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Spices are the aromatic parts of tropical plants which are used traditionally to flavour food. It can also be the dried seeds or fruits of temperate plants.
Some spices can come from the bark or roots of certain plants, some can come from leaves and stems, but the majority are seeds, berries, or the dried fruits.
Spices are used in small quantities for flavour, colour or as a food preservative. Some of the spices can be used as medicines too.
The active materials (phytochemicals) present in the spices are the main reason for their medicinal property.
Spices used in India:
The most popular spices used in Indian dishes include cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, bay leaves, turmeric, cloves, curry leaves, nutmeg, ginger, and ajwain. Some aromatic seed spices used include coriander seeds, fennel, cuminfenugreek, mustard, and poppy seeds.
Different types of spices
Medicinal plants:
Some of the plants can heal various diseases. These plants are called medicinal plants.
Medicinal plants possess therapeutic properties or possess pharmacological effect that is beneficial for animals, including humans.
Medicinal plants are used to alleviate burns, cut, fever, cold, cough etc.
  • Phytochemicals are the chemical compounds present in the medicinal plant that acts against fungi, germs, and insects.
  • They are considered a rich source of ingredients that are used in the preparation of drugs.
List of plants that have high medicinal value:
Plant Name
Parts used
Medicinal uses
AmlaFruitCures the vitamin C deficiency disease - Scurvy. Improves the immunity. helps to fight common cold. Boosts metabolism.
TulsiLeaves, seedsAlso a natural immunity booster, reduces fever, cough, cold. Used to treat bronchitis. Used as an expectorant (agent that clears the secretion of mucus which loosens the chest congestion) and diaphoretic (medicine that increases the perspiration).
AloeLeavesUsed as a laxative (facilitates or stimulates bowel movements). used to heal wounds, skin burns, and ulcer. Used in moisturising.
NeemBark, leaves, and seedsSkin diseases, used to treat worms in the intestines, and also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity.
TurmericRhizomeHelps to fight foreign invaders. Used to treat respiratory infections, allergies.
GingerRootAids in digestion, reduces nausea, helps to boost the immune system, fights against cold, flu, and even cancer.
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List of medicinal plant sources