Food

Five Ayurvedic spices to keep you cool this summer

May 26, 2013

According to Ayurveda, mint can be used to lighten and improve the appearance of sun-damaged and pigmented skin. — AFP/Relaxnews picAccording to Ayurveda, mint can be used to lighten and improve the appearance of sun-damaged and pigmented skin. — AFP/Relaxnews picLONDON, May 26 — The ancient healing art of Ayurveda is one of the hottest wellness trends this year, and you can sample some of the practice’s benefits right in your kitchen with spice therapy to keep your doshas, or biological energies, in balance.

According to Ayurveda, summertime is the fire season, or pitta, which can require specific spices to cool you off. For a quick primer on Ayurveda, every individual is governed by three doshas — vata, pitta and kapha — or energies that perform different physiological and psychological functions in the body. Spices, however, can normalise digestion to help balance your doshas.

What is your dosha type? Find out here: http://www.holisticonline.com/ayurveda/w_ayurveda-dtest1.htm

Naina Marballi, an Ayurvedic physician at Ayurvedas World in New York, explained to SpaFinder that pitta “rules metabolism, particularly digestion, and is in charge of all processes of transformation in the body.”

Too much pitta, common in summertime, can lead to inflammation, rash, acne, sweating, and heartstroke, she said. But even as the mercury climbs, you can keep your pitta in balance by adding one of these five cooling spices to your diet:

1. Fennel can help reduce inflammation and absorb nutrients, Marballi explained. Plus fennel removes mucus and fat from the intestinal tract, and is a natural appetite suppressant, according to the practice. 

2. Rose petals boost digestion by cooling the fiery pitta digestive tract.

3. Mint can be used to lighten and improve the appearance of sun-damaged and pigmented skin, said Marballi. Grind mint leaves, mix them with rosewater and lemon juice, and apply the mixture to the affected areas, she told SpaFinder. “Mint helps to soothe pitta by dispersing heat and cooling you down by opening up your pores to encourage sweating.”

4. Turmeric ”is a liver cleanser and blood purifier, helping control cholesterol, as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, and anti-bacterial,” Marballi said. 

5. Dill can be used as a digestive tonic, she recommended, to calm an upset stomach. The “green colour of dill leaves have an amazing capacity to fight free radicals,” she says, “and have the very good quality of being anti-bacterial.” — AFP/Relaxnews