Updated: Oct 19
I've been recently often asked about recommendations to prevent from getting sick during this pandemic times. That is a lot we can do to support our immune system to build resilience against pathogens. Strengthening the immune system is our first line of action and restoring the digestive fire crucial for effective immunity.
The use of natural healing strategies requires greater involvement and enhanced awareness from individuals for its effectiveness. There are no magic pills or quick fixes, but over time results from consistent actions. Self-care is an ongoing process that leads us towards thriving wellness; diet, proper rest and adequate movement are all part of the equation.
In this article, I'll be sharing some easy recipes and home remedies that allow our bodies to gently restore our digestive fire and reduce phlegm production (Kapha cumulation).
Simple Ginger tea
1 teaspoon of grated or sliced fresh ginger
1 cup of hot water
Preparation: Add the ginger to the hot water. You can prepare a larger batch and keep it with you in a thermos bottle to sip throughout the day and with your meals.
Digestive Ginger tea
5-6 cups of boiling water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
two pinches of black pepper
two pinches of rock salt
Preparation: Add the ginger, cumin and coriander seeds to the boiling water and let it infuse for 5-10 min. Turn the heat off, let it cool down and strain. Let it cool down a little before adding the juice of one lime, the salt and pepper. When preparing teas from seeds, barks and rhizome the time needed for the plants to release their healing properties to the the water is higher than when using leaves and flowers.
1 litre of water
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 inch of fresh ginger root chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons of rock salt
honey, maple syrup or jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) to taste
Juice of 2 limes
Instructions: Bring all ingredients to the boil except for the lime juice. Simmer for 10 mins. Cool for a few minutes then add lime juice. Drink it warm 10-20 minutes before meal times.
"Mulligatawny" spicy broth
I have learned this recipe through the teachings from Todd Cadelcott, an inspiring Ayurvedic practitioner, knowledgeable teacher, and author of Food As Medicine: The Theory and Practice of Food. One of the basic methods to restore the digestive fire is the use of soups and stews. The Mulligatawny soup is a traditional recipe used to enhance digestion and to clear kapha (ama, phlegm).
2 cups of the soup broth of your choice (vegetable broth or bone broth from organic chicken or beef) that has had the fat skimmed as greasy foods are typically contraindicated in weak digestion.
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp black mustard seed
1 tsp coriander seed powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly chopped cilantro leaves or green onions to taste
Preparation: In a pot, warm the broth until hot. In a separate pan, dry roast the cumin and black mustard seed at medium heat until the mustard begins to pop. Add in the coriander seeds, ground black pepper, turmeric, and salt, roasting for another 30 seconds. Add this mixture into the soup, and garnish with cilantro or green onion. This simple spiced soup broth is great to restore your digestive fire and this recipe can also be used as a base for more complex preparations with chicken, vegetables, curry, coconut cream, etc.
About the author: Carol Jamault is a Certified Health and Life Coach (CHC), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) with extensive training in Ayurveda and Herbalism. She focuses on supporting her clients with stress management tools and self-care routines through an integrative approach to wellness. She guides those in a quest for personal growth and better health, by providing curated information and teaching a therapeutic lifestyle that naturally allows to restore balance, improving wellness and fostering longevity. Carol has been studying alternative healing, ethnobotany, circadian medicine, Ayurveda and herbalism since 2001. She is the founder of Hridayam Bodywork & Apothecary and partners with corporations and wellness studios to provide therapeutic bodywork, private coaching, workshops, and lectures.