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- Monsoon brings along with it a lot of contagious infections
- An effective way to deal with infections is ayurvedic treatment
- Herbs help us fight both water and airborne infections and they also boost our immune system
New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Monsoons are always loved and welcomed by people after the heat of scorching summer. However, the monsoon brings along with it a number of infections such as cholera, malaria, asthma, dengue fever, diarrhea, typhoid, respiratory tract infections and much more.
One way to fight these infections is ayurvedic treatment, i.e., using herbs. Dr. Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atlantan Wellness Centre says that these herbs can help boost immunity and enable us to fight against water and air-borne diseases which are very common during the monsoon season. He has also shared a list of such herbs which can help us deal with the diseases and infections using ayurvedic treatment.
i. Turmeric is known to have a positive effect on our health and we must include it in our everyday diet. This herb will enable us to improve our immunity during monsoon. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. One way of consuming it is adding it in hot milk and have it every night before bed.
ii. Licorice is known to cure respiratory problems since a long time. It serves as a cure for cold, sore throats and related issues.
iii. Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory gingerols and shoals found in ginger root helps to quickly relieve a sore throat. They also help in killing rhinoviruses which give rise to respiratory infections such as cold.
iv. Pepper, a readily available herb, is usually mixed with tonics for treating cough and cold. It also gives relief from nasal congestion and sinusitis. It serves as a cough remedy as it helps to break down the mucus and phlegm depositions in the tract and its irritant property aids in expelling that loosened matter through either sneezing or coughing. This discharges the material from the body which in turn helps you heal from infections.
v. Tulsi or basil is known to contain phyto chemicals such as Eugenol, Ursolic Acid, Bioflavonols like Ocimarin,lutein Ocimumosides and Apigenin, among others. Rosmarinic Acid serves as an effective anti microbial agent which helps to cure respiratory tract infections and to mobilize mucus. This acid also helps to relieve congestion in the chest by enlarging the airways present in the lungs. Drinking 1-2 cups of tea made of Tulsi on a daily basis is a convenient and effective way to improve your immunity system. The tea compensates for the cold entering you from outside environment and therefore helps in regulating your internal temperature.
vi. Triphala is made using 3 herbs (namely harde, Amla, beheda) and is considered a potent antioxidant. This herb enhances capability of digestion in the body which is usually affected during monsoon. Amla, the richest Vitamin C source, not only decreases the gravity of cold but also improves the immunity. Beheda is known to cure a cough, clearing congestion, keeping loose motions in control and curing diarrhea. Harde also aids in digestion and aids in the body’s pulmonary system.
vii. Garlic has numerous properties such as anti protozoal, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal which help in providing relief from coughs and in opening up the lungs by clearing mucus. Its antibacterial and anti-viral property is due to the compound named “Allicin” present in it which is the cause of its flavor which is strong and hot. The compound known as “Ajoene” found in garlic aids in controlling of infections caused by viruses, microbes, and bacteria. It is naturally helps in preventing cancer, to be more precise colon cancer. Moreover, it is also utilized for treatment of pain and cramps in muscles.
vii. Cinnamon possesses a natural warming and anti-bacterial property which helps in the treatment of cough, cold, and sore throat, and a hot cinnamon tea cup can provide a relief from itching, throat irritation, and helps in stopping the arrival of a cold.
-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter Hkaur1025
Kampot province in Cambodia is popularly known for its pepper farming business. Kampot pepper has been renowned for decades as one of the best peppers in the world. The rich farming soil in this region produces high-quality pepper that has joined an elite group of food items recognised and protected by the European Union.
According to the Indian spice company group Nedspice’s annual pepper report, since 2006, pepper commodity prices have been in a “bull market” and were still reaching new highs as of February. The estimation by Nedspice said, 40 to 45 percent of global consumption takes place in Asia.
- Kampot pepper can sell for up to 20,000 dollars per tonne on the market. Whereas, pepper from other provinces averages out to 75 per tonne on the market.
- Pepper farming is becoming increasingly popular in Cambodia. The ministry of agriculture reports that the number of plantations has increased from 1400 hectares in 2012 to 6000 hectares in 2016.
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- The total yield average is approximately 11,400 tonnes of black pepper per year. Although pepper farming in Cambodia has increased in the last several years, 2016 was a difficult harvest.
- “This year, it’s difficult to get a good crop because of the drought… and the crop itself doesn’t grow big like it’s supposed to. This year we didn’t expect to get a good crop”, said Ngoun Lay from Pepper Association in an interview conducted by NewsGram.
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- Cambodia’s ministry of agriculture says it is looking for funding to help farmers find alternative water sources to irrigate their fields but farmers claim that so far no help has come.
- “What we want is water, we need resources. The government can help us to dig ponds and well again. The water is important to us because when we’re farming we need water” said Ngoun Lay highlighting the lack of water sources.
- Although, Cambodians have tax-free access to the European Union. Farmers growing pepper in other provinces sell yo Vietnam where companies have greater access to international markets whether it’s the elite Kampot pepper or the ordinary kind, spice will continue to keep farmers in business across the country if they can find enough water to irrigate their fields.
– by Akansha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akansha4117
By Harshmeet Singh
“No man should die who can afford cinnamon” – A common saying in the 15th century, this perfectly depicted the rewarding spice trade between India and the rest of the world.
The fragrance and aroma coming out of an Indian kitchen are unparallel. If India has seen a flood a multinational food chains opening in the past three decades, the Indian cuisine has made sure that the progress takes place both ways! Known to be spicy and exotic, ‘Indian food’ is in vogue in many first world nations. But what makes our food so irresistible? How are cardamom, tamarind, pepper and other spices melted so perfectly that they enhance the taste of the food manifold? The answer, it seems, is hidden in the small round shaped spice box – an irreplaceable commodity of any Indian kitchen!
India’s spice monopoly
Spices were, perhaps, one of the first commodities to be imported from India in significant numbers. Kerala was known as the hotbed of many exotic spices around 3000 BC. At first, spice trade was carried out through land routes, and thus, remained confined to a few close nations. But with the starting to maritime trade, the spice business took off exponentially. While black pepper was indigenous to Kerala, Cinnamon was grown extensively in Sri Lanka. Cloves, on the other hand, came from the Spice Islands, a part of Indonesia.
Indian Spice trade has always been connected with one of the strongest empires of that time. Arabs were the first to exert control over Kerala bound spice trade in 600 BC. Huge quantities of cinnamon, pepper and oils were taken to Arabia via Persian Gulf. The Arab traders sold these spices at sky high rates by keeping its origins as a mystery and making up stories about the winged creatures and poisonous snakes that they had to fight off in order to reach the hills where these spices were grown. Pepper was a symbol of the riches and luxury. There have been multiple recorded instances in the ancient history where Kings have demands bags filled with pepper as toll for sparing a city. Tonnes of pepper were demanded as a dowry in royal weddings.
Pepper was called ‘Black Gold’ in the 4th century BC and exported in large quantities from Cochin in Kerala to the mighty Greek empire. With the rise of power in the Greek empire, the royal households became much more adventurous and flamboyant, thus increasing the demand for Indian spices. It is said that close to 120 ships every year were sent by the Romans at the peak of spice trade to import huge quantities of pepper from India.
Fun fact – Many Roman soldiers were paid their salaries in Salt! This gave birth to the term ‘salary’. The phrase ‘worth his salt’ was also derived from the same context.
And thus came the Europeans
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that India’s flourishing spice trade shaped the future of the world for the coming centuries. After silently witnessing India’s booming spice trade and Arab’s monopoly for many centuries, the European countries set out to search for a sea route to India. The colonisation of India and Americas was a result of such expeditions undertaken by different European nations. Americas were discovered while Columbus was searching for East Indies (India) through the Atlantic sea route. It is weird to imagine now that the world’s strongest nation was mistakenly discovered when the original destination was India and its spices! These expeditions, where the ships reached distant lands and didn’t fall off from the edge of the earth, forced the Europeans to believe what the ancient Hindus knew for centuries – that the Earth is round and not flat!
Famously, when Vasco Da Gama reached the Indian shores, his men, while getting off the ship, shouted, “for Christ and spices!”
The first European power to resort to colonization on the name of ‘trade’ was Portugal who captured Indonesian Spice Islands and Sri Lanka. They were later overthrown by the Dutch. The driving reason behind the formation of the British East India Company in 1600 was to compete with the Dutch spice trade in India. And this later on transformed into the grand British Empire in India. After the British entered the scene, an agreement was reached according to which India and Sri Lanka were to be ruled by the British while the Dutch would control Spice Islands.
Not just taste, but health too!
In ancient times, illness was treated with spices such as turmeric and ginger, and herbs. Many ancient inscriptions found in Europe and Egypt indicate that spices were preferred as medicines in many scenarios. The ancient medicinal art of Ayurveda also prescribed many spices for the well-being of the human body and mind.
Foreigners’ infatuation with Indian culinary and spices goes back many centuries. Indian spices, it seems, are taking the country’s name far beyond our imagination and borders.