Spices add amazing flavor to our meals, but their job does not end there. In Ayurveda, spices are used to treat ailments, boost immunity, and maintain general health. As we move through the Vata season, the dryness and cold dominate our bodies making us feel more tired and weak. Vata can influence how we feel in our bodies, leaving us with feelings of anxiety, low mood, and difficulties with sleeping. This is the sign of Vata imbalance in our bodies. Spices can help us to feel more energized and prevent any autumn/early winter flu.
Our Ayurvedic Practitioners: Patricia Veltri, Victoria (Tory) Raven Hyndman, Julia Blohberger, and Roos Neeter shared with you their favorite home Ayurvedic remedies with spices to keep you balanced and healthy throughout the Vata season.
How to balance our stress levels?
As our energy levels drop down, we feel more stressed about not being able to keep up with the fast-paced world. If we experience too much stress, we might feel overwhelmed which lowers our performance and hinders our cognitive and emotional abilities. To feel more balanced throughout this season, Tory advises us to take 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha 3x a day and swish it down with warm water. Ashwagandha, also called “Indian Winter Cherry” or “Indian Ginseng” can be found in India, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. It has been long used in Ayurveda to increase energy and reduce pain and anxiety. Ashwagandha helps to normalize our cortisol levels, thus reducing stress and anxiety in our body, leaving us with an energized and calm feeling.
Boost your Immune System
With the temperatures dropping down, our first defense system in our body is lowered leaving our bodies vulnerable to diseases. When we have a strong immune system it fights off pathogens, bacterias, and viruses and helps to prevent us from infections and diseases. To boost the immune system we can use the combination of turmeric and honey. Mix the honey and turmeric in the ratio of 1:1 and use 1x- 2x a day one teaspoon. You may also add black pepper to clean the lungs a bit more. Once you get a cold, you can use this remedy to fight it off. Use the same combination but take it in the following manner:
Day 1 – take a teaspoon every hour
Day 2- take a teaspoon every 2 hrs
Day 3- take a teaspoon every 3-4hrs
Additionally, Roos advises mixing some warm water with 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt whenever we feel a sore throat coming. We use this as a gargle anytime we feel pain in our throat.
Digestion & well-being
Cardamon is a kitchen spice that (like most spices) adds flavor to our dishes while also giving health benefits to our bodies. It stimulates Agni (the digestive fire), relieves constipation, flatulence, and bloating. During the Vata season cardamom is used as one of the ingredients of the ‘sweet spice mix’ to bake cookies and cakes. If you add a pinch of cardamom to your coffee, as they do in the Middle East, it will reduce the negative effect of caffeine on the nervous system and will reduce the acid effect on your stomach. If you don’t drink coffee, cardamon is the most common ingredient of chai, a fragrant spiced tea, very popular in India that is becoming more and more present in western cafes. (a piece from coming ebook ‘Kitchen Spices & Herbs as a Remedy’ by Patricia Veltri and Sylvana Pronk)
These are the remedies that you can simply prepare at your house and protect yourself during the flu season. Stay healthy!