In order to promote and uplift spice growing and spice gardens of Sri Lanka a spice council was established with all key industry private and public sector stakeholders. This Spice Council has encouraged the Department of Export Agriculture to improve and extend the reach, of their extension service to the producers to improve Production and Productivity of spice gardens of Sri Lanka. Their efforts are now bearing fruit and likely to see the results in 2008 from spice gardens of Sri Lanka. It has also started a reward scheme for farmers who undertake better agronomic practices in spice gardens of Sri Lanka.
The Spice Council has assisted to set up a model Good Manufacturing Processing Centre for Cinnamon in Kosgoda, a spice garden of Sri Lanka. This is a first of its kind in Cinnamon in the world.
The Spice Council has also set up a Model Spice Processing and Training Unit in Gallekoluwa, a spice garden of Sri Lanka in a remote village in Matale. The farmers have been collectivised into a Company with investments from them as well as the Spice Council. The total investment by TCP of USAID was Rs. 1.8 million.
Internet facilities have been provided and these farmers are able to obtain International Pepper Community prices online from the spice gardens of Sri Lanka.
The Spice Council has been working with GTZ Value Chain Promotion Component to document the detailed Value chains of Cinnamon and Pepper in spice gardens of Sri Lanka with the assistance of all stakeholders in the last year. The Spice Council has addressed some of the constraints that have been identified. The Spice Council was also assisted by GTZ in developing the standards for Good Agricultural Practices for cinnamon and pepper grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka. The Spice Council has also worked with GTZ Promotion of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development on a proposal of the Spice Council to establish a Cinnamon Training Academy.
From both the task force and cluster reports it was clearly evident that Sri Lanka will not be a mass producer of spice like India, Vietnam and Indonesia. Therefore as a strategy to attract export market the Spice Council encourage the farmers of spice gardens of Sri Lanka to undertake value addition and target niche markets. As a result of these efforts the Spice Council obtained membership of the American Spice Traders Association and was invited to make a presentation on Spices from spice gardens of Sri Lanka at their centenary celebrations in California.
Jointly with the Tourism Cluster and TCP, The Spice Council arranged for a team of food writers and chefs from United States to visit Sri Lanka to savour Sri Lankan food based on spices from spice gardens of Sri Lanka to write and promote in the United States, Ceylon Spices, culinary experience and the hospitality industry. Most of these programmes were supported by the TSC of USAID on cost share basis.
The Industry have successfully bifurcated Cinnamon from Cassia in the World Customs Organisation’s Harmonised Code. Credit for this success should go the Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Customs and the cinnamon industry stakeholders. The Spice Council has obtained membership of the European Spice Association and attended their annual sessions The Spice Council has also been invited to join the International Organization of Spice Trade Associations (IOSTA). Most of the spices and herbs available in spice gardens of Sri Lanka have many medicinal uses. Most of the herbs in spice gardens of Sri Lanka, commonly used as cooking spices are also digestive aids. These Spices and herbs grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka can also be used as beverages. Beverages may be made from the dried leaves and stems of many plants, from barks and nuts, and from grains.
Spices and herbs in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is sometimes further processed. A tincture is made by infusing the herb in alcohol, which absorbs the soluble parts of the plant. Oils are made by simmering plant material from spice gardens of Sri Lanka with water and skimming the oil from the top of the water. A herbal syrup can be made by adding a simple sugar syrup to a hot herbal infusion. Below are some common culinary herbs found in spice gardens of Sri Lanka and their medicinal properties.
Black pepper (seed) from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is stimulating, increases flow of gastric enzymes, and helps prevent constipation.
Cayenne from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is very heating. Cayenne strengthens the heart, capillaries, arteries and nerves. Good for cold feet and hands. It also stimulates stomach secretions and opens the bronchi. Mix cayenne with garlic, lemon, ginger and honey to make a tea to help get over a cold or flu. You can vary this tea with or without the ginger or garlic, and just use a pinch of cayenne. If you have a slip of the knife while cooking, packing enough cayenne to cover well the exposed flesh will help stopthe bleeding and is anti-microbial.
Cinnamon from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is astringent, dispels gas, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial. It can also help relieve diarrhea.
Cloves from spice gardens of Sri Lanka are anesthetic and work well for toothaches (a drop of the oil on the offending tooth) and as a sore throat.
Fennel (seed) from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is a wonderful warming plant to help ease flatulence, indigestion, colic and gastro-intestinal spasms. Fennel from spice gardens of Sri Lanka will also ease throat tension and coughs as well as bring up phlegm from the lungs.
Garden sage (leaf) from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is cooling, disinfectant and astringent. It cools a fever, cleanses the blood, and eases headache and nervous tension. It also stimulates digestion and is an emmenagogue. Garden sage from spice gardens of Sri Lanka also works well as a mouthwash for sore throat, mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.
Garlic from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is excellent when you are sick. It stimulates your immune response, is anti-microbial and promotes sweating. It is useful when traveling to discourage parasites. Garlic also decreases cholesterol, LDLs, and blood pressure. Eat with parsley if having garlic breath bothers you, or a loved one. To enjoy the medicinal effects of garlic it is important not to get it too hot. The best way to cook with it is to sprinkle it raw onto your food, or add it in at the end of cooking once the heat is turned off.
Ginger from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is heating and increases circulation especially to the pelvic region. It is useful for nausea, motion sickness and to stimulate the appetite. Ginger from spice gardens of Sri Lanka makes a lovely footbath to warm you on a cold night.
Nutmeg (seed) from spice gardens of Sri Lanka aids digestion, flatulence, diarrhea and nausea. It is a mild sedative in small doses and narcotic in large doses. It works well steeped in warm milk or brandy. (tea 2-3oz., tincture 5 drops) Turmeric (root) from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is warming, analgesic and astringent. It promotes bile, relieves a congested liver and gallstones and aids digestion. Turmeric also reduces tumors and uterine fibroids and is an emmenagogue.
There is a growing preference for herbal, spicy, and spicy coniferous products like creams , soaps, shampoos and hair tonics However extracts from cardamom and fenugreek are little heard of in modern days although they have been used by the ancestors . Researchers are try to use lesser known spice extracts to create a new product appeal.
Cosmetics and perfumes have been popular from the time of civilization; Evidence also appears in the Bible, that spices and perfumes were prestigious products known throughout the ancient world and coveted by kings and princes. The written and pictorial descriptions, as well as archaeological finds, all show how important body care and aesthetic appearance was in the lives of the ancient people. Evidence can be found for centuries, detailing the use of cosmetics by various cultures from the earliest period of recorded history.
In antiquity, cosmetics were used in religious ceremony and for healing purposes. Cosmetics were also connected with cultic worship and witchcraft: To appease the various gods, fragrant ointments were applied to the statuary images and even to their attendants. Then developed the custom of personal use of cosmetics to enhance the beauty of the face and the body, and to conceal defects.
The oil of spices grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is now used in the preparation of creams, soaps, shampoos, lacquers, lipsticks, etc. However, some of the materials available from the spice gardens of Sri Lanka are as not yet widely used.
Perfumery too uses a wide range of essential oils and oleoresins obtained from spice gardens of Sri Lanka. Some of the spice varieties available in spice gardens of Sri Lanka are also used in perfumes.
Products like toothpastes, mouthwashes etc., depend on essential oils from spices in spice gardens of Sri Lanka to provide their pleasing flavour, making them not only acceptable, but pleasant to use. In cleansing materials, detergents etc., spice oils obtained from spices in spice gardens of Sri Lanka provide the aromatic appeal in otherwise uninteresting and sometimes offensive notes associated with some of the base products.
The Herbal tooth paste manufactured using the herbs and spices grown is spice gardens of Sri Lanka is a methodically manufactured with over 24 natural herbal Medicines and spices and mixed with pure dental care with an ancient Ayurvedic formula. This tooth paste helps to reduce the formation of tarter in the teeth and sticky substance in gums that destroys germs and bacteria, also helps against pyorrhea and gingivitis, and keeps the mouth fresh throughout the day. This is unique in Herbal Tooth Paste
Citronella Milk (Cream) manufactured using spices in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is a protective insect repellent which is another effective natural formula free from synthetic repellant agents. Because it is a herbal substance it is skin friendly. Citronella milk obtained from spice gardens of Sri Lanka is highly resistant against mosquitoes bugs and other small flies and when applied over the exposed areas of the body its effects will last for about 3 to 4 hours.
Pure cinnamon oil derived from cinnamon leaves grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is highly effective against shivering cold, toothaches, earaches and bad breath. According to Ayurvedic medicine treatment cinnamon oil rubbed under nails on hands and on feet foot soles temples and back of the ears is quite effective against freezing. A piece of cotton soaked in cinnamon oil helps against the pain in gums and dental infections. A little quantity of cinnamon oil in a piece of cotton wool put into the canal of the ear is a remedy against ear pain. Gargling Cinnamon oil mixed with water helps cure bad breath.
A king coconut based herbal hair oil made out of pure ingredients derived from herbs and spices grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is effective in ensuring health of the hair. It also promote the growth of hair, prevents the loss of hair & split ends, improves the beauty by remedying those conditions that make hair thin and lifeless. King coconut based hair oils nourishes hair and keeps the natural colour bright.
A king coconut oil based sun – tan lotion is prepared with cleansed ingredients derived from indigenous herbs and spices grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka. It prevents prickly heat, sun allergy, blistering and promotes dark brown skin.
Aloe-Vera in jelly form made from aloe-vera grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka is a refreshing non-oily night cream that removes deep embedded dirt & surface oil, refreshes skin, sooths inflammations & controls skin irritations. Restores dry / chapped skin, leaves skin smooth & fresh. It is also a powerful 100% oil free moisturizing formula. Soothes & relieves sunburn and damaged skin. Nourishes & restores natural moisture balance, improving skin health. Leaves skin cool & refreshed.
Thus Sri Lanka is well known for practising nature-friendly treatment methods such as ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and homeopathy using herbs and spices grown in spice gardens of Sri Lanka. The Western world has shown great interest towards these nature-friendly treatment methods and that has made the country a preferred destination among tourists. In order to promote this the Indigenous Medicine under the Gama Neguma Program has allocated 50 perches of land at Nikawaratiya to cultivate herbal plants and spices as spice gardens of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine is Sri Lanka has also started cultivating medicinal plants at Pattipola, Girandurukotte, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, few spice gardens of Sri Lanka. With a large market for ayurvedic and other indigenous medicinal products there is more demand for Lankan medicinal products and there is a great need for spice gardens of Sri Lanka to cultivate such herbs and spices.
According to Minister of Export Development and International Trade herbal products were in the negative list in Lanka’s Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan and after discussions with the Minister of Trade and Commerce in Pakistan these products have got access to Pakistani markets. It is also revealed that entering new and rich markets such as Ukraine, Kazerkstan and Azerbaijan should be considered in promoting Lankan indigenous medicine to the international world.
It is expected that proper branding and promoting of indigenous medicinal products manufactured using herbs and spices from spice gardens of Sri Lanka will contribute to the economy. In order to promote the indigenous medicine in Sri Lanka the National Indigenous Healthcare Exhibition was organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) with the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine from September 7-9, 2007 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, it also included exhibitors from Bangladesh, Maldives, India, Pakistan Nepal, Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and many other countries in the region.