Not just in the kitchen! Spices are also a valuable aid in the field of medicine, often proving to be excellent remedies for more or less serious ailments.
You know, in the kitchen the use of spices makes the difference, especially for those who know how to recognize their characteristics and therefore make the best use of them. But what perhaps not everyone knows is that spices also have properties with beneficial effects on our health.
to know more we asked Franca Formenti that with spices has inebriated and conquered its guests for years. Here's what it tells us.
The use of spices has been making a comeback in our Mediterranean kitchens for some time. Once considered precious , they were, for those who owned them, synonymous with wealth and nobility. There are many of them in nature and in seaside towns like Venice the spice merchant was enveloped by a special charity because he was aware of mysterious places considered heavenly.
Their return to our tables is also opening new markets thanks to the birth of small entrepreneurs specialized in the sale of increasingly precious and rare spices. When we talk about the “value" of these aromatic substances we are referring above all to their healing properties. Let's see a few in particular.
The anti-inflammatory and draining ginger
Once ginger had to be ordered from a trusted greengrocer, now it can be found fresh and even organic in supermarkets.
It has become a precious ingredient even in the most homemade and common recipes and its draining , refreshing and anti-inflammatory properties are recognized even by the most suspicious.
Infusions of ginger with the addition of cardamom warm in winter (also excellent help for sore throats and colds) and cool the hot summer days. Oriental people grate it and then take the pulp with their fingers and squeeze the juice into soups winter, using it raw and thus leaving its flavor unchanged.
Cardamom is useful during chemotherapy
An anti nausea and detox remedy for those undergoing chemo treatment is to drink infusions of cardamom (always use the open berries).
The berries are boiled in water for 5 minutes, adding the freshly grated ginger over the heat. Leave to infuse for another 5 minutes and drink hot. In this way it regenerates from therapies often debilitating chemotherapy.
Cardamom is also widely used in Ayurvedic medicine in the form of oil to perform massages which strengthen the spleen and heart. Its benefits also and above all benefit the intestine and throat (drunk in the form of infusions or herbal teas), always better if consumed in the form of seeds extracted from the berries.
Finally, the cardamom seeds extracted from the berry and added to the coffee are used to prepare the famous coffee Arabic , found to be very refreshing.
Turmeric , antitumor
Inviting for its yellow color reminiscent of saffron, it has anticancer properties, in fact the Indian people who are the largest consumer in the world are also the ones with the lowest incidence of tumors in statistics.
This feature perhaps serves to explain its rapid spread in recent years to point that is now also fresh directly in supermarket counters.
Horseradish for fertility
Another less common spice / root that has fantastic properties is horseradish. A root precisely, with great anti-inflammatory effects. It was also used by the Mayan people to stimulate fertility in both men and women.
Asafoetida helps the intestines
It belongs to the Apiaceae family (same family as parsley). The latex extracted from the root has a very strong and quite unpleasant taste but if grated and mixed with rice starch it fades.
It is advisable fry it for a few minutes in boiling oil, preferably with onion and garlic. On the market it is found both in powder (lighter) and in resin, with a strong and pungent smell.
It was used by the noble and intellectual castes of the Indians who refused to consume garlic and onions even if its flavor is enhanced precisely by adding these. A frequent ingredient in homeopathic medicine to treat irritable bowel. It has therapeutic properties against flu and flutolence.
Spices therefore also allow us a journey into the past in a sort of almost magic that binds tradition and body care, flavors and aromas, taking us back in time between Venetian merchants and Mayan tribes, to the rediscovery of what nature genrosically offers us.