Oil & Spice and Everything Nice
Blog Author: Emilia Wheaton
Blog Editor: Kristen Kennedy Smith
Oils can be part of a healthy, tasty diet as well as a key aspect of an Ayurvedic self-care routine. Just when you thought your favorite oil couldn’t get more rich and delicious or more soothing and nurturing, we’re here to tell you they can! Enriching oils, such as olive, sesame, or almond oil, with spices or herbs is one way to enhance the taste and healing capacity of an oil. Best yet, the process is super simple and leaves plenty of room for you to get creative with which spices and herbs you’d like to infuse in your oil of choice.
The process is called blooming and requires very little equipment or expertise. The idea is that the spices or herbs are heated which allows the chemical compounds that give the spice its’ unique flavor, scent and healing properties to become more readily available and absorbed by the oil. Taking cinnamon for example, follow these simple instructions:
Warming spices, like ginger, mustard seed, black pepper or cayenne are perfect for adding to cooking oil to be used as a dressing or cooking oil for your favorite recipes. Using warming spices as a body massage oil can bring comfort and soothing energy to Vata Dosha. Ginger, black pepper, or clove bloomed in oil will give Kaphas the jolt of energy they need. If you are feeling a Pitta imbalance, try blooming oil with cooling spices like cumin, fennel, cinnamon or cardamom.
Blooming spices in oil is a great way to impart the benefits of spices to our body. By deeply infusing herbs and spices to our cooking and massage oils, our body can receive the special properties of each plant. When it comes to cosmetics, it is incredibly important that we are careful of what we apply to our bodies, as the skin has an incredible capacity to absorb good stuff as well as toxic chemicals. Instead of reaching for a lotion with a long list of mysterious ingredients, consider peeking through your cooking cabinets for some oil and spices or herbs that most resonate with your Dosha.
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