Through the lens of Ayurveda, herbs and spices are used to balance our doshas (energy) along with the foundation of a healthy diet and lifestyle. These ingredients can be used in larger amounts and combinations for traditional medicines, as well as in smaller amounts for culinary use.
Each spice does have a unique set of qualities and can be used in different combinations to balance specific doshas (of course in combination with foods and lifestyle :)
Here are some combinations you can create in your kitchen:
Tridoshic spice blend: balancing all 3 doshas, these spices are great for general use together.turmeric, saffron, fresh ginger, fennel, coriander, cumin, and cardamom
Tip: Fresh ginger is less heated than dried.
Vata balancing spice blend: Helpful in cold, dry weather or in times of stress
Vata balancing spices are warming - dried ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cumin
Tip: Keep these ground spices in a jar and add to warm milk or other beverages, porridge, grains and more.
Pitta balancing spice blend: Helpful in summer if feeling overheated, or to balance spicy foods
Coriander, fennel, turmeric,
Tip: Try a cold water infusion of 1 tsp coriander seeds in room temperature water, left to sit overnight. In the morning, strain and drink.
Kapha balancing spice blend: Helpful in spring or cool, rainy weather
Chili pepper, Cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic and ginger
Tip: A very delicious condiment can be made of a paste of these ingredients, make a small jar to keep on hand
No matter what type of cuisine you like, understanding the qualities of spices can help you create balanced meals to support a balanced life.