Five Must Have Spices For A Happy Belly

Ayurvedic Happy Belly Giveaway!

1 out of every 3 people experiences some sort of digestive unease on a daily basis. It ranges from an unpleasant heavy feeling, to bloating, to heartburn, to acid reflux, pain, gas, constipation, or diarrhea, burping or distension. None of these are pleasant. Most of them can have a negative effect on the way we spend our day, what we accomplish and how we feel about our body.

As I talk in my upcoming book Happy Belly Guide, digestion is dependent on a lot of things besides the actual food. Our habits, how we eat, why we eat (thank you Dana for this question), and of course our physiology.

Habits are incredibly hard to change and I spent a good portion of the soon to be release Happy Belly Guide talking about way to change our habits around eating but this article is not about habits. It is about external helpers, things we can use to help our digestion to deal with food and our bad habits in a more efficient way while we are on our journey of changing habits and shifting our diet.

Fennel1-1024x676In Ayurveda spices are regarded as medicine. Each spices has its medicinal properties and can enhance not only the flavor of food but its healing powers.  It is believed that spices improve digestion by stimulating our digestive fire, which in Western terms can mean the production of enzymes and improving circulation. Adding a little bit of spice to your food is similar to taking the currently popular digestive enzymes. You can use spices in food or in teas. There are lots of books on spices and their healing powers, but a few of these will get you started.

You can make functional teas to ease the symptoms of indigestion, such as gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea, or constipation or add spices while cooking.

As with medicine, you need to know which spices to use and how. Let’s talk ayurvedic spices for a Happy Belly!

Happy Belly Spices:

Coriander Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting digestion without aggravating pitta. It enkindles the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing the GI tract. It helps to clear the digestive tract of trapped gas after a meal. Coriander seed oil will stimulate the production of gastric juices, and therefore help to stimulate appetite. It has been used in India for its anti-inflammatory properties. Coriander tea. This tea soothes and heals the entire digestive tract. Bring to boil one teaspoon of coriander in one cup of water. Steep for five to ten minutes. Strain and drink.

coriander_seeds_16x9Ginger. It has a powerful carminative effect — meaning that it can cleanse and heal the digestive tract. It can help to relieve muscle cramping. Ginger tea. Ginger tea is simple yet very effective in awakening sluggish digestion in the morning. Ginger is warming and can help to reduce mucus and stimulate the digestive tract. Due to this stimulating action on the digestion it is also the perfect drink to be taken either before you eat a meal or half an hour afterwards. Cut one inch of fresh ginger to one liter of water. Bring to boil and simmer for at least five minutes. Add lime and/or honey. Strain into a mug and enjoy!

Fennel. The United States once listed fennel as an official drug to be used for digestive problems, and today the herb is still used daily as an after-dinner digestive aid from Spain to India to Italy. Fennel has anti-spasmodic properties, and it stimulates the production of gastric juices. It’s useful for gastrointestinal and menstrual cramps, heartburn, diarrhea, colic, stomachaches, and indigestion.

Cumin – Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion without aggravating pitta. A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’. In addition to providing flavor to food, Cumin enkindles the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins in the GI tract. The seeds are often chewed after meals and are especially useful for calming excess vata in the lower abdomen and in promoting a comfortable post dining experience. Cumin enkindles the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption, helps digest natural toxins, promotes a comfortable post-meal experience.

Triphala – According to Banyan Botanicals website Triphala is recommended and used more than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation. Popular for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the system while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it, this traditional formula supports the proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory and genitourinary systems. Translated as “three fruits”, it is composed of the dried fruits of amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. Containing five of the six tastes (all but salty), Triphala readily removes excess vata, pitta and kapha from the body, bringing balance and proper functioning to the system.

Happy Belly indigestion tea. This simple tea works well for the bloated belly. It can be taken one to two times per day before lunch and dinner. It is best to sip this tea a half hour before meals. Put 1/2 teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in four cups of water. Bring to a boil, let steep, strain and drink. In the summer, add fresh mint and lime juice. Coriander, cumin, fennel tea is cooling and soothing for the mind, digestion, and urinary tract. These three kitchen spices are balancing for all seasons and body types

PS: Make sure to buy fresh spices, avoid old, stale, or those stored without air-tight container. I always order my spices from Banyan Botanicals

You can also start preparing for the seasonal detox by ordering Ayurvedic Detox Kit.

Happy Belly Better Digestion Giveaway

Banyan Botanicals are kind enough to sponsor an Ayurvedic Happy Belly Giveaway for Spinach and Yoga readers!!!

The winner will get $100 worth of ayurvedic gifts.

  • Triphala tablets 
  • Stainless steel tongue cleaner
  • Detox tea
  • Organic ghee
  • Coriander seeds 1/2 lb
  • Fennel 1/2 lb
  • Cumin seed 1/2 lbs
  • Ginger liquid extract

The package will be shipped from Banyan once we determine a winner of a giveaway. It would form a great beginner package for someone with mild digestive un-ease such as bloating.

How to Win:

  1. Subscribe to Spinach and Yoga newsletter
  2. Like Banyan Botanicals on Facebook
  3. Like Spinach and Yoga on Facebook
  4. Post a comment below telling us why you think a healthy digestion is important

The winner will be chosen randomly on Oct 1st and will be announced on facebook and in the newsletter. Make sure that you subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss the news!

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