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10 Kitchen Spices that can help you live better

The humble herb and spice rack in your kitchen today need not be just a decorative feature. They can in fact hold a plethora of natural healing ingredients that can also add great taste to the foods you eat every day.
Of all the herbs and spices you can choose from for flavor, there are 10 that are more powerful than the rest. Below is the list and you may well be surprised to learn of the many diverse conditions for which they’ve proven so very useful.

CINNAMON – Cinnamon bark contains an oily chemical called cinnamaldehyde that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria. It also helps regulate the menstrual cycle and checks flooding during menopause. Also cinnamaldehyde has a tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress.
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Cinnamon

 

CLOVE – Oil of clove is 60 to 90 percent eugenol – a potent pain deadening antimicrobal. It is the most effective stopgap measure for tooth-pain. Clove is also among the spices that can help the body use insulin more effectively, thus lowering blood sugar somewhat. It also speeds up the healing of cold sores.
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FENNEL – Rich in volatile oils, fennel can ease bloating, gas pains, and digestive spasms in the small and large intestines. It can also reduce bad breath and body odor that originates in the intestines. Women who are breastfeeding may find that fennel, which works in a way similar to the body’s hormones, increases milk flow.

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GARLIC – Crushed garlic helps bring down cholesterol and blood pressure and also helps prevents blood clots. It can also reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The various compounds present in garlic kill bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. It is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea.

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garlic

GINGER – When it comes to quelling the queasiness of motion sickness, ginger has no equal say herbalists. They also recommend it as an effective pain-killer. Ginger beats dimenhydrate, the main ingredient in motion sickness drugs such as Dramamine, for controlling symptoms of seasickness and motion sickness. Ginger stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles the stomach, relieves vomiting, eases pain from gas and diarrhea, and is effective as an anti-nausea remedy.

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ginger

TURMERIC – Turmeric is known as Natural Aspirin in the glossary of Ayurvedic medicines. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties relieve swelling and pain due to headaches. It prevents infection and heals wounds too. It helps fight free radicals that damage skin and make it lose its glow and elasticity.

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BASIL – It is one herb that you should definitely keep handy during summers. Simmer down on a hot, harried day by adding the herb to your iced tea: Add 2 or 3 leaves (per serving) while your tea is steeping. It is also a super source of iron. This helps in replenishing a woman’s body during menstruation. It is great to detoxify your liver too.

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basil

FENUGREEK –  is an amazing magic herb that has been traditionally recommended for lowering blood sugar levels. It is highly recommended for lactating mothers. It is extremely beneficial for the treatment of wounds, bronchitis, digestive problems, arthritis, kidney problems, hair & skin and male reproductive conditions.

MUSTARD – They can help control asthma due to their anti inflammatory properties. It is a great source of flavonoids and caretonoid antioxidants that helps in slowing the aging process. To ease pain make a small bundle of the seeds in a muslin cloth, and add it to warm bath water. Either have a long relaxing bath, or soak your tired and aching feet for instant relief. Another great way is to apply the paste of the seed on the area for a few minutes.

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CUMIN – Also known as Jeera, is much more than simply a spice. It helps improve concentration, beats constipation, fights cancer, regulates blood pressure and your heart rate, relieves asthma and cold, prevents anemia, improves your sexual health, is great for pregnant women since it helps them with the symptoms of morning sickness, beats insomnia and enhances memory. Just pop a spoonful of it at the start of your day and see the difference.

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Refreshing green tea recipes, on ice!

On a scorching summer’s day, sipping on a hot cup of freshly brewed green tea isn’t that appealing, right? But who says green tea need only be had hot? Green tea is even more refreshing and nourishing, with all its numerous health benefits intact, when iced and mixed with some fruits, roots and honey!

Here are four exciting green tea recipes, on ice! Take your pick – Watermelon Green Iced Tea or a Green Tea and Ginger one or a frosty Green Tea Cinnamon Smoothie or the Mango Green Iced Tea. Whether you want to make it for yourself or for a summer party or just for your family, these iced green teas and smoothies are very delicious to drink and will make for some great summer memories with your loved ones!

Watermelon Green Iced Tea:

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Serves 2 

Ingredients:

  •          4 cups seedless watermelon flesh, cubed
  •          2 cups hot water
  •          3 green tea bags
  •          Juice of 1 lime
  •          Sugar to taste

 Directions:

  • Blend the watermelon cubes in a blender until pureed. Use a strainer to remove the pulp completely and keep the puree smooth.
  • In a sauce pan, boil the water and add the green tea bags  and allow to steep for 5 minutes, and then remove the bags.
  • Allow the tea to cool at room temperature before adding the watermelon puree, lime juice and sugar. You can also use raw honey instead of sugar, if you are counting calories.
  • Serve immediately over ice.

 Iced Green Tea with Ginger:

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This is an all day, any time refresher which is easy to make with ingredients that are readily available in every household. It takes about five minutes to make, but the effects of the antioxidants in the green tea are everlasting. Drink up for a healthier you!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 green tea bags
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 100 grams of fresh, unpeeled sliced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Fresh sprigs of mint
  • Lemon wedges (optional) for garnish

 Directions:

  • Add the water and ginger to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow the bags to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove and strain the tea bags and ginger. Pour the tea into a pitcher, add the honey, lemon juice and stir.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve over iced cubes with lemon wedges and mint sprigs as garnish.

 Green Tea Cinnamon Honey Smoothie:

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Making a smoothie is an easy way to whip up something nutritious when you don’t have a lot of time. This low-calorie cinnamon, honey and green tea smoothie makes for a chilled caffeine break when the temperature rises. Not only will the caffeine in the green tea give you much-needed energy, but cinnamon and green tea have both been shown to have metabolism-boosting properties.  In addition, research has shown that honey may help regulate blood sugar levels, meaning you won’t feel sluggish after this afternoon snack. The next time you’re feeling like you could use a frosty beverage, forget the Frappuccino and make this 139-calorie smoothie instead.

For this recipe, use two or more green tea bags to brew a cup or two of  tea, depending on how strong you’d like it, then keep the tea chilled in your fridge until ready to use. You can also add greens of your choice, like kale or spinach, to add a few more nutrients to this smoothie without altering the taste.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brewed green tea
  • 
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Half a banana

 Directions: 

  • Add one to two scoops of crushed ice to a blender, along with all ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Mango Green Iced Tea: 

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It isn’t summer if they are no mangoes! And a fresh mango and green tea on ice is just the drink to keep us happy and cool all summer long! Bring home those delicious Dusseris, Langdas, Chausas and Alphonsos and blend them into a tall glass of happiness!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 green tea bags
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Fresh mint to garnish

Directions:

  • Puree mango in a blender with 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside.
  • Pour water into a pot and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, add tea bags, cover pot with lid and turn off heat.
  • Allow the tea bags to steep for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove bags from the pot and pour in mango puree. Add remaining sugar and mix well.
  • Pour mixture over ice, garnish with mint and serve chilled.