Aliv Seeds are one of the most powerful seeds with many potential health benefits. Aliv or Halim or Garden Cress seeds are not new to Indians and their traditions. Aliv Laddus are given to new mothers for enhancing Lactation. These forgotten seeds are less celebrated compared to other seeds. These seeds can be banked on for proteins, Vitamin B, and Iron. Ayurveda has recognized Aliv Seeds as a crucial ingredient in Post Partum Diet. It is also known for providing Immunity, Nutrition, and Strength. Garden cress seed is a highly nutritious plant-based food having several medicinal properties, for which it is used as both food and medicine from long back in different parts of the world, including India. Let us read the health benefits of Aliv and different ways to consume these power boosters.
What are Aliv Seeds/Halim Seeds/ Garden Cress Seeds?
Aliv or Garden Cress (Lepidium Sativum) is a fast-growing edible herb. These hydroponics can be easily grown in small pots, and in the wild near lakes and Ponds. Aliv or Garden Cress is related to Mustard and Water Cress and tastes tangy and has a peppery aroma like them. The seeds of this herb are called Aliv Seeds, Halim ke beej, or Garden cress seeds, this small scarlet color seeds are a powerhouse for many nutrients.
Garden cress is a native plant of South West Asia which got spread to Western Europe many centuries ago. It is commercially grown in various parts of Europe, including Britain, France, Italy, Germany, India, Syria, and Greece. In India, it is mainly cultivated in U.P., Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh (1).
How to eat Aliv ?
Names of Aliv Seeds in different Indian Languages :
Hindi Name : Halim ke beej.
English Name: Garden Cress Seeds.
Sanskrit Name: Chandrashur
Gujarati Name: Asalio
Marathi Name: Ahliva
Bengali Name: Halime Beej
Telugu Name : Asaliya Vittanalu.
Tamil NAME : Aali Vidai.
- Aliv Greens and stems – Aliv greens and stems can be eaten raw. Add them in your sandwiches or include them as part of your Sandwich dressings, Chutneys, green salads & Juices.
- Aliv Oil – Aliv Oil tastes similar to mustard oil. It can be used as a seasoning in your dishes to enhance the flavor. It can also be used to moisturize lips.
- Aliv Seeds – This is the traditional way Indians include Aliv in their diet. Aliv Seeds are consumed since ages by poor and rich for vigor, fertility, lactation, cure anemia, and treat indigestion.
As Aliv Seeds can be easily included and is a versatile ingredient in many recipes let us dive deep to understand how to eat Aliv Seeds to gain maximum health benefits from the little seeds.
Best way to eat Aliv seeds/Halim Seeds/Garden cress seeds?
Aliv or Halim Seeds can be Roasted or Soaked or Sprouted and then can be incorporated into many interesting recipes.
1. Roasted Aliv seeds / Halim Seeds
Heat a pan and roast the Aliv seeds at moderate heat for 3-4 minutes. Do not add any
oil during roasting. Stir continuously to avoid burning of the seeds. Once the seeds change their color slightly, take it off the flame. Cool the seeds and store them in an air-tight container.
2. Soaked Halim seeds / Halim cress seeds
You can soak Aliv seeds ( 1 tablespoon) in water or warm milk ( 2 tablespoons of milk or water) for one to two hours. Soaking Aliv Seeds makes it soft and forms a jelly type consistency. Soaked Aliv seeds can be used to prepare many interesting recipes.
3. Sprouted Halim seeds / Garden cress seeds
Soak the Aliv seeds in water overnight, then spread the seeds on the moist soil.
Within 4 to 6 days shoots comes out, grow them 1 or 2 days. You can use these
sprouts in Sandwich, Raitha, Soups, and Chutneys. (2)
How much Aliv Seeds/ Halim seeds/ Garden Seeds can be taken per day?
The safe dosage of Aliv seeds per day is 1 tablespoon (12 Grams) thrice a week. If you are lactating, or want to cure anemia consult a qualified dietitian or nutritionist for the required dosage. (2)
Start with 1 teaspoon (5 grams) and slowly increase to 1 tablespoon (12 grams)
A.Three yummy Recipes using Roasted Halim Seeds
- Aliv seeds Recipe-1: Roasted Halim – Dates Laddu
1.Garden cress seeds (Halim seeds): 30g
2. Dates: 70g
1. Roast the garden cress (Halim) seeds in a pan without oil.
2. Remove the seeds from the dates, make a thick paste using 2 or 3 teaspoons of water.
Don’t use excess water which will adversely affect the taste of the recipe.
3. Heat the date paste in a pan, then add the roasted seeds, mix well.
4. Cook for 5 minutes and then turn off the flame.
5. Grease your hand with little ghee and make small balls out of it.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-2: Roasted Halim seeds with salads
1.Onion (chopped): 1 medium size
2. Tomato (chopped): 1 medium size
3. Cucumber (grated): 1 medium size
4. Fresh Coriander leaves (chopped): Few
5. Fresh mint leaves (chopped): Few
6. Roasted Halim seeds: one teaspoon
7. Black salt: a pinch
8. Black pepper: As required
Mix all the chopped vegetables and sprinkle a pinch of black salt and pepper. Add roasted seeds. Mix well and serve as a snack in the evening.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-3: Healthy Multiseed Mix
1.Garden cress seeds (Halim seeds): 20g
2. Flax seeds (alsi): 20g
3.Pumpkin seeds: 20g
4. Watermelon seeds (char mogoz): 20g
5. White til 20g
1. Take 100g of salt in a hot pan, add flax seed, roast for 2 minutes.
2. Now add Halim seeds and roast for a minute.
3. Then add pumpkin seeds and watermelon seeds to it and roast for another one minute.
4. Finally add the white til, roast for a minute, and switch off the gas.
5. Now strain the seed mixture through a strainer, to remove excess salt.
6. Cool the freshly prepared seed mixture and feel a glass jar with the seeds.
7. You can store the healthy seed mix for a month without any deterioration.
8. You may consume one or two teaspoons of the seed mix in a day. It will help you to
satisfy small hunger and boost your immunity.
B. Five tasty Recipes using Soaked Halim Seeds
- Aliv seeds Recipe-4: Halim seed kheer / Aliv kheer / Garden cress desert
1. Garden cress seeds: 15g
2. Milk: 500ml
3. Jaggery: 30g
4. Ghee: 1 teaspoon
5. Raisins: One tablespoon
6. Cashewnuts: One tablespoon
7. Cardamom powder: A pinch
1. Add halm seeds to a cup of warm milk, mix well, making sure no lumps are there.
Soak it for an hour, so that the seeds are swelled and soft.
2. Heat a teaspoon of ghee, add the Halim seeds mixture, add another cup of milk to it.
3. Now add two tablespoons of jaggery and blend well, then add the raisins and cashew
4. Stir occasionally and cook for a few minutes. Then add the cardamom powder.
5. Switch off the gas. Your healthy and tasty dessert is ready.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-5: Halim/Aliv Nariyal ke laddu
1. Halim seeds: 50g
2. Coconut (grated): One medium size
3. Jaggery: 100g
4. Ghee: 2 teaspoons
5.Cashew nuts: One tablespoon
6. Cardamom powder: A pinch
1. Soak Halim seeds in warm milk for an hour.
2. Roughly grind the cashew nuts for 10 seconds.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of ghee in a pan, add jaggery to it, cook for few minutes until it is
4. Now add the soaked Halim seeds and grated coconut to it.
5. Cook the mixture and stir occasionally. Then add the broken cashew and elaichi
powder. Mix well.
6. The mixture thickens and the mass removed from the pan, switch off the flame.
7. Grease your hand with little ghee, make small balls out of the mixture.
8. Now cool the laddus and store them in an air-tight container.
9. You can store Halim laddu for a week at room temperature.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-6: Refreshing Halim seed drink
1. Halim seeds: 5g
3.Salt: a pinch
4. Sugar: One teaspoon
1. Soak the Halim seeds in a glass of water for an hour.
2. Now add lemon juice and a pinch of salt to it. Stir well. Your refreshing drink is ready
- Aliv seeds Recipe-7: Herbal Tea with Halim seed drink
1.Garden cress seeds: 5g
2. Water: 6 ounces
3. Honey: One tablespoon
1. Boil the soaked garden cress seeds with water for half an hour.
2. Switch off the gas and cool it slightly. Now add a tablespoon of honey to it.
3. Your herbal tea is ready now, drink it.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-8: Halim seeds Halwa
1. Garden cress seeds: 25g
2.Sugar: One tablespoon
3. Ghee: 1 teaspoon
4. Coconut powder: One tablespoon
5.Cashew nuts paste: One teaspoon
6. Almond paste: One teaspoon
7. Cardamom: 2
1. Soak Halim seeds in water for 2 hours.
2. Make a paste out of cashew nuts, almonds, and cardamom.
3. Heat a teaspoon of ghee, add soaked Halim seeds to it, cook for 2 minutes. Now
add mixed nut paste and coconut powder to it. Mix well.
4. Now add one tablespoon of sugar to it. Mix by stirring. Switch off the flame.
5. Serve hot halwa as a side dish during breakfast.
C. Two Delicious Recipes using Sprouted Halim Seeds
- Aliv seeds Recipe-9: Sandwich with Halim seeds Sprouts
1. Bread slices: 2
2. Garden cress seeds sprout: One handful
3. Onion (chopped): 1 teaspoon
4. Tomato (chopped): 1 teaspoon
5. Boiled egg: One
6. Mayonnaise: 1 teaspoon
7. Black salt: as per taste
8. Black pepper: as required
1. Toast two bread slices and boil the egg.
2. Chop the vegetables, sprinkle salt and pepper, and mix well. Add a teaspoon of
mayonnaise and mix it again.
3. Keep the vegetable mixture and egg between the bread slices and serve as a tasty
breakfast. You can also use this food as a school tiffin.
- Aliv seeds Recipe-10: Raita with Halim seeds Sprouts
· Curds: Half cup
· Halim seeds sprout (chopped): One tablespoon
· Onion (chopped): 1 teaspoon
· Tomato (chopped): 1 teaspoon
· Black salt: a pinch
· Black pepper: as per taste
Mix all the ingredients and serve the healthy snack to your family members.
Nutritional Value Of Alsi Seeds/ Halim Ke Beej/Garden Cress Seeds
|Nutritional Parameters ( 100 grams of edible portion)||Values|
|Crude Fibre||7.6 grams|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||14.3 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.61 mg|
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.59 mg|
Reference : Nutritive Value Of Indian Foods by C.Gopalan, B.V. Rama Sastri, S.C.Balasubramanian
Traditional Indian Therapeutic Uses of Garden cress
Indians are using Garden Cress seeds or Aliv seeds for ages to fix several health issues.
1. Aliv Seeds as Blood Purifier.
One part of the seeds is to be mixed with twenty parts of boiling water. This drink will purify your blood. It is a good remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, and skin disease caused by the impurity of blood.
2. Aliv Seeds for Gut Health.
Powder of Aliv seeds with sugar can also be used to cure diarrhea, indigestion and dysentery.
3. Aliv seeds for Healthy Spleen
Aliv Seeds can help in treating enlarged spleen.
4. Aliv seeds as a Deworming agent.
People are accustomed to using Aliv seeds for expelling worms in old and young people.
5. Aliv seeds as a Galactagogue
Aliv Herbal tea prepared by boiling of Aliv seeds in water and drinking it with honey is an effective medicine to increase breast milk. It also helps to prevent
6. Aliv seeds as Aphrodisiac
Aliv seeds intake increases the sexual performance of men. Aliv seed tea is traditionally used to improve the sexual stamina and libido of men. It equally improves sexual health in women as well.
7. Aliv seeds for General health
Roasted Aliv seeds mixed with ghee and sugar is an effective complementary food for young girls having a general weakness. It boosts strength and energy in young as well as elders.
8. Aliv seeds as Analgesic
Aliv seed oil aids in getting relief from pain and inflammations. Aliv seeds oil can be prepared by roasting the seeds in sesame oil. This can be used as an analgesic medicated oil in gout, rheumatism, glandular swelling, etc.
9. Aliv Seeds to cure Anemia.
Aliv seeds are loaded with iron, so regular intake of these seeds is beneficial to cure
10. Aliv Seeds to treat Cancer
Aliv seeds have aromatic compounds called Benzyl Isothiocyanate, which are known to stop the proliferation of cancer cells, especially breast cancer. They also protect healthy cells from the toxic effect of Anti – Cancer drugs and Chemo radiations. More research is going on the same.
Side effects Of Aliv Seeds
- Aliv Seeds contain goitrogens which can hinder iodine absorption required for Normal Thyroids function. People with thyroids dysfunctions should eat the seeds in limitation
- Excessive consumption of Aliv seeds can cause bloating and flatulence due to its fiber content.
- It can cause abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. So, it is good to avoid these seeds in pregnancy or consult a gynecologist or Certified nutritionist before including in the diet during pregnancy.
For maintaining overall good health and for preventing diseases like anemia and mild digestive disorders one should not miss taking of Halim seeds. These seeds also help to purify the blood, maintain good immunity, and healthy skin and hair. Garden seeds or Halim seeds can be eaten in many ways. Aliv seeds/ Halim ke beej can be roasted or soaked or sprouted which are then incorporated into many interesting recipes like Halim kheer, alivnadu, herbal tea, deserts, etc. It can also be incorporated into salads, sandwiches, or raita. It should be consumed regularly, but not in excess amounts. Initially, the intake of one teaspoon of seeds is good, the amount can be increased gradually up to 1 tablespoon (12g). Incorporate these forgotten aliv seeds into your diet to reap its health benefits.