Spices are nature’s healing jewels. They not only brighten up our food with distinct flavors and colors but also provide many health benefits. In Ayurveda, which is the oldest practicing medicine in the world, spices are an integral part of every kitchen cabinet. Modern science also continues to provide ongoing evidence of the beneficial qualities of spices including antioxidants and disease fighting phytochemicals.
Every season reflects its own unique qualities or Gunas. According to Ayurveda, we live most optimally by observing seasonal cycles in nature, and following daily food and lifestyle practices that align ourselves with qualities present in our environment. Spring season, orVasanta Ritu, is referred to as the season of Kapha (roughly March to June in the Northern Hemisphere). ‘Ka’ means water and ‘Pha’ means flourished. In the spring season, there is increased moisture and warmth in the environment. These dominant kapha qualities can evoke a sense of sluggishness, heaviness and congestion. The main location of kapha in the body is in the chest. When kapha becomes aggravated, mucus increases, leading to colds, problems with sinus congestion, allergies and asthma. It is therefore important to choose foods and spices that help flush out the accumulated kapha out of the body.
Spring season is a great time to include a variety of spices in meals as they play a key role in promoting balance in our digestion, or agni. Many spices are kapha pacifying due to their pungent and bitter tastes. However, there are five super spices that stand out for the spring season due to their specific taste (rasa)), and potency (virya) in providing scraping and cleansing action to remove the excess kapha imbalances from the body.
Stay tuned as we talk more about the 5 super Spring Spices coming up.