Based on Ayurveda, there are three unique doshas or mind-body-spirit constitutions: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is comprised of space and air. It is movement both inside and outside the body. Pitta is comprised of fire and water. It is transformation, conversion, fire, heat, and intelligence. Kapha is comprised of earth and water. It is the end product of the body.
A person’s dosha is a very helpful tool for predicting certain tendencies, ailments, and preferences that they might have. With knowledge of your dosha, you can use herbs, diet, nutrition, and exercise to improve your physical health, maintain your ideal weight, have better sleep, reduce stress, and be happier overall.
To find out your unique dosha, take the quiz.
And just like people have a dosha, so too do the seasons. Vata governs autumn and winter, Kapha governs winter and spring, and Pitta governs summer. To stay healthy during the seasons, we must adapt accordingly.
With colder weather here, we need to stay warm and lubricated on the inside. This is the perfect time of year to start using more warming spices. Our digestive fire, or agni, is strong at this time of year, and so we tend to start eating more as the weather gets colder. Not only can we cook with our spices, but we can use them in our beverages as well.
3 Delicious Spices to Keep You Warm
Cinnamon, or dalchini as it is known in Hindi, pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas but can aggravate Pitta dosha when consumed in excess. It is best taken in powder form.
Here are some benefits of cinnamon:
- Improves circulation all throughout the body
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Freshens your breath
- Powerful aphrodisiac
- Reduces gas in the GI tract
- Stimulates the heart, liver, and kidneys
- Regenerates the blood
Ginger, or adrak as it is known in Hindi, is fantastic for warming up Vata and Kapha doshas. Vatas should use fresh ginger while dried ginger is best for Kaphas.
Here are some benefits of ginger:
- Balances hormones
- Supports the digestive system
- Boosts metabolism
- Provides immune support (also lowers cancer risk)
- Antispasmodic (can calm stressed muscles and alleviate cramps)
- Relieves nausea, colds, arthritis, migraines, and high blood pressure
- Clears the lungs and airways
3) Black pepper
Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and is a staple on many tables. It enhances the flavor of most dishes and is packed with incredibly healing and balancing benefits.
Due to the plant’s natural ability to increase heat, black pepper is used to strengthen Pitta dosha and decrease levels of Vata and Kapha doshas. Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production.
Here are some benefits of black pepper:
- Increases healthy gut bacteria
- Improve blood sugar
- Increases iron production
- Helps to heal a cough & other respiratory issues
- Relieves bloating and gas
- Rich in antioxidants
- Has potent anti-inflammatory properties
- Boosts absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium, selenium, and turmeric
Sleep Elixir Recipe
One great way to incorporate cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper into your cold weather routine is at bedtime. Here is a lovely recipe to help you wind down.
This sleep elixir is full of Ayurvedic herbs that contain anti-inflammatory properties, boost the immune system, and are natural relaxants. Use it as part of your nightly de-stressing routine.
1 cup mylk
½ tsp of grated fresh or powdered turmeric
½ tsp of grated ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom or 2 crushed pods
4 black peppercorn, whole
1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup, or jaggery (optional)
Combine all the ingredients except for the optional sweetener in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain and enjoy an hour before bedtime.
There’s something about a warm beverage that soothes the heart, relaxes us, and brings us back to the present moment.
If you need help with your health goals, contact me for a 20-min complimentary call. Together we’ll look at your life and lifestyle and customize a health plan just for you.