Properties of spices (in mung beans & rice)

This was prepared for a vegetarian cooking workshop taught in spring of 2006. Information on the spices and ingredients in “Mung beans & Rice” also known as “Kitcheree.”

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The holy trinity of herbs- Garlic, Ginger and Onions. Yogi Bhajan says that these three herbs are miraculous in combination. Not only healing but very energizing. Garlic: Good for heart, blood, circulation. Antibiotic properties. Promotes creative, sexual potency which when directed up as in kundalini yoga, enhances the entire being.

Ginger: Cures nausea-better than Dramamine. Alleviates menstrual symptoms. Ginger tea creates heat in the body when you’re cold. Aids digestion. Also has antibiotic properties. Nourishes the nerves and allows them to carry more energy. Also keeps the spine and cerebrospinal fluid healthy.

Onions: Considered by the Egyptians to be a symbol of the universe. Onion juice is used to cure earache, colds, fever, laryngitis, warts and cancer. Onions stimulate blood production, purify the blood and balances blood sugar levels. Attacks bacteria.

Other Spices:

Turmeric: Lubricates the joints, which is good for sitting long periods of meditation. Good for skin and mucus membranes. Always cook before eating, or mix thoroughly into yogurt. Add honey to taste. Can be boiled into a paste, which is easily used in golden milk and other recipes.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, inhibits H. pylori, which is a cancer-provoking bacteria associated with gastric and colon cancer. It helps detoxify the liver, balance cholesterol levels, fight allergies, stimulate digestion, boost immunity and enhance the complexion. It is also an antioxidant.

Ghee: Clarified butter-(the butter with the cream cooked and skimmed.) Most easily assimilated oil. Helps in sperm production. Lubricates connective tissue. **See Article on Ghee for many other benefits.

Cardamom: High in a chemical called cineole-an expectorant, (induces a productive cough to clear lungs.) Recommended for allergies and emphysema attacks to ease breath. Helpful in relaxing digestion, fighting nervous stomach and relieving irritable bowel syndrome. It also leaves the breath fresh and the gums healthy.

Cloves: Cloves are the dried up flower bud of the clove plant- Pungent, sharp and powerfully aromatic. Clove oil is one of the most powerful anesthetics for dental pain. Just a drop on a cavity can bring relief as instantly as Novocain. And it’s a proven antiseptic too. Some people find lightly chewing on a whole clove a wonderful breath-freshener as well.

Cayenne: Known as capsicum or red pepper, is a powerhouse of healing properties.
Useful in alleviating debilitating arthritis pain Capsaicin is the active ingredient in many expensive over-the-counter and prescription pain medications. Stimulates the immune system and relieves congestion from colds. Improves circulation and endorphin production, which aids in pain relief after too much stretch pose!

Cinnamon: is the bark of a tree initially cultivated in Ceylon. Falls in the category herbalists call a “warming aromatic.” Cinnamon heats up the body and promotes circulation. Also stimulates digestive processes. Cultures throughout the ages have used cinnamon to fight a cold. It is also a mild expectorant, meaning that it “opens things up” and helps you cough out congested lungs. When concentrated as oil, it has been used topically to treat bee and insect stings.

Cumin: is popular in Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines. According to Ayurveda, it is a cooling spice. It is supposed to aid digestion and help flush toxins out of the body.

Eating roasted cumin seeds can freshen the breath and also heal sores in the mouth and reduce excess saliva. Cumin tea cures problems in the urinary tract, cleans the bladder and kidneys. Cumin and fenugreek when combined together also help to keep the prostate healthy and reduce problems in the male and female reproductive organs and urinary systems. Reduces pain in the body and acts as a natural sleep aid for those who have difficulty falling asleep. Cumin tea is very useful for pregnant women during the last month of pregnancy as it helps to ready the uterus for labor and makes for an easier delivery. Cumin, fennel and fenugreek help to support the female system during menstruation and menopause. Reduces the symptoms of common cold and sore throat and helps to remove excess phlegm. Helps to regulate bowel function and can help to stop diarrhea when eaten as a sugar candy.

Combined with turmeric and pepper becomes a digestive aid and immune booster.

Coriander Seed: (seed of Cilantro plant) Enhances appetite, aids in digestion by calming the stomach and reduces flatulence.

Yogurt: Vitamin B12. Good for skin, intestinal flora. Natural cleanser for the stomach and intestines because of its probiotic content. The “good” bacteria.


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