Asafoetida or hing is the dried gum extracted from rhizome or tap root of plants belonging to Ferula species. It is mainly available in Iran, Afghanistan and cultivated in India. Its strong fetid odour is the reason for the name Asafoetida. It gives a pleasant flavour when cooked in dishes or when used in seasoning, for which even powdered form of hing can be used.
Diabetic patients experience a dilemma about consuming fruits. The reason behind this is many fruits are high in glycaemic index (sugar concentration) and may increase blood sugar level. Maintaining blood sugar level in normal limits is a big task for diabetes patients. A little change in food quantity and quality may lead to fluctuation of sugar levels in blood.
Coconut is known as Narilkela in Ayurveda. This fruit is eulogised in texts of Ayurveda for its cooling properties. Coconut pacifies different doshas at different stages of its ripening. Usually fully ripe coconut pacifies pitta and vata.
Vidanga or Embelia Ribes belongs to Family Myrsinaceae. It is a large semi climber shrub with long drooping branches. Leaves simple and their upper surface is shiny. The flowers are greenish white. The fruits are globular and wrinkled, grayish berries, become dark brown when ripe.
Kokilakasha or Asteracantha Longifolia is a small thorny herb which grows to 2-4 feet height. The flowers are purple in colour and have orange streaks. The seeds of this plant are red in colour and when kept in mouth feel sticky and slippery. It usually grows in marshy areas where water is available. It can be found near ponds, paddy fields etc.
Ginger is a very well-known spice. It is used in almost all cuisines around the world. Texts of Ayurveda immensely price the medicinal properties of ginger. Ginger is used in two forms- raw or dry. Raw ginger is called “Aardraka” and dry ginger is called “Shunti”.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a spice which is used globally. It belongs to zinziberaceae family. It is also known as lesser cardamom for its small size. It’s a shrub with lots of leaves. The plant of cardamom is a perennial herb containing reed like structure. It is 3-4 meters in height and three to four years old plant bears fruits. Various Sanskrit names have been coined which represent its features and origin.
Bhringaraj (Eclipta Alba) also known as “maaka” belongs to compositae family. It is small shrub which grows up to 1 foot. It bears white coloured flowers. It grows all over India in places where there is plenty of water supply.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus ) Belongs to family Liliaceae and grows throughout Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and the Himalayas. It is a climber which grows up to 2 meters. It is also known by other Sanskrit names Shataveerya, Bahusutha, and Atirasa.