On a recent holiday to Goa, we visited Atreya Vedic Farm — a 36 acre spice plantation situated at the foothills of the Western Ghats at Molem. During the visit we spoke with owner and environmental activist, Nirmala Sawant, and received a guided tour from Gulzar, where we were told of the benefits of using natural remedies.

The farm has existed for 8 years and as well as being a supplier, it hosts tours and meditation retreats. The message is one of making the planet greener for a better tomorrow and it promotes using natural remedies rather than prescribed medicine — our guide, Gulzar, told us that he hadn’t been to a doctor for over 20 years.

We learnt a lot at Atreya Vedic Farm and following our visit, here’s a list of 8 common spices with details of what they can be used to heal and how:

Black Pepper

  1. Indigestion: 1/4 tablespoon of ground pepper and ground cumin mixed in thin buttermilk.
  2. Loss of appetite: Make a drink with honey and black pepper and take for a few days.
  3. Cough and cold: Pepper powder boiled in milk with a pinch of turmeric powder and take for a few days.
  4. Muscular pains: Fry a tablespoon or pepper powder in sesame oil until it’s charred. Apply ointment for mylalgia and rheumatic pains.


  1. Toothache: Crush a whole clove slightly and place on the gum where the toothache is located.
  2. Nausea and heartburn: Chewing on a clove from time to time is the best breath mint ever and keeps nausea and heartburn away.
  3. Hypertension: Regularly chewing on cloves for at least six weeks or more can help reduce hypertension.


  1. Cuts and wounds: Apply turmeric paste to cut or wound.
  2. Burns: Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric with 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel and apply to burnt area.
  3. Strong bones: Sprinkle a bit of turmeric with honey (optional) on cuts, bruises or scrapes after a thorough wash as the anti-bacterial action will prevent wound infections.
  4. Arthritis: Warm cup of milk. Before it boils, remove it from the heat and add in 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder. Stir and drink. This can be done up to 3 times per day.
  5. Insomnia: Mix 1 teaspoon in hot milk and add honey (optional).
  6. In addition, turmeric is an anticancer and has prevented breast cancer from spreading to lungs in mice. It is a natural liver detoxifier and is a blood purifier. It also prevents and slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque build up in the brain.


  1. Blood sugar levels: Apply cinnamon powder and honey on bread and this will help control blood sugar levels.
  2. Bad breath: Add half a teaspoon to a glass of water and use as mouthwash.
  3. Cold and flu: Mix with ginger in tea to ease cold and flu symptoms.
  4. Skin infections: Apply honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected area, it cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.


  1. Acne: Grind 2-3 nutmeg seeds and a little milk to make a paste and apply to affected areas.
  2. Chesty cough: Make a paste of nutmeg powder with nutmeg, flour and water. Cover a cotton cloth with the paste and apply to the chest.

Cumin Seeds

  1. Digestive disorders: Boil 1 cup of water and remove from the heat before adding 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of fresh coriander and a pinch of salt. Allow the tea to steep 20 minutes before drinking. Take this natural medicine after meals.
  2. Insomnia: Mix 1 teaspoon of cumin seed powder and the pulp of a ripe banana and eat before bed.
  3. Sore throat and cough: Boil 1 cup of water and remove from heat before adding 1 teaspoon of cumin and a large slice of ginger.
  4. Skin irritations: Add a bit of onion juice to cumin powder to make a paste and apply to boils, bites, bee stings and even scorpion stings to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Fennel Seeds

  1. Fever: A mix of fennel seeds (5gms) and dried ginger can be administered effectively to treat the disease.
  2. Cough: Powdered fennel seeds can be administered with crystal sugar to treat coughs.
  3. Memory: Fennel seeds (2-3grms) consumed with honey before sleeping at night can help improve memory retention.

Mustard Seeds

  1. Sore throat: Mix mustard with some lemon juice, a spoon of salt, honey and half a cup of hot water. Let the solution settle for about 10 minutes. Gargle until your throat clears.
  2. Facial: Spread a thin layer of mustard throughout your face. Let it settle for a few minutes then rinse. After rinsing, your face will be smoother and you will have a healthy glow.
  3. Tired feet: Mix 2 spoons of mustard with hot water in a pan or basin. Soak your feet in the solution for about half an hour, which is enough time to drown your foot aches and pains.

In a fast paced modern world we are often quick to take man made prescription drugs and do not consider the abundance of natural remedies the earth has to offer. Perhaps when you’re next ill you may try one of the natural solutions in this article? Wishing you good health — from all at La Vida Liverpool.


Please note that La Vida Liverpool and Justin Hopper hold no qualifications to give medical advice and those with health issues should consult a doctor

Information courtesy of Atreya Vedic Farm

Images courtesy of Amanda Toovey

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