12 good Indian products for the health

In India, Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that promotes prevention rather than remedial. Two principles are particularly important in this secular dietetics: the 6 tastes and the doshas, the physiological constitution of each person. Respecting order and proportion of each 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter and astringent) in every meal, according to his physiological constitution, allows to maintain a balance enter physical and mental health, and promotes longevity. Eating in conformity to these 2 principles limit indeed toxin production in the body, and contribute to a better assimilation of the essential elements.

Here are the 12 essential ingredients that are traditionally used in the Indian daily cooking.

Turmeric: the queen spice

Using powder or fresh (like ginger), turmeric is THE ingredient, which we should put in all our dishes! Turmeric is hot and dry by nature. Pungent, bitter and astringent, it regulates VATA (gas) and KAPHA (mucus). Powerful anti-inflammatory, it is also recognized to cleanse blood. Several scientific studies the curcumin – active principle of turmeric. Its regular consumption would help to reduce the « bad » cholesterol, to lower blood pressure, and would be even prevent cancerous risks. For a better efficiency, it is recommended to use it with some pepper, oil, and even his cousin ginger, to double its absorption by the body.

Green cardamom : a delicious flavor

Sweet and pungent, cardamom stimulates PITTA and subdues KAPHA and VATA. Their seeds represent one of the best ways to improve the digestive system and to accelerate digestion. They are moreover associated in almost oral medicine in the ayurvedic tradition. Essential to the good health of all internal organs on the digestive system, cardamom seeds, like anise and fennel, are taken after the meal, to help digestion and please the heart. It seems also to be an aphrodisiac!

Cinnamon: the soft heat of the bark

Sweet, bitter and pungent, cinnamon is beneficial to and balances the three doshas (physiological constitution). It regulates excess of VATA (gas), PITTA (bile) and KAPHA (mucus). Antiseptic, carminative, it is also recognized to be effective against rheumatic and nervous pains. It calms internal burning sensations (of the trachea especially), and cures diseases of heart and anus, calms thirst and refreshes the breath.

Clove: the spice of worship

Very used in religious rituals and tantric rites, this spice promotes consciousness. It is sweet, pungent and bitter, and like cinnamon, beneficial for the three doshas. Ideal for a good digestion, it is also excellent for the eyes, against asthma, stomach pains, tuberculosis, and most of the head pains. It stimulates the nervous system and strengthens the immunity. It has also a detox effect.

Curry : the aromatic leaf of India

The curry, in India, is not a mixture, but the leaf of a shrub, very aromatic, which one puts in sauces to perfume dishes. Reduced into a powder, in some masala, it helps not only to get rid of the excess of fat, but also to relieve toxins and to reduce cholesterol in the blood.

« Masala » : the real « curry » powder

Masala are mix of spices powder, which are not only there for our taste buds. These mixtures are prepared according to dishes to help digestion, and eliminate toxin. Using spices according to their therapeutic properties, these mixtures compose with ingredients to regulate the 3 doshas. There are even mixtures to prevent indigestions.

Ginger: a hot root

Pungent, ginger regulates VATA and KAPHA in excess. It is better to use it fresh, grated or in juice. In ancient times, if a Brahmin had to go to eat in the house of a person of low caste, he had to chew and swallow a small piece of fresh ginger 20 minutes to a half hour before eating, to protect himself from any low vibrations of the dishes served to him. Among others use, the juice of ginger mixed with some honey relieves the congestion of lungs and facilitates the breath.

Garlic: the miraculous clove

The ayurvedic considers garlic as a medicine rather than a spice. It contains all the tastes except sweet. Good for all the doshas, PITTA should not use it in excess. This small clove is good against any kind of troubles, and its sour and bitter tastes strengthen by aging and by drying up. Antibacterial, diuretic, disinfecting, antiseptic, it is also a stimulant, a rejuvenating, that cleanses the blood, lowers cholesterol, helps blood circulation and the heart. One says that swallowed before anything else every morning, garlic brings vitality and virility, slows down premature ageing and rejuvenates the intestines.

Mustard oil : the most easily digestible

Mustard oil contains less saturated fat than other oils. Ideal for cooking, its content in antioxidants and vitamins makes it the most useful oil. More easily digestible than animal-derived fats, as ghee (clarified butter), it is also used by the Indian cooks for its gustative values.

Cabbage: the indispensable fibre

Considered as sweet and astringent, it is also pungent during the digestion. Cabbage is an excellent muscle builder and eliminator of the gaseous toxins and promotes the cleansing of the bowel. Excellent source of vitamin C, it also contains a significant quantity of glutamine, an amino acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. Low calorie food, ate raw or cooked, it is a source from fibres, which help the digestion, and prevent the transformation of sugar and glucose in fat in the body.

Pulse, or Dals: the main ingredient

Main source of proteins, high-fibre food, pulses bring vitamins (A, B, C and E) and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, etc.). Their low fat content allows consuming them at every meal, and often represents the main course. Facilitators of digestion, pulses also help to lower the rate of cholesterol in the blood. There are also special preparations, called kichadis, considered as healing food, and a typical dish of Pancha Karma.

Honey: A holy food

Sweet and astringent, this natural sweetener regulates VATA and KAPHA. Source of numerous vitamins and minerals, it’s better to choose it raw and non-filtered, to keep the maximum of its natural profits. Its assimilation begins in the mouth; it is thus good to let it sink slowly into the throat, rather than swallowing it hastily. Medicinal, it is used in several therapeutic ayurvedic preparations. If one fasts only on honey and lemon water for a period of 6 days, the body will become free of any bacteria.

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