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Ayurvedic Spices: 3 of the best

Medicinal spices can do more than add depth of flavour to foods. Try these 3 Ayurvedic spices to help heal, correct and balance your body.

Ayurvedic Spices: 3 of the best

The ancient science of Ayurveda is a time-tested practice that dates as far back as 5,000 years in written script, though the origins of its teachings is said to be over 40,000 years old. . “Ayush” means life and “Veda” means study, or knowledge of, so Ayurveda is essentially, the study of life.

Ayurveda has specified ways in which Aromatics, diet, herbs, yoga and even cosmetics could help to sustain balance in our daily lives.

Based on inherited genetic constitution and molecular biology, treating different body/skin types based on the 5 elements of air, water, fire, ether (space), and earth, has been known to assist a multitude of health issues.

A simple Ayurveda daily practice is called a Dinacharya meaning daily routine. There are many routines one can do. The easiest and the most simple way of doing this is having a glass of warm water first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. This helps to dilate all the channels and scrape of Aama (toxins). Using various spices to your daily cooking routine can serve as natural tonics, rejuvenators and detoxifiers for the digestive and immune systems. This is known in Ayurveda as ‘food as medicine, medicine as food’.

Here are three of the best spices for Ayurvedic healing.

Related: Interview with Ayurveda practitioner Farida Irani

Hing/Asafoetida

This strong smelling herb is known for its calming qualities. Taken in small doses, hing can be used to sooth spasms in the body and has plenty of digestive benefits. A tiny pinch added to pulses and legumes can make them easier to digest and cause less gas being formed as a result of eating pulses. Similarly, hing can be used to treat flatulence, abdominal pain and is particularly beneficial for maintaining good gut flora. You won’t find this spice in your local supermarket though, instead head to your closest Asian or Indian grocer.

Tumeric

The fragrant spice is well known for its exceptional healing and anti-inflammatory benefits. It can also help to decrease pathogenic bacteria in the intestine and remove stagnation from the liver. Sprinkle some in warm milk before bed, or add to curries, soups and hotpots for additional nutritional value.

More about tumeric here. 

Saffron

In Hindu spiritual rituals, a red dot is symbolically placed on a person’s forehead in the position of their ‘third eye’. The practical reason for this also has to do with the health benefits of saffron. The placement of the dot can prevent and treat headaches. It is also used in Ayurvedic healing to reduce nausea and improve the complexion.

 

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