Nutmeg’s unique flavor indicates its distinctive medicinal
qualities. This aromatic nut is famous in Indian households
for curing diarrhea and malabsorption. Nutmeg’s effectiveness
has been shown in modern clinical trials with sufferers of Crohns’ disease. This is one of the best remedies for
morning diarrhea, an indication that the digestive energy
is very weak. For this take 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg with 1
tsp cumin seeds and 3 curry leaves cooked with boiled
soupy rice for breakfast — yum! Or just mix a pinch with
your breakfast cereal. Nutmeg’s dubious reputation in
the past was due to its hallucinogenic action when taken
in large quantities — people taking it reported a feeling of
being “deliriously inebriated.” In fact, nutmeg does have mind-altering properties and therefore should only be
small quantities. For insomnia or restless sleep, try taking 1/4 tsp
freshly grated nutmeg adding it to 1/2 cup of warm milk. This
can really help to calm the mind and induce a sound sleep.
Nutmeg essential oil has also been used as a clove substitute
for toothache when applied directly to the painful region. Mixed
with a base of sesame or almond oil, it can be used as massage
oil for arthritis and combined with Clary sage for delayed labor.
For women, saffron is a fabulous tonic that
increases milk flow,
reduces period pain, and improves fertility. As such it shouldn’t
be taken during pregnancy but is great post-natally.
Since pure saffron is very expensive it is generally adulterated
with Calendula or Chrysanthemum petals. The pure stuff is a
dark red, very soft and wispy. To maximize its color, aroma, and
flavor sit the threads in a small quantity of water of milk for 20
minutes then add to the dish when it has only 5 minutes remaining
to cook. You can also use it as a garnish for rice, dairy, and
potato dishes to add a dash of color.
Traditionally, Ayurveda uses saffron for liver and spleen enlargement as well as for migraines, chronic fevers, and
Legend says that one who eats saffron will get a golden complexion free of dark pigmentation.
Crowned “the Queen of the kitchen,” this outstanding spice
is the reigning healer amongst kitchen spices. Adored in India
for its purifying properties, turmeric is known as kringhna in
Sanskrit, which means “germ killer.”
Turmeric plays an important role in all Hindu rituals, where
cleanliness is of prime importance. As an antiseptic wash, it is
said to give one a golden aura. Hence its use for bridal baths
as well as to counter skin infections or blemishes. Its antiseptic
properties also help to combat throat infections.
A good home remedy for sore throats is a mixture of 1/2 tsp turmeric and 2 cloves in 1 cup of boiled water. Sit for
Strain well and add 1 drop of tea tree oil plus 1 tsps of rock or sea
salt. Gargle this warm mix three times a day.
The ground turmeric root is the most potent form of this spice,
but a fresh deep orange powder is also effective. Turmeric’s antibiotic, blood purifying, and bile stimulating
action make it useful
in liver, blood, and pancreatic disorders. For these ailments, one
teaspoon of the fresh powder or ground root can be taken with
1/4 cup of warm water every morning. Recent clinical trials have
suggested turmeric may also be useful in treating Alzheimer’s. This may be related to its antioxidant properties,
supporting its classical Ayurvedic application for “untimely ageing syndrome.” To preserve
turmeric, keep it in a dark container in a cool cupboard.
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