Plant medicine is an integral aspect of Ayurveda, lending as a powerful tool in assisting one to achieve greater balance. From utilizing rasayanas (rejuvenating herbs) such as ashwagandha, shatavari and gotu kola when one is feeling depleted, calling upon demulcents (moisturizing herbs) like licorice, cinnamon and shatavari to replenish the fluids of the body, to applying antipyretics (heat reducing herbs) such as manjistha,roseand neem to sensitive and/or inflamed pitta type skin, as well as dozens of other categories of herbal actions, the rich knowledge encapsulated in classic Ayurvedic herbalism is something that today’s modern world can incorporate in order to strike a more harmonious balance from the inside out.
One of the most essential herbal categories in Ayurveda is called a dipana. Dipanas are herbs that increase agni, the digestive fire located in the stomach. When agni is strong and working optimally, the body’s ability to break down, absorb and assimilate nutrients from food improves and less digestive ailments like gas, constipation, hyperacidity and nausea occur. There are both warming dipanas and cooling dipanas in the Ayurvedic apothecary. Warming dipanas include herbs like ginger, black pepper, pippali (long pepper), hing, cinnamon and cayenne while cooling dipanas are herbs such as coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel. Generally speaking, warming dipanas are ideal for individuals with avata or kapha type constitution or if individuals are experiencing either a vata or kapha imbalance in the digestive tract. In contrast, cooling dipanas are well suited for people that are more pitta in nature or that are having a pitta imbalance in their digestive system.
At PAAVANI, we have formulated dipanas into our dosha specific Spice Blends to meet the various digestive needs of each dosha. The Vata Spice Blend contains warming and replenishing dipanas, the Pitta Spice Blendhas soothing and cooling dipanas, the Kapha Spice Blend contains spicy and activating dipanas, while the Tridoshic Spice Blend has a well rounded blend of dipanas to balance all three of the doshas. To learn more about the specific actions of each of our Spice Blends, read our blog post, “Digestive Churnas: Ayurvedic Spice Blends for Your Dosha”.
We love how versatile the Spice Blends are and would like to share with you the multitude of ways that you can incorporate your most supportive PAAVANI Spice Blend into your day!
Make a Traditional Digestive Churna
In Ayurveda, the classical method of consuming dipanas is through ingesting a digestive churna. A digestive churna is a formulated blend of powdered dipanas mixed with warm water to create a supportive herbal drink. Our easy to use PAAVANI Spice Blends conveniently deliver dosha specific churnas tailored for your specific digestive needs. To make your digestive churna, simply mix ½ teaspoon of your Spice Blend with ½ cup of warm or tepid water and consume 30 minutes before each meal. This small addition to your dining routine will prepare your body for healthy, optimal digestion and support your GI tract to work with ease.
Use During Cooking & Baking
When you are in the kitchen whipping up your favorite meal, simply add a teaspoon or more of your Spice Blend into your dish to help make it more dosha specific. We recommend including your Spice Blend into your next preparation of kitchari, curry, sautéed vegetables, dhal, soup, beans, meats, fish, or even baking. Try sautéing a wok full of fresh vegetables with Ahara Rasa Ghee and your Spice Blend of choice or using a PAAANI Spice Blend as a dry rub on your favorite meats and fish. We also encourage you to experiment with adding your Spice Blend into savory muffins, breads and cakes. Adding your dosha-specific spice blend into your meals is a delicious way to ensure that your belly will be receiving the herbal nourishment of dipanas so that it may optimally absorb and assimilate the nutrients that you just ate.
Sprinkle on Prepared Food
Our dosha specific Spice Blends also make delicious all-purpose spices to sprinkle on top of your favorite meals and snacks. You may also choose to use on top of your food if you forgot to add your Spice Blend while you were preparing your meal or for those times when you are dinning out. We recommend sprinkling a ½ teaspoon or more of the Spice Blend onto your food to help improve the digestion and assimilation of your meal.
Some of our favorite go-to dishes and snacks that we like to sprinkle Spice Blend powder on top of include:
- avocado toast
- nut butter toast
- rice pudding
- sautéed or roasted veggies
- prepared meats & fish
- granola bars
- trail mix
- baked fruits
Add to Smoothies, Juices, Lattes & Elixirs
Adding dipanas into your daily smoothies and juices will help your body to better absorb their rich supply of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. We recommend adding ½ teaspoon of Spice Blend powder to an 8-12oz smoothie or juice. Additionally, adding ½ teaspoon of Spice Blend to your morning or afternoon herbal elixir or latte will help keep your agni stoked and prepared for your next meal.
As you can see, our dosha specific Spice Blends are not only supportive to healthy digestion, but also a versitile and delicious addition to your meals. The foundation of Ayurveda is based on the principal idea that the root cause of all disease begins with unhealthy digestion. Therefore, in order for one to truly live an Ayurvedic lifestyle filled with optimal health and balance, one must take the time to assess and address any digestive imbalances that may be occurring. Thankfully, Ayurveda has many tools to call upon to help support the optimal function of your digestive system. By using the support of dipanas, eating foods specific to one's constitution, taking Triphala daily and following the 15 Ayurvedic Guidelines for Healthy Eating, you can ensure optimal digestion, healthy tissues of the body and a joyful mind. Wishing you a fun and exciting culinary journey with your PAAVANI Spice Blend as you make your food your perfect medicine!