Ayurveda & Peace in the Middle East

Ayurveda & Peace in the Middle East

7 Virtues Middle East Peace Perfume

Hello Beautiful Soul.

I was absolutely over the moon to receive in the mail today this most cherished bottle of Middle East Peace perfume as a gift from The 7 Virtues Perfume Company .

This grand delivery of aromatic peace came about through a synchronistic connection on Instagram noting how the three main ingredients are a beautiful Tridoshic blend (with hydrating sweet grapefruit for Vata, cooling lime for Pitta, and energizing basil for Kapha). The Sweetie Grapefruit essential oil is from Israel and the Lime and Basil from Iran. How profound that the aromatic plant medicines are being called to heal relationships on our planet when stewarded by awake souls through conscious business practices.

When beauty aligns it manifests in the most mystical and tangible ways – for the good of all.

I just LOVE women entrepreneurs and companies who are tuned in and inspired. They give so generously to uplift others with their vision. Thank you Barb and The 7 Virtues, I’m beyond delighted and mesmerized by your perfumes and their stories and so grateful for your gorgeous gift. I LOVE it.

Barbara Stegemann is the founder of The 7 Virtues and has been on my radar since I watched how she took The Dragons Den investors by storm with her incredible heartwarming and authentic story of friendship, and radical social change through business. My nose, always interested in sniffing out aromatic beauty, was smitten.

Barb started a perfume company with the vision of inspiring peace, and rebuilding and empowering communities through the procuring of essential oils from war torn countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, and Rwanda. The company mission is Make Perfume Not War. That struck a note with me on so many levels. The documentary of the same name is a must-watch. 

Barb’s book The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, a woman’s guide to living & leading in an illogical world, is a must-read for all women in business wanting to inspire, take action, and stand for social justice and change. I love that it is deeply about self-care and self-empowerment. Barb’s book lit me up and inspired me in my own practice and business.

The perfumes are exquisite – Afghanistan Orange Blossom, Noble Rose of Afghanistan, Vetiver of Haiti, Patchouli of Rwanda, and Lisa ray Jasmine of India. These uplifting perfumes are all without phthalates, parabens or sulfates. This is goosebumpy on many levels. Good for people, the plants, and the planet.

You can find Barb’s book, The 7 Virtues perfumes and about the powerful work they are doing here.
I’m relishing my gorgeous perfume which feels like a sensual refreshing Summer breeze. I
t feels like peace.




The main ingredients in the 7 Virtues Middle East Peace Perfume captured my attention from an Ayurvedic perspective. Bright Juicy citrus fruits of Grapefruit and Lime with pungent Basil (or Tulsi which is holy Basil) have great benefits to the health of our body.

Basil/Tulsi is in a class of adaptogenic herbs considered one of the primary herbal medicines for restoring harmony and balance to the mind. In Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicine it is revered as an herb that is a rasayana or Shen-tonic which means it nourishes the spirit, and has a powerful restorative effect on the nervous system. 

In other words, P E A C E.

Feel juicy Vata! Uplifting and hydrating, soothing to the nervous system and clarifying to the mind.

Feel refreshed Pitta! An alkaline restorative tonic that reduces acidity. Restores energy when feeling burn-out.

Feel expansive Kapha! Energizing, clearing. Basil clears congestion in lungs, eliminates stagnancy in the tissues.

This aromatic refreshing triad of essential oils are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. The combined effect brings a sense of inner peace and wellbeing as they act as a restorative tonic to all the doshas.

1 cup fresh rose petals washed and dried so no water remains on petals.
2-3 cups coconut sugar.
1/4 cup honey.
1 TBSP toasted and ground cardamom seeds (not pods).
1 TBSP fresh ginger juice (grate 2inch piece fresh ginger and squeeeeeze the juice out with your hands)
1 tsp shatavari powder (optional)
1/2 tsp white pearl powder (optional)
METHOD: Pour all the honey into a glass bowl. On top of that, layer 1/4 cup at a time the rose petals and coconut sugar. Sprinkle a pinch of the cardamom, (and pearl and shatavari if using them) and drizzle ginger juice on each layer. Repeat until all ingredients are used. With your fingers (yes! get in there it feels amaaaazing) meld all together. Keep on melding layer into layer until rose petals have absorbed the sugar and become sticky. They will turn a deep purply pink colour. When the consistency is sticky and dense and all the rose petals have broken down enough your gulkand is ready. Keep in a well sealed mason jar out of the fridge.
Note: if you are using rose petals that are partially but not completely dried add a tsp ghee to the layers and meld in well as you blend. Eat by the teaspoon or spread on toast, add to oats etc! This is a rejuvenating jam to boost your #ojas your immunity, and to act as a restorative tonic. Such good medicine.


May your days be filled with beauty, your mind with peace, your body with freedom and your spirit with joy.

Love and fragrant blessings,
Your Spice Mistress

Full Moon. Manifesting from the dark seed.

Full Moon. Manifesting from the dark seed.

Dark Seed Full Moon Masala

This full moon. Promising to pull from the depths our everything
A spice blend, committed and complex, imbued with the black gold of Nigella Sativa.
Do you know this spice? It excavates to the depths anything holding back the treasure of good health.

And with the colour of a moonless night it works in the shadows to heal.

Intriguing with the common name of black cumin.
There is nothing common about this aromatic spice medicine.

Illuminated by the power of the full flower moon, it shines along with the others.
Cardamom, sesame, cayenne and paprika. Turmeric, walnuts, hemp nut, white pepper and salt.

A masala to celebrate the Scorpio May Moon.
To adorn and empower your food with lunar magic
elevating the vibration of your creative expression.

Sprinkle lavishly. You will see.

FULL FLOWER MOON MASALA RECIPEFull Moon Masala Avocado toast.

1 cup Sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground Nigella Sativa seeds (or 3/4 cup whole seeds)
1 TBSP Cardamom seeds (not the pods)
1 tsp ground Paprika
1 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp whole White Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Cayenne
1/4 cup Hemp nuts/seeds
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp Himalayan salt

Toast the sesame seeds and ‘crack’ them in a mortar and pestle to maintain the texture. Do not grind to a powder or paste. I like ’em chunky style! Toast the other whole seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds individually being careful not to burn them. You will know they are ready when the aromatic molecules have been released (you will smell it!). Grind spices and nuts and add to the sesame seeds. Add the powdered spices and salt. Meld together and keep in an airtight glass jar or tin. Sprinkle lavishly until the next full moon.

Delicious over roasted veggies, salads, sandwiches and of course the ever-popular avocado toast with a splash of olive oil and balsamic. YUM!

NIGELLA SATIVA BLACK SEED BENEFITS: (from published bio-research)

  • Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Ulcer
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Ant-Hypertensive
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Bronchodilator
  • Anti-Diabetic
  • Liver Protection

And these are just to name a few. Try this peppery rich spice and let me know what you create!

May your Full Moon creativity blossom and manifest from the full deep dark, your wildest dreams.
With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
The Spice Mistress

ps. In my AromaDosha Blueprint online learning experience you will learn about these spice medicines and how to bring them and the aromatic plant essences into your daily nourishment. You get to customize your own Ayurvedic Blueprint and understand your relationship to these healing treasures for a transformative self-care practice you will love. (Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. ALL IN!)



Hello gorgeous friend!


It is indeed that time of year where I whip out all my fave spices and get very aromatically attuned to the Winter Holiday season. Personally I’ll be celebrating all 3 of these holidays. I’m going to share my spice list with you as well as some Ayurvedic recipes and tips to warm you up and bliss you out regardless of what you’re celebrating.

Spices are your kitchen wellness apothecary to boost and juicy-up your OJAS! This is the word that describes your essence of health, your vim ‘n vigor! I have not had to stay home with the sniffles once so far this season and I attribute that to my spice intake through cooking blends, infusions, elixirs, teas and tonics. Also, I have my diffuser rotating 24/7 with anti-microbial oils of ginger, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint. This has been super-helpful also with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) otherwise know as the Winter blues.

For a South African born gal I am always seeking out ways to take in some light and warmth in this Northern climate. The hot spices, and bright plant essences definitely work their magic when I evoke them daily.

These pungent spices are also a key to good digestion at this cold, heavy time of year. It is coming into the Kapha season imbued with the elements of earth and water and for sluggish digestion, these spices will get your furnace cranking into gear.


By incorporating all of these 9 spices daily in your Winter routine you will find yourself feeling warm, strong, relaxed and energized. You will feel better by adorning your food with the aromatic gifts of the spice world.


OK first in line has got to be this super-spice. How can it not be? I have personally made my ‘Muti’ tonic (muti means medicine in Zulu) for several suffering cold-laden souls in the last few weeks and they all swear they woke up cured the very next day. I must say I felt like a regular sangoma (Zulu witch Doctor) but the credit all goes to the wisdom of these aromatic spices. This is my go-to when even a hint of a cold or cough appears in my household.

Simple and power-packed. This recipe includes 2 of my other top-of-the-pops spices for Winter; ginger, and black pepper. Add to a medium pot one sliced lemon (include skins), 1 tsp black peppercorns, 3 inch sliced fresh ginger, 1 tsp ground turmeric and four cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain into a nice big mug and add 1 tsp honey. You can add pinch of cayenne for more spicy heat. Sip when you are feeling the hint of a cold coming on for prevention or when you have a full blown cold to alleviate the symptoms.   More about this amazing anti-inflammatory, cure-all rhizome on my Turmeric blog.


Oh ginger my love! No kitchen apothecary is complete without you. EVERYTHING. I put ginger in everything! Fresh ginger in my turmeric elixir and almost every soup. Ground ginger in my to-go chai blend that I can just stir into a regular tea even when I am travelling. Make you a batch? 1TBSP ground ginger, 1TBSP ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground fennel, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Blend these together and carry in a small glass jar or tupperware container. You can add ground rooibos tea to this blend and all you need is to add 1 tsp of mix to a cup of hot water, honey to taste and milk of your choice. Travel with this and those airport tea moments can become a warm place of bliss.


Yes, just yes! Black pepper is excellent for drying out excess congestion in the lungs and sinuses. Add to food and drinks. A very important addition to the Golden Elixir that Ayurveda has made a household word these days in trendy coffee shops everywhere. How I make my turmeric latte with black pepper? I use 1 cup homemade almond milk and steam it in my super-duper milk steamer. I grate 2 TBSP fresh ginger and squeeze the juice in to a cup, adding 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp honey and the frothy almond milk. Best sipping drink for a cozy Winter afternoon. Want to turn this into a golden-nog? Add 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg and a whipped white of an egg and 4 TBSP coconut cream. I kid you not! 


The STAR of spices. Say no more. Just go HERE.


Ever had a toothache? You may have rubbed clove oil or chewed on an actual clove bud for relief. Why? Because clove is an analgesic, numbs the pain. Also happens to be the strong grounding spice in a lot of good chai blends.  Pop a few cloves into your hot apple cider, add a 1/2 tsp turmeric and a cinnamon stick and you’re on the way to sweet and spicy nirvana. Oh and a seasonal splash of bourbon doesn’t hurt either when you really want to warm up. In moderation : )


this sweet and sassy spice has become my sweetener of choice. I add it to oatmeal, chai, on toast, in my bliss balls, soups, and baked goodies. Cinnamon is helpful in balancing blood sugar and is also an aphrodisiac. Hmm that works!


Meet the Queen of spices! Cardamom is an exquisite aromatic jewel in the crown of spices. Used for digestive relief, as a breath freshener and a warming upper respiratory tonic and you should experience what it does for the soul!


Not only does this versatile spice taste like every spice but in Ayurveda it is known as an all-round-healer. This aromatic spice tastes like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper all rolled into one. you can add a tsp of this ground spice in the chai-to-go powder I mentioned above. This enchanting spice is a powerful antioxidant, digestive and relaxing to the nervous system. And if you ever want to make ‘jerk-chicken’ or veggies taste Jamaican-style, this is your spice. Rub some ground allspice onto your veggies with olive oil and bake in the oven. Works on tofu and beans to achieve the same flavour. For something different this spice is divine added to your hanukkah latkes!


Last but not least on my list is nutmeg (and mace-nutmeg’s lacy covering that is so exotic and earthy in looks and taste). This is my go-to spice for my Winter beddy-bye drink. Grate 1/4 tsp nutmeg into a quarter cup warm milk/almond milk, you can add a bit of honey or other nutritious whole sweetener to taste but it is good as is. Nutmeg is a sedative, relaxing the nervous system and makes a good sleep tonic. Add nutmeg to your morning oatmeal and also to rice and other grains with ghee.

NOW GO SPICE IT UP and have yourself a blissful, fragrant holiday filled with all the delights of health, love, and gratitude. Share the love and take a friend in need of healing warmth, a turmeric elixir, just like me you too can become a sangoma!

Fragrant Holiday Blessings,

Spice Boost Your Juice

Spice Boost Your Juice

In Ayurvedic food wisdom, spices are the desirable rasa. The irresistible fragrant jewels which bring the mouth-watering, ecstacy-provoking, digestive-juice activating taste to your food and less commonly but very certainly to your beverages as well.

Summertime and you’ll be lightening up with more juices, smoothies, and salads which makes good sense being the Pitta time of year. You need the cooling, easygoing fare of Summer and there are several aroma-activating spices to include to up the ante when making your own booster-juice. For cleansing as well as nourishing, juicing is a concentrated super-food. When enjoyed regularly, spiced-up juices cheerfully flush the yucky’s out of your body while keeping the yummies in.

Juices, just like Pitta Dosha, are intense. Consider they are a pure concentrated shot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (without the fibre for the digestive system to slog through). As if released by the bow of a master archer, they shoot directly into the bloodstream as concentrated nutrition.

Now if you don’t have an actual juicer take heart.

All you need is a regular blender, some veggies, spices, filtered water and a nut-milk bag. (I use an awesome one from a company called Me + You). So why will you love this? Because it is quick, easy, and clean up is minimal. Also, you can put the remaining pulp in a bag in the freezer with other veggie trimmings to make a weekly broth or you can compost them (there is really very little pulp remaining because as you may know fruits and veggies are made up largely of water). True, you may not squeeze the total maximum nutrients out as you would with a cold-pressed juice from a pro-juicer, but very few of us have those fabulous gizmos in our kitchens.

So here it is simple and quick:


  1. Place about 4 cups of your fave fruit/veggies in the blender (I LOVE my Vitamix) and add one cup of filtered water, or half water and half coconut water. Add your spices of choice*
  2. Blend until everything is completely liquid (with a bit of pulp remaining of course).
  3. Pour through your nut-milk bag and then squeeze as much liquid through as you can into a bowl.
  4. Pour into a nice tall glass and enjoy. Refrigerate the rest in a mason jar for up to 2 days.
  5. Compost or you can freeze the remaining pulp for broth (there will still be some nutrients left as the blender won’t get them all). You could also add the pulp to a savoury veggie muffin recipe in place of say zucchini or apple.

*If you’re using a traditional juicer you can toast and grind the spices first to release the aromatic molecules and stir them in at the end. If you buy already ground spices it is harder to ensure they are still potent, so as much as possible grind your own whole seeds –  its so worth the time. Strain the juice so you have no gritty spice residue in your juice.  If you are using fresh ginger or turmeric you can just juice along with the other fruits and veggies.


Meet the Green Queen

Meet the Green Queen

Yes, Her Royal Highness the cardamom pod is proclaimed by the spice-meisters as the aromatic ‘Queen of Spices’!

Cardamom-flowerFor starters the aroma is sublime and you would certainly be compelled to spontaneously bow or curtsey once you got a mere whiff of it. Sweet, warm, spicy, floral, rich, and exotic. It is good Ayurvedic medicine.

Cardamom is one of the spices in my kitchen that I cannot go without. As the main ingredient that turns an ordinary tea into a rich and authentic masala chai, it is indispensible and if you want the real thing, there are no substitutes.

And it is a most generous and sensual healer.

It is extremely rich and complex, containing 25 volatile oils – the magical plant compounds that
impart fragrance. The primary volatile aromatic oil in cardamom, and the most medicinally active of these is the antioxidant cineole. This gorgeous seed pod is legendary for its digestive properties and now this potent compound cineole is also deeply researched for all its therapeutic benefits. Many scientific studies show why tummy troubles and other ills are soothed and healed by this and other compounds in cardamom.


It is anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory.

These two actions are miraculous for relieving the gut suffering from muscle spasms and other digestive disorders of the stomach, intestines and colon. Try a cardamom tea-tonic when you have bloating, gas, distention of the belly, tummy-aches from overeating, tension, and general stress.

Also amazingly, the volatile oils in cardamom can slow or stop the development of aspirin-induced and alcohol-induced stomach ulcers. Ditch the pink chalky drink and sip on a cardamom tummy elixir instead. Side effects may include peace, calm, and happiness. aka a yummy tummy.