Spices

Bark, resin, seeds, seed pods, fruit, flower buds, even stigmas — various parts of ihese plants are used as culinary spices as well as in herbal medicinal preparations.

1 \safetida Peru/a asafeiida

The resin is used as a remedy for flatulence, so it's worth adding it to dishes based on legumes and pulses that tend to cause wind.

2 Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek is used under professional supervision to help manage blood sugar in patients with diabetes, and to lower cholesterol.

3 Cinnamon Clnnamomum verum. <:. cassia

The volatile essential oils of both cinnamon and cassia contain high quantities of a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is believed responsible for most of the plants' medicinal activity.

4 Cumin Cuminum cyminum

A popular cooking spice, medicinally cumin can be used to reduce flatulence and colic; it has a reputation as an appetite tonic.

5 Cloves S\/.yglum aromalicum

The essential oil in the flower buds contains eugenol, responsible for its use as a local anaesthetic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

6 Saffron Crocus satlvus

Saffron threads with a vibrant orange-red color contain the highest concentrations of the carotenoid crocin, which may have the potential to help treat and prevent cancer.

7 Black pepper Piper nigrum

Black, green, white, pink and red peppercorns all come from Piper nigrum. The different appearance and taste characteristics of each type are created by different processing methods.

f! \igella Media saliva

The peppery flavor of nigella seed is used in cooking and in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of digestive problems.

9 Tamarind Tamarlndus tmlica

The fruit is used widely in cooking, and various parts of the plant also have traditional medicinal uses. For example, in India the fruit is used as a laxative and also taken for nausea in pregnancy.

Caution

Do not use any of these herbs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, except under the advice of a healthcare professional.

138 THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF HERBS

Continue reading here: Your herb garden

Was this article helpful?

0 0