The winter months is the perfect time to spice up your life and understanding the principles of Ayurveda will definitely be of assistance. 'Agni', also known as your 'digestive fire', is strong at this time of year, which is why we tend to eat a little more than we would in summer. We're not claiming to be experts from our research and passed down ayurvedic knowledge, here are the top 5 spices we commonly use to help warm the body and maintain our digestive fire.
Studies have also highlighted that ginger can help you stay warm during the winter season. It will also boost digestion and help you fight stomach issues. Ginger is known to get its spicy flavour and thermogenic quality from the combination of two high concentrated compoundes: gingerol and shogaol. Many swear by it for relief from headaches and digestive troubles, and of course great for warming the body upon a cold day.
Cloves is a treasure trove of anti-inflammatory compounds which can help stuff winter joints, colds, cough and fevers. They are also believed to be effective expectorants, assisting with congestion. Cloves are known to have Eugenol, which causes the dilation of capillaries and increases blood circulation, making the skin feel warmer.
Known as one of the most powerful medicinal spices, turmeric is believed to be the most versatile in healing the human body. Ayurveda also suggests the use of turmeric to fight various ailments. During winter, turmeric can offer some amazing benefits as it's loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This root herb is also believed to be helpful to a whole host of conditions from arthritis and diabetes to cholesterol and increasing a poor immune system. In the colder winter months, it is apparently the best thing for prevention and cure for any cold, cough or flu, as per Ayurvedic practices.
During the winter season, cardamom is known as a magical spice for its bold pungent flavour and power to bring warmth to the body. It is also commonly used to help relieve symptoms of colds and cough and certain respiratory problems. Don't be surprised but chewing on cardamom seeds can actually help open up your chest and uplift you to feel fresh instantly!
5. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are enriched with Vitamin C, known to have strong immune-boosting properties. Being a strong antioxidant, it also helps curb the free radical activity, responsible in causing various diseases. This heating spice is believed to contain a mix of antioxidants, antimicrobial components and anti-inflammatory volatile oils, which help alleviate the risk of cold, cough and flu and provides instant relief. It also is known to help in keeping several seasonal infections at bay and keeps your body warm from within.
At Chai Walli, we're passionate about all the benefits of herbs and spices especially in the practice of Ayurveda. Not only do they help to enhance our chai and cooking, it boosts our wellbeing inside and out.