Full Moon Ode to Clove
known as “the strong-scented”
Katukaphalah or Lavanga
Your Sanskrit names vibrate with sensual power
and good Kapha medicine,
and aromatic stories well-travelled.
From Maluku Islands within the Banda Sea,
you have come.
Clove Bud you numb my pain,
making me forget, with your sweet spicy botanica
yet uniquely pungent.
The dried flower bud,
of the tropical evergreen.
My love for you is eternal,
and true is yours for me.
Ahhhhhh yes another full moon, with two occurring in this month of March. It seems like we are blessed with Blue Moons galore in this power 2018 year. As I looked in my spice apothecary this morning to adorn my rye oats with something spicy for the almost-Spring damp day, the clove jar jumped off the shelf. Usually cloves are my third, fourth or fifth choice to go in my chai or maybe in something baked. I’ve chewed on a bud for relieving toothache.
But today I gave it a closer look, you know how you cannot ignore the plea of something to be acknowledged when it makes you pay attention. And so a new love affair with an old spice is born as I put the C in LOVE for this full moon.
I BIT IN WITH CURIOSITY TO A NEW RELATIONSHIP
Giving this familiar spice another chance to show its character made me feel grateful. All those things that are ‘just there’ that we take for granted, and yet they are so mystical, generous, exotic even, when we dig deeper and smell closer and taste with more attention. Always striving for the new, the glamorous, the exciting, sometimes we overlook those solid things and their secrets to happiness.
WHAT I REDISCOVERED
Clove is a visionary spice. Its strong smell and intense flavour literally numbs the mucous membranes, it is an analgesic, quieting pain so one can focus on higher things (like feeling good). I sprinkled some on my rye oats along with ginger and turmeric and blueberries and cashews with a splash of almond milk. Ohmigosh I could not believe the fireworks that went off in my brain. This is Kapha time of year and the spicy digestive activity started right in my mouth, allowing for easy digestion. Pulling away all things sticky that I wanted unstuck. It was delicious all this good spice medicine at breakfast time. And then I bit into a whole clove bud. I closed my eyes and chewed it. A world of flavours and sensations arose in me. I forgot the cliche’s of clove and saw this spice treasure in new light.
In addition to their unique, sweet and pungent aromatic flavor, cloves are revered for their potent medicinal properties. Studies have found that the compounds in cloves display multiple health benefits, including supporting liver health, helping stabilize blood sugar levels, as well as being antimicrobial and rich in antioxidants, and improving bone health. (Jaw-dropping!).
For sure I could go on with a long list of clinical benefits but those do not sing in the heart. In Ayurveda the wisest way to receive boons from the plant and spice medicines is to include them with reverence in moderation in your daily diet, perhaps even chanting their names as you invite them into your inner world.
HOW TO GET A DAILY DOSE
OF CLOVE MEDICINE FOR
• Sprinkle into your cereal, oats or atop scrambled eggs
• Adorn your eggs-and-avo toast
• Add to your chai
• Goes great in coffee!
• Make a spice blend with clove and sprinkle lavishly
• Add to your smoothie
• Drop one into your herbal tea
May you too discover new mysteries in old relationships for this full moon and all the cycles of your life.
With CLOVE and Fragrant Blessings,
Spice Mistress Glynnis xox
Twelve Spice Solstice Blend
Hello Sunshine. Happy Summer Solstice 2017!
DO YOU KNOW THE NAMES OF THE SUN AND WHY THEY IMPACT YOUR DAILY WELLBEING?
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class (and I’m 99.9% sure that you have!), you’ll have practiced at some point SURYANAMASKAR, the sun salutation. You may know that this health-giving yoga practice actually has 12 names to salute the sun and each one is specific to each part of this life-giving yoga flow.
This morning as I woke up to the first day of Summer, the first thing that popped into my head was “Salutations to the Sun”. The second thing was “ohmigosh that is going to be my Solstice Spice Blend.” I originally was going to make a Solstice Rose Spice Blend and I had already harvested, washed and dried the rose petals and they were ready. I knew EXACTLY where these would go in my 12 Spice Solstice blend. Beauty! Roses are all about beauty.
I was on fire. I jumped out of bed and went to gather my spices. Twelve spices for 12 Sun salutations. Yes, perfect. Now to tune in and listen to which spice aligns with what name. It was so easy because the spices speak to me (seriously tho’) and this all happened through a deep relationship of listening I’ve been cultivating with them for many years.
First I had to refresh my memory and chant the full Suryanamaskar before getting started.
It was so completely fascinating to me as I began to chant each one and remember the meanings of the names matching them to a specific spice. The qualities and actions of the spices harmonize with the names of the Sun to create this nourishing, enlivening spice blend. A digestive tonic activating the fire God Agni, stimulating digestion, nourishing all tissues, bringing illumination and pleasure and adorning your food.
The 12 Names of Surya the Sun God Agni, and the companion spices.
- Om Mitraya namah: Salutations to Him who is affectionate to all
FENNEL: The Friend of all.
Fennel is tridoshic and good for all digestive issues. Good digestion=happiness.
- Om Ravaye namah: Salutations to Him who is the cause for change
CARDAMOM: Praised by all.
Cardamom is a warming sweet spice that gently enkindles the digestive fire and sweetens the breath.
- Om Suryaya namah: Salutations to Him who inspires movement
STAR ANISE: The Guiding light to all.
Star anise blasts through congestion in the micro channels of the body making way for light.
- Om Bhanave namah: Salutations to the One who diffuses light into everything
ROSE: The Bestower of beauty.
Rose reduces inflammation in the body and brings love and beauty to the mind.
- Om Khagaya namah: Salutations to Him who moves across the sky
SALT: Stimulator of the senses.
Salt is townifying to the system and enhances the flavour in foods, herbs and spices.
- Om Pushne namah: Salutations to Him who nourishes and sustains all.
SESAME SEED: The Nourisher of all.
Sesame seeds nourish the deeper tissue layers of the body and are grounding and fortifying.
- Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah: Salutations to Him who contains everything
COCOA: The Light in the Spiritual Heart.
The flavanols in cocoa ease depression, are antioxidants and bring pleasure to life, increasing healthy longevity.
- Om Marichaya namah: Salutations to Him who’s rays destroy ignorance.
BLACK PEPPER: The Destroyer of Disease.
Black pepper is a potent digestive, helping other foods and medicines to become bioavailable. Decongestant.
- Om Adityaya namah: Salutations to Him who is God of gods.
COCONUT: The One who inspires.
Coconut is deeply nourishing as a healthy bioavailable fat. Boosts the immune system, heals the skin.
- Om Savitre namah: Salutations to the One who produces light.
GINGER: The Purifier.
Ginger is a digestive, aids in the assimilation of nutrients and other herbs and spices.
- Om Arkaya namah: Salutations to The Beloved.
TURMERIC: The Radiant One.
Turmeric is called the ONE MEDICINE. Anti-inflammatory, blood and liver purifier.
- Om Bhaskaraya namah: Salutations to The One who Shines so we may Shine.
SAFFRON: The Illuminator.
Saffron pacifies Pitta and excess heat in the body. Revitalizes the reproductive system. Aphrodisiac.
12 SPICE SOLSTICE RECIPE
This aromatic sweet, salty, spicy, solar spice blend will bring great rasa/taste to your food and innumerable health benefits to your body, aiding digestion and uplifting the heart. Sprinkle lavishly on all your foods from popcorn to salads to veggies to grains to avocado toast.
Individually toast each spice until the aromatic seeds begin to pop. Watch the coconut, it toasts quickly and will be ready when it turns a light caramel colour. Do not toast the turmeric, salt, ginger or saffron.
Individually toast and grind (crack the seeds unless specified so they are textured and not completely powdered)
1 TBSP Fennel seed, 1 TBSP cardamom seeds (not the pods), 1-2 whole star anise well ground, 1/2 cup dried rose petals (to make 2 TBSP ground petals), 1 TBSP salt, 1 cup sesame seeds, 2 TBSP cocoa nibs, 1 TBSP Black Pepper, 1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut (no need to grind), 1 TBSP ground ginger, 1 TBSP ground turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp saffron.
Grind each spice while chanting the correlating name of the sun. Pour into a bowl.
Meld all 12 spices together while chanting the 12 names of the sun.
Sprinkle lavishly. Enjoy as the potent solar energy imbues your food and life with pleasure and illuminates your healing capacity. You are radiant as the sun. The seeds know this and they are here to remind you.
Let me know how you are enjoying your blend. Inspire the community and share photos of your Solstice blend on Facebook. You can eat this Tridoshic blend through the Summer season.
Fragrant Solstice Blessings,
I have been bursting to share this GORGEOUS three and a half page spread in VISTA Magazine’s Summer Issue. I almost passed out with pleasure when it came out. My good friends Katharine Herringer (Editor) and Iván Álvarez de Lorenzano (Art Director) have turned this magazine into a feast for the eyes. These recipes were part classic Ayurvedic faves that I make again and again like the Kichadi cakes (with a twist), and perfumed chocolate Goddess brownies, and part experimental taste explosions like the 3 Divine Dips and the incredible Tridoshic breakfast smoothie (actually more like a pudding).
The theme was Women’s Health. My perspective was an Ayurvedic one. PERFUME was my first thought leading me to add just a few drops of Floracopeia’s Rose Geranium essential oil in both the brownies and the chia 3 level breakfast smoothie. (for safety the ingestion of essential oils must be done in a very small dosage of carrier (fat or liquid) to EO and never to be taken internally in it’s undiluted form).
Now I really do get the hashtag #foodporn. Sensual, orgasmic, pleasurable, beauty-full, tasty experiences while preparing, discovering and enjoying the uplifting health benefits of good food made with passion and awareness.
KICHADI CAKES WITH 3 DIVINE DIPS
These jewel-tone dips were inspired by the six taste principle and the desire for tangy, spicy, creamy condiments. These totally jazz up the crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside kichadi cakes. (fried in ghee, oh my they are TASTY). Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 54/55) #foodporn
AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA
SPICES that played a starring role in the recipes and photo shoot appeared in my special AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA ( Gomasala being the name I created for a spice blend inspired by the Macrobiotic Japanese Gomasio with a base of sesame seeds and salt, and the East Indian Masala). Crushed Volcanic rock-ground corn chips, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, coriander sesame seeds and Himalayan pink salt. For the full recipe read the article in VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 56/57) #foodporn
TRIDOSHIC BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
This was my favourite experiment in the kitchen. I had never made a breakfast smoothie that is more like a breakfast PUDDING before. Straw or spoon? Definitely a spoon. The three layers are distinct, starting with a creamy coconut milk chia piece of heaven at the bottom, a sweet and tangy very berry rose-geranium EO and shatavari infused middle, and a tart refreshing spinach-sesame-lemon top. Dig in deep with a spoon and capture all 3 layers together for the full Ayurvedic 6 taste experience. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 58)
PERFUMED CHOCOLATE GODDESS BROWNIES
Those four words individually rock my world and put together in one sentence are a ticket to Nirvana : )
I’ve been making versions of this easy treat for years. Now taken to a whole new level perfumed with Rose Geranium essential oil, extra shavings of dark chocolate, creamy coconut milk and nutty almond flour. They are light, aromatic and crumbly and go oh so well with coconut ice-cream or whipped coconut milk.
Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 59)
Well my tasty friends that is all for now. Let me know how YOUR Summer #foodporn kitchen Goddess experiences go with these recipes, or imaginings of your own.
With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
Your Spice Mistress
Bird of Paradise
Happy Valentines Day my love.
Yes, indeed this Day of Love was created and is ritualized worldwide. Even though I believe every day to be a day of LOVE how can we not engage as lovers and beloveds everywhere ceremoniously declare their love on this day.
You may not be surprised that the spices come to mind when talking of amore. Swoon-worthy aromatics have been used throughout history and in the mystical realms of myth and magic to seduce, excite, and adore. Today on this auspicious day of love allow me to entice you with a spice that according to legend has Birds of Paradise swooning to the ground. The musky and intoxicating smell is so overpowering that these magnificent birds fall blissfully from the tree. This actually may have more to do with the narcotic properties when the birds nibble on the fruits of these psychotropic gems.
NUTMEG and MACE! This duo of sensual spices is created in a lovers embrace in the womb of the fruit on the branch of the Myristica fragrans tree. Entwined in a duet of aromatic intimacy, the two-spices-in-one make a most formidable psychoactive, aphrodisiac, dream-enhancing duo. The mace sensually embracing the nutmeg with it’s exquisite red lace, as one they emerge from their succulent temple.
As for love and matters of the heart…
The twelfth century mystic Hildegard von Bingen said of this mystical spice (and includes a recipe I am most definitely going to make)…
“When a human being eats nutmeg it opens her heart, and her sense is pure, and it puts her in a good state of mind. Take nutmeg and (in the same amount) cinnamon and some cloves and grind them up. And then, from this powder and some water, make flour–and roll out some little tarts. Eat these often and it will lower the bitterness of your heart and your mind and open your heart and your numbed senses. It will make your spirit happy, purify and cleanse your mind, lower all bad fluids in you, give your blood a good tonic, and make you strong”.
Oooooooooh I cannot wait to get home and make this. After a beautiful weekend of teaching and sharing and communing at the Victoria Yoga Conference. I am certainly filled up with love and now the nutmeg/mace calls me. Of course so do the arms of my beloved after being apart for 5 days!
Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy our gift to you of the MACE Spice Deck Card below. Grate a little nutmeg and mace (if you can find this rare gem of a spice) into your food today and be sure to have a soft place to swoon onto.
With Fragrant Blessings of LOVE,
Glynn and Mel
HAPPY SPICY NEW YEAR GORGEOUS SOUL!
A most auspicious sprinkling of sweet blessings in this 2017 year!
I could not resist sharing this particular Spice Deck Card on day one of the new year. I suspect you may have a Sankalpa (sacred intention) to further raise your consciousness around what you put into your amazing body temple this year.
CINNAMON! Definitely cinnamon. Not only do I put this enchanting spice in most of my warm beverages but the other day the lid of my cinnamon shaker plopped off into my Chai along with about 4 heaping TBSP’s of cinnamon. Whoops. Oh don’t think I did not skim off the top and proceed to enjoy an intensely cinnamon-laden chai. Usually I wouldn’t have so much at one time but it was DELICIOUS and I had not even added any honey yet. Sweet enough!
I call Cinnamon the SWEET STABILIZER because it has clinical data to show this healing spice as a stabilizer of blood sugar. In a 2003 article published in the journal Diabetes Care, a 40 day study shows improvement in Type 2 Diabetes subjects fasting blood sugar levels, as well as their lipid (blood fat) levels with up to 6g cassia daily (4g is about 1 tsp). In other studies authors concluded that cinnamon is effective at improving glucose control. There is as always controversy in scientific circles around the nature of these studies regarding the type of cinnamon used and the dosage.
From an Ayurvedic perspective though it seems clear.
Cinnamon is often used in ayurvedic herbal preparations to enhance the bio-availability of other herbs. With sweet, pungent and astringent tastes it pacifies Kapha, clearing congestion from the lungs and channels of the body. For Vata it is warming and sweet, assisting digestion and boosting the immune system. Cinnamon is also used in Ayurveda to regulate blood sugar. A daily dose of 1 tsp along with other conscious eating routines contributes to the overall health of the 7 tissue layers of the body producing a vibrant OJAS or immunity.
1 tsp daily? Not hard to do. Add cinnamon to your breakfast oats, afternoon pick-me-up tonic, and evening meal.
As a restorative aphrodisiac and a spice known to “activate the light of intuition” I’m all in!
Oh yay to these gorgeous spices. Take a read of the cinnamon card below and bring the “sensual intrigue of this lingering scent to places where all manner of fragrant dreams reside”.
Fragrant New Year Blessings,
Glynn (Spice Mistress) and Mel (Cinnamon Girl!)