What they can do for you
Cooking and making teas with certain spices can be flavorful, but they can also be used as a medicinal way of cooking. Here are a few spices that I recommend you start incorporating into your diet for flavor and health reasons.
In Ayurveda every food, spice and herb plays a roll on the 3 doshas that you are made up of, which is vata, pitta and kapha. Below is general information about the spices and also what doshas they effect and how. If you are not sure what dosha type you are take a quick quiz here: http://lifespa.com/health-quizzes/body-type-quiz/
NOTE: cooking with these spices will be beneficial to anyone, but notice the amount in which you are cooking with them, if some heat up your stomach too much, then counter balance them with cooling spices and herbs like fennel, cilantro, coriander and cardamom. If you need more digestive help, use black pepper, ginger, turmeric and mustard.
Turmeric: (decreases kapha, vata and pitta)
Light and dry herb that is bitter, pungent and astringent in taste. Its post digestive effect is heating. It is good for cleansing the blood, decongestant, anti - inflammatory, anti- carcinogenic, blood purifier and helps to improve blood circulation and acts as a natural antibiotic.
This herb can be used fresh or in powder form and is great in rice, mung beans, stir-fry and roasted veggies. Using it every day will increase its benefits.
Fennel: (decreases kapha and vata)
This herb is light, moist and sharp. It is sweet, bitter and astringent in taste and has a cooling post digestive effect. It is great when used for abdominal pain, flatulence, indigestion and colic. Fennel tea can be made by simply seeping fennel seeds in hot water for 5 minutes and then drinking the water and chewing the seeds. It is great for upset stomachs and indigestion.
Cumin: (decreases kapha and vata, increases pitta)
This light and dry herb has a heating post digestive effect and tastes more pungent. It improves the digestive fire, reduces gas, helps to purify blood can be used as a diuretic and can be anti-inflammatory. Chew the seeds to help with stomatitis or mouth sores. Easting a few seeds before or with a meal helps with digestion and absorption of food. Woman, If you have a tendency to have cramps while menstruation, dry roast a couple of tablespoons of these seeds and then chew on a pinch or two every hour or so throughout the days of your heaviest flow. The anti-inflammatory property can help alleviate painful cramping.
Cinnamon: (decreases kapha and vata, increases pitta)
This spice is light, sharp and dry and has a heating post digestive effect. It is a pungent taste and can be good on fruit and vegetables. Cinnamon improves your digestive fire, stimulates the liver, is a cardiotonic and a diuretic. Cinnamon helps to even out blood sugar levels so adding it to hot water mid day can help you avoid those sugar cravings.