As the early days of spring continue to be brisk and cold, you may want to try and bring some additional zing into your diet through warming spices. There's a particular spice blend that is not only perfect for this time of year, but is a great fit for any sweet dish. I recommend mixing up a batch of this to keep in a small shaker by the stove. I often add this to oatmeal, stewed apples, crisps, or grain cereals. The sky is the limit.
The three spices in this blend are cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. All three are little powerhouses that pack quite a punch.
Cinnamon, or twak in Sanskrit, is loaded with many healing properties. It has gained popularity lately as it is thought to help regulate blood sugar, great for those who struggle with diabetes. Along with ginger, cinnamon is often referred to as the universal medicine. It helps to boost circulation and is a great addition during the cold and flu season as it is an expectorant (that is, it clears mucus from the airways) and diaphoretic (it increases perspiration). This spice relieves muscle tension, say after a day of hard exercise. Cinnamon is stimulating, strengthens the heart, and increases digestive fire. Finally, despite being heating, cinnamon is Tri doshic, or good for all body types.
Cardamom, or ela in Sanskrit, is one of the safest digestive stimulates. Like cinnamon, cardamom also enkindles the digestive fire. It can help to simulate the mind and alleviate depression. Cardamom is a wonderful spice to use if you have an upset stomach. Finally, cardamom can remove excess heaviness (or Kapha) from the lungs and stomach.
The lovely rhizome ginger is the final addition to complete this sweet spice mix. Ginger is phenomenal at warding off cold and flus. It is often used for indigestion as well as nausea (many pregnant woman resort to this gem to combat morning sickness). In addition, ginger can help relive gas and cramps, including menstrual cramps. It is said that ginger can be powerful medicine for heart disease. And because of its stimulating action, you may find that ginger helps relieve headaches. Like the other two spices, ginger also stimulates digestion and increases the digestive fire.
The lists of benefits go on and on. So why not add a little bit of this spice mix to your diet? Like I said, make a batch, and have it on hand when the mood strikes. It's good for cinnamon toast, cereals, or even ice cream. Here's how to make it.
Sweet Spice Mix
- ¼ cup cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup ginger powder
- 2 T ground cardamom
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.
- Pour contents into a small mason jar or spice jar.
- Keep on hand and see how many dishes you can incorporate this medicinal mix into.
Writer Lauren Sauer is a graduate from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and a certified 500 hour Kripalu Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher. As an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, she is passionate about educating others to become their own health advocate, to live with the rhythms of nature and to simply slow down and breathe. She currently resides in the beautiful Berkshires as the intern with the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.