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Understanding Spice Oils

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

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Known as the true essence of spices, spice oil is a component of spices which gives them their characteristic taste, aroma and other properties. Indian cuisines chiefly comprises of masalas - a very vital ingredient of all our recipes which add two chief characteristics of spices - smell and flavour. In the absence of these characteristics, our food will have absolutely no personality. Along with these tangible benefits for palate, spices also have inherent healing properties which can benefit our well-being immensely. The natural spice oils or oleoresins in the spices are responsible for all of these benefits.

The wonders of spice oils

A spice oil has a complete flavour profile of the specific spice. It constitutes the volatile as well as the non-volatile elements of the spice. Here are 5 fabulous spice oils proffering remarkable health benefits:

• Cinnamon Bark Oil - Cinnamon oil is known to perk up metabolism and banish fatigue and tiredness.

• Clove Oil - Clove has powerful antioxidant properties which it imparts to the spice oil. It is also a potent anti-microbial agent.

• Coriander Oil – Radish Its antifungal and detoxifying helps tackle bacteria around your sweat glands and helps you deal with unpleasant breath.

• Cumin Oil – It improves blood cholesterol and helps in digestion.

• Fennel Oil - Fennel is a gastrointestinal tract booster. It promotes a healthy metabolism, peps up liver function, and encourages good digestion. It helps battle gastric discomfort, flatulence and nausea rather well.

• Black Pepper Oil - An antioxidant, black pepper protects your body from free radicals.

• Ginger Oil - Ginger oil contains the brilliant goodness of gingerols; it allays most gastric complaints and helps tackle bloating, gaseous distension, and nausea.

While these spice oils, by themselves, can act as home remedies, another way to avail the benefits is ensuring that masalas and spices powders that you use during cooking have their spice oils intact. Many a times, natural spice oils are extracted leaving behind what’s known as the ‘spent’ Masalas which are then used to make spice blends such as ‘garam masala’, pav bhaji masala and so on. It is a common practice to sell the extracted oil is sold separately.

To make sure that the masalas that you use in your food are not only tasty but also nutritious, pick spices from the Tata Sampann range that have their natural oils intact preserving their properties. These spices are made from superior quality raw material and are full of natural spice oils guaranteeing freshness, taste and aroma along with substantial nutritional benefits.

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