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So what do you use? cooking / healing?

An interesting personal experience has been my Dad has always been a big fan of indian cusine and from the time he retired til he passed he got more into cooking and one of the big things I noted was when using the recipes from the indian books the sheer volume of spice used to compared to what is suggested when you buy premixed blend. Big eye opener. Definitely changed the amount of spices I put into my foods too.

Right now I'm sipping on a tumeric tea.

Recipe for one cup:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

small cube of ginger grated

3 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon maca

a hit of cayenne pepper

honey to taste

Method:

Heat coconut milk, water and cardamom, use a low heat so cardamom has time to impart.

mix honey and other spices to paste in cup

added liquids when warmed

Enjoy.

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Indian here. I never thought we used a lot of spices until I left home for uni and was introduced to the grand world of college cusine.

Nowadays I pretty much use anything common you can think of. Tumeric, masala, saffron, cardamom, cumin, bay leaf, curry leaf, ginger, the list goes on. I also use western stuff like rosemary, lavender, basil, BLAH BLAH BLAH EVERYTHING.

As far as healing goes, the big two used in traditional indian med are tumeric and black salt. Tumeric for antiseptic and wounds and black salt for digestion, constipation, upset stomach, heartburn. There is also a leaf used to brush your teeth with. I forget which leaf, maybe bay. On a slightly unrelated note, cotton ash is also used to treat wounds.

Edit: Asked around about the brushing. Turns out it's done using twigs from curry trees. People just chew the twigs. Not sure if psuedoscience...

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I picked up Kit's favorite Nityananda Coffee 'erbs blend whilst studying with him, and modified it by adding coconut milk, so:

Cinnamon, Cardamon, nutmeg, on top of a double shot espresso with about 100-200ml's of coconut milk poured into it. Ooooooo Yee'ah! :D

I like this three herbs/spices in other concoctions, too.

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In no particular order:

Thyme and copious amounts of garlic in most cooking. Apple cider vinegar is also very versatile.

Always sea salt or himalayan salt, rather than iodized salt (I have no insight into whether there is any obvious taste or conferred health benefits).

The nityananda spices are very nice in a cup of coffee, I will have to try it in other cooking say a stew. Though I suspect some time has to be spent finding the right mix.

regards,

Frederik

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Personally not a fan of Indian food...always seems like a good idea and then feel like crap after...however India is a big country so it might be a case of what type, and crappy westernisations....I also say this...because I don't feel this way about Nepalese food, which is closely related. Although my experience there is mostly in the north of Nepal.

and I do like the indian spices in general.

we've had a herb garden and use fresh herbs liberally in our cooking.

I have no doubt that a high diversity of spices from around the world can only be a good thing in a persons diet....fresh is best :)

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Neem is the tree whose leaves and/or twigs are used to clean teeth.

Biri wrote:

and was introduced to the grand world of college cusine

That made me laugh!

Yes to spices, and way more than recipes typically suggest. I will come back to this thread: spices are tremendously important and way more than for flavour alone. The whole science of Ayurveda is based on the relationship between the five tastes. More later; I have to teach.

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I would be very interested in knowing more about this topic. I tend not to use spices, I'm always afraid about their potential inflammatory effect (I know, studies have shown that BLABLABLA is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. However, another number of studies have shown the opposite in general). So I'm sure I can learn something (and try some) out of this.

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I would be very interested in knowing more about this topic. I tend not to use spices, I'm always afraid about their potential inflammatory effect (I know, studies have shown that BLABLABLA is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. However, another number of studies have shown the opposite in general). So I'm sure I can learn something (and try some) out of this.

We have a long way to go in understanding inflammation and oxidation in the body. I found an article the other day that sums up rather nearly a lot of things I've been hearing about for a while. It doesn't talk about spices, but it puts into rather clear perspective the fact that, in regards to understanding the subtle complexities of nutrition, we still don't know what the hell we're talking about, and we have copious fuck loads yet to learn: http://nautil.us/issue/15/turbulence/fruits-and-vegetables-are-trying-to-kill-you

In summation, eat whole foods and don't worry about the research.

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That said - to a scientist - sounds interesting ;)

Thanks a lot for the reference, let me go through it.

To be clear, I mean that quite literally. I love to read the research as much as I'm able. I just don't worry about it, and instead focus on eating whole foods. I think we'll eventually get to the point where we understand the complex chemistry of whole foods to a point we can dismantle their component parts and improve on them (and I do think it's all about chemistry, not simply some idealized feeling that 'natural is inherently better'). One day processed foods (including refined foods and concentrated supplements) will probably be comparable to (or even better than) whole foods, but I don't think now is the time.

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To be clear, I mean that quite literally. I love to read the research as much as I'm able. I just don't worry about it, and instead focus on eating whole foods. I think we'll eventually get to the point where we understand the complex chemistry of whole foods to a point we can dismantle their component parts and improve on them (and I do think it's all about chemistry, not simply some idealized feeling that 'natural is inherently better'). One day processed foods (including refined foods and concentrated supplements) will probably be comparable to (or even better than) whole foods, but I don't think now is the time.

Definitely. I support this view as well.

Curiously, it turned out I'm a colleague of Dr. Ristow (which talks about ROS in the article you linked), so if I have the chance I can certainly ask him few more questions on the subject.

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Definitely. I support this view as well.

Curiously, it turned out I'm a colleague of Dr. Ristow (which talks about ROS in the article you linked), so if I have the chance I can certainly ask him few more questions on the subject.

Remarkable, I'd be very interested to hear what he has to say!

edit: I'm particularly interested because the ideas around pre/post workout nutrition are so awash with corporate bias (from companies like Gatorade and other supplement makers) and 'gym wisdom' from body builders. It would be great to hear what he has to say on the subject.

An additional random thought, I've also heard the same things regarding other anti-oxidents from food sources. That they are actually somewhat toxic substances that don't actually protect our bodies, but they instead promote our bodies anti-oxidant mechanisms. In low doses the process is protective through hormesis. But people who take high does anti-oxidant pills are just taking high doses of toxins!

PS: Everyone stay calm, this thread has been hijacked! :P

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Today I invited an Indian colleague and I prepared - among tons of veggies - some chicken breast with cashew nuts, sesame seeds, EVO and Indian turmeric. First time I eat this spice, definitely tasty I can say.

Edit: I was obviously inspired by this topic and by some paper I read in the afternoon on the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.

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  • 1 year later...

I love herbs and spices! I would like to see more recepies. The simpler the better. Tryed out the ACV and tumeric tea. Great stuff.

Found out that you can make tea with coriander seeds. It's supposed to help the digestion. Although it's super tasty. Go for one teaspoon of coriander seeds on 300ml of boiling water. Let it soak for 15min. Done!

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