How often do you experience digestion problems that lead to bloating, cramping, gas, or diarrhea?
If you’re like me, you might have an extremely sensitive digestive system that reacts severely to the slightest toxin, and like me, it might drive you nuts! There are very few things as embarrassing as having the intense need to flatulate in public, but not having any place to comfortably relieve yourself.
Luckily, the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda provides some brilliant – and unusual – ways of curing the chronic digestion problems that many of us experience.
Ayurveda teaches that there are three substances or states within our body known as Vata (Air/Space), Pitta (Fire/Water) and Kapha (Water/Earth) that must all be balanced in order for us to experience good health. The following spices, when used liberally and taken together within your daily meals, serve to balance your body, and restore it back to health.
Ginger is highly respected in Ayurveda, and is said to universally treat all diseases. Ginger is a powerful spice that helps to cleanse the body of toxins, increase the secretion of digestive enzymes, and promote healthy circulation. Ginger is also a very useful spice that helps to cure nausea.
How to use: Ginger can be added to curries, stews, daals, and many other dishes. Drinking ¼ of a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a glass of diluted lemon water in the morning also aids digestion, and cleans your digestive tract. Be careful not to consume too much ginger however (in high quantities it has been known to create stomach upsets).
I recommend this Ginger.
In Sanskrit, the name for Cumin is “Jiraka” which literally translates to, “promoting digestion.” If you have a sluggish digestive system, Cumin is an excellent spice that increases your body’s absorption of nutrients. Cumin also helps to reduce bloating, belching and gas, and helps to reduce diarrhea.
How to use: Cumin tastes the best when roasted in oil on the stove, and can be added to pretty much any dish (Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, etc.). Cumin can also be added with other herbs and spices (peppermint, coriander, lemongrass) to make a digestive balancing tea.
I recommend this Cumin.
Don’t be daunted by the name; this spice can be found in usually any supermarket spice section – or at the very least your local Indian or Asian grocer. Hing is a strong smelling but soothing spice that soothes indigestion, and treats bloating, belching, spasms and flatulence. It is also said to treat flora imbalances within the gut (such as Candida), and can kill worms.
How to use: Hing can be used as a replacement for garlic or onions as it has a very similar taste. Also, try adding a pinch of Hing to your boiling water when cooking legumes or other beans or pasta, as it makes these carbs easier to process.
I recommend this Asafoetida.
Turmeric is a powerful cleanser of the liver, and has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Some of the many benefits of turmeric include decreasing pathogenic bacteria found in the intestines, calming inflammation, reducing undigested food in the gastrointestinal tract, treating stomach ulcers, and reducing the risk of bowel cancer.
How to use: Having a beautiful rusty orange color, Turmeric can be added to literally any dish, whether it be soup, spaghetti’s, casseroles, curries, and much more. ½ to 1 teaspoon is often all you need.
I recommend this Turmeric.
What is your favorite medicinal spice to use in the kitchen? Are there any other spices you can recommend that prevent digestion problems such as gas, bloating, and cramping?
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