Sumac: my favorite spice. sour taste. sour brings us a surge of energy to move forward, its a pitta flavor but not the same as a spicy spice. it moves stagnation in the gut and starts digestion. sumac is a berry from a tree and it is dark red in color. so stimulating for digestion and movement of kapha, and also stimulating for the root chakra because of its dark red color, so a bit grounding while being an activating spice. my favorite use for sumac is eating it plain!! i love putting a spoonful on my tongue and savoring the sour and tart while feeling the rough texture of the berry ground up.
Cardamom! Cardamom is the most magnificent spice! It is cooling for nourishing. It calms vata because it is so nourishing and sweet like kapha. It is delicious in coffee if you drink it, to calm down the hot effect. It is awesome in hot chocolate for a sweet cool relaxing drink. I love pairing cardamom with rose in tincture form. Cardamom tincture, and rose tincture, with a little cherry juice. The cooling effects of both the herbs and the tart cherry lend themselves to a really amazing sleep :)
Cilantro! Cilantro is a green that is cooling. It is hydrating and cooling so can calm down hottness in the face or head, anger, or any other pitta situation, including inflammation or fever. Cilantro is best fresh, and can be made into a dip with sour cream for a very cooling effect. Try Cilantro on your tacos, or on your eggs in the morning, or adding a sprig of cilantro to your water. Along with cucumbers, cilantro aids in cooling the system and also brings about ease in digestion.
Ginger! Ginger is an awesome kapha calmer. Fresh ginger can be ground up and added to cool lemonade. Ginger lemonade is so good, the ginger warms up the kapha and the lemons are a bit drying so they can quell wetness and stagnation. Ginger fresh is more warm, ginger ground is more hot. Using ground ginger powder and adding it to your soup, your breakfasts, your hot chocolate, will help bring heat, dispersing kapha stagnation. Using fresh ginger in tea is warming for the whole system, will disperse stagnation.
Join one of my classes to learn more about spices!!! Happy Cooking!!