The onset of monsoons gives us relief from the scorching heat of sun. We all look forward to thunder and lightning, rains, storms and a dip in temperature which mesmerises us with woody and earthen scents of nature. The flora and fauna propagating the rainy weather, to abound the nature’s wealth. It is that time of year which brings in smiles, romance and a lot of diseases like cold, cough, digestive disorders, diarrhoea, etc. So let’s include the must spices in monsoon which prevent us from falling sick.
1. Cumin seeds :
This spice is very common in Indian cooking. These seeds have spicy, slightly bitter and pungent flavour. Cumin seeds help in relieving digestive problems and acidity. They contain high levels of Thymol which helps in secretion of bile, acids and enzymes which help in digestion of food. Cumin seeds also have anti bacterial and anti fungal properties, therefore help in preventing skin irritations during monsoons.
Tip: Make an infusion by steeping cumin seeds in boiling water for a minute and let it stand to cool. Consume this infusion at least 2-3 times a day.
2. Garlic :
This spice has strong, pungent and warm flavour. When roasted and cooked its flavour sweetens and becomes nutty and delicate. Garlic is an immunity booster thus helps in fighting viral and bacterial infections such as cold, flu, fever, etc.
Tip: Add ginger in your curries and vegetables. Burnt garlic goes well with continental cuisine.
3. Ginger :
Ginger is an important spice in Asian and Indian cooking. It has sweet spicy flavour. Since ginger has the property of sweating, thus keeping the body warm. Therefore it helps in prevention of cold, flu, etc. Ginger soothes lung tissues, hence it prevents from cough and congestion. It also helps in boosting immunity.
Tip: Add small amount of ginger juice, a lemon slice and honey in warm water and consume this infusion at least twice a day. Adding ginger in hot tea also helps.
4. Cinnamon :
Cinnamon is an amazing spice with sweet and woody flavour. Cinnamon has lots of anti oxidants therefore it reduces mucus and clogged nose due to cold. It has high content of antioxidants namely polyphenol, thus preventing any form of illness.
Tip: Add a pinch of cinnamon powder and honey in hot water before going to bed, keeping you warm.
5. Black Pepper :
According to Ayurveda, Black Pepper is being used for centuries. It has sharp, spicy and pungent flavour. In Ayurveda black pepper is added in medicines to treat cold and cough. It has the property of secreting sputum, thus helps in treating sinusitis and nasal congestion. Due to its anti bacterial properties, it also helps in treating insect bites which are very common in monsoons.
Tip: Adding a pinch of Black Pepper powder in most of dishes, will help in digestion and prevent the general malais during monsoon season.
6. Turmeric :
Turmeric has been used in Indian household for a very long time. It has bitter and pungent flavour. According to ayurveda it is considered as a natural antibiotic and an immunity booster, thus it helps in prevention of cold, cough, flu, inflammation, etc. Since monsoon also brings in malaria and dengue, turmeric is considered as natural insect repellent.
Tip: Add a pinch of turmeric and black pepper powder in hot water and consume it just before going to bed. It helps in preventing cold, cough, etc.
7. Cloves :
India has been using cloves not only as a spice but all as a medicine for thousands of years. Cloves have strong, bitter-sweet, pungent, warm and astringent flavour. Cloves help in treating inflammation in throat and mouth. This spice helps in treating bronchitis, digestive disorders and acne.
Tip: Keep a bud in your mouth or gargle with clove oil diluted in water to prevent sore throat and cough.
8. Fenugreek Seeds :
Fenugreek is one of the oldest used herb for medicinal purposes in Eastern and Western countries. It has a bitter flavour. This spice helps in treating upset stomach, indigestion, cold and arthritis.
Tip: Crush the fenugreek seeds and soak in boiled water for 3-4 hours and then consume the water hot or cold.