Ever walked past an Indian kitchen where a meal is being prepared? The fragrant aromatic spices fill up your senses in a span of a few seconds, isn’t it? The importance of herbs and spices in Indian kitchens is immense and we cannot imagine our lives without them. We have been using a variety of masalas for seasoning, spicing up food, and adding colour, besides deriving health and wellness benefits from them. Whatever the reason, spices are indeed the heart and soul of our culinary culture. Our country also called the 'spice bowl' of the world, is one of the largest importers of majestic masalas on earth. Among many such spices that we produce and export to many parts of the world, one rare but flavourful is the black stone flower. Also known as Chharila, Patthar phool, Kalpasi, or Dagad phool, it is used in Indian kitchens for various culinary uses.
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Not a flower per se, this herb comes under the flower category because of its appearance. From the lichen family of the plant kingdom, the black Stone flower is a soft black mildew variety that imparts a woody aroma and an edible fungus that grows on rocks and stones at higher altitudes, hence the name stone flower. The plant possesses health-befitting active components along with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that can provide relief against pain and inflammation. In culinary uses, this dense-coloured spice enhances the colour and the flavour of any food to which it is added. A very popular ingredient in non-vegetarian cooking, specifically meat preparations, it is used in the roasted form as well.
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Health Benefits Of Black Stone Flower
Here are the following health benefits this fragrant spice holds:
- It helps to cure inflammation caused by arthritis
- Reduces LDL cholesterol levels
- Alleviates the disorders of upper respiratory tract infections
- Augments wound healing process
- Promotes healthy functioning of the kidneys
- Strengthens the digestive system
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In case you may want to add this sassy spice to your beauty routine apart from cooking, in the form of powder, as an essential oil, or as flower extract, foray into this infographic to know how: