Cloves of Love and the Full March Moon

Cloves of Love and the Full March Moon

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.
Syzygium Aromaticum
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.


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.


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.


• 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

Cacao: Real, Raw & Spiced

Cacao: Real, Raw & Spiced

Cacao Spice ChaiYou know those things you love and are attached to and have a hard time letting go of? Maybe because, well addiction or nostalgia or you just can’t imagine your life without it. Well I’m like that with chocolate. Every sworn abstinence just leads me back even stronger, pulls me closer like a crazy lover full of desire and ecstasy. And I like it. I love it. And I won’t stop because now I know I can have it as good medicine rather than guilty pleasure. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of pleasure, just without the guilt.


Good chocolate makes all the difference. It’s certainly not like the Halloween candy bar stash that makes you high at night and very very low in the morning, or the processed hot cocoa with fake-o marshmallows on top that warms you up but leaves you wanting. So what exactly is ‘good chocolate’? Its raw and real, unprocessed, fair trade and organic.

The difference between cocoa and cacao is very simple. Cacao is the raw bean that has been fermented, cocoa is the processed cacao bean turned into powdered cocoa through heat. Cacao is raw and cocoa is what the bean is called after being heated and processed. So? The raw fermented cacao is FULL of antioxidants. Unbelievably 40 times higher than that of blueberries. Cocoa is roasted and has about 60% less antioxidant goodness, its basically been processed out.

Cacao Beans in pod

Raw cacao is also choc-full (adorable pun intended!) of magnesium, in fact its the highest whole food source of magnesium which is a brain and heart super-food.  Something I only recently found out is that raw cacao has a much higher and more bio-available (easier to digest and metabolize) calcium content than cow’s milk. Contrary to what we think we know about cacao is that it actually helps with weight loss, and stabilizing blood sugar. This makes it good for those with type 2 diabetes. It’s packed with coumarin (also found in cinnamon) and chromium which imbues it with these health-giving benefits.

The main reason we all eat this Theobroma ‘food of the Gods’ so passionately is that it makes us feel good. Cacao has an amino acid phenethylamine or PEA, the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for that feeling of LOVE as it releases the pleasure-inducing endorphins. In Ayurveda cacao is an aphrodisiac or rasayana, boosting immunity by restoring the reproductive tissues and bringing SOMA or bliss to the mind and emotional body.

Cacao Spice Moon Gomasala


So how best to get this good stuff into the daily diet and reduce cravings for the not-so-good stuff? Recently at Spice Lounge, an event I offer in Vancouver, we got to know the cacao bean a little more intimately and made a spice blend Gomasala where the star was cacao. This blend with a base of sesame seeds is for sprinkling lavishly as a finishing spice on avocado-toast, scrambled eggs, popcorn with ghee, soups, roasted veggies, chicken, fish…. really it adds nutritional enhancement and divine flavour to food of all kinds.

Included in our Spice Lounge was a cacao chai that can be enjoyed as a morning elixir or late afternoon drink to reduce sugar cravings. We had it in the evening and the group were all euphoric, there was a tangible mood of luscious love in the air. This cacao chai would make the most delicious holiday drink with whipped cream or frothed almond milk and perhaps a splash of ginger liqueur

Cacao Chai whipped creamCACAO SPICE MOON CHAI

Makes 8 cups.

This heavenly cacao chai is rich in antioxidants and digestive spice medicines. Cacao is the star ingredient of this chai and can be enjoyed any time of day as its tea base is the herbal but full bodied rooibos (red bush).

Rooibos is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory and known to relieve stress and nervous tension.  Along with the antioxidant, mind-relaxing and pleasure-inducing benefits of cacao this is a beverage for everyone during the cooler season and the busy holiday season.



4 sticks Cinnamon
2 TBSP Cardamom pods
6 Cloves
1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
1 tsp ground Nutmeg
2 TBSP Cacao nibs
3 TBSP Cacao powder
1 tsp dried Ginger
4 Rooibos teabags or 4 tsp loose Rooibos tea.
Honey to taste


Pre-toast all the whole spices together in a skillet (this optional step releases the aromatic molecules).CACAO SPICE MOON
Gently crack the spices in a mortar and pestle or grinder, chunky style.
In a medium sized pot add 10 cups of water with spices and slowly bring to a boil.
Add the rooibos tea. Simmer together on very low for at least an hour to infuse the spices.
Add the dried ginger and cacao powder (and nutmeg if you are using ground) and stir well. Allow to steep for another 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow to steep for at least another few hours. This gives a deeper, richer chai.
Strain into a big glass jar to store in refrigerator or pour into mugs ready to enjoy.
Add honey (I like it sweet and spicy so I add 1 heaped tsp per cup)
Top with optional whipped cream or frothed almond milk and a dusting of cinnamon or cayenne.


Enjoy your Cacao Spice Moon Chai and the soulful magic of this Winter Solstice season. I’d love to hear how you adorned and enjoyed your personal Cacao Chai!


Pulled by The Spice Mistress

Spice Oracles


With Love and Fragrant blessings as always,
The Spice Mistress
Glynnis xox



#foodporn to nourish the Goddess within

#foodporn to nourish the Goddess within

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.


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

Kichadi Cakes with 3 Divine Dips


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

Aztec Blessing Gomasala #foodporn

Tridoshic Breakfast Smoothie #foodpornTRIDOSHIC 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 #foodporn


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
Glynnis xox





This Bark Has a Sweet Bite

This Bark Has a Sweet Bite

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!)



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,