On August 10 Annette Paluh joined us to lead a very informative class on ‘Spicy Medicine,’ which is a way to use herbs and spices medicinally through Ayruvedic practices. Ayruveda is the sister science of Yoga, and for thousands of years these methods have been employed for a pro-health lifestyle.
Ayruveda, which means the ‘Science of Life,’ guides you through preventative health care, as well as stimulating digestion, which in many cases can be the source of all illness. Herbal remedies refer to using fresh ingredients, while mineral remedies become stronger over time. The types of herbal medicine are in liquid, dry, powder, teas, tablets, tinctures, and decoction forms. Ointments, creams, and oils, are also different ways to use these practices topically.
The top three Ayruvedic herbs are tumeric (stops bleeding, antiseptic, antioxidant, antibiotic, chakra cleansing), cumin (good for digestion, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-nausea), and coriander (swelling, indigestion, rash, burns, appetite stimulant), and when following this practice, you would always use these in cooking.
The three most expensive spices in the world are saffron, which takes 75,000 blooms to make one pound, and can be used medicinally for fevers, anemia, menstruation pains, asthma, coughs, depression, and more. Vanilla is also expensive because it is hand pollinated which is labor intensive. The uses for vanilla can be inflammation, pain, arthritis, fever, sickle cell anemia, to name a few. Cardamom, which comes from pods, and is also labor intensive, can cost $30 per ounce. Cardamom has a fresh eucalyptus scent, and can be used for bronchitis, kidney and liver problems, toothaches, colds, heart and respiratory issues, and earaches.
Other herbs and spices that are used medicinally through the Ayruvedic practices are basil, calendula, chamomile, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, garlic, lemongrass, licorice, mint, nutmeg, onion, parsley, pepper, sage, and sesame. So take a peek into your spice cabinet and see what can be interchangeable into your medicine cabinet!