Spices are integral part of kitchen since ages and it also possesses medicinal values. For the administration of any medicine, Ayurveda delineates certain guidelines like examination of Prakriti (individual constitution), Agni (digestive capacity), Dosha (individual humors) etc., and also mentioned cautious use of certain medicines to ensure the optimum and safe use. Spices are being used as immune-boosting measures in todays pandemic scenario, but inadvertent use of spices as medicine may show an unintended impact on the body. In this review, an attempt is made to critically analyze the possible adverse effects mentioned for medicinal plants which are used as spices and decipher the concern of Ayurveda, to utilize these spices more appropriately. There are 52 spices listed as per the Spices Board India and identified total 31 medicinal plants which are used as spices in Indian kitchen as well as home remedies from 06 Nighantu. Collected data was again searched for reported adversities on different search engines and reports 26 plants with evidence of possible side effects. Furthermore, fundamental principles of Ayurveda were discussed to utilize these spices more appropriately, to get the maximum benefit from it and to avoid any possible side effect. This signifies the importance of cautious use of spices and need of seeking advice of the Ayurvedic physician prior to consume spices as medicine.
Key words: Ayurveda; Garam Masala; Nighantu; Adverse effect; Covid-19; Home remedies.