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Turn your kitchen into a pharmacy

My eyes were streaming and I still remember feeling like I was on fire from the inside. My mum was giving me water and I could hear her explaining to our hosts 'err yeah she only really eats English food at home' 

If nothing else this experience taught me the power of herbs and spices! My mum is mixed race and she grew up mostly on English food, so we did too. She had taken me to visit some of her African friends for lunch that day and this was one of my earliest experiences of eating non English spicy food. As you can see I still haven't forgot that very first scotch bonnet taste!

Hi love

Nowadays I love cooking Caribbean and African food, and all sorts of different dishes, and having now trained as a medical herbalist I really appreciate the healing benefits of all the different herbs and spices we have access to
It's easy to forget that all those inexpensive dried herbs sitting in our cupboards waiting to be sprinkled into spag bol actually have enormous healing potential. Many are anti bacterial, anti viral and can provide much needed digestive enzymes. Here are 3 spices to look out for,


Dried ginger is great for warming up people with cold constitutions like Vata and Kapha. It is great for the digestion and counteracting nausea. It also helps to clear the sinuses and is particularly helpful in Winter. A simple way to use it, other than adding it to food, is to boil water with some dried ginger to make a tea to sip through the day

Mustard Seeds

These are a staple in Ayurvedic cooking. Many recipes start with sauteing a tablespoon of mustard seeds in oil until they start to pop.This means they are activated and will act as digestive enzymes helping you to digest your food. Using mustard seeds works particularly well in curries and stews as they also give a nice flavour

Fennel Seeds

Unlike ginger and mustard seeds which have a warming effect. Fennel seeds have a cooling effect on the body so are particularly helpful for people with warm constitutions likePitta. Fennel seeds are anti bacterial, anti viral and are also great for the digestion. Chewing fennel seeds after meals is recommended for good digestion. Pittas are also advised to drink fennel seed water during in Summer to cool the body down
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So to recap
  • Incorporate more culinary herbs and spices in your routine for gut health 
  • Ginger, mustard seeds and fennel are great natural medicines and easy to incorporate in Christmas cooking

Which are your favourite healing herbs and how do you use them on a day to day basis? Reply and let me know.

Enjoy using lots of culinary herbs and spices in your Christmas cooking! Wishing you an amazing festive time x

In love and wellness

Medical Herbalist at Eat Live Wellness
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