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Ayurvedic Super Spices for Your Ultimate Health

Millennial Magazine - ayurvedic-super-spices
Lend us your spices, we are your neighbor! It’s time we outcast the manufactured medicines that are only bandaids to the bullet holes of our stubborn symptoms. Let us save you a trip to CVS by simply getting back to the basics. Our secret? We’ve turned our kitchens into our own personal pharmacies. By following the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, you too can think clear, look better and feel the best.

The Power of a Plant-based Pharmacy

Providing anti-inflammatory and energy-boosting benefits, spices will be your body’s salvation and make your tastebuds salivate. Herbs and spices contain healing properties that help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, stabilize your blood sugar and improve your cognition. They have been shown to prevent and heal more than 100 different conditions. One of our favorite skincare brands, Shiseido, plays upon these Ayurvedic principles in their products to enhance our beauty from the outside in. With the addition of your favorite soul-warming superfoods, your kitchen cabinet will transform into a powerful pharmacy. Welcome to an exciting world of spices for you to endlessly explore.

Spices for Savory Salvation:

From savory to sweet, here are a few of our favorite tastemakers.

Black Pepper:

Medicinal Magic: Warming properties of black pepper help us to metabolize food, fight indigestion, rid the build up of toxins and digest our food with ease.
Tastemaker Tip: Sprinkle over vegetables with its partner in crime: Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Add in a dash of olive oil before roasting, and you’ll be absorbing nutrients so next level that even the dynamic duo of Bonnie and Clyde won’t be able to out run you.

Turmeric:

Medicinal Magic: The King Tut of spices. With Turmeric’s composition of Curcumin, this powder powerhouse is known for its amazing anti-inflammatory benefits and abundant antioxidants. Studies prove it has cancer-fighting benefits, aids in pain reduction and improves cognition, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and lung functions.
Tastemaker Tip: Feel as royal as the golden god himself with ending your night with a soul-warming, skin-glowing, gut-healing elixir. Simply sip and savor a cup of this Golden Milk and then enjoy a night of restful sleep.

Garlic:

Medicinal Magic: Repelling more than just vampires – Garlic is a spice that will shield you from all the villains. This spice has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory superpowers. Notably, it’s been used as cold and flu prevention for thousands of years.
Tastemaker Tip: This is a savory, mouthwatering addition to any of your dishes. Feel free to experiment with garlic roasted veggies or a protein-packed power bowl. Surely, Garlic will turn your dish into a bonafide crowd-pleaser. Notably, allow your chopped garlic 5-10 minutes of rest. This allows powerful properties of allyl sulfide compounds to further enhance Garlic’s cancer-fighting benefits.

Cayenne Pepper:

Medicinal Magic: Fuel your fire with Cayenne Pepper’s invigorating kick. This red devil takes on your Green Goblins by clearing your nasal passages and thinning your mucus. Notably, fresh chilies pack more vitamin C than oranges.
Tastemaker Tip: Before you start your meal, power through this gut-boosting, digestion enhancing elixir. Mix 2tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar and a few dashes of Cayenne Pepper. As daunting and truthfully distasteful this may be, it’ll set your gut up to better absorb and process all of the nutrients you are about to enjoy. It will also aid in your skin health and amp up your immune system.

Sweet Tooth Satisfiers:

Ginger:

Medicinal Magic: Who said blondes have more fun? In our house, Ginger is the Spice Girl we want party with. Promoting a healthy digestive system, Ginger is one of the most ancient medicinal plants used in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Indonesian medicine. Ginger warms the body, eases nausea, revs up appetite and aids in digestion. Not to mention its help in warding off our stubborn aches and pains. Notably, when combined with turmeric, the beneficial effects of Ginger multiply!
Tastemaker Tip: Soothe your cold and flu symptoms with this warming tea recipe. Simply mix fresh sliced ginger, Manuka honey, Ceylon cinnamon, hot water and chamomile tea.

Cinnamon:

Medicinal Magic: Cinnamon will increase your vitality holistically while warming your body. Notably, it is a powerful antibacterial spice that counteracts congestion, improves digestion, relieves menstrual cramping, and improves circulation.
Tastemaker Tip: Opt for “Ceylon cinnamon” as opposed to Cassia Bark cinnamon. Unlike Cassia Bark, Ceylon cinnamon is free of potentially harmful toxins. Cinnamon can be used to as a natural sweetener for any of your recipes. Mix this into everything from your teas, coffees, protein shakes and yogurt bowls. Also, Cinnamon is a versatile spice that can be used in savory dishes as a sweet, soul-warming addition.

So you Wannabe a Spice Girl?

Truthfully, it is understandably daunting to start exploring a seemingly endless world of herbs and spices. However, we can reframe our perspectives to see fun and inspiration in this experimentation and uncertainty by cooking with new flavors. Think about cooking when you were a kid. Food was playful and silly. The kitchen was a place of playtime with loved ones. Certainly, a coveted opportunity to get our hands all messy, lick the spoon clean and sneak our pup some under the table treats. Importantly, with this perspective, we can embrace a wholesome, stress-relieving, new hobby to share with our loved ones while experiencing self care bliss.
First, start slow. Experiment with just one new spice that isn’t normally in your repertoire. Also, explore your local grocer’s spice rack. Smell the variety of options and feel inspired by new flavor profiles to add to your favorite concoctions. Your spice cabinet is your own personal pharmacy. Now all the Beyonce’s, and Lucy Lu’s, and baby dolls, let’s shake those spices like Polaroid pictures and make cooking playtime again.

What do you think?

Written by Sarah Rose Reichert

Sarah Rose is a Los Angeles-based photographer, designer and journalist. She's also an integrative nutritionist and sports trainer with a love for holistic wellness. When she's not out on the field, you can find her exploring the coast in her ’97 blue Tacoma pickup, packed up with her surfboard and pup Honey.

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