cant exist without this. This is used in different curries, chutneys, and vegetable preparation. As with most fruits, it's best eaten fresh, but does preserve very well in dried and frozen form, and both the oil and the milk derived from the copra have long shelf lives. This is also used as to present to the god and get the prasaad (the food rendered to the god and eaten by the community by sharing considering blessings of the thy).

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COCONUT OIL

The oil extracted from the copra (Coconut Oil) has been used since years in India. It is used as cooking oil and also as external application on scalp. In south India, it is a staple oil to be used for cooking compare to northern India. In north India it is widely used as nutrition to the hairs by applying on them. The most famous kerala ayurvedic treatment involves many formulae containing coconut oil.

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COCONUT WATER & MILK

The misconception in the people’s mind is coconut water and coconut milk are one and the same but it is not the same thing. The lightly flavored liquid inside a coconut is water and is typically drunk straight from the coconut for a very refreshing and nutritious drink. It loses nutritional value quickly and will begin to ferment once removed from the shell.
Coconut milk is made from shredded or grated coconut pulp mixed with hot water to extract the oils and flavors. The former is quite welcome after a hot, dusty hike or too much time in the sun, and the later is used in cooking and as a replacement for cow's milk. In kerala ayurvedic treatment, it is used in many of the therapies those are included in panchkarma of the ayurvedic science. A cold-sterilization process is being explored that would permit the bottling of fresh coconut water for sale as an energy drink.

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Coriander

Botanical Name : Coriandrum sativum L.
Family : Apiaceae
Hindi Name : Dhaniya
Part Used : Leaf & Seed

Kitchen value - it is available throughout the year. Most popularly it is used to décor various dishes in India including curries. This is one of the world's oldest spices and native to many countries of the world like India, Middle East, Spain, South America and other Asian and Orient Countries since centuries. The most common use of coriander is in curry powders. It is most important ingredient for garam masala, pickling spices and pudding spices and also used in cakes, breads and other baked foods. Besides being used as a fragrant flavor, almost all chutneys are now a day made up with this.

Medicinal value – its seeds do have a health-supporting reputation. It is said to be appetizer and is indeed an excellent tonic for the eyes. It supplies vitamins and also provides roughage needing for colon to flush out the waste material.

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Cumin


Botanical Name: Cuminum Cyminum
Family: Apiaceae
Hindi Name: Jeera
Part Used: Fruit

Kitchen value – highly popular and essential spices of India is Cumin. Cumin seed and powder are essential ingredients in many mixed spices, chutneys, and chili and curry powders. Many a times it is used in sharbat (a flavored drink in India). It is one of the important ingredients for garam masala. Seeds give a distinctive warm flavor to an enormous range of savory dishes and are especially popular in Asian, North African, and Latin American cuisines.

Medicinal value – it is used for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation, healing of stitches and pain. These cure indigestion. It also helps removing Vata dosha from the body. In kerala ayurvedic treatment it is used in many preparation of formulae related to panchkarma.

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Curry Leaf

Botanical Name : Murraya Koenigii
Family : Rutaceae
Hindi Name : Curry Patta
Part Used : Leaf

Kitchen value – curry leaves are used in very small quantities for their distinct aroma. Used abundantly in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines, curry leaves, fresh or dried are normally fried in oil to release their wonderful flavor and aroma. Green Earth Products is a well known company as an exporter and supplier of good quality curry leaves all over the country and even outside.

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Dill

Botanical Name : Anethum Graveolens
Family : Apiaceae
Hindi Name : Sowa / Suva
Part Used : Fruit & Seed

Kitchen value - seeds are used in different countries for different purposes since a long period. In India, it is used extensively in foods and beverages. It is common to flavor for lentils and bean dishes. In country like Germany the fish soups and stews always have the flavor of dill.

Medicinal value - these seeds also make useful addition to cold, flu and cough remedies. These are useful in indigestion and sometimes even in constipation.

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Fennel

Botanical Name: Foeniculum Vulgare
Family: Umbelliferae
Hindi Name: Saunf
Part Used: Rhizome

Kitchen value – they are known as aniseed, it is used as a spice and food preservative from a very long period of time. Fennel is used as a condiment and as culinary spice for meat dishes, seafood, pickles, bread giving a special flavor.

Medicinal value - fennel is used to improve eyesight, aid digestion and cure obesity besides other uses. In ayurveda it is said to be vatanulomak (one which brings down the gas from intestine). In India it is used as the vehicle after the meals. Like after heavy meals it is custom to serve flavored saunf to the human kinds.

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Fenugreek

Botanical Name : Trigonella Foenum-graecum
Family : Fabaceae
Hindi Name : Methi
Part Used : Seed

Kitchen value - this has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean, North and Southern Africa since centuries. In India, it is grown in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is mainly used in spices or curry powder and excellent for fish and baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum, seafood dishes, candy, and soft drinks.

Medicinal value it is used in reducing the blood sugar level and blood pressure; it is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It is one of the unique drug to control diabetes mellitus and also to control obesity. Researches found that these seeds control the lipid profile and also good to maintain cholesterol levels in the body.

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Garlic

Botanical Name: Allium sativum
Family: Alliaceae
Hindi Name: Lahson
Part Used: Underground structure, also known as Head

Kitchen value – the king of all spices. It is used as powder and raw. The garlic shoots up the taste by producing its mouth-watering fragrance. As it is cheaper compare to other spices, it is really becoming the staple spice in India. Various dishes like Punjabi, south Indian and what not…!

Medicinal value - A nature's wonder drug, garlic has a long list of health benefits. It is now confirmed that it lowers your cholesterol level, reverse high blood pressure, boost your immunity, overcome fatigue, resist colds and flus and many other benefits.

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Ginger

Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale
Family: Zingiberaceae
Hindi Name: Adrak
Part Used: Rhizome

Kitchen value - It is used in various Indian dishes. It does include all types of curries and different type of vegetables. It is one of the popular ingredients that make the TEA tastier. In different types of chutneys it is used since years. It is winning combination if it is mixed with garlic and chilies. Ginger garlic paste is said to be most enhancing taste booster and is available in market also.

Medicinal value - it is used to aid digestion, treat stomach upset and also in treating diarrhea. It can be used in certain symptoms like, headaches, heart discomfort, arthritis, nausea, common cold, flu-like symptoms

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Hyssop

Botanical Name: Hyssopus officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
Hindi Name: Jufa
Part Used: Leaf

Kitchen value - its leaves and flowering tops are used in flavoring soups and salads. It is also used in the preparation of liquors and perfumes especially its oil is used in flavoring agent in perfumery.

Medicinal value - It is considered as a stimulant, carminative and expectorant. It is also used in colds, coughs, and congestion and lung complaints. This particular herb has multipurpose uses and hence in heavy demand.

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Kokam

Botanical Name: Garcinia indica
Family: Clusiaceae
Hindi Name: Kokam
Part Used: Peel of Fruit

Kitchen value – this is primarily used as a garnish to give an acid flavour to curries specially the Indian dish daal. Both the ripened rind and juice of kokam fruit are used in cooking. The fruit both the types dried and salted rind are used as a condiment in curries. Kokam is excellent for cooling syrups and its butter is used as edible fat and nutritious cum antiseptic.

Medicinal value – it is used to increase appetite. It also helps food to be in acidic environment and so stimulates digestive organs to produce enzymes.

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Lemon

Kitchen value – each part of the lemon is used in sweet or cooking delicious dishes. By being powerful acidic medium, it enhances the deliciousness of the food. It is widely used in almost all juice preparations. The nimbu soda is said to be digestion booster if taken internally after heavy meals. Exclusively it is used in many types of pickles. Lemons are widely use in washing different utensils specially made up of bronze. In hotels a hot water and a piece of lemon is given to wash the hands known as finger bowl. A squeeze over grilled fish or wedges are used and traditionally served as an accompaniment to fish dishes or salad dressing. Lemon slices are a popular addition to tea and cold drinks.
Lemons are used for mousses, ice cream, soufflés, jellies, jam, lemon curd, or cheeses, etc.
The research says lemon peels contain pectin, which helps to set jams and jellies. Strips of peel are added to candy to serve with coffee or add to cakes and puddings. It is widely used in pickle and sherbets. As it contains high vitamin C, it prevents oxidation, so lemon juice is often sprinkled over cut fruit or white vegetables to stop them from turning brown.

Medicinal value – in ayurveda a drink of lemon juice, hot water and a teaspoon of honey have been used as a remedy for colds, obesity, and constipation. Studies show that lemon juice contains oil, which show to help to relieve rheumatism by stimulating the liver to expel toxins from the body. Lemons are also good for oral diseases, throat disorders, fevers, cold, beauty aid, stomach problems, obesity etc. it is the life savings drink when mixed with water, salt and a pinch of sugar popularly known as oral rehydration solution (ORS) in the condition of dehydration by means of diarrhea and vomiting. This is said to be the homemade tonic, which supplies plenty of electrolytes those, are been lost from the body. Lemon is also said to boost the immunity power in an individual and also gives the healing touch to the wound.

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Mace

Botanical Name : Myristica Fragrans
Family : Myristicaceae
Hindi Name : Jawitri
Part Used : Aril of Fruit

Kitchen value - it is known to be aromatic product, so used as food-flavoring agent.

Medicinal value – this is used in tonics and electuaries. It is also recommended for the treatment of inflammations of the bladder and urinary tract. It has a stimulating effect on stomach and intestines. It also increases appetite and reduces nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and is helpful home remedy for many digestive problems. Externally it is useful in arthritis and chronic rheumatism.

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Mint


Botanical Name :
Mentha Piperita
Family :
Lamiaceae
Hindi Name :
Pudina
Part Used :
Leaf

Kitchen value – it is known for its distinctive flavor. Mint leaves are used fresh or dried, whole or chopped for flavoring meat, stews, vinegar, tea, tobacco, fish, sauces, soups, cordials and also as a garnish. It is also used in lemon soda in some part of Gujarat. Added in tea, it represents perfect aroma and is very useful in sore throat as herbal drink.

Medicinal value - Mint is also used for many medicinal purposes. For instance against, rheumatism, in ointments for headaches, in cough drops, tooth paste, inhalations stomach disorders etc. The mint oil and dried plants are antiseptic, refrigerant, stimulant, carminative and diuretic. It is also used in certain upper respiratory infections as in tonsillitis, phyringits and laryngitis.

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Mustard


Botanical Name:
Brassica Juncea
Family:
Brassicaceae
Hindi Name:
Sarson
Part Used:
Seed

Kitchen value – usually it refers to mustard seed, which can be in form of finely ground yellow powder or in whole form. While whole mustard is used as a flavoring agent in Indian cooking, commonly used in beets, cabbage, pickles, relishes, salads. Mustard’s powder has a strong, hot flavor used in curries, salad dressings, sauces, cheese and egg dishes. This is the most staple spice used in preparing all kind of vegetable dishes in India. This is been widely used in the Gujarat state, where they use in different types of snacks.

Medicinal value – these seeds are believed to be very hot. So calms down Vata dosha. It increases appetite and also stimulates the internal organ to secret different enzymes. It is put into hot water and the feet are dipped into the pot containing that brings sound sleep as per the ayurveda science.

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Nutmeg


Botanical Name :
Myristicaceae
Family :
Myristicaceae
Hindi Name :
Jaiphal
Part Used :
Seed

Kitchen value - Nutmeg is famous for its distinct flavor. It is used as a condiment particularly in sweet foods. It is grounded and used as a spice in the food processing industry. Nutmeg oleoresin is used in the preparation of baked foods, meat products, confectioneries, puddings, seasoning of meat soups, sauces, vegetable etc.

Medicinal value – Nutmeg oil is used in cosmetics and toiletries. In ayurveda it is said that it is the best calming drug for brain. It is used in mental stress and also sometimes in insomnia. It is also used in curing the nausea with certain other drugs combination.

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Pepper

Kitchen value – this is one of the oldest and best-known spices in the world, pepper is indigenous to India and is rightly called the "Gem of Spices". It is the most exotic spice ever seen in India. It is used widely in pickles. The best use of it is sprinkled over the food like French fries, pizzas and many more. It is combined with salt and kept on the table as a custom in many restaurants. It is also sprinkled on boiled eggs, chicken, egg omelet and plenty of other foods.

Medicinal value – this drug could probably beat all other drugs in ayurveda. It is one of the most important drugs in ayurveda pharmacopoeia. It is very well known fact that this is considered as one of the best rasayana dravya (a drug that enhances health by means of rejuvenation). It is also used in upper respiratory tract infections. In ayurveda it is known drug for treating digestive disorders. It also improves the quality of semen in men. There are plenty of ayurvedic classical drugs, which has main ingredient as piper nigrum. It is extremely useful for its carminative, haematinic and anti-helmintic properties.

Botanical Name: Piper Nigrum
Family: Piperaceae
Hindi Name: Kali Mirch
Part Used: Fruit Seed

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Pepper Long

Botanical Name : Piper Longum
Family : Piperaceae
Hindi Name : Pipli
Part Used : Fruit

Kitchen value – it is almost same as the above one.

Medicinal value – it is most commonly used to treat respiratory infections such as stomachache, bronchitis and diseases of the spleen, tumors, cough and asthma.

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Pomegranate

Botanical Name: Punica Granatum
Family: Punicaceae
Hindi Name: Anardana
Part Used: Seed

Kitchen value – the seeds are used as raw and as dried also. They are dried with pulp and are commonly used as spice in many dishes. They are garnished on rice dishes, apple sauce and also on potatoes. In India it is also used as toppings to many dishes like wafers, fruits or sundaes ice creams. Due to its color, it is used as decorative to salads, many vegetable curries and so on.

Medicinal value - The fruit rind of pomegranate is useful in chronic dysentery and diarrhea. In ayurveda it is said to be the hridya (the best for heart) due to its amla rasa (sour taste). it is also described as remedy for nausea, vomiting, cough, cold and for mouth freshner. Its bark works as antihelmentic.

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Tamarind

Botanical Name: Tamarindus indica L.

Family Cesalpiniaceae

Parts used:Pods

Kitchen value – this is one of the best sources for sour taste. One of the believes by forefathers is, one who is recently pregnant desires this to eat…! It is widely used in indian kitchen. The main ingredient for different chutneys, sauce and some people just love to eat raw. In south India, it is main ingredient preparing sambhar (the curry). Its chutney is served with many north Indian snacks including samosas. The powder is also used instead of raw tamarind. Its pulp is used in numerous culinary preparations. It is also a raw material for the preparation of wine like beverages

Medicinal value –. However it is considered as one of the most Pitta dosha booster. In kerala ayurvedic treatment it is used in many panchkarma therapies. Its leaves are very useful in the different massage therapies.

In medicine, it is used as appetizing, laxative, healing and anti-helmintic. It is also used against fluorosis.

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Turmeric

Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa
Family: Zingiberaceae
Hindi Name: Haldi
Part Used: Rhizome

Kitchen value - A native of South East Asia, Turmeric is a very ancient spice and supposed to be one of the cheapest spices. Besides being used as culinary spice in curries and curry powder. Turmeric is used for variety of other purposes like dye, for religious purposes. This is one of the main ingredients in salads. This is widely eaten as raw and rarely cooked.

Medicinal value – it is very well known for its healing property. Used as local application for various kinds of wounds. It is one of the best remedies for diabetes. It is considered to be most blood purifier. Its cosmetic use is now open to the world. Innumerable facial cream and other beauty products are now based on turmeric. It is the custom in India that a groom and bride should undergo haldi (turmeric) massage for the freshness of the body and getting healing touch. This not only improves the color complexion but also fights against any kind of fungal infection on body. Traditionally it is taken with milk when one feels sore throat or general respiratory problems including cough.

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