Tomato – Natural Benefits and Curative Properties


Botanical Name :: Lycopersicon-esculentum

Indian Name :: Tamatar


The tomato, is one of the most important vegetables in most regions of the world. It is a short-lived perennial annual plant. It bas vigorous tap root, extensive fibrous roots, solid, hairy stems and spirally arranged, mainly oval leaves. The fruit is a fleshy, round or lobed, smooth or furrowed, red, pink or yellow berry with numerous flat, slightly curved seeds.

The tomato originally as a small, wrinkled thick skinned and seedy vegetable, much smaller in size and irregular in form. Many scientific methods were employed to bring it to its present shape and quality. It has now hundreds of varieties, many of which are smoothly and globular, with almost solid pulp.

Origin and Distribution

Tomato is considered to be a native of South America, probably the Peru-Equator. From there it was brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the early 16th century. But for several hundred years, it was grown only as a garden ornament and was called ‘love apple’. Only in 1860, it was discovered that tomato was as good a food as any other fruits or vegetable. Soon after this discovery, it gradually became very popular all over the world. It is now grown in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. Central, East and West Africa, tropical America, the Caribbean and throughout the tropics. It holds second place among the vegetables produced in the world, only exceeded by the potato.

Food Value of Tomato

Only about 130 years back, tomato was considered poisonous. It was regarded by many as an acid forming food which would increase the acidity of the blood and body tissues. Because of this belief, those suffering from gout, rheumatism, arthritis and general acidosis were advised not to use it It was also blamed to be a cancer culprit. It was thought that it has no food value and that it supplied only color and flavor to the diet The latest studies in nutritional chemistry have, however, completely dispelled these baseless ideas about tomato. It is now considered to have unsurpassable nutritional and health giving qualities. Tomato is rich in calcium, phosphorus. vitamin C and carbohydrate.

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 94.0%Calcium – 48 mg
Protein – 0.9%Phosphorus – 20 mg
Fat – 0.2%Iron – 0.4 mg
Carbohydrates – 3.4%Vitamin C – 27 mg
Fibre – 0.8%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 0.5%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 20

The carbohydrate in tomato is chiefly in the form of invert sugar which is the predigested form. It contains very small quantity of starch which is converted into sugar, chiefly dextrose during the process of ripening.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Tomato

The tomato, is one of the most powerful deobstruents of the Materia Medica. It removes disease particles and opens natural channels of the body. It is gentle natural stimulant for kidneys and helps to wash away the toxins which cause diseases and contaminate our system. They are at their best when they are fully ripe. Their vitamin C content increase as they ripen. Tomato juice is probably one of the most widely used juices. Fresh, raw tomato juice is most beneficial and has an alkaline reaction, when digested, in concentrated form. Tomato as an external application can be used as a cosmetic. Its pulp should be applied liberally on the face and left there for an hour and then’ washed with warm water. Repeated daily, it will give good complexion and remove ugly-looking pimples in a short time.

  1. Acidosis: -The tomato is essentially an alkaline vegetable. Its acid taste is due to malic acid which is about 0.5’per cent. It also contains 0.52 to 1.81 per cent citric acid and only a trace of oxalic acid. These acids in tomatoes, in combination with sodium and potassium either form sodium or potassium acid malate, citrate or oxalate. Their end products, when oxidized in the body, are carbon dioxide, water and the carbonates of potassium and sodium. The latter has alkaline reaction. Tomatoes, thus leave an alkaline ash in the process of being oxidized by the body. This increases the alkalinity of the blood and decreases the urine and neutralizes the acid compounds of the body such as phosphates, urea and ammonia. It is, therefore, highly beneficial in the treatment of acidosis and other disease associated with too much acid in the system.
  2. Diabetes:– Because of its low carbohydrate contents, it is very good food for diabetic patients and for those who want to reduce their body weight. It is said to be very effective in controlling the percentage of sugar in the urine of diabetic patients.
  3. Eye Disorders:- Being a rich source of vitamin A, tomatoes are a dependable preventive against night blindness short sightedness and other diseases of the eye caused by the deficiency of the vitamins. Tomato leaves are useful in optic nerve and eye weakness. A small handful of the freshly plucked leaves should be covered with soft hot water for 15 minutes. The water should then strained. It forms a good tonic for the eyes and optic nerve when a teaspoonful of this water is taken before meals three times daily.
  4. Urinary Disorder:- Eating a tomato early in the morning is found to be very effective medicine to prevent the formation of urinary calculi or stone by supplying sufficient quantity of acids and Vitamins A and C. It is proved that deficiency of vitamins A and C and the recurrent urinary tract infections are among the most important factors in the formation of calculi i.e. stone. Tomato restricts the acid value of urine to 5.5 or less, thereby reducing the chances of infections by increasing the acidity of the urine.
  5. Obesity:- Tomatoes are highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity. One or two ripe tomatoes taken early morning, without breakfast, for a couple of months is considered a safe method of reduction in weight and at the same time, it also supplies the essential food elements to preserve the health.
  6. Intestinal and Liver Disorders:- A glassful of fresh tomato juice, mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper, taken early in the morning is considered an effective remedy for morning sickness, biliousness, sluggishness and diminished responsiveness of the liver, jaundice, indigestion, excessive formation of gas in the intestines, constipation, diarrhea due to indigestion burning in the gastrointestinal tract and constant burning sensation in the chest due to hiatus hernia, a condition in which stomach passes partly or completely into chest.
  7. Respiratory Disorders:- A glassful of fresh tomato juice mixed with honey, a pinch of powdered cardamom seeds, taken after swallowing three peeled cloves of garlic every night before going to bed, is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of tuberculosis and other lung infections. It increases the body’s resistance and prevents drug resistance and the relapse which are so common in tubercular patients. In asthmatics, it reduces the congestion in the bronchioles and checks the hyper secretion of mucous and reduces the spasms.
  8. Painful Joints: -The juice of the whole plant including leaves, mixed with equal quantity of till-oil, is heated until all the watery part is evaporated and the oil is preserved in a bottle This oil, massaged over painful joints and sprains and fomented with dry heal gives a great relief.

Spinach – Natural Benefits and Curative Properties


Botanical Name :: Spinacia-olerecea

Indian Name :: Palak


The spinach is a leafy vegetable, with broad green leaves. It ranks high among all green vegetables. The leaves are cooling and very nutritive. This vegetable is a cool season annual crop which matures quickly. It has round, very smooth and delicate stem. The leaves are alternate, succulent, fleshy, very smooth and dark green in color. They are generally five to eight cm’s. in length and one to one and half cm’s. in width. The bottom of the leaf is shiny, with thick veins running across.

Origin and Distribution

The spinach is believed to have been first cultivated by the Arabs. The Persians cultivated it about 2,000 years ago. The Moors or the blacks took it to Spain from where it spread to other parts of the world. The word spinach actually comes from a Spanish word hispania. In India it grows in great abundance. This crop thrives best in cooler and moist climate. High humidity and cool temperature are conducive to the rapid growth of succulent, tender foliage.

Food Value of Spinach

The chemical constituents of spinach are essential amino acids, iron, vitamin A and folic acid. It is one of the cheapest vegetables which supplies the same amount of protein as one gets from the same quantity of meat, fish, eggs and chicken. Other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and cucumbers may be added to the raw tender spinach. It will make an excellent dish with the addition of a little lemon juice and olive oil. The vitamin C content in lemon juice helps the body to absorb the entire amount of iron from the spinach consumed.

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 92.1%Calcium – 73 mg
Protein – 2.0%Phosphorus – 21 mg
Fat – 0.7%Iron – 10.9 mg
Carbohydrates – 2.9%Vitamin C – 28 mg
Fibre – 0.6%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.7%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 17

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Spinach

The leaves of spinach are demulcent or soothing agents, refrigerant or collants, diuretic and milk laxative

  1. Constipation:- Spinach juice cleans the digestive tract by removing the accumulated waste there from. It nourishes the intestines and tones up their movements. It is, therefore, an excellent food remedy for constipation.
  2. Anemia:- This vegetable is a valuable source of high grade iron. After its absorption in the system, the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells take place. It is thus highly beneficial building up the blood and in the prevention and treatment of anemia.
  3. Acidosis:- Spinach is also a rich source of calcium and other alkaline elements which are essential for keeping the tissues clean and for preserving the alkalinity of the blood.It, therefore, helps prevent chronic diseases which thrive on the formation of too much acid in the system.
  4. Night Blindness:- The spinach is particularly rich in vitamin A. It contains more vitamin A than most other green vegetables. This vitamin promotes growth and health, specially the health of the eyes. Lack of this vitamin may lead to night blindness. Spinach is thus an effective food remedy for the prevention and treatment or night blindness.
  5. Tooth Disorders:- The spinach juice is effective in strengthening the gums and preventing and curing dental cavities. Chewing raw spinach II leaves cures pyorrhoea. A mixture of carrot juice and Spinach juice, taken early in the morning, can cure bleeding and ulcerated gums.
  6. Pregnancy and Lactation:– As the richest source of folic acid, spinach is a very valuable food during pregnancy and lactation. Megaloblastic anemia of pregnancy occurs because the mother is deficient in folic acid. This deficiency of folic acid occurs as this substance is required for the developing foetus. Regular use of spinach during pregnancy will help prevent the deficiency of folic acid. It will also prevent threatened abortion and accidental haemorrhage, deficient absorption of food by small intestine associated with lassitude i.e. tiredness, shortness of breath, loss of weight and diarrhea. Spinach is also good source of nutrition for nursing or lactating mothers and improves the quality of their milk.
  7. Urinary Disorders: -Fresh spinach juice taken with tender coconut water once or twice a day acts as a very effective but safe diuretic due to the combined action of both nitrates and potassium. It can be safely given in cystitis, nephritis and scanty urination due to dehydration.
  8. Respiratory Disorders:- Infusion of fresh leaves of spinach prepared with two teaspoonful of fenugreek seeds mixed with a pinch of ammonium chloride and honey is an effective expectorant tonic during the treatment of bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma and dry cough due to congestion in the throat. It sooths the bronchioles, liquefies the tenacious sputum and forms healthy tissues in the lungs and increase resistance against respiratory infections. It should be taken in doses of 30 ml. three times daily.

Uses of Spinach

Spinach is often cooked as a green vegetable, It is also used as a soup. Small, young and tender leaves of spinach can be used as raw salads. They are as appetizing as tender lettuce leaves.- The leaves of spinach are so juicy that no additional water is needed for its cooking. The leaves should first be washed in several changes of water. The water which clings to the leaves is sufficient for cooking without adding more. The leaves should always be cooked on a moderate heat. It contributes roughage, color and a bland flavor to the diet and it helps to balance the fuel foods in the menu. It however, contains a small amount of oxalic which is ill soluble in the fluids of the alimentary tract and is harmful in gravels, gout and liver disease. Therefore, it should not be used by those suffering from these ailments.

Soyabean – Natural Benefits and Uses


Botanical Name :: Glycine max merr

Indian Name :: Soyabean, Bhat


The Soyabean is one of the most nutritious foods. It belongs to the family of legumes or pulses and is perhaps one of the earliest crops cultivated by man. It is one of the most important sources of oil and protein.

The Soyabean is an annual plant, up to 150 ems. in height. It has hairy, twining or climbing stems, alternate leaves and hairy, grey, brown or black, pods, borne in clusters on short stalks. Seeds are more or less round, with yellow, green, brown or black color.

Origin and Distribution

The name Soya has its origin in the Chinese word shu and sou. The Aryans of Central Asia considered Soya along with honey as sacred food to be offered to the departed. The ancient yogis of the Indus Valley Civilization supplemented their meatless diet with this bean to ward off deficiency of good quality protein.

The Soyabean is a native of the Far East. It has been an important food crop in China. Manchuria and Korea long before the dawn of human history. It was first referred to in a Chinese book written by Emperor Shennung of China as early as 2838 BC. It was given very great importance in China so much so that the Emperor of the country to sow it every year with great pomp. It is now very popular crop of the world over and is widely cultivated in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Egypt, Russia, Australia and other countries. In recent years several countries like Brazil, Mexico, Rumania, Paraguay and Argentina have substantially increased their Soyabean production. India too has joined the Soyabean race in its expansion programmer and there is growing awareness among the consumers in the country of the potential uses of Soyabean.

Food Value of Soyabean

The Soyabean is esteemed for its high food value. It is a valuable source of protein, vitamins, minerals and other food ingredients. It also contains vitamin B complex, biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and vitamin E.

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 8.1%Calcium – 240 mg
Protein – 43.2%Phosphorus – 690 mg
Fat – 19.5%Iron – 11.5 mg
Carbohydrates – 20.9%Small amount of Vitamin E
Fibre – 3.7%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 4.6%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 17

The Soyabean is particularly valued for its high protein content of great biological value. Its protein is complete as it contains all the essential amino acids or building blocks of protein in the proportions that make them most available and most valuable for human needs. It is the best of all vegetable proteins and ranks in this respect with protein of milk, eggs and meat. But Soyabean contains by far more protein than these articles.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Soyabean

The Soyabean contains many medicinal virtues. While most of the proteins are acid in their ash, Soyabean is rich in alkaline­bearing salts and hence regarded as a corrective diet. The Chinese, who consume Soyabeans liberally, believe that it makes the body plump, improves the complexion, stimulates the growth and removes constipation and many other physical ailments. Modem researches carried out in the laboratories in Europe and America have corroborated much of these claims.

Soyabean, especially in the form of milk, is highly beneficial in the treatment of several ailments This milk is prepared by soaking the beans in water for about 12 hours The skin of the beans is then removed and after a through wash, they are turned into fine paste in a grinding machine. The paste is mixed with water, three times its quantity. The milk should then be boiled on a slow fire, stirring it frequently. After it becomes a little cooler, it should be strained through a piece of thin cloth and sugar be added to it.

Soyabean milk is at par in importance with cow’s milk in feeding children. Investigations have shown that 90 per cent of the Soyabean protein is absorbed in the body and 95 to 100 percent of the milk is digested. Soyabean milk is very helpful in maintaining intestinal health. The Soyabean curd is a health food par excellence It is better than Soyabean milk in taste and aroma and it very much resembles the dairy curd The curd is prepared by allowing the milk to cool, then seeded with a small quantity of cow’s milk curd or Soyabean milk curd and allowed to remain for 12 hours to set. Its regular use will help maintain the intestinal health, prevent diseases arising from defective digestion and retard the ageing process.

One of the chief uses of Soyabeans is as a source of lecithin, which is a great natural emulsifier. Lecithin, as is well known helps disperse deposits of fatty materials and cholesterol in certain vital organs. It is rich in substances which are important for the proper functioning of all living cells in the body. It is also an important component around brain and nerve cells. Lecithin is so abundant in Soyabeans that most of the lecithin used commercially comes from them.

  1. Diabetes:- Soyabean contains a fairly large amount of carbohydrate but there is little or no starch in it. It is, therefore, regarded as a very suitable food for diabetic patient. Its carbohydrate produces heat and energy in the body without causing sugar to appear in the urine.
  2. Skin Disorders:- The Soyabean is regarded as a valuable food remedy in eczema and other skin affections. It renders unnecessary the use of animal protein, that is, meat, eggs and-milk and thus reduces.the inflammatory activities in the skin and is free from the tendency to produce sensitivity or allergic reactions which so frequently attend the users of all animal proteins. When Soyabean is taken liberally, the intense itching diminishes almost immediately and disappears completely after a few days. The skin lesions also often vanish after some days. Improvement in skin health presumably occurs due to its lecithin content – a natural emulsifier which helps disperse fatty deposits and cholesterol from vital organs.
  3. Anemia:- Soyabean, being rich in iron, has been found beneficial in the treatment of anemia. As, however, the anemic patients suffer from weak digestion, it should be given to them in a very light form which may be easily digested.

Uses of Soyabeans

Soyabeans are used in other forms such as flour, green beans, sprouts and oil. The Soya flour is one of the most widely used products of Soyabean. In the West, the Soyabean flour industry has grown to immense proportions. The Soya flour is prepared by first roasting the Soyabeans and removing their coatings. They are then turned into powder. It is by 1ar more nutritious than the wheat flour. It contains 15 times as much calcium, seven times as much phosphorus, 10 times as much iron, 10 times as much thiamine and nine times as much riboflavin as wheat flour.


Soyabean contains a bitter substance which can be removed by soaking Soyabean in six cupfuls of warm water containing half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate for 10 minutes. The process also removes the coloring matter from Soyabean. Soyabeans contains a factor which inhibits the action of the digestive enzyme trypsin. This factor can be destroyed by heating.

Radish – Natural Benefits and Uses


Botanical Name :: Raphanus salivus

Indian Name :: Muli


The radish is one of the most commonly used India. It is an hairy annual herb. It has no stem or branches it has only one root which is round, cylindrical or tapering, white or red, slightly coarse, fleshy, succulent, and 3 to 7 cm thick, 10 to 20 cm long. It has a pungent flavor. It stimulates appetite and promotes a healthy bloodstream.

There are many varieties of radish, differing in size and color. The red and white colored are most familiar. They are tender when young but become woody and tough as they mature.

Origin and Distribution

Radish is believed to have originated in Western Asia. It was cultivated in ancient Egypt , Greece and Rome . It has now spread all over the world. Its areas of cultivation include South America . East and West Africa , the Caribbean , Malaysia , Indonesia , India , China and most tropical areas.

Food Value of Radish

The radish is one of the richest sources of iron, calcium and sodium of all the common vegetables. The roots, rather than the leaves of these small plants, are generally used as food item. They should be eaten raw to derive all its beneficial effects. Cooking destroys its vitamin content and thus cooked vegetable looses its powerful anti scorbutic properties. However, the leaves are also eaten as salad or used in cooking. Radish leaves have more calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin C and protein than radish itself.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 94.4%Calcium – 35 mg
Protein – 0.7%Phosphorus – 22 mg
Fat – 0.1%Iron – 0.4 mg
Carbohydrates – 3.4%Vitamin C – 15 mg
Fibre – 0.8%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 0.6%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 17

Radish Leaves*

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 90.8%Calcium – 265 mg
Protein – 3.8%Phosphorus – 59 mg
Fat – 0.4%Iron – 3.6 mg
Carbohydrates – 2.4%Vitamin C – 81 mg
Fibre – 1.0%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.6%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 28

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Radish

The leaves of radish are diuretic, anti scorbutic and laxative. The tap root is also strongly anti scorbutic for preventing of curing scurvy and the seeds are expectorant, diuretic, carminative for relieving gastric discomforts, laxative and stimulant.

  1. Piles:- The juice and the fresh root is regarded as an effective food remedy in piles. It should be given in doses of 60 to 90 ml. morning and evening.
  2. Genito Urinary Disorders:- This juice is also beneficial in the treatment of dysuria on painful urination and stranguary or severe urethral pain. It may be given in doses mentioned above and repeated as often as necessary. A cupful of radish leaf-juice given once daily for a fortnight acts as a curative medicine in dissolving gravel in urinary tract and cystitis-i.e. inflammation of urinary bladder.
  3. Chest Complaints:- A syrup prepared by mixing a teaspoonful of fresh radish juice with equal quantity of honey and a little rock salt is highly beneficial in the treatment of hoarseness, whooping cough, bronchial disorders and other chest complaints. It should be given thrice daily.
  4. Jaundice:- Green leaves of radish are beneficial in the treatment of jaundice. The leaves should be pounded and their juice expressed out through a piece of thin cloth. It should be sweetened to one’s taste by adding fine crystalline sugar. About half a kg. of this juice should be taken daily by an adult patient. This provides immediate relief. The preparation induces healthy appetite and proper evacuation of bowels which gradually reduces the trouble.
  5. Leucoderma:- A paste made from the seeds of the radish is valuable in leucoderma. About 35 gm. of these seeds should be powdered in vinegar and applied on the white patches of leucoderma. For better results seeds should be finely pounded along with a pinch of arsenic poison and soaked in vinegar at night. After two hours leaves will appear. It should be rubbed on the white patches of leucoderma. This preparation is meant for external use only.
  6. Other Skin Disorders:- Radish seeds contain a bleaching substance and emulsion of the seeds with water applied over the face will remove blackheads and freckles. It can also be applied with beneficial results in the treatment of ringworm.

Potato – Natural Benefits and Curative Properties


Botanical Name :: Solanum tuberosum

Indian Name :: Alu


The potato is the most popular and widely used vegetable in the world. It is an annual plant, producing swollen underground stem tubers. This vegetable forms an indispensable item of daily food and is an important source of nutrition

Origin and Distribution

The potato is a native of South America , where it has been cultivated from ancient times. It was introduced to Europe in the later-half of the 16th. century. But nearly one hundred years, it was looked upon as a poisonous tuber. Its food value was realized only in 177l, when a prize was offered in France for the discovery of an article of food which could be used as substitute for wheat in times of famine.

In the United States , potato was introduced by Irish immigrants in 1719. The Spaniards took it to philippines at an early date. It came to India in the 17th century. The missionaries probably introduced it into East Africa towards the end of the 19th century. In volume and value a world basis, the potato now exceeds all other crops in the world.

Food Value of Potato

Potato contains high nutritive value. Its chief food principle is starch, but it has a notable amount of protein of high biological value. It contains a substantial amount of alkaline salts. It is rich in soda, potash and vitamins A and B.

The potato can be boiled, baked, steamed and cooked with other vegetables. But it should be cooked in such a way so as to retain all its excellent qualities. To secure its maximum value, it should always be cooked with its skin as the most nutritive part of the potato lies just below the skin and this particular layer is very rich in protein and mineral salts.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 74.7%Calcium – 10 mg
Protein – 1.6%Phosphorus – 40 mg
Fat – 0.1%Iron – 0.7 mg
Carbohydrates – 22.6%Vitamin C – 17 mg
Fibre – 0.4%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 0.4%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 97

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Potato

The potato contains several medicinal virtues. As it is one of the most strongly alkaline of all foods, it is, therefore, very helpful in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body and a natural amidote for an overdose of acid or acidosis. It dissolves away uric acid and lime. It is also important in preventing the fermentative process in intestine and it helps the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract.

However, potatoes should be avoided by obese people as they are fattening. They should also be omitted from the diet of those suffering from venereal diseases and those afflicted with aphrodisiac tendencies. The potato contains an alkaloid toxin known as solanine which affects the nerves controlling the sexual organs. The solanine poison is particularly prevalent in potatoes too green in color. The combination of cooked meat and potatoes too green in-color. The combination of cooked meat and potatoes intensifies the solar:tine poison, which together with presence of uric acid crystals resulting from the ingestion of meat may cause excessive irritation of sexual organs.

  1. Potato Therapy:- An exclusive potato diet is considered valuable in the treatment of certain disorders such – as chronic constipation, imestinaltoxaemia, uric acid diseases, renal calculi or stone and dropsy. This diet may be employed with beneficial results for several months, if necessary. In the potato diet, potatoes can be consumed in its various preparations, such as baked, steamed and in soup form. When on potato diet, other vegetables which can be taken are spinach, beet tops, turnip tops, cucumbers lenuce, celery, tomatoes and other green vegetables.
  2. Scurvy:- The potato is regarded as an excellent food remedy in scurvy. II has been noted that scurvy. in Europe has become more and more uncommon with the progress of potato cultivation and it makes its appearance only when the crop fails. Dr. G.F. Still used “potato cream” in curing cases of infantile scurvy, while Dr. A. F. Hess used ordinary mashed potatoes for the same purposes.
  3. Rheumatism:- Raw potato juice is regarded as an excellent food remedy for rheumatism. One or two teaspoonful of the juice pressed out of mashed raw potato should be taken before meals. This will help eliminate an”acid condition and relieve rheumatism. In some rural areas in Great Britain, it is a custom for rheumatic sufferer to carry a potato in their pockets, in the believe that the potato will absorb in itself some of the acid from the sufferer’s body. The old potato is thrown away and replaced by new one after a few days. The skin of the potato is also an excellent food remedy for rheumatism. The skin is exceptionally rich in vital mineral salts and the water in which the peelings have been boiled is one of the best medicines for the ailments caused by excess of acid in the system. The potato peelings should be thoroughly washed and boiled for few minutes. The decoction should then by strained and a glassful of the same should be taken three or four times daily.
  4. Digestive System Disorders:- Raw potato juice is valuable in stomach and intestinal disorders. Stomach ulcers are treated with the juice of pink potatoes. Potato juice also relieves gastritis. The recommended dose is half a cupful two or three times hall an hour before meals. Potato starch is administered as an anti inflammatory for gastrointestinal diseases and toxins.
  5. Skin Blemishes:- The juice of raw potatoes, has also proved very valuable in clearing skin blemishes. This cleansing results from high content of potassium, sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine in the potato. These elements are, however, of value only when the potato is raw as in this state they are composed of live organic atoms. In the cooked state, they are converted into inorganic atoms and are of little value for constructive purposes.
    The juicy pulp of the shredded raw potatoes can also be applied as a poultice in clearing the wrinkle and other skin blemishes due to ageing. It may be rubbed on the face and other portions of body that have wrinkles before retiring for bed. It will help melt the wrinkles, banish age spots and clear the skin.
    The enzymes in raw potato pulp, combined with the Vitamin C and the natural starch, helps create a skin food that nourishes the starved cellular tissues of the skin. Furthermore, the alkaline juices of the potato promotes an antiseptic action that gives a glowing look of youth. Much of the decaying skin sloughs off by the acid portion of the pulp.
  6. Swellings:- Raw potato juice, externally applied, is valuable in the treatment of swelling and other disordered condition of the joints and muscles. After extraction of the juice, it should be boiled down to about one-fifth of its original bulk. A little quantity of glycerine may be added as a preservative. It is used as liniment. It should be applied afte fomentation of the affected parts and should be repeated every three hours until the pain and swelling are relieved.

Onion – Natural Benefits and Curative Properties


Botanical Name :: Allium cepa

Indian Name :: Piyaz


The onion, a pungent edible of the lily family, is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. It is considered a food of exceptional value for flavoring and seasoning. The onion is a biennial herb, usually grown as an annual. All its. parts produce a strong onion odour when crushed. It has superficial root system, a very short flattened stem at the base of the plant, which increases in diameter as growth continues. Leaves are long, linear and hollow. A bulb is formed by thickening of the leaf bases when the plant reaches a certain stage of growth. The fruit is a globular capsule

Origin and Distribution

Onion is believed to have originated in Central Asia, possibly in the Iran-Pakistan region. It has been cultivated since ancient times in the Middle East and India. It ‘was a popular food in ancient Egypt, where it is depicted on tombs as early as 3200 BC and has been found in mummies.

The Sanskrit equivalent for onion is palandu which has been mentioned in the Garuda Purana. The great Indian sages, Maharishi Atreya and Lord Dhanwantri have described the use of onions in details. It is referred to in the Bible, when the Israelites complained of their hardships while being led by Moses from Egypt to the land of Canaan about 1500 BC remembering the onions that they ate in Egypt.

Onion is frequently referred to in the literature from Hippocrates, 430 BC down to the present time. It is on record that the Jews loved onions so much that they named a city after it Onion. This city was built in 173 BC near the Gulf of Suez. The man who built it was called Onions. The city existed for 343 years.

Onion is now cultivated in most parts of the world, including India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Philippines, China, Egypt, West and East Africa, tropical South and Central America arid the Caribbean.

Food Value of Onion

Onion which derived its name from the Latin Onia and French Oignan, has been described by some one as the dynamite of natural foods. Compared with other fresh vegetables, it is relatively high in food value, moderate in protein content and is rich in calcium and riboflavin. There is considerable variation in composition between different varieties and it also varies with the stage of maturity and the length of storage.

The odour in onion is due to organic sulphur compounds, and is produced only when the tissues are cut or injured, by enzyme action on a water soluble amino acid. Heating, freezing and drying prevent the enzyme action. That is why cooking produces a different odour, flavor and pungency. The pungent flavor of onion is much appreciated by many people in many countries. The strong odour lingers for a considerable time after consumption. It is said lobe due to small particles retained in the mouth which cannot always be removed by brushing.

The onion has a good keeping quality. The dried cured bulbs may be kept for several months without deterioration and can stand rough handling. Good storage life is usually associated with high pungency.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 86.6%Calcium – 47 mg
Protein – 1.2%Phosphorus – 50 mg
Fat – 0.1%Iron – 0.7 mg
Carbohydrates – 11.1%Vitamin C – 11 mg
Fibre – 0.6%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 0.4%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Calorific Value – 51

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Onion

Onion is highly valued for its therapeutic properties. It has been used as a food remedy from time immemorial The physicians of ancient Egypt prescribed onions in various diseases. Dioscorides in the first century AD attributed many herbal remedies to them. They are stimulant, diuretic, expectorant and rubefacient

The white onion is preferable to the red and yellow varieties. Onions should be taken with meals preferably raw as fried or cooked onions are comparatively difficult to digest. For therapeutic purposes, it is advisable to use onion juice instead of the whole onion as it is an all round medicine. Onion being stimulating and irritating food, its consumption in excess should be avoided.

Several parts of the plant have a place in the traditional medicines. The seeds of onion increase semen and relieve dental worms and urinary diseases. The stalks of onion are a source of Vitamin A, thiamin and ascorbic acid They are used in both tender and mature stages.

  1. Respiratory Disease:- Onion is said to possess expectorant progenies. It liquefies phelgm and prevents its further formation. It has been used as a food remedy for centuries in cold, cough, bronchitis and influenza. Equal amounts of onion juice and honey should be mixed and three to four teaspoon of this mixture should be taken daily in these conditions. It is one of the safest preventive medicine against common cold during winter.
  2. Tooth Disorders:- Latest researches of Russian doctors have further confirmed the bactericidal properties of onion. According to these findings, if a pers0n consumes one raw onion every day by thorough mastication, he will be Protected from a host of tooth disorders. The Russian Doctor, B.P. Tohkin, who has contributed to this research, has expressed the opinion that chewing raw onion for three minutes is sufficient to kill all the germs in the mouth. Toothache is often allayed by placing a small piece of onion on the bad tooth or gum.
  3. Anemia:- Onions are noted for their easily assimilate iron content. They are, therefore, beneficial in the treatment of anemia.
  4. Heart Disease:- Recent researches in the West have established onion as an effective preventive food item against heart attack. Dr. N.N. Gupta of the K.G. Medical College, Lucknow, in 1966, and a panel of doctors in England in 1968 have stated that onion has been found helpful and beneficial in diseases of the heart. According to them these benefits are due to the presence of essential oil, aliypropyl disulphide, catechol, protocatechnic acid, thiopropiono atdehyde, thiocyanate, calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins in onion.
    Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Principal of the Trivandrum Medical College and Dr. K. Madhavan Kutty have established, after seven years of research, that to get rid of coronary heart or blood pressure disorders and one should take 100 gms. of onion per day. The onion are very valuable in heart diseases as they correct thrombosis and also reduce blood cholesterol.
  5. Sexual Debility:- Onion is one of the most important aphrodisiac foods. As an aphrodisiac, onion stands second only to garlic. It increases libido and strengthens the reproductory organs. The white variety of onion should be peeled off, crushed and fried in pure butter. This mixture acts as an excellent aphrodisiac tonic if taken regularly with a spoon of honey on an empty stomach. The powder of black gram when dipped in the juice of onion for seven days and then dried, produces a mixture called kanji. This also acts an an aphrodisiac.
  6. Skin Disorders:- Onion is irritating to the skin and stimulates the circulation of blood in the mucous membrane. Warts also sometimes disappear if rubbed with cut onions. Roasted or otherwise, onions are applied as a poultice to. boils, bruises, wounds, etc., to bring the boils to-maturity by its heaty sensation.
  7. Ear Disorders:- Onion juice dipped on cotton wool and put into the ear is a popular Russian remedy for ringing sound in the ears. Dropped hot in the ear, it relieves earache.
  8. Cholera:- Onion is an effective remedy for cholera. About 30 grams of onion and seven black peppers should be finely pounded in a pestle and given to the patient of cholera. It allays thirst and restlessness and the patient feels better. It also lessens vomiting and diarrhea immediately. An addition to little sugar to the recipe will increase its effectiveness.
  9. Urinary System Disorders:- Onions are highly beneficial in the treatment 0f urinary system disorders. For burning sensation in urine, six grams of onion should be boiled in 500 ml. of water. It should be removed from the fire when half the water has evaporated. It should then be strained, allowed to cool and given to the patient as a drink. It will relieve the burning sensation in urine. Onion rubbed in water and mixed with 60 grams of sugar will be useful in retention of urine. It will bring about free urination within a short time.
  10. Bleeding Piles:- Onions are valuable in bleeding piles. About 30 grams of onions should be finely rubbed in water and 60 grams or Sugar added to it. It should be taken twice daily by the patient. It will bring relief within a few days.

Uses of Onion

The onion can be used in innumerable ways. The immature and mature bulbs are eaten raw or they may be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They are used in soups and sauces and for seasoning many foods. They may also be fried. Coated with gram flour and fried, the onion bhajiya makes an excellent snack. Small white leaf at the base before the bulb are eaten raw in salads. These immature plants are known as green, bunching or spring onions. Onion oil, produced by steam distillation, is used to a limited extent for flavoring foods.

There has been an increasing demand, in recent years, for dehydrated onion products. The onions are sliced and dried. They are used for flavoring food and in canned meat products, sausages, canned and dried soups and, ketchups. Dried onion flakes can be reconstituted by cooking in water, and are used in salads and other foods. Chopped and dried green onion tops may be used as a substitute for chives a kind culinary herb for culinary purposes.

Mint – Natural Benefits and Uses


Botanical Name :: Minthe spicata

Indian Name :: Pudina


Mint is a popular spice, used extensively in Indian cooking. It is an erect, branched perennial herb with underground modified stems. The Shoots produced from these stems are four angled, and bear oval shaped leaves which are simple, delicate, thin, dark green in color and fragrant.

Origin and Distribution

Mint is a native of temperate Europe. Ancient Romans and Greeks knew about this plant. In olden days it was believed that Minthe, the damsel laver of God Pulto, was transferred into. this herb due the anger of Persephane, the wife of Pulto and Goddess of Wealth. Therefore mint is commonly known as Minthae in Latin. The ancient Greek physician, Saufarsats used mint in the preparation of various carminative medicines. Even Mohammedan physicians were familiar with this herb. Chinese and Japanese knew this herb as long as two thousand years. Mint has now been introduced in all parts of the world and it widely grows in Indonesia, West Africa etc. In India, mini grows widely in Himalayan plains and Kashmir valley in a number of varieties.

Food Value of Mint

Mint contains plenty of vitamins and is rich in several minerals. The fresh and dried leaves are used for mint sauce and jelly and to flavor foods. Mint oil is used in chewing gum, tooth paste and in confectionery and pharmaceutical preparations.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 84.9%Calcium – 200 mg
Protein – 4.8%Phosphorus – 62 mg
Fat – 0.6%Iron – 15.6 mg
Carbohydrates – 5.8%Vitamin C – 27 mg
Fibre – 2.0%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.9%Good amount of Vitamin D & E
Calorific Value – 48* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Mint

Mint is much valued as a carminative which relieves gastric discomforts, stimulant, antispasmodic which relieves muscle strain and stomachic for improving appetite. It forms an ingredient of most drugs prescribed for stomach ailments because of its digestive properties It is good for the liver and helps dissolve gravel in the kidneys and bladder.

  1. Digestive System Disorders:- Mint juice is a good appetizer. Fresh leaf juice of mint mixed with a teaspoonful of lime juice and honey is given thrice daily with excellent results in the-treatment of indigestion, biliousness, flatulent colic, thread worms, morning sickness and summer diarrhea.
    According to father Kneipp, the well-known Naturopath, “A cupful of mint tea taken every morning and evening assists the digestion and gives a fresh and healthy appearance. The powder renders the same service, if one or two pinches are taken daily in the food or in water.” He also considers that mint, prepared in milk or tea and drunk warm, removes abdominal pains.
    The seeds of mint are also beneficial in relieving severe abdominal pain due to indigestion in older children. The child may be given a quarter teaspoonful of the seeds to chew and swallow with water in such conditions .
  2. Respiratory Disorders:- A teaspoonful of fresh mint juice, mixed with two spoonfuls of pure malt vinegar and equal quantity of honey is stirred in four ounces of carrot juice and is given thrice daily as a medicated tonic during the treatment of tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. It liquifies the sputum, nourishes the lungs. increases body’s resistance against infection and prevents the harmful effects of anti tubercular drugs It prevents the asthmatic attacks and reduces congestion in air passages.
  3. Oral Disorders:- Fresh leaves of mint, chewed daily is an effective antiseptic dentifrice i.e. tooth paste. The chlorophyll combined with other antiseptic chemicals in the mint, kills all the germs causing harmful odour. It strengthens the gums by providing the required nutrients and thus prevents tooth decay, pyorrhoea, pre mature fall of the teeth etc. It also keeps the mouth fresh and improves the sense of taste in the tongue.
  4. Hoarseness:- Gargling fresh mint decoction with salt cures hoarseness due to shouting or singing loudly. It keeps the voice clear if used before singing. Therefore, it is a boon to singers and orators.
  5. Skin Disorders:- Application of fresh mint juice over face every night, cures pimples and prevents dryness of the skin. Juice is also applied over insect stings, eczema, scabies and contact dermatitis.
  6. Natural Birth-Control:- In Ayurveda, powdered dry mint is regarded as a harmless herb for birth control. It is believed that the woman who swallows 10 grams of this powder a little before the sexual intercourse will be free from pregnancy so long as she continues this practice. The mint should be dried in a shady place and then powdered and bottled.

Lettuce – Natural Benefits and Uses


Botanical Name :: Lactuca sativa

Indian Name :: Kahu or Kasmi-sag, Salad patta


Lettuce is regarded as the king of salad plants. It is most popular of all the salad vegetables It has rounded leaves up to 25 cm’s in length and 15 cm’s. in width. Leaves and stem contain milky juice. There are several varieties of lettuce. They differ in color of the leaves. size and texture. The color of leaves varies from light to dark green. Broadly two varieties are generally used at table. namely. the loose leaf lettuce and the true head lettuce. In the loose leaf lettuce the leaves hang on all side The head lettuce is like a cabbage with the leaves drawn together.

Origin and Distribution

The centre of origin of lettuce appears to be the Middle East. The first records of lettuce as a vegetable in a long leaved form are depicted on Egyptian tombs dated 4500 BC. It was used by the Persian royalty more than 550 years before Christ. Lettuce was cultivated as a salad plant by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Lettuce reached China in the seventh century AD. It was first used in England in 1520 and King Henry VIII is said to have conferred a special reward upon the gardener who devised the combination of lettuce and cherries for the royal table. Lettuce is comparatively a recent introduction into the tropics. It is now widely cultivated in India. Malaysia. Indonesia. the Philippines. China, the Caribbean, Central and South America and East, West and Central Africa

Food Value of Lettuce

Lettuce is a live food with its rich vitamin content, especially the anti scorbutic vitamin C. It is bulky low in food value but high in health value. It is rich in mineral salts with the alkaline elements greatly predominating. So it helps to keep the blood clean. the mind alert and body in good health.
The loose leaf lettuce is considered a better food. It has the advantage of being more exposed to sunlight. thus providing it with a richer supply of vitamins than the head-lettuce in which the leaves are closed. Whatever quality of lettuce is selected for use, it should be ensured that it is fresh. crisp and green -leaved. The greener the leaves. the higher the vitamins.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 93.4%Calcium – 50 mg
Protein – 2.1%Phosphorus – 28 mg
Fat – 0.3%Iron – 2.4 mg
Vitamin C – 10 mg
Fibre – 0.5%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.2%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Carbohydrates – 2.5%Calorific Value – 42

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Lettuce

Lettuce contains several health-building qualities and many medicinal virtues. It has many essential values to the human body. It is very good for brain. nervous system and lungs. The raw juice of lettuce is cool and refreshing. The high content of magnesium in the juice has exceptional power to vitalize the muscular tissues. the nerves and the brain.

When making juice from lettuce for definite therapeutic purposes, it is best to use the leaves that are of the darker shade of green. The leaves which are inside the head of lettuce and have remained white should be discard. The former are much richer in chlorophyll and other vital elements than the latter

  1. Constipation:- As lettuce is rich in cellulose, it increases the bu1k of the intestinal contents and encourages peristalsis. It is. therefore. highly beneficial in curing chronic constipation.
  2. Insomnia:- Lettuce is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep inducing substance called “lectucarium”. Lettuce juice has been likened in effect to the sedative action of opium without the accompanying excitement. According to Culpepper, the ancient English herbalist, the juice of lettuce mixed with oil of roses, applied to the forehead and temples. induces sleep and eases the headache. The seeds of lettuce in decoction are useful in insomnia and wakefulness due to mental overwork.
  3. Diabetes:- Lettuce belongs to that group of vegetables which contain thre per cent or less of carbohydrate. It is therefore among the important foods which can be prescribed for diabetes. It can be used freely by diabetics.
  4. Anemia:- Lettuce contains considerable amount of iron and supplies a good farm of vegetable haemaglabin. It can, therefore, be used as a good tonic food far anemia. The iron obtained in this way is absorbed by the body to a much greater degree than the inorganic iron tonic.
  5. Pregnancy and Lactation:- Eating raw lettuce has a highly beneficial effect during pregnancy and lactation. A very important nutritional factor, folic acid, contained in lettuce prevents megaloblastic anemia during pregnancy. In a series of experiments with lettuce, its useful effect during pregnancy can firms that mothers who had a regular use of lettuce were free from nutritional anemia. One particular benefit of lettuce eating is that it prevents habitual abortions. It is believed to have a great influence aver the secretian of progesterane harmone. Eating lettuce with spinach, peas, asparagus and cauliflower increases the folic acid or vitamin B content of the food. It is estimated that about 300-500 mcg. of this vitamin is daily required during the last trimester of pregnancy. The deficiency of which causes magaloblastic anemia.

Uses of Lettuce

Lettuce is normally used in the raw state as salad. The leaves are also cooked as greens, especially loose leaf lettuce. It will cook in almost no water at all. The water which dings after washing will suffice. It should be kept covered aver a stove for the first few minutes until juice starts flowing. It should then be cooked uncovered for about 10 minutes.


Lettuce leaves should be washed thoroughly before use as salad. They should be washed leaf by leaf. When thoroughly clean, they should be put repeatedly within the folds of a clean towel until the leaves are completely dry.

Ginger – Natural Benefits and Curative Properties

Dried Ginger Powder

Botanical Name :: Zingiber officinalse

Indian Name :: Adrak


Ginger is a perennial herb, with underground branching stems called rhizomes which are swollen and tough. They are white or yellow outside and become grey brown or orange with age, up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Leaves and rhizomes have characteristic fragrant odour when cut or bruised. Rhizomes are dug out after the leafy pails are dried. They are sold as fresh ginger in the vegetable market or are peeled, sliced and dried. The sun dried ginger is commonly known as sount in India.

Origin and Distribution

Ginger is believed to have originated in India and was introduced in China. It appears to have been used as a spice and a medicine from early times by the Indians and the Chinese. There are numerous references to it in Sanskrit literature and in Chinese Medical treatises. It was known in Europe in first century AD and was mentioned by Dioscorides and Pliny As living rhizomes of ginger are very easy to transport, the plant soon spread to all tropical countries. The sanskrit name singebera gave rise to the Greek Zingiberi and to the late latin Zingiber. The major producers today are China, India and Taiwan.

Ginger is cultivated all over India, but ginger grown in Kerala is found to be superior than the ones grown in other places, in aroma and in taste.

Food Value of Ginger

Ginger is available in two forms, fresh and dried Both the forms contain effective food value. As the taste of ginger is not very palatable, subtle means are adopted to use it in certain ways. It is put in vegetables. The dried ginger, which may be scraped or peeled before drying, constitute the spice, and is esteemed for its flavor, pungency, aroma and medicinal value.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 80.9%Calcium – 20 mg
Protein – 2.3%Phosphorus – 60 mg
Fat – 0.9%Iron – 2.6 mg
Vitamin C – 6 mg
Fibre – 2.4%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.2%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Carbohydrates – 12.3%Calorific Value – 67

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Ginger

Ginger is being used as medicine in India from Vedic period and is called Mahaaushidhi, meaning the great medicine. Ancient physicians used ginger as a carminative and anti fermenting medicine. Galen, the Greek physician, used ginger as a medicine to rectify the defective humors of the body. He used ginger in the treatment of paralysis caused by phlegmatic imbalance in the body. Aviceena, another Greek physician used it as an aphrodisiac. Pomose, yet another Greek physician also used ginger in the treatment of gout centuries ago.

Ginger is now widely used in local medicines in India and the far East. Taken internally, it is a stimulating carminative and locally it is used as a rubefacient and counter irritant. Like many other spices, ginger is believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
The ginger yields an essential oil, but this lacks the pungent principle, it is used in the manufacture of flavoring essence and in perfumery An oleoresin – i.e. mixture of oil and resin – is also extracted, in which the full pungency of the spice is preserved; it is used for flavoring and also for medicinal purposes.

  1. Digestive System Disorders:- Ginger is a valuable drug for disorders of the digestive system. It is extremely useful in dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, vomiting, spasms and other painful affections of the stomach and the bowels. Chewing a piece of fresh ginger after meals regularly is an insurance against these ailments. This protective action is attributable to excessive secretion of saliva, distaste enzyme and volatile oil.
    Half a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, mixed with one teaspoonful of each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice and a tablespoonful of honey, constitutes an effective medicine for dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting due. to a biliousness, indigestion caused by intake of heavy non-vegetarian and fried fatty food, morning sickness, jaundice and piles. This mixture should be sucked thrice daily in the treatment of these conditions.
  2. Cough and Cold:- Ginger is an excellent remedy for coughs and colds. Extracted juice of ginger with honey should be taken three or four times a day in case of coughs. In case of colds, ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then’ be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it It should be drunk while hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds and for fevers resulting from cold
  3. Respiratory Disorders:- A teaspoonful of the fresh ginger juice mixed with a cupful of fenugreek decoction and honey to taste is an excellent diaphoratic mixture which increases sweating to reduce fever in influenza. It acts as an expectorant in bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough and tuberculosis of the lungs.
  4. Aches and Pains:- Ginger is an excellent pain killer. It can cure all types of pain. In headache, ginger ointment made by rubbing dry ginger with a little water and applied to the forehead affords relief. It allays tooth ache when applied to the face. In case of earache, a few drops of ginger juice will give relief.
  5. Sexual Debility:- Ginger juice is a valuable aphrodisiac. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of sexual weakness For better results, half a teaspoon of ginger juice should be taken with a half-boiled egg and honey, once, daily at night for a month. It tones up the sex centres and cures impotency, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea.
  6. Menstrual Disorders:- Ginger is also useful in menstrual disorders. A piece of fresh ginger should be pounded and boiled in a,cupful of water for few minutes. The infusion sweetened with sugar should be taken thrice daily after meals as a medicine for dysmenorrhoea, and amenorrhoea due to exposure to cold winds and taking cold bath

Uses of Ginger

In western countries, it is widely used for culinary purposes in gingerbread, biscuits, cakes, puddings, soups and pickles. But it is used as curry powder all over the world. Ginger is the most widely-used spice in Chinese cookery. It is used in the production of ginger beer, ginger ale and ginger wine. It was formerly much used for spicing wines, possets and porter, the last one often being stirred with a red-hot poker

Garlic – Natural Benefits and Uses


Botanical Name :: Allium salivum

Indian Name :: Lahasoon


The garlic, a garden vegetable of the onion family, has been cultivated from time immemorial. It has been variously described as a food, a herb, a medicinal plant, an antiseptic a beauty accessory and a magical antidote to evil by various people at different times throughout the ages.

Garlic is an important condiment crop. It is an erect biennial herb normally grown as an annual i.e. a plant that only lasts for an year. It has adventitious roots and condensed, flattened stem and narrow, flat leaves. The bulb consists of 6 to 35 bulb lets called cloves which are enclosed in a thin whitish, glistering and transparent covering.

Origin and Distribution

The garlic is believed to have originated in Central of Asia and was known to the Chinese as early as 3,000 BC. It continues to be one of the regular items of China’s diet even today. Garlic was being grown in ancient China, Egypt, Greece and Rome and was used both as a staple food and a medicine for several ailments. It spread to all parts of the world and is now widely grown in India, Philippines, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Brazil and Mexico.

Food Value of Garlic

Garlic has been held in high esteem for its health building qualities for centuries all over the world. Khnoum Khoufouf, the builder of one of the oldest pyramids, (4500 BC ) was among the first to recognize the true virtues of garlic for he decreed that all his workers should take garlic every day so that they could maintain their health and strength.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine (460-357 BC), who taught and practiced in ancient Athens, recommended the use of this vegetable in infectious diseases and particularly prescribed it in intestinal disorders.
An analysis of garlic shows it to contain high percentage of minerals and vitamins. It also contains traces of iodine, sulphur and chlorine.


Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 62.0%Calcium – 30 mg
Protein – 6.3%Phosphorus – 310 mg
Fat – 0.1%Iron – 1.3 mg
Vitamin C – 13 mg
Fibre – 0.8%Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 1.0%* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Carbohydrates – 29.8%Calorific Value – 145

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Garlic

In herbal medicine, garlic has been traditionally used for such ailments as asthma, deafness, leprosy, bronchial congestion, arteriosclerosis, fevers, worms and liver and gall bladder troubles. Babhet, an eminent Ayurvedic authority, is of the opinion that garlic is good for the heart, a food for the hair, a stimulant to appetite, a strengthening food, useful in leucoderma, leprosy, piles, worms, Catarrhal disorders, asthma and cough.

Clinical experiments in recently. times have confirmed several ancient ideas about healing’ value of this vegetable. These experiments have in fact shown much greater power of garlic than known previously The unpleasant odour in garlic, which constitutes its unpleasant feature and a serious social handicap, has been traced to its sulphur content. This mineral is contained to a greater degree in it’s volatile oil, which has marvelous therapeutic value. According to Dr. M.W. McDuffie of the Metropolitan Hospital, New York, “Garlic contains a volatile oil, called allyl sulphade, and its medical properties depend on this oil, strongly antiseptic, it seems to have a remarkable power of inhibiting the growth of the Koch’s bacillus, eliminated by the lungs, skin, kidneys and Liver, and oxidizes into sulphuric acid in the system. Applied locally, it is freely absorbed by the skin and penetrates the deeper tissues. Garlic gave us our best results, and would seem equally efficacious, no matter what part of the body affected, whether skin, bones, glands, lungs or special parts”.

Thus, garlic is regarded as a rejuvenetor.1t has been found to help remove toxins, revitalize the blood, stimulate blood circulation and normalize intestinal flora. Garlic juice has a most beneficial effect on the entire system. The ethers in garlic juice are so potent and penetrating that they help to dissolve accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavities, in the. bronchial tubes and in the lungs. They help the exudation of toxins from the body through the pores of the skin.

  1. Chest Diseases:- Garlic has proved to be highly effective in certain diseases of the chest. It has been found to reduce fetidity of the breath in pulmonary gangrene. Dr. McDuffie advocated the use of garlic in tuberculosis of the lungs, Dr. F. W. Crosman once said that if garlic were given in sufficient quantities, it was a marvelous remedy in the treatment of pneumonia. This physician used garlic for many years in pneumonia, and said that in no instance did it fail to bring down the temperature, as well as the pulse and respiration, within 48 hours. Garlic can also be applied externally to the chest with beneficial results as it is an irritant and rubefacient.
    In Ayurveda, a decoction of garlic boiled in milk is considered a wonderful drug for tuberculosis. One gram of garlic, 240 ml of milk and 1 litre of water are boiled together till only one .fourth of the decoction remains. It should be taken thrice in the day.
  2. Asthma:- Three cloves of garlic boiled in milk, can be used every night with excellent results in asthma. A pod of garlic is peeled and macerated and boiled in 120m!. of pure malt-vinegar. After cooling it is strained and equal quantity of honey is mixed and preserved in a clean bottle. One or two teaspoons of this syrup taken with fenugreek decoction once in the evening and before retiring, has been found effective in reducing the severity of asthmatic attacks.
  3. Digestive System Disorders:- Garlic is one of the most beneficial foods for the digestive system. It exercises a beneficial effect on the lymph, aids in elimination of noxious waste matter in the body. It stimulates peristaltic action and the secretion of the digestive juices. Crushed cloves of garlic may be infused in water or milk and taken for all types of disorders of the digestion. It has an antiseptic effect and is an excellent remedy for infectious diseases and inflammations of the stomach and intestine. The oil of garlic is absorbed into the alimentary tract and is eliminated partly through the urine.
    Garlic produces a very marked effects on the intestine. It is an excellent agent as a worm expeller. It has also a soothing effect on the various forms of diarrhea. Problems such as colitis, dysentery and many other intestinal upsets can be successfully treated with fresh garlic or garlic capsules One garlic capsule taken three times a day is usually sufficient to correct mild cases of diarrhea or dysentery. For more persistent cases, up to six capsules a day can be taken. Garlic has the ability to destroy harmful bacteria in the intestines without affecting the beneficial organisms which aid digestion.
  4. High Blood Pressure:- Garlic is regarded as one of the most effective remedies to lower blood pressure. The pressure and tension are reduced because it has the power to ease the spasm of the small arteries. It also slows the pulse and modifies the heart rhythm, besides relieving the symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath and the formation of gas within the digestive track As these days garlic capsules are available with the chemist shops, the average dosage of two to three capsules a day to be given to make a dent in the blood pressure. Dr. F.G Piotrowski, working at the University of Geneva, used garlic on 100 patients suffering from abnormally high blood pressure. In about 40 per cent of the cases treated, there was a significant reduction in blood pressure within one week of the treatment. Dr. Piotrowski claimed that garlic had a dilatory effect on the blood vessels, that is, it had the effect of making the blood vessels wider, thereby reducing the pressure.
  5. Rheumatic Affliction:- In Russia garlic is used extensively in the treatment of rheumatism and associated diseases. In Britain also garlic is recommended to rheumatic sufferers. Recent experiments in Japan tested a garlic extract on patients with lumbago and arthritis and a large number of them were benefited without any undesirable side-effects Garlic has been shown to exhibit an anti-inflammatory property which could account for its effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
    The most popular method is to take the garlic cloves orally, although some reports indicate that pain can also be relieved by locally rubbing the affected parts with cloves of cut garlic. Garlic oil is rapidly absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream and quickly reaches the affected areas.
  6. Heart Attacks:- In a recent study, a West German doctor claims that garlic may prevent heart attacks. Professor Hams Reuter of Cologne University says that there is proof that garlic helps break up cholesterol in the blood vessels, thus helping in the prevention of hardening of arthritis which leads to high blood pressure and heart attacks. If a patient takes garlic after a heart attack, the cholesterol level will come down. The earlier damage may not be repaired but its consumption will minimize the chances of new attacks.
  7. Cancer:- Garlic preparations, including extracts and juices, have been used successfully against cancer in both animal and human. studies, says Dr. Paavo Airola, a ‘naturopathic physician and nutritionist A study report tells of mice being infected with cancer cells, some of which were then treated with garlic extract and some were not The mice not given garlic died within ]6 days the other mice lived for six months. And recent studies done in Russia have found garlic preparations to retard tumor growth not only in animals, but also in human beings.
  8. Skin Disorders:- Garlic has also been used successfully for a variety of skin disorders Pimples disappear without scar when rubbed with raw garlic several times a day. Even very persistent form of acne, suffered by some adults, has also been healed with garlic. The external use of garlic helps to clear the skin of spots and pimple! and boils. The process is further helped by taking the garlic orally also, to purify the blood-steam so as to secure a long term clearance of the skin. A regular course of three garlic capsules per day should help to clear minor skin infections quickly.
  9. Wounds and Ulcers:- Garlic has been used as an antiseptic in wounds and ulcerations with beneficial results. Garlic juice with three parts of distilled water has been employed as a lotion for cleansing infected wounds. Definite improvement is noticed within 24 hours and substantial improvement within 48 hours.6 Application of dressing containing ]5 per cent garlic juice once a day over an ulcer removes pus in a few days. It also relieves pain within a short time. Russian physicians are making extensive use of garlic in the healing of wounds.
  10. Diphtheria:- Garlic is considered an excellent remedy for diphtheria. Its constant application by chewing a clove of garlic removes the membranes, reduces temperature and relieves the patient. About 30 or 60 gm’s. of garlic can be used in this way in three or four hours for a week After the membrane disappears. the same quantity of garlic should be chewed daily. The diphtheria patient has no taste or smell and merely finds the garlic hot.
  11. Whooping Cough:- Garlic is an excellent remedy for whooping cough. Syrup of garlic should be given in doses of five drops to a teaspoonful two or three times a day in this condition. It should be given more often if the coughing spells are frequent and violent.
  12. Sexual Debility :- Garlic is a natural and harmless aphrodisiac. Even Dr. Robinson, an eminent sexologist of America considers it so. It is a tonic ,for loss of sexual power from any cause, sexual debility. impotency from over indulgence in sex and nervous exhaustion from dissipating habit. It is said to be especially useful to old men of high nervous tension and diminishing sexual power.

Uses of Garlic

Garlic like onions, leeks, and various garden flower belongs to the plant of genus called Allium. Garlic is the most widely used of the cultivated alliums after onions. It is used both as a food and seasoning. it is, however, extensively used as flavoring and ,seasoning in the preparation of soups, sauces and pickles. In Spain and Italy it is used in combination with almost every food.