A spicy route to beauty

spices for beauty

Beauty is a way of life. And so is food that in fact is the basis of life. But food is so much more than mere sustenance- it indeed is as much relevant in its trail of taste and its appeasement of the sense, which makes it an exploration in beauty itself. What we might be wanting to deliver through such analogies of cuisine and aesthetics might not be very clear immediately. But behind this deliberate seeming drawing of similarities lies a premise of commonality that lends itself impeccably to food and through that assertion, and even otherwise also to fancied covetments of beauty.

Food is made at least in part by what goes into it and one of the prime components of many forms of preparation that we relish in all their amazing flavours happens to be a versatile mix of ingredient collectively categorised as spice. But spices do not add just zing to food that is what makes even the most boring of dishes come to reside in a scrumptious life of their own. The working of these choicest sprinklings of nature also does wonders for the human body, both in maintaining health and radiating beauty, which is what we intend to dwell at length today so that these secret ingredients of food burst forth in all their evident glory as pursuers of beauty as well.

Spice range from mildly aromatic to richly fragrant, some subtly evocating the most sublime of flavours while others assert themselves in such deliverance of pungency that lingers long after the physical culinary experience has subsided. In lending a uniqueness to food in their own way, this coveted curation of the epicurean is therefore a trifle some dash of exoticness making the food range a delight in diversity. Equally diverse and delightful are the workings of these many a spices upon the human physical range as well, manifesting therefore as as vital an element of wellness as it is an ingredient in cuisines.

Cardamom

The queen of spices, cardamom is known for its mild aroma and intense flavour, dwelling on this scale of balances to lend a unique characteristic to every dish it finds its way into. Equally revving up of savoury preparations as it is of sweet treats, and of course spicing up to perfection that evening elixir of the chai, cardamom is as functional across the realm of beauty. Be it your skin or hair, this royal indeed stemming of beauty itself is a blessing in pretty disguise. Rich in antioxidants and a range of micronutrients while being an excellent source of dietary fiber, cardamom lends itself to the human need in every essence of its being.

The antimicrobial properties of cardamom helps keep skin infections at bay as does its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties in calming the skin and soothing any irritation caused to it. Potent in its antibacterial properties as well is what makes cardamom an effective treatment for skin allergies. Add to it the Vitamin C richness of the spice that works as antioxidant and helps efficient circulation of blood in the body and you are literally consuming a wonder pill that has you radiating from within. Even your lips can benefit from the queen of spices herself, helping as it does in healing chapped lips as a natural lip balm of sorts.

Not content with its working along the range of the skin, cardamom goes a step further to unleash also its amazingness across the length of your hair. Black cardamom make for an excellent treatment to fight common hair problems like dandruff and hair loss while also promoting hair health by working along the scalp of the head. An excellent detoxifier as well is cardamom in its large, black variety that helps flush out impurities from the body through its consumption.

Saffron

Another of the most exotic and pretty indeed explorations of the spice route leads us on the exquisitely elegant trail of the saffron, also among the most expensive of its kind in the world. Royal indeed in its luxurious hue that imbues every dish it ventures into with just a few strands of offering is this fragrant and flavourful feature in flair that is something as efficiently utilised within the beauty realms as well.

Much like cardamom, saffron is also an antibacterial and anti inflammatory presence in itself which makes it ideal a choice to cancel out skin woes like breakouts. Saffron is healing as well, making it a prime charting of beauty endeavours that celebrate the blemish free and scarless glow of the face and skin. And much like its own resplendent glow, saffron helps the skin reside in its natural radiance by effectively fighting the adverse effects of external factors like pollution and harsh weather.

But perhaps the most sought after benefit of saffron for which it has been prized since ancient times is its exemplary clearing and lightening of the skin that helps improve complexion. Making even for an effective remedy for suntan is this skin lightening property of saffron that though also works in such capacities as toning and exfoliating the skin. A wholesome beauty regimen in itself, saffron weaves its strands of magic in such hairy assertions as preventing hair loss and promoting growth while repairing damaged hair and nourishing the scalp and purifying the pores of it.

Black Pepper

Pepper might not be as likely a spice to strike as being the King of the world it emerges from but its exalted status as being the ‘black gold’ makes it indeed the most regal of spicy identities. Whether it be its use across a range of cuisines the world over or its distinction as the first among all spices to be traded, pepper is a wonder ingredient indeed.

Noted in its strong pungency that which imparts a classic flavour to food and widely hailed for its potency in fighting colds and coughs while being soothing in an unexpected way, pepper might be too ‘harsh’ for it to emerge as an aid to beauty. But it indeed is the remarkable versatility of the black gold that harbours anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties much like his beauty queen cardamom, emphasising therefore its own along the realms of the aesthetics. Helping with offsetting typical breakout and acne problems is this particular spice that offers itself also in such distinction of possessing anti aging properties. Loaded with antioxidants, pepper helps fight free radicals thereby impeding the appearance of fine line and wrinkles and even reversing their occurrence so that you continue to reside under the fountain of youth.

The inherent qualities of pepper no doubt make it a helpful charting out of beauty benefits. But it also is the texture of this rounded spice that renders it as physical a means to achieving attributes of the aesthetics. An excellent exfoliator can be black pepper when incorporated into scrubs, helping you get rid of impurities deep seated in the skin pores and in removing dead skin cells, leaving you glowing in clean and radiant beauty. Equally beneficial can be black pepper in aiding oral and hair health making it an allrounder whether seated in the kitchen pantry or at the dressing table across the beauty parlour.

Turmeric

The golden spice that it is in both radiance and relevance, it is no wonder that the gilded benefits of turmeric work across all strata of the human existence. The many assortment of properties that turmeric harbours is what makes it so often encountered an ingredient of the culinary world, whether in flavorful or nutritional workings of it. But consider also the fact that this striking hued appearance in utter commonness along the entire expanse of the Indian food experience bodes more than enough importance to effectively assert prominence even in the auspicious arena of marriages in the country and you would know for sure that turmeric is far from being just another spice fancied by foodie folks.

A superfood in itself and therefore encompassing of far more benefits already than one can envision, in fact offering an entire world of its own exemplary might so much so that we have an entire profile of its golden goodness, turmeric also is as aesthetically pleasing and assertive still an identity in itself. It’s no surprise hence that this glowing spice helps also lesser mortals achieve their own standards of beauty through availing of its natural natural antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, whether in consumption or in application. Known to be a natural cleanser and moisturiser, turmeric’s ability to favourably affect hair growth and texture while promoting as well a healthy scalp is also among the many beauty attributes of it.

Star Anise

Star Anise
Source: Dailyhunt

Star anise might not be among the most extensively used of spices within the food realm. But the pretty picture that it paints in its very namesake starshaped identity that also unveils as a floral flourish of beauty is what allows it not to lose prominence among the medley of the other spice ingredients. A pleasantly warm and aromatic spice, star anise though is known for its antioxidant protection and minor astringent properties. Preventing acne, cell damage, dark spots, and wrinkles are the rather common grounds in which star anise works its magic. The mane of gorgeousness sitting atop your head is another area of ruling for this agent of beauty that it helps to lubricate and repair while nourishing the scalp and promoting hair growth.

Clove

Another spice that stands out as much in its distinctive appearance as in its zesty essence is the subtly sweet flavoured but intensely aromatic clove which interestingly is a dried flower stemming. While its use across the culinary console sees the spice retain its form in the process of cooking by which measure it ends up imparting its flavour to the final preparation even while not being a physical part of it, its translation within the beatific boundaries most essential takes the form of an oil. An anti ageing agent, a cure for yeast infections, a healer of scars and a treatment for scars and breakout including aiding the removal of skin tags and warts, the myriad ways in which clove oil benefits the skin are as significant as those of any other spice.

Additionally, clove oil is an effective remedy to bid goodbye to those stubborn dark circles that make their home in the area around the eyes, making for a very apparent distraction of beauty. Another form in which clove lends itself to the beauty pursuit of humans is by undergoing the grind of emerging as a powder instead that makes for a good hair conditioner. The spice though retains its most prominent oily avatar in working across other aspects of haircare as fighting hair loss and removing dandruff as well.

Bay Leaf

It might be difficult to characterise bay leaf as a culinary ingredient of being purely the spice type or rather being a herb kind instead. Catering to both realms in capacities of some kind, this leafy addition in everything from curries and biryanis to desserts and chais though steps up rather the whole flavor profile of everything it ends up spicing. For the skin though, bay leaves tend to be moisturising and rejuvenating, while delivering also the benefits of its antiseptic, antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

From easing acne and lightening skin tone to reducing skin puffiness without draining out its moisture and in relieving allergies, bay leaf is sufficiently effective a beauty remedy in itself. Also capable of endowing sparkling whiteness on your teeth and also harbouring more than enough potential to banish lice and ticks off of your head are these leaffuls of flavour that elevate your food and intensify your beauty just as adeptly.