What condiments are you now using in your kitchen?
Knowing what spices to use in your cooking, each season, can make a *huge* difference in the harmony of your constitution.
Spices and their fascinating aromas can warm your body during the cold season.
They are able to help you prevent disease and maintain or improve your health. While giving food delightful colors, incredible scents, and a rich and profound delicious taste.
Spices are a vital part of an Ayurvedic diet.
This is the list of the best spices to use to keep you healthy when it is the coldest outside.
LIKE INCREASES LIKE
Each dosha: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, have a number of attributes that make them unique.
(If you haven’t discovered your dosha yet, take my Ayurveda Body Type Quiz to find out.)
Just like doshas, seasons too have unique characteristics and are able to cause aggravation and imbalance when we don’t live in tune with the environment and its conditions.
Particularly, the dosha that shares the same qualities of the season tends to get more aggravated.
For example, as winter brings the heavy, cold, and damp characteristics to the world, it provokes Kapha dosha, which is itself heavy, cold, and damp.
Like increases like.
And opposites bring balance.
So, to prevent things like cough, cold, sinus congestion, stagnation, slow digestion, sluggish metabolism, and weight gain, it is super necessary to embrace a contrasting energy: one that brings light, hot, and sharp tendencies to your body.
Spices are a great friend in the kitchen that can help us achieve just that.
KAPHA SEASON WITH VATA UNDERTONES
Ayurveda says that Vata is a dosha characterized by being light, cold, and rough. Although, it doesn’t share the same heavy and dense conditions that accompany winter, it can be seriously aggravated in the cold season too. Particularly, if you live in an area that is dry and windy.
This might result in emotional chaos: feelings of fear, anxiety and loneliness can be intensified.
Pains in the joints and insomnia are frequent too.
Not to despair if you have a Vata body type. By using the right spices you can bring heat to your body and prevent that from happening in the first place.
THIS IS THE LIST OF SPICES FOR WINTER
Calms Vata and Kapha. Stimulates Pitta.
It is hot, sharp, and penetrating. Therefore, it is fantastic for kindling the digestive fire.
It is an excellent painkiller.
Calms Vata and Kapha. Stimulates Pitta.
It’s great to improve the function of the circulatory and respiratory systems that take a big hit during winter.
Black pepper is a stimulant and an expectorant. It is indicated for conditions of indigestion, toxins -which tend to get accumulated these cold months- and obesity.
This spice is sweet, pungent, and heating. It pacifies Vata and Kapha, and increases Pitta.
As we all tend to move less during winter, bay leaves help us sweat.
It kindles the digestive fire and it is diuretic.
Cinnamon is sweet, pungent, bitter, and heating. It reduces Vata and Kapha, but tends to aggravate Pitta.
It is great to eliminate ama -toxins- from the body, as well as improve circulation and heart health.
One of my favorite spices! It is beautifully aromatic and balances all doshas.
It kindles gastric fire, helps improve the absorption of minerals in the intestines, and acts as a painkiller.
If you are Vata or Kapha choose the black variety which is more heating than the traditional one.
Fenugreek is bitter, pungent, and heating.
Vata and Kapha should add it to their cooking. Pitta people should use it rarely and in small portions.
It is indicated for chronic cough, bronchitis, and arthritis; all common Vata/Kapha disorders.
This seed is amazing for nervous and respiratory conditions.
Garlic makes food tastier. And interestingly, it contains all 6 tastes except sour!
Garlic pacifies Vata and Kapha, but aggravates Pitta and is indicated for colds, cough, astma, and heart disease.
In excess, it can lead to dullness in the mind due to its tamasic nature.
Dry ginger is pungent and heating, so it calms Vata and Kapha. However, it stimulates Pitta.
Ginger improves digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients, circulation, and it’s excellent for heart health.
In addition, ginger helps relieve congestion, a frequent sign that winter is affecting our bodies.
Although it is often used for summer cooking, and indeed it balances Pitta, mint is a terrific spice to pacify Kapha and treat respiratory, digestive, nervious, and circulatory issues.
In excess, it can stimulate Vata. But, eaten in moderation it helps Vata dosha due to mint’s soothing action on the nerves, as it helps calm the body and clear the mind.
Nutmeg is wonderful for improving assimilation, and it is recommended for cases of malabsorption, intestinal gas, insomnia, and nervous conditions.
This aromatic spice pacifies Vata and Kapha. Specifically, it helps calm the mind and induces sleep.
Parsley is pungent, bitter, and slightly heating.
It reduces Vata and Kapha, and increases Pitta.
It’s a mildly warming diuretic so it’s good to treat stagnation – a side effect of winter.
It promotes menstruation and dispels premenstrual water retention from the legs, the breasts, and the abdomen.
This spice is said to balance all doshas. It is astringent, bitter, and sweet.
If you are suffering from constipation, use it sparingly. Pomegranate seeds add an unique flavor to your meals and help treat chronic bronchitis, digestive, and circulatory issues.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
And are delicious!
If you are a visual type of person, start adding flowers to your dishes. They make everything prettier.
Roses add a sweet and loving energy to your plate and balance all doshas.
They help with circulatory, reproductive (women), and nervous diseases.
Choose vivid colors for winter season! Red, hot pink, yellow!
Saffron is pungent, bitter, and sweet. It works well with all three doshas.
It is prescribed for circulatory, reproductive (women), digestive, and nervious disorders.
Even though it’s one of the most expensive spices, it has powerful properties: saffron revitalizes the blood and the metabolism of the body.
It is also an aphrodisiac… a possible necessary addition to your diet (and your partner’s) for the cold season?
Which spice do you want to start using more for winter? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂
Monica Gisella xx