Ayurvedic Winter Spice Churna are “masalas” (spice mixtures) used to boost immunity by improving digestion and stimulating Agni digestive fire. They are used year round, but can be especially good in Winter and also for Ama/toxin accumulation. They can be tailored to all three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The following Ayurvedic winter spice churna is a tri-doshic mix of spices, suitable for Winter, but that will not aggravate any one dosha and pacifies them all, because it is a mix of bitter, pungent, and sweet spices. Someone with a strong Pitta elevation with symptoms of burning in the gut or perhaps a hot type skin disorder like eczema or hives, might delete the black pepper. Persons with lots of Ama/toxins who are heavily Kapha can even add some cayenne chilli powder to their churna, especially if the come from a culture where they are used to such hot spice, like Mexico or India.
Spices can boost immunity indirectly. By stimulating digestive enzymes, they improve your body’s ability to extract nutrients from foods. They benefit immunity directly through their anti-oxidant value. In fact, they are really “Super Foods.”
The advantage of Ayurvedic winter spice churna for westerners, especially, is that you can carry them with you, and you can add them to any food, even at the table. You can sprinkle churnas onto cooked meat of veggie dishes, and you can even sprinkle onto a salad, though Ayurveda does not recommend salad in cold, wet, winter weather. I had one patient who was not going to cook and insisted on frozen Trader Joe’s entries. I got her to start sprinkling churnas onto her micrwaved frozen meals and that was better than nothing, and did help her digestive disorder…
Here’s an Ayurvedic winter spice churna for enhancing immunity.
• 3 parts Indian Turmeric
• 3 parts Ground Cumin
• 3 parts Ground Indian Coriander
• 1 part Ground Fennel
• 1 part Powdered Ginger
• 1 part Ground Black Pepper
• 1/4 part Ground Cinnamon
• 1/4 part Ground Cardamom
Mix all the powdered spices well and store in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sun.
Use As a Churna:
If you don’t want to get into full fledged Indian cooking, you can use this spice mix as a churna. That means adding a little bit to your already cooked food. This can work with grains, legumes, vegetables, even meats and fish. Here is how:
Measure one teaspoon of the spice mixture in one tablespoon of oil or ghee and heat on a very low flame until the aroma is released. Remove from heat immediately to avoid burning. Apply the warmed spice mix to cooked rice, vegetables or other dishes before serving. Taken regularly with each main meal of the day, this combination of spices will help boost your immune system and enhance digestion.
Otherwise, use this mix in cooking like any Indian spices, typically, by sautéing with onions before adding the additional ingredients. Or rub it on fish or chicken with oil before broiling.
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