Ayurveda has been using a powerhouse 5 spice blend for digestion and not only for everyday use and prevention but help to heal issues at the root. The most common reported digestive symptoms are gas, bloating, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort. When these symptoms occur, even (and especially) if it’s subtle, it is vital not to ignore them for long term health.
If you have not been diagnosed with any severe digestive issues, then consider working with a practitioner to reset your digestive strength and efficiency naturally with diet & lifestyle modifications, and of course herbs and spices. These 5 spices in particular have been used for thousands of years with repeated success.
Commonly in Indian restaurants, you may see a bowl of fennel seeds offered after a meal. What I appreciate most about these spices is how they reset digestive function without creating dependency (like enzymes could) and they are as gentle as they are potent. These spices actually support the body’s natural ability to digest, rather then just addressing symptoms. Digestive enzymes only temporarily provide enzymes to digest protein and starches, while this 5 spice blend will amp up the body’s ability to produce its own digestive enzymes and bile.
- Increases bile flow
- Supports Pancreatic enzymatic activity
- Boosts small intestine enzymatic activity
- Decreases gas & bloating
- Improves fat & sugar metabolism
- Promotes optimal weight
- Supports healthy microbiome
- Increases healthy growth rate of beneficial bacteria
- Stimulates digestive organs
- Quickens intestinal transit time supporting health elimination
Why these spices?
Coriander – Coriander is probably the most cooling of the five. The seeds are commonly used in herbal remedies. The leaves, known as cilantro, are slightly less cooling then the seeds whereas the seeds are best known for their digestive properties of cooling excess pitta in the intestinal tract, making it a go-to for heartburn. It is a natural carminative meaning it prevents or relieves gas from the GI tract. Coriander has also been shown to increase natural production of bile from the liver and digestive enzymes from the pancreas.
Cardamom – A member of the ginger family, Ayurveda reveres this spice in making your dishes more digestible and delicious! (Especially masala chai!) Cardamom also neutralizes the stimulating effects of caffeine, allowing chai to boost digestion without taxing the nervous system. It is also fondly known to reduce the extreme acidity of many foods and caffeinated beverages (including coffee) and is the signature spice in traditional Turkish coffee. These reasons and more are why I added it to my Bulletproof Coffee Blend. When cooked into your food, it balances excess mucus, gas, and bloating in the stomach and small intestine. Cardamom has also been found to support healthy liver function, supporting healthy levels of cholesterol and weight loss.
Cumin – Cumin, we dare say, is the most powerful digestive tonic of the five spices. While very effective alone, it blends well in both taste and effectiveness with the others. It is much like coriander in that it cools the digestive system, as well as boosts strength, supports health assimilation, cultivation of good microbes, and detoxification of the GI tract. Cumin is the go-to for gas & bloating.
Fennel – Not only does it combat gas and bloating, it is extremely gentle for digestive stress and as one of Ayurveda favorite lymph-movers, containing natural antioxidant compounds that support healthy lymphatic function.As a lymph mover, it also supports healthy lactation and radiant skin, inside & out. Fennel seeds are considered to be the most sattvic of spices(promoting purity and balance), because of it’s optimal balancing effect on all the Doshas. It is considered one of the best digestive herbs as it strengthens digestive fire (Agni) without aggravating pitta, and is beneficial for abdominal cramping, nausea and dispelling flatulence.
Ginger – Known in Ayurveda as the ‘universal spice’ because of its many health benefits. It is heating for the upper digestion, with its pungent taste, but cooling and soothing for the lower digestion, as a result of its sweet aftertaste. It is therefore considered to be tri-doshic, balancing all Doshas (except in excess). Ginger is the classic kindling to start digestive fire in the stomach. Ginger has been studied to support the body’s natural production of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and liver bile – acting as a digestive reset for all aspects of the upper digestive system. Scientific studies have shown it supports healthy microbes and intestinal wall, while acting as a digestive stimulant for nutrient assimilation.
In my Rest & Digest Tea, I combined these 5 spices in proprietary amounts for a delicious taste and optimal effectiveness of each spice. To make it even more special I added Indian Sarsaparilla. This brings the tummy soothing feeling and is known for aiding in many digestive ailments.
Digestive strength is the number one thing assessed in an Ayurvedic consultation. “When diet is correct, medicine is of no need, when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use” – Ayurvedic Proverb
If you are having problems with digestion, assimilation, and elimination, it is the root cause of all imbalance and disease in your body. Please consider a “Clarity Call” with Seva Ayurveda to see if Ayurveda can help you!