Seasoning the Season!

Spices and herbs.

In previous articles, I have written about the importance of the tastes in our diet and how Ayurveda uses the different herbs and spices in nature to balance our physical chemistry and to provide a complete nourishment to our organs and tissues. Thinking about this approach to healthy eating, this is a great time in the year to open our spice cabinet and season our meals to promote good digestion and wellbeing.

Every season change provides us with an opportunity to renew our bodies by adapting our diet to favor what the season provides. In Ayurveda, winter is defined as the Kapha season where we must increase the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes in our diet. To make it simple, here are some ideas of the spices you could start using to help you cleanse your body, improve your digestive fire and avoid weight gain during the holidays.

Ajwan – This Indian spice is an excellent painkiller and heart tonic. It will help you get rid of gas, supporting good digestion.

Bay Leaf – Due to its heating properties, this herb promotes sweating and also acts as a diuretic.

Black Pepper – The use of this familiar spice will aid digestion and promote health of the lungs and heart. Great spice to avoid cough.

Cinnamon – One of my favorites! This bark improves circulation and even helps in preventing heart attacks due to its blood thinning properties.

Clove – Great spice to reduce sinus and bronchial congestion.

Cumin – The greatest healer! It kindles the gastric fire and improves the absorption of minerals in the intestines. It can relief gas and pain.

Ginger – This root is very heating and cleansing. It is used to improve circulation and relieve congestion. It is a great remedy for the common cold, cough and breathlessness.

Nutmeg – Its pleasant smell will always improve the flavor of food. Can help to reduce cough, induce good sleep and reduce pain.

Saffron – It is very helpful with improving skin color and complexion. It is a natural blood cleanser, liver detoxifier, nerve and heart tonic.

Turmeric – Broadly used in Ayurvedic medicine to maintain the flora of the intestine, reduce gas, and acts as a natural antibiotic.

May you have a blissful and healthy holiday season!