Fit in spring with Ayurveda spices

Article by Kerstin Rosenberg, specialist for Ayurveda nutrition and book author

After the dark and short days of winter, everyone is looking forward to spring, but for many, spring first starts with a severe cold, flu or the well-known spring fatigue. To avoid this, Ayurvedic medicine recommends special spices that stimulate our metabolism and strengthen the immune system.

From an Ayurvedic point of view, the organism awakens from its winter sleep in spring. Now the metabolism needs active support to burn and remove accumulated waste products (ama). Ginger, turmeric and pepper are the best helpers from the Ayurvedic kitchen and medicine cabinet.

Ginger - fresh or dried?

Ayurveda loves ginger! Whether fresh ginger root or dried ginger powder - many cooking recipes and healing formulas work with the pungent tuber with healing properties. The effects of fresh and dried ginger differ in fundamental ways: The fresh ginger (Adraka) tastes hot and is optimally suited as a natural detoxifier. It stimulates the metabolism, strengthens the liver functions and thins the blood in a natural way. Even the already famous Ayurvedic ginger water is always boiled with fresh ginger!

The dried ginger (Sunti) is much gentler in taste and effect as it tastes spicy but according to Ayurveda has a sweet or restorative effect after digestion. This makes dried ginger a valuable rejuvenating and restorative agent (Rasayana), which should not be missing from any sweet dish. Dried ginger has a purgative effect, clears the respiratory tract and strengthens the immune system. A daily intake helps us with colds, bronchitis, asthma and arthritis. Similarly, dried ginger powder is recommended as the best Ayurvedic home remedy for flatulence.

Turmeric - turmeric for purification

The yellow turmeric powder is not only the basic ingredient of every curry mixture. It is also one of the most important spices for purification and weight reduction. With its bitter and astringent taste, turmeric is very blood purifying, helps with allergies, allergic asthma, hay fever, skin problems, hemorrhoids and chest pain. Its ingredients stimulate the flow of bile, promote liver function, have an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate the metabolism. Dissolved in warm water and drunk in sips, turmeric is also effective against intestinal fungi. Warm milk with a pinch of turmeric relieves persistent fatigue and activates the body's energy.

Pepper boosts the metabolism

Similar to ginger, in Ayurveda we also know different types of pepper and distinguish them in their therapeutic effect and application. Black pepper (marici) is one of the best spices to ignite the digestive fire. It stimulates the appetite, helps to relieve feelings of heaviness and fullness after eating, and helps to rev up tissue metabolism. Another and important type of pepper is Pippali, the long pepper. This has a pungent taste but a sweet effect after digestion. Thus, Pippali has a special role in Ayurvedic dietetics: it activates the digestive powers without bringing more heat into the body. In Ayurvedic medicine, Pippali is mainly recommended for immune strengthening, weight reduction and gentle purification - also for people with respiratory diseases, inflammations or skin complaints.

Small cleansing cure for spring

If you want to relieve your body and strengthen your immune system with a small cleansing cure in spring or early summer, you should integrate these three spices into your daily diet. Already from 2 g (1/4 teaspoon) the spices unfold their full taste and effect. As an intensive cure Ayurveda recommends the preparation of a spiced water or a spiced milk. For this purpose, 1 teaspoon of spice is boiled with 1 litre of water or 500 ml of water and 500 ml of milk until half of the liquid (to 500 ml) has boiled away. This ayurvedically prepared concentrate should not be taken for more than three days in a row. Sweetening with honey is allowed to improve the taste. This even often enhances the effect, as it also stimulates circulation and purifies the body.