Stop the Fads
TAKE THESE 6 EVERYDAY SPICES TO TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH
BY SHIVANI GUPTA, PH.D.
The “golden milk” fad—that has taken the Western world by storm—has both been good and not so good for consumers.
As people are becoming more health conscious, they are trading in sugar and caffeine for healthier options to gain energy.
Many advertisers and companies are misinforming us about the proper uses and absorption of turmeric and healing herbs alike, which is a waste of our time and dollars.
Long before turmeric lattes hit the scene at our trendy neighborhood
cafés, our ancestors for centuries have used natural healing herbs in
their daily diets to promote health and treat common ailments.
Having grown up in an Indian household where herbal remedies trumped all else, I learned
that the magic of healing came from the science of life coupled with the understanding of what
our bodies truly need to function optimally.
And much of what our bodies need can be found right in our own kitchen.
It’s no surprise turmeric is a staple in Indian cuisine, but this dynamic herb is also used for a myriad of healing benefits.
Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is one of the most well-studied naturally occurring inhibitors of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2—which is known to promote the activity of carcinogens in the body and the survival of cancer cells through the growth of blood vessels.
In addition to being a powerful blocker of these toxic enzymes, the benefits of this Superherb also help our bodies clean up unstable oxygen molecules (free radicals) that can damage cells and cause diseases such as cancer.
From childhood through adulthood, I’ve experienced firsthand how powerful turmeric can be—helping with everything from relieving inflammation to weight loss.
Do: Take turmeric with black pepper or a healthy fat.
Hundreds of published studies tell us to consume turmeric with black pepper or a healthy fat (whole milk) for proper absorption and to activate the benefits of this spice.
Don’t: Fall for dubious turmeric and curcumin fads.
Stop wasting your time and money on turmeric or curcumin supplements that are absent of the Bioperine or black pepper extract needed for absorption. For example, taking skim milk lattes or nonfat almond milk with turmeric or adding fresh turmeric to your green juice without a pinch of black pepper are ineffective for proper absorption into the body.
Boswellia is also known as Indian frankincense and has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its dual cooling and heating properties. Since healthy aging requires controlled levels of 5-LOX (an enzyme linked to degenerative diseases and health issues in aging individuals) in the blood, this Superherb is excellent for joint relief because it cools inflammation and also heats the body to improve circulation.
Boswellia can also be used for supporting you during asthma, fever, rheumatism and gastrointestinal issues.
Cinnamon, a very common spice in the kitchen known for enhancing sweet and savory foods, is also used as an anti-inflammatory. This healing agent can relieve pain, detoxify the body, aid indigestion, lower cholesterol, and stimulate the heart.
I use cinnamon in my tea daily, I love it with black tea. In Ayurveda, cinnamon is thought to be a major digestive aid, stimulating intestinal tissue health and integrity. Cinnamon is credited with increasing agni (the digestive fire) and increasing circulation to the joints, also pushing toxins out of the system. Cinnamon has invigorating, warm, and penetrating properties.
Pair this Superherb with ginger or black pepper to improve its medicinal benefits.
When I researched the healing benefits of Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) during my Masters in Ayurvedic Studies, I was blown away. For centuries, empirical evidence has attested to the calming and antispasmodic properties of this Superherb—which is highly regarded by doctors around the world for its ability to nurture the nervous system and counteract anxiety and stress by promoting a calm state of mind.
Well-known in Ayurveda as a potent aphrodisiac, Ashwagandha can increase vitality and energy, improve endurance and stamina, and strengthen the immune system without stimulating the body’s reserves.
Amla is also known as Indian gooseberry. Amla (one egg-sized fruit containing as much Vitamin C as eight lemons) is the highest natural source of Vitamin C. Also known to increase red blood cell count, Amla helps regulate blood sugar levels and improves eyesight, while also relieving inflammation of the stomach and colon. This Superherb balances agni (digestive fire), promotes energy and calms the mind, body, and immune system.
Indian Amla Chyavanprash (a jam that has a sweet, sour, and spicy taste) is taken daily in many Indian households as a health tonic and supplement to build immunity and has anti-aging properties.
Fenugreek, similar to clover, is used to relieve digestive issues and reduce inflammation. This Superherb, though commonly used in cooking, is also used for painful menstruation, menopause relief, and even for inducing childbirth. Fenugreek has been used as an Ayurvedic treatment for improving heart health and diabetes.Fenugreek seeds are rich sources of carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, and minerals.
Fenugreek can be used as whole seeds or ground. As with many other Ayurvedic spices, it is best to sauté whole or ground fenugreek in ghee before adding it to dishes.
Looking for additional ways to transform your health and to discover the myriad of benefits of using these Superherbs? Check out our article Meet Superherbs, The New Essentials For Your Medicine Cabinet or visit our blog at FusionaryFormulas.com.
SHIVANI GUPTA, PH.D. ABD IN AYURVEDIC STUDIES, IS THE CEO OF FUSIONARY FORMULAS, AND AUTHOR OF THE CONSCIOUS PREGNANCY: A SPIRITUAL AND PRACTICAL APPROACH TO MAKING A ZEN BABY. A BORN ENTREPRENEUR, GUPTA HAS OWNED AND RUN SEVERAL SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES AND CO-FOUNDED AN ECO-CONSCIOUS BLOG WITH FAVORABLE REVIEWS FROM TOP CELEBRITIES, ACTRESSES, AND OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS. HER WORK IS FEATURED IN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, USA TODAY, VANITY FAIR, AMERICAN BABY MAGAZINE, ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE, THE EXAMINER, AND SEVERAL OTHER MAJOR PUBLICATIONS WHERE SHE HAS GARNERED AUTHORITY AS A GREEN LIVING GURU. SHIVANI IS A CATALYST OF CONSCIOUS LIVING AND DEDICATES HER WORK EDUCATING AND EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO TRANSFORM THEIR HEALTH. FOLLOW HER ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY HEALTH INSIGHTS THAT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.