Everyone seems to have health and wellness on their minds these days — no surprise there. But while it’s more obvious now than ever, this trend towards healthy living has been going on a lot longer than the past few months. From green smoothies to herbal face packs, we’ve been a lot more conscious about what we put in or on our bodies. As a result, we are more critical of things that we perceive as artificial and look for solutions that are more natural, especially things that we find in our kitchen.

For centuries in India, the common ingredients found in the kitchen have been considered as medicinal and it’s hard to ignore the fact that a lot of these are more than just old wives’ tales — they are scientifically proven to be potent.

This is our attempt to uncover the “science” behind the most common ingredients of our kitchen: Spices!


The iconic vibrant yellow of turmeric is caused by a compound known as curcumin, and it’s this compound that gives turmeric its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making it highly potent


  • Fighting common cold
  • Immunity boosting
  • Antiseptic
  • Antimicrobial
  • A potent pain-relief agent

Best way to use:

  • For application on cuts and wounds: Mix with coconut oil to make a thick paste and apply
  • For immunity boosting and to fight against common cold: Mix with hot water, ginger, pepper and drink


The unique fragrance and flavour of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important being the Gingerols, the main bioactive compounds that gives ginger its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Cooking ginger further breaks down the Gingerols into Shogaols, another active bio-compound that is effective against coughs


  • Aids Digestion
  • Relieves muscular pains including menstrual pains
  • Cough suppressant

Best way to use:

  • Grating or Crushing ginger and adding it to hot water, tea or to your food


Garlic contains over 2000 biologically active compounds. When garlic is crushed, chopped or chewed, it releases Alliin, which in-turn reacts and produces Allicin- a highly reactive sulphur compound that makes garlic medicinal


  • Naturally deworms and detoxifies the body
  • Regulates HDL and blood pressure
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory

Best way to use:

  • Crushing and adding it to your food is the best way to get a variety of nutrients and detoxification benefits from this spice
  • Pressing a sliced garlic clove against a stye, painful region or a swollen region helps reduce inflammation

Black Pepper

Black pepper contains a compound called Piperine that increases the body’s nutrient absorption capacity, which means that you get more out of the food that you ingest. Piperine improves our body’s thermogenesis, the process of breaking down fat-cells to produce heat which also increases your metabolism


  • Keeps the body warm
  • Fights infection
  • Protects against inflammation

Best way to use:

  • Add whole or crushed black pepper to food, hot water or tea

References & Further Reading


May 29, 2020
Healthy Eating

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