There are five spices regarded as essential for great digestion in Ayurveda. They are fennel, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and ginger. These five spices in research studies have demonstrated the ability to:
- Increase bile flow
- Increase pancreatic enzyme activity
- Increase small intestine enzyme activity
- Decrease gas and bloating
- Increase fat and sugar metabolism
- Scavenge free radials
- Support optimal weight
- Support microbiome health of the gut
- Decrease H. pylori from adhering to stomach
- Stimulate digestion
- Quicken the transit time in the intestines resulting in less constipation
Coriander is the best for issues of heartburn because it has a natural cooling effect in the digestive tract, while it concurrently promotes digestive action. It also prevents and/or relieves gas from the intestinal tract.
Cumin also supports digestive action and reduces gas and bloating. It is similar to coriander, in that it cools the digestive system, while boosting digestive strength. It supports healthy assimilation, the proliferation of good gut microbes, as well as supports the detoxification of the intestinal tract.
Fennel prevents and/or relieves gas and bloating in the digestive tract, as well as supports lymph flow. Additionally it is reduces intestinal cramping and nausea.
Cardamom has the ability to make foods easier to digest and enhances the taste of most ordinary foods. When cooked into food, it reduces excess mucus production, gas and bloating.
Ginger is called the universal medicine because of its many health benefits. It is heating for the upper digestive tract, but cooling and soothing for the lower digestive tract. Although in excess, ginger can be too heating to the upper digestion. Scientific studies have shown that ginger supports healthy microbes, a healthy intestinal wall, and acts as a digestive stimulant for nutrient assimilation.
A classic way to get these spices is to make teas from them. Recipes are below:
¼ inch piece of fresh organic ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced.
8 ounces of boiling water
Combine and steep for 5 minutes or more. Drink the liquid, but do not consume the ginger root.
Cumin, Coriander, Fennel Tea
¼ teaspoon of each of the following: organic whole seeds of cumin, coriander, and fennel
8 ounces of boiling water
Combine and steep for 5 minutes or more. Strain and drink. As this tea has a diuretic effect, be sure not to consume it after 6 pm or your sleep may be disturbed by the need to urinate during the night.
Cardamom may be enjoyed in breakfast foods such as stewed fruit, quinoa or oatmeal with some cinnamon, turmeric, a touch of salt and pepper.
Enjoy, have fun and digest well!