Ayurvedic Cooking & Organic Spices
There is no shortage of diet recommendations out there. And if you’re looking for a guide to a clean diet, or in Ayurvedic terms, a sattvic diet, Ayurveda offers a unique approach to healthy cooking. Have you ever considered the “energetics” or the qualities of your food? For example, a cucumber is cold, rough, maybe a little bitter, and is eaten raw, whereas a sweet potato can only be eaten after it’s been cooked, and is usually warm, heavy, and dense, especially when adding a little butter or ghee. It leaves us feeling satisfied, satiated. After eating a cucumber, we might still be hungry and craving something heavier, more substantial, especially if you are predominantly vata dosha. This is one way we look at Ayurvedic nutrition—by the qualities of our food and how they influence the doshas. All food can potentially be Ayurvedic food, and by using the best ingredients, healthy spices, and a little Ayurvedic knowledge, in no time at all there will be beautiful sattvic meals coming from your kitchen.
When conjuring an image of an Ayurvedic kitchen, the first thing that may come to mind is a cupboard full of Ayurvedic spices. Whether vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, spices give our cuisine that special something. Ayurvedically speaking, they also add the qualities we may need to bring our bodies and minds back into balance. They may be warming herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger or cooling like fennel, coriander, and cumin. It may be a pungent herb like chitrak or bitter like turmeric. Our bodies need all of these tastes and different qualities; however, depending on our special constitution, we may need more of one over another. If you would like more specific information on how this applies to an Ayurvedic diet, you may appreciate taking our Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz.
Spices for the Doshas
Vata dosha is balanced by the tastes of sour, sweet, and salty, whereas the other three tastes—pungent, bitter, and astringent—exacerbates or elevates vata dosha. Some spices that are good for vata dosha are: allspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, garlic, and ginger. For a more complete list, look at our Vata-Pacifying Foods page. Pitta dosha is balanced by sweet, bitter, and astringent. Some balancing herbs for pitta dosha include: fresh basil, coriander, cumin, fennel, mint, neem, parsley, and peppermint. A complete list can be found on the Pitta-Pacifying Foods page. Kapha dosha is balanced by pungent, bitter, and astringent. Among some of the best spices for kapha are: anise, black pepper, cayenne, cloves, fenugreek, mustard seeds, nutmeg, and oregano, and a complete list is on our Kapha-Pacifying Foods page. These lists are by no means definitive, and for a more in-depth look at dosha-balancing diets, you will enjoy our Ayurvedic Diet page, which includes dosha-specific diet guidelines and recipes. Experiment with incorporating some of these ideas into your kitchen and your life.
For over 20 years Banyan has been committed to offering the finest quality Ayurvedic herbs and supplements. With a high standard to excellence and living our values, we can assure you that all our herbs must pass all third-party testing for microbials and heavy metals before receiving a stamp of organic certification. We offer a 90-Day Return policy. If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with your purchase, within 90 days we will gladly refund you for the price of the item. We apologize in advance that we are not able to refund shipping costs. However, free shipping is offered on orders of $60 or more.