UK Indian food giant Patak's has released "Kormatherapy", a guide to the curative powers of curry.

For centuries, many of the spices used in curries have been identified for their healing powers, and, for example, some scientists even suggest that the use of curry as a main dish in India explains the country's relatively low occurrence of Alzheimer's compared to the Western world.

Tumeric, which is used in various Indian dishes, was proved to halve the build up of knots in the brain linked to Alzheimer's in a study conducted by researchers at the University of California last November. The researchers concluded that turmeric might actually slow down the progress of Alzheimer's disease.

The Lancashire-based company reports in its guide that several other spices have curative properties. Madras's key ingredient, cumin, soothes indigestion by working on enzymes in the stomach. Cloves heal sore throats and Cardamom flushes out the kidneys. Meanwhile coriander stimulates the digestive system and chilli, an ancient remedy for cholera and jaundice, provides three times more vitamin C weight-for-weight than oranges.