Top 7 Indian Herbs and Their Health Benefits
When talking about Asian herbs and remedy perhaps only Chinese that could compete how amazing the knowledge of Indians about herbs. Most of Indians knowledge about herbs and traditional medical practices come from Ayurveda, a system where all information about medical herbs and medical practices were inherited to present generation from their ancestors that could be traced back to thousand years ago. Though some studies found that some practices are impossible but most of them, especially the knowledge about Indian herbs and their health benefits were proven to be scientifically effective and has been used as part of alternative solutions nowadays.
When talking about the Indian herbs and their health benefits, coriander leaves must be in the top of the list. It is because very difficult for you to find one recipe of Indian culinary secret without coriander leaves and coriander seeds. Furthermore, there are a lot of health benefits of coriander leaves that you could bring to your plate. It is true that not only Indian that is using coriander leaves as herbs and spices but most Asia countries, Middle East and Mediterranean regions are also using it in their customary dishes.
The reasons behind health benefits of coriander seeds and coriander leaves are because this herb contain quite high of vitamin C and vitamin A. Per 100 grams of coriander could fulfill your daily intake of Vitamin C up to 45% and Vitamin A more than 100%. Furthermore, corianders also contain powerful anti-inflammation properties that could act as anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic.
When you enter Indian restaurant, the first unique aroma that will welcome you is the aroma of curry leaves. Actually, behind the strong and unique aroma of curry leaves, there are a lot of health benefits of curry leaves hidden behind your curry plate. Well, some people may only thought how tasty curry soup is but not all of them realize how much benefits a bunch of curry leaves could give.
Since ancient time, curry laves has been used as traditional Indian dishes as well as Indian’s home remedy especially to treat conditions like diarrhea and some stomach problems. Furthermore, based on some research studies, curry leaves contain iron that effective to deal with anemia and dizziness caused by iron deficiency. A study conducted in Hyogo, Japan stated that curry leaves contain potent antioxidant called alkaloid that could help fighting free radicals and minimize the side-effect of chemotherapy.
There are two types of cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is one of the important herbs in traditional Indian medicine. Compared to Cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is much more valuable because it contains more beneficial properties for human health. The name Ceylon is actually taken from the former name of Sri Lanka since this type of cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka.
From the health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon you could see that Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin in surprisingly high dosage around 1,200 times higher than coumarin found in Ceylon cinnamon, it means you cannot consume Cassia cinnamon in large dosage without putting your kidney and liver in a risk. Ceylon cinnamon is quite friendly for diabetic patients, great for immunity system, good for cardiovascular health and also good for bones. The fact that the flavor of Ceylon cinnamon is also much tastier than Cassia cinnamon makes this type of cinnamon is top in its class.
Among Indians, white lotus is more than just a pretty face because all parts of white lotus contain medical properties that are beneficial for human health. From the flower, seeds, leaves up to the roots could be used as herbal remedy that has been used by Indian for over centuries. So, it is not a surprise when this flower earns the title as national flower of India and it is also used as purity symbol of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the two biggest religions in India.
Not only Indians, among the list of Chinese herbs for health, lotus also one of the flower that used as traditional herbal remedy. One of the health benefits of lotus flower is to treat cholesterol and blood sugar because it contains complex carbohydrate and dietary fiber to help slowing down the digestive process for managing glucose absorption in the bloodstream. Furthermore, a study conducted in 2013 white lotus also contains some anti-inflammatory properties to help reliving conditions caused by inflammations.
When it comes to herbs, basil is probably the most common leaves found in the kitchen. The combination of aromatic aroma and tasty flavor make basil the favorite among other herbs. Basil has botanical name Ocimum basilicum which derived from Greek word which has literal meaning ‘royal plant’, so it is not a surprised when basil also earns the title as ‘King of Herbs’. Though basil could be found in any countries in this world but basil has been commercially cultivated for more than 5,000 years in India, that’s why this herb is one considered to be one of the most important Indian herbs.
Basil is quite rich of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, while per 100 gram of basil you could get about 295 potassium and 64 mg of magnesium. It means, when talking about the health benefits of basil, this herb is great for cardiovascular health because it is high of potassium and contains low sodium. Furthermore, as rich of vitamin K, basil is also preventing blood clotting that could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by optimizing the production of good cholesterol.
Chia seeds have been well known as beauty secret by the Indians. The seeds were obtained from herbal plants called Salvia hispanica that comes from mint family. The main reasons why chia seeds were commercially cultivated today is because it is rich of Omega 3 fatty acids, kinds of acids that commonly found in fish. So, for those who are allergic to seafood could consider chia seeds as the alternative source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Among the benefits of chia seeds as beauty secret this herb also well known to be effective in weight loss. It is because chia seeds are the great source dietary fiber that could help optimizing the digestive system so nutrients will be absorbed optimally. Furthermore, chia seeds also the source of energy you need and the combinations of omega-3, protein and calcium make chia seeds are super food you could add to your daily diet to promote healthy bones, better management of cholesterol level while at the same time chia seeds could be great diet combination for diabetic patients.
The last but not least, saffron is probably the most expensive herbs you could find in the marketplaces because saffron is not only beneficial for human health but in each flower of Saffron crocus, only three strands of the flowers that will be derived. Though according to some history statements, saffron is actually originated from Greece but right now, saffron could be found in most of Asian regions and India is one of the countries in South Asia where saffron is commercially cultivated.
One of the health benefits of saffron is this herb is highly recommended for pregnant mothers because it contains quite high of folate, per 100 grams of saffron a pregnant mother could fulfill up to 23% of folate daily intake. Furthermore, saffron is also packed with vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin C that make saffron one of the super herbs that Indian really fond of.
So, those are the Indian herbs and their health benefits you should know and perhaps you should grow in your kitchen as well. Indian’s cuisines were well known because they are so rich of spices and herbs. Well, the fact that those spices and herbs are not only for the sake the flavor improvements but also for the sake of health benefits, perhaps you should learn some recipes that you could add to your daily diet.