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
You 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.
CACAO VS COCOA
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.
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.
A DAILY DIET OF GUILT-FREE CACAO
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 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
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).
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!
YOUR SPICE ORACLE FOR THE WINTER SOLSTICE SEASON
Pulled by The Spice Mistress
With Love and Fragrant blessings as always,
The Spice Mistress
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 RECIPE
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)
- 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!)
Fulll Pink Moon Masala
Make your full moon wish. Declare your intention.
Manifest the wild scatterings of your dream seeds.
Does it feel that no matter how hard you try, how much you pray, how well intended your actions are, that you cannot manifest the one thing you truly desire? Then this Pink Full Moon is for you my gorgeous friend.
The April Spring full moon’s pink colour represents the blossoming of the flowers that appear soon after the last Winter chill. No flower can bloom without the planting of seeds or the wild scattering of so many dreams, and this gives us hope.
I too have struggled at times with the feeling of not achieving the full blossoming of some of my creative endeavours – they may have been utterly beautiful, useful, of service, and yet their time had not or maybe will never come in this lifetime. So what do I do? I continue to create because I’ve learned that timing is Divine and has nothing to do with our human agenda. And sometimes this is the hardest thing in the world because when we become discouraged we feel like giving up.
Like the full moon our creative desires always rise again. Some manifest, bloom and thrive and others just don’t. Do we stop planting, allowing the landscape of our life to become bleak as we impatiently pull hard at the delicate beauty we have created? Hell no! We plant, we water with patient trust, we imagine the flowers.
The moon always without fail appears in the night sky, and pulls at our most magnificent gifts from within us whether we can see it or not.
For many years I held a Full Moon Masala gathering, where we would chant our desires and grind a spice masala under the light of the full moon with the sound of stone on stone and seed on seed. We would then adorn our food with this lunar-energized blend, manifesting until the next full moon.
This Pink Moon Masala is for you medicine women, kitchen Goddesses, spice healers, moon worshippers, and for you who wish to adorn your food with this moon’s mighty manifesting energy. Make your wish. Declare your intention and sprinkle lavishly knowing that the seeds you plant today will blossom when their time has come.
PINK FULL MOON MASALA RECIPE
Lightly toast the whole spices until the volatile oils are aromatically released (so fragrant!)
Add 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp whole black pepper, 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns, 1 tsp cardamom seeds (not the pods) and grind them together in your mortar and pestle or electric spice/coffee grinder. Toast and then grind or ‘crack’ separately 12 TBSP whole sesame seeds, careful not to turn this into a paste. I prefer a ‘textured’ masala and avoid grinding the spices too finely.
Add 1 tsp ground beet powder and 1 tsp finely ground dried rose petals. Optional to add 2 drops of organic geranium oil. Add 1/2 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt. Meld together for a stunningly fragrant pink and spicy Springtime Masala. Sprinkle lavishly over grains, veggies, avocado toast, popcorn with ghee, salads, sandwiches. Adorn your food with pink!
This Spring Masala energizes your true desires and also stimulates the Kapha Dosha to move out of a stuck, cold energy and into strong action.
Chant, whisper, or declare out loud your desires and watch over the month as they flower into your mightiest manifestations.
Happy Pink Moon
Love and fragrant blessings,