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Do you find it a bit harder to digest those heavier meals during the winter months? You’re not alone and there is a reason that we are drawn to circulatory herbs during this time as this is the season of over-indulging and eating foods that are not normally a part of our diet.
Warming, more pungent aromatics such as; cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom can help ease these digestive disruptions. They go to work immediately by increasing the digestive fluids (bile) warming the stomach, allowing food to flow properly, and easing gas and bloating.
As we all have heard by now 80-90% of our immune system lives in our gut…hence the importance of “gut health” to our overall wellbeing. Keeping your digestive system moving and working well is critical for your immune health – not only during cold and flu season but all year long.
Your digestive tract has a direct correlation to your health and your body’s ability to fight off serious diseases. Keeping things moving is crucial to every organ system and every aspect of your immunity. So have another cup of warming chai.
Just how do warming herbs work? These amazing plants increase circulation by opening up the peripheral blood vessels (at the edges of your body) and pushing more blood into them. This helps warm up fingers and toes and gives your body an over-all “warmed” feeling.
The other good news about this warming action is that the increase in blood movement also helps to remove unwanted bacteria, viruses and garbage that slows down your immune response. It helps to keep everything moving more efficiently.
These warming herbs get their aromatic properties from the wonderful, volatileessential oils within them, that not only make the herbs smell amazing but, also act as aromatic stimulants.
These essential oils are potent antimicrobials that help kill germs (especially great for upper respiratory illnesses), strengthen the immune system (calling for your body to produce more white blood cells), breaking up mucous and increasing drainage of the lymphatic system – Helping to get rid of those invading microbes that make you sick.
There are many ways to use warming herbs (in the bath, in lotions and oils) but food and drinks are the best and they taste awfully good too. There is nothing like a warming cup of hot tea to make everything feel so much better. Try incorporating your warming herbs into soups, sauces, desserts, hot drinks & more…the more the merrier. Here is a yummy recipe to try.
2 Cinnamon Sticks½ Teaspoon All Spice½ Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns3 Cardamom Pods5 Cups of Water¼ Cup Honey5-8 Whole Cloves2 Whole Star Anise1 Tablespoon minced fresh Gingerroot (or 1 tsp. ground)2 Cups Oat Milk (or milk of choice)Ground Nutmeg, for topping (optional)5 Black Tea bags or non-caffeinated Rooibos teaFor more immune support add 1-2 Tablespoon of Astragalus root (optional)
CautionAlthough drinking chai is generally known to be safe, using large amounts of stimulating herbs that increase blood circulation could present an issue for pregnant women. Using it in low doses is always a good idea and check with your health care practitioner for advice.
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So what exactly is in this vegan queso? The main ingredient here is sweet potatoes! Don't worry, if your not wild about he taste or texture of a sweet potato, this dish gets so transformed you can't even tell it is full of them. It just becomes creamy, smooth textured and full of spices and flavor.
If you have some fun twists on old favorites it does spice things up and leave people talking about what a great party it was for sure. Changing things up can be easier than you think and a lot of fun. This is the time to get creative and have fun while wowing your guests.
If you need a break from cooking between the holidays or you still have a house full of people to feed and need a quick and easy meal...it doesn't get much easier than this dish!
If you have leftover shrimp cocktail from a party and want to use it up, you can do that with this dish as well. If not, grab a bag of uncooked shrimp from the freezer and get your dinner done in about 20 minutes.
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