Indian spices experience well-established reputations for their nutraceutical efficacy. These spices are a hidden treasure of numerous therapeutic components and are helpful for therapy against various health disorders. Moreover, these possess pharmacological and prebiotic activities. The healing qualities of spices have caught the attention of the nutraceuticals industry.
Objectives: The main objectives of the study were:
. To ascertain the efficient and effective usage of common Indian spices as a complete and promising functional food
.To assess the antioxidant capacity of various spices to combat ageing
Methodology: Extracts of seventeen commonly used Indian spices namely bay leaves, black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, clove, cumin, curry leaves, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mint, mustard, nutmeg, onion and turmeric were prepared by steam distillation process and assessed for their antioxidant activity on copper induced in vitro protein oxidation. An extensive survey was conducted on the usage of the selected spices as medicine during various disorders by the local community of Kurukshetra.
Results/Findings: The tested spices were found to be rich in antioxidant sources. Maximum inhibition was observed with the extracts of mustard, cumin, turmeric, fennel, coriander and mint. Turmeric, fennel and mint inhibited the in vitro oxidation process completely even at 50 percent dilution. Inhibitory ratio observed with cinnamon, curry leaves, bay leaves, fenugreek seeds and black pepper was 30-35 percent. Diluted extracts of cinnamon and black pepper were ineffective to prevent oxidation of BSA in the assay. Ginger and onion had exhibited very low inhibitory ratio. Inclusion of green cardamom, nutmeg, clove and garlic had not shown any protection against oxidation.
Conclusion/Recommendations: Being a repository of medicinal benefits, the therapeutic potential of these spices may further be explored and exploited to develop new formulations.