Curry Leaves (Karapincha)done - Siri lankawa Spices

Curry tree is native to Asia and  it is very fragrant.
in order to obtain the  maximum flavour the leaves should be added at the final stage of cooking a curry.Curry leaves are generally used fresh in most rice and curry dishes, giving a very distinctive flavor.  the leaves are known as 'curry leaves,' in general although they are also literally 'sweet neem leaves' in most India.Height of the curry plant ranges from small to medium. The most useful parts of the curry plant are the leaves, root and the bark.Curry leaves gives lots of important health benefits, which makes your food both healthy and tasty along with wondeful aroma.

Curry Leaves is used for many conditions such as:
  • mainly as a flavoring agents.
  • Also used in various local cuisines 
  • They contain various antioxidant properties
  • Have the ability to control diarrhea,
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes and 
  • It helps to balance cholesterol level
  • Have cancer fighting properties
  • Help protect the liver.
  • The roots are used to treat the body aches 
  • bark is used for snake bite relief.

Garcinia (Goraka) - Siri lankawa Spices

Garcinia normally ground with a little hot water, is used as a souring and thickening agent in curries such as fish and meat and certain vegetable curries.

people use Garcinia for constipation. They also take Garcinia  for expelling intestinal worms.
research prove that Garcinia (Goraka) helps to control obesity by burning fat
The Garcinia fruit is a rich in hydroxycitric acid. Research concludes that the hydroxycitric acid helps to reduce the cholesterol production and increases glycogen production in the liver.

    Fennel seeds (Maduru) - Siri lankawa Spices

    Fennel seeds are lightly sweet in taste and licorice flavored. It's great with meat dishes, or even chewed on its own as a breath freshener and digestion aid.
    Used in the preparation of some dishes.fennel seeds are used in the preparation of curry powder along with coriander and cumin,Fennel plant have yellow flowers.Dried fennel seeds are normally used in cooking as an anise-flavored spice.Fennel seeds and oil are used to make medicine.

    Fennel seeds  are used for many conditions such as:

    • Constipation
    •  painful menstruation 
    • Sunburn.applying fennel to the skin before ultraviolet (UV) exposure can reduce sunburn
    • Stomach upset and indigestion
    • Airway swelling
    • Bronchitis
    • Cough
    • visual problems
    • Mild spasms of the stomach and intestines
    • Intestinal gas (flatulence)
    • Bloating
    • Upper respiratory tract infection
    • Fennel helps in various digestive problems including heartburn,intestinal gas,bloating ,loss of appetite, and colic in infants
    • It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections coughsbronchitischolera, backache, bedwetting
    •  fennel increasies the flow of breast milk
    •  easing the birthing process
    • increasing sex drive
    • Fennel powder is used as a poultice for snakebites

      cumin seeds(suduru) - Siri lankawa Spices

      Cumin seeds have a strong fragrance and a very distinct flavor, flavour and can be used whole or ground. together with coriander it is one of the most important ingredients in preparing curry powder.
      cumin is an herb that mainly related  with Mexican and Spanish foods, but it is also widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking.Cumin is a rich in Iron, Manganese, and other vitamins and minerals.

      Cumin Seeds are used for many conditions such as:

      • in stomach upset 
      • it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.
      •  Cumin seeds stimulates menstruation,
      •  to treat laryngitis.
      •  Poultices of cumin are used to treat swellings of the breasts or testicles.
      •  In Ayurvedic medicine cumin with ghee is smoked to relieve hiccups.
      • cumin was protective against memory loss and the damaging effects of stress on the body.
      • It stimulate the production of pancreatic enzymes and help digestion.
      •  Because of its high antioxidant content,it might have a role in fighting cancer.
      •  Cumin effective in increasing insulin sensitivity,thus beneficial for diabetics
      • Cumin seeds have the anti-asthmatic properties 
      • cumin extract reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides It also prevented excessive weight loss.

      Fenugreek(uluhal) - Siri lankawa Spices

      Although Fenugreek smells like maple syrup while cooking, actually it has a rather bitter, burnt sugar flavor.this can be found in a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.this is used to flavor and give the necessary taste or the thickening effect to curries.
      Fenugreek seeds are  rectangular in shape and matt golden brown in colour. 
      soaking seeds in water for long time may distroyes the
      officinal properties.fenugreek  used to make soaps and cosmetics 
      In foods, fenugreek is included as an ingredient in spice blends. It is also used 

      Fenugreek is used for many conditions such as,

      • in digestive problems
      • lose motion
      • constipation, 
      • gastritis
      • conditions that affect heart health
      • cholesterol
      • triglycerides
      • kidney ailments
      • vitamin deficiency disease called beriberi
      • mouth ulcers
      • boils 
      • bronchitis,
      • infection of the tissues beneath the surface of the skin
      • tuberculosis
      • cancer,
      • chronic coughs
      • chapped lips
      • hair falling problems
      • lowering blood sugar level  in people with diabetes.
      • Women who are breast-feeding sometimes use fenugreek to promote milk flow.
      • as a flavoring agent in imitation foods, beverages, and tobacco.

      Spices used in Ayurveda in Sri Lanka

      Sri Lankan spices and herbs plays an important role in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda or the Study of  Life is an old type of medicine where much accent is placed on food habits, also it accent the importance of  natural stuff like herbs and ointments.and also Ayurvedic method can be defined as the system of medicine practiced by the ancient people, utilizing very unique and natural remedies to accomplish physical and mental health.

      Herbs, spices and their essences play a major role in Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments. Sri Lankan spices are used as scents, cleansers and cosmetics.

      There are some herbs and spices which is added when making Ayurvedic toothpaste. One of the main spice of this ayurvedic toothpaste is cloves. cloves has the ability to numb the mouth. so as soon as sri lankan gets a toothache, he starts to chew a couple of clove buds. And this numbs the mouth and  helps to disappear the pain.therefore cloves can be describes as a good home remedy for tooth ache. Those days sri lankans used to have their own home made tooth paste. we cant call this thing exactly a paste but it was a mixture of about 10 spices like clove buds,clove leaves ,cinnamon bark,cinnamon essence... they crushed all the above spices and used it to brush their teeth. This is a one of the main reason to have very stronge teeth in sri lankans who were in those days.This tooth powder they made out of spices and herbs  helps to lower the ability of making tarter in the teeth and sticky substance in gums that produces germs and microbes, likewise helps against pyorrhoea and gingivitis, and keeps the mouth fresh throughout the day.Cloves are prescribed also for sore throats.

      Nutmeg and dark pepper improves interest in food.Ginger helps to digest foods and aloe vera mixed with coconut oil makes a wonderful sun cream and the  citronella repulses bugs. These are a some of the many spices used in Ayurveda  

      Benefits of spices

      • Spices contain an impressive list of plant-derived chemical compounds that contains disease preventing and health promoting properties.They have been in use since ancient times for their healthy properties such as anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent.. 
      • The components in the spices have been found to have anti-clotting action (prevent clotting of blood)and also help in easing blood flow, preventing stroke and coronary artery disease.
      • The active principles in the spices may help in digestion through develops intestinal tract motility as well as increasing the digestion power by stimulating excessive secretion of gastro-intestinal enzymes inside the bowel.
      • Washing throat  with tepid thyme water can help in relieve sore throat and bronchitis symptoms. Thyme is also being considerd as an anti-septic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis.
      • Decoction of certain healthy spices is taken by mouth for the treatments of colds, influenza,fever, indigestion,stomach upset, and painful menstruation etc..
      • Spices are known to have natural anti-helminthes  function in ayuruvedic medicines.
      • The essential volatile oils in certain spices (cloves, peppers...) may work as a improver in the local blood circulation, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. They are being applied as a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles..
      • Spice's essential oils are being used in the aromatherapy and also as deodorant in the perfume industry.
      • Spices contain a required amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium plays an important role in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is considerd as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme in the body.
      • Spices are being used in the preparation of soups,sauces, pickling and as a main ingredient in a variety of curry powders.
      • Spices along with some seasonal herbs are being used to increase the flavor and taste of vegetable, chicken, fish and meat dishes.
      • Some healthy spices such as cloves, cardamom, coriander.. are used in making drinks.

      List of spices that grown in sri lanka

      • Fenugreek
      • Cumin seeds
      • Fennel-seeds (Maduru)
      • Garcinia(Goraka)
      • Curry Leaves (Karapincha)
      • Garlic
      • Cinnamon
      • Pepper
      • Cloves
      • Cardamon
      • Nutmeg & Mace
      • Ginger
      • Turmeric
      • Parsley
      • Saffron
      • Mustard

        The history of sri lankan spices

        The History of Sri Lanka and the History of Spice are interconnected to a large extent that it leaves one to wonder whether Sri Lanka was discovered because of spice, or whether Spice was discovered because of Sri Lanka. Whatever the answer, historians generally agree that Sri Lanka is the born place of the ancient spice trade. and if we consider cinnamon, which originated in Sri Lanka, it is certainly the main cradle.

        John Keay the famous writter mentions Sri Lankan spices in the book of“The Spice Route – a history”. The traders in arab must have had an even keener olfactory sense than Mr john, for they arrived in Galle on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. The objective of their expedition was to introduce a trading post dedicated primarily to spices, gems, and ivory. Later many of these traders shifted to Jaffna and starts another flourishing port on the northern coast of sri lanka.

        Today spices are mainly used  to flavour food.  however, spices plays a important role as food preserving agents. In the absence of fridges and freezers, people used spices to preserve meat . 
        When the Dutch took over from Portuguese, they tried to develops the spice lands of Lanka. One such area was Kurunduwatta or Cinnamon Gardens in Colombo 7. and they  enhands the spice cultivation in sri lanka

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