Indian spices are renowned all over the world because of their medicinal values and use in curry based dishes and beverages. These include pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds, cloves and motley of other indigenous varieties which are part of Indian household. Surprisingly, spices played a pivotal role in steering the course of history.
The fragrance of these spices, attracted the mercantile traders from the shores of Europe to India. The most popular spice was the pepper, which was grown on the hills of southern India. Pepper was used for storing meat and other food items during long temperate winters of Europe. India was the sole supplier to meet this requirement, so much so that India had become sink of gold on account of spice trade.
Times changed and Ottoman Turks blocked the land route for trade. As the adage goes necessity is the mother of all inventions, which led to host of sea voyages in search of sea route to India. Most historians agree that Europe may not have seen the crest of its civilization growth had it not been dependent on Indian Spices which led them find new colonies and superior navigation.
These spices have become medium of Indian soft power as the curry restaurants in Europe are now even a bigger employer than iron and steel industry. It is these spices which now find utilization in medicine like turmeric, cloves in toothpaste and host of it in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian form of medicine. So next time you see spice in your supermarket, you will know that it traces its genetic roots to India.