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Top 10 Indian herbs & spices (and their surprising health benefits)

Top 10 Indian herbs & spices (and their surprising health benefits)

Indian cuisine is known for its rich and delicious flavours, and the key lies within herbs and spices. These ingredients not only make your mouth water and tastebuds tingle, but they’re fantastic for your health too.

Whether you’re a budding home cook looking to include more flavour in your dishes, or you’re trying to explore food that’s better for your body, including Indian herbs and spices is the way to go.

We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 Indian herbs and spices below, and how they can benefit your health. So you can start enjoying their unique flavours and health-boosting properties.


Turmeric contains curcumin, a chemical that gives this spice its signature bright yellow colour. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and other forms of inflammation.


This spice has a warm, earthy flavour that’s often used alongside turmeric to create that signature ‘curry’ taste.

It is a great source of iron and antioxidants which help to protect your body from diseases, and help with fatigue.

Cumin has been shown to contain properties that help improve digestion and potentially lower cholesterol levels too.


Coriander has a fresh, citrusy flavour and is often used in chutneys, curries, and marinades. You can enjoy this herb fresh, dried or in seed form.

This herb is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron and calcium. It has been shown to be packed with antioxidants and has ‘diuretic properties.’ This can help to lower blood pressure levels, as it helps to get rid of excess sodium.


Ginger has a spicy, warm flavour and is often alongside garlic to create a base for curries and soups. This root has antioxidant properties and is often used to help alleviate symptoms of nausea.

When included regularly in your diet, it can also help to reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow too.

Not only that, but it’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness in people who suffer from osteoarthritis.


Garlic is a staple in most Indian dishes and has a strong, sharp flavour when raw, and a sweeter taste when cooked. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties that fight infections and can help reduce the severity of colds and flu.

Eating lots of garlic regularly can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attacks and heart disease.

It’s rich in anti-oxidants which are effective at helping protect you from age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.


Fenugreek has a tangy, almost burnt-sweet taste. This herb has a high iron content which is great for your heart health, and can also help if you often find yourself feeling tired, mentally and physically.

Fenugreek may help to stop your blood sugar levels from rising, which can help people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

It contains magnesium and fibre which can help to aid healthy digestion levels.


Cardamom is highly aromatic and tastes quite floral and fresh. This spice is rich in antioxidants which may help to lower blood pressure.

Compounds found in cardamom have been shown to increase cancer-fighting enzymes, and also improve the ability cells have to attack tumours.

Cardamom is also great for oral health and hygiene; it fights against bacteria which helps to improve bad breath.


Cloves are a spice commonly used in meat dishes and have a woody, bitter, warm flavour. They contain antioxidants, including eugenol, which may help to fight off cancer cells.

Cloves contain anti-microbial properties which help to kill harmful bacteria. This helps to promote dental health and protect you from bad breath and gum disease.

Mustard seeds:

Mustard seeds are often used in Indian pickles, chutneys, and curries, and have a nutty, peppery flavour.

They contain Sinigrin which is thought to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, and wound-healing properties.

This spice also contains certain antioxidants which are thought to offer protection against diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and perhaps even some types of cancer.

Curry leaves:

Curry leaves are a herb commonly used in Indian cooking, particularly in vegetarian dishes. They are very aromatic and have a slightly bitter, citrusy taste.

This herb is full of powerful antioxidants that help to promote overall health and can help to suppress harmful compounds that can lead to chronic illness.


Incorporating these herbs and spices into your diet can be a great way to add flavour and boost the potential health benefits of your everyday meals. It can be a bit overwhelming when you first experiment with spices, so including these 10 powerful ingredients is a great place to kickstart a healthy and delicious diet.