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Using Spices As Medicine 

Quality food combined with the right cooking techniques and spices can have an amazing impact on your health and vibrancy. We upgrade food to a therapeutic level just by adding common kitchen spices and herbs. Every herb not only adds a different flavor to food, but with it come a variety of properties, effects, and alchemy. Some spices are heating, while others are cooling. Various spices and herbs can be chosen to target specific systems in the body. The more we learn about these herbs and the more we tune into our own bodies, the more we can take cooking to the next level.

One normally cooks with the intention of creating something tasty, nutritious and satisfying. Yet what if you add in another factor? Being specific health goals. This turns each meal into medicine and allows you to use food to balance and address what needs attention.

For example, let us look at ginger root.

~Heating in nature

~Tastes pungent(spicy) and sweet

~Increases Pitta

~Decreases Vata and Kapha

~Works on all tissues

~Carminative, antiflatulent, antitussive, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, antiemetic, spasmolytic, antiatherosclerotic, cardiotonic

~Used for digestive complaints including flatulence, burping and colic, circulatory sluggishness, motion sickness, nausea, low appetite and migraine headache.

Say one of these symptoms above is bothering you or perhaps you notice your kapha and vata are high, you can use ginger root to bring you back to a state of balance. You could make a tea from the ginger root or incorporate it into your cooking. Sprinkle ginger on top of your oatmeal in the morning. Make a ginger & miso dressing for a quinoa salad at lunch. Add some finely chopped ginger root into a stir fry at dinner. With just a little bit of learning, we can use these ancient Ayurvedic principles and knowledge of herbs and apply them into our daily modern life. This creates a simple way to bring about balance, also adding new flavors and excitement to our meals. I encourage you to try viewing each meal from this standpoint and see what it does for you.

Remember that we are always excited to work with you here at Santa Cruz Ayurveda. We offer individual consultations to provide personalized diet, lifestyle and herbal recommendations for optimal health. Explore our website, email, or call us if you have any questions we are happy to hear from you.

*Recommended book to reference for herbs and ailments: ‘the way of Ayurvedic Herbs’ by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa & Micheal Tierra

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