Medical Herbalist, Katie Pande’s, top five spices to see us through a busy festive season and beyond.
Turmeric is known as ‘the golden goddess’ in India thanks to its beautifying properties. Not only does it support healthy liver function (which in turn purifies the skin), it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, soothing irritated and inflamed skin to promote a healthy, glowing complexion from the inside out – ready for the festive season.
And if that’s not enough reason for you to jump on the turmeric train, by boosting circulation to the brain, turmeric supports optimal brain health, helping to boost brain power.
Full of sweet and stimulating essential oils, cinnamon is a long-time favourite for invigorating, warming and generally making life more delicious. A delicious and healthy alternative to sugar, cinnamon is naturally sweet and helps to balance blood sugar levels, to in turn help curb sweet cravings.
It also helps to strengthen nutritional absorption, stimulate digestion and boost metabolism, all of which contribute to achieving a healthy, balance weight.
Cinnamon is delicious in baking and in warm drinks (as well as the occasional mulled wine).
A wonderfully warming spice, ginger is renowned for helping to stoke your inner fire, aid digestion and boost metabolism. It can therefore provide comfort and support during or after an overindulgent festive season.
It also helps to boost blood flow to the joints and muscles to ease aches and pains which often result from freezing cold weather. What’s more, ginger can soothe a sore throat and effectively clear sinuses and congestion if you’re suffering from a Christmas cold.
If you’re feeling festive, cardamom is a classic Christmas spice and deliciously aromatic. As well as helping to relieve flatulence and indigestion (which in turn relieves abdominal pain and bloating), cardamom stimulates the metabolic and digestive processes. Cardamom also works as an effective decongestant, removing mucous from the digestive and respiratory tracts. It’s even said to cure bad breath.
Many people like to indulge in the illustrious cocoa bean over Christmas. Unlike milk chocolate which contains high levels of sugar, cocoa is said to regulate and improve mood by boosting levels of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’, enhancing feelings of wellbeing and pleasure.
It also contains theobromine which means ‘food of the gods’ in Greek. This helps to lower blood pressure, improve cognitive function and boost mood. Interestingly, women are more receptive to theobromine than men, which may explain why women crave chocolate more than men do.1
Cocoa is also naturally high in antioxidants which help fight off harmful free radicals that otherwise cause damage in the body, as well as being rich in magnesium, zinc and calcium.
For an easy way to get practitioner grade herbs and spices, including all of the above, try Pukka Herbs’ new range of organic herbal lattes; Cacao Maca Magic, Turmeric Gold, Ginger Joy and Majestic Matcha Chai.
All four plant-based lattes are sugar- and dairy-free. With the inclusion of coconut milk powder and cocoa bean powder in the case of Cacao Maca Magic, each latte is luxuriously creamy and satisfying. As a natural alternative to sugar, Pukka has used cinnamon in all four of its lattes, as well as insulin, a sweet but calorie-free ingredient that is also a pre-biotic.
Beneath the velvety chocolate flavour lie health-boosting organic herbs to naturally boost energy, enhance your mood and balance hormones. Cacao is an endorphin-boosting botanical, promoting positivity, whilst ashwagandha helps to ease away stress related tension, to calm a busy or anxious mind; the perfect, warming cup to help you stay on top of a busy Christmas calendar.
Bursting with festive flavours and organic health-boosting herbs and spices, Ginger Joy is a luxuriously spicy and warming latte. It has been expertly blended with ginger to help stoke your inner fire and aid digestion, as well as cinnamon to sweeten up your cup (whilst balancing blood sugar levels and curbing sweet cravings). With the inclusion of turmeric, nutmeg and cloves, Ginger Joy is Christmas in a cup.
Turmeric Gold is a protective, aromatic, antioxidant-fuelled and caffeine-free blend of organic turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and saffron. Turmeric and Ginger offer powerful winter immune protection to prevent a Christmas cold from getting in the way whilst turmeric also promotes a healthy, glowing complexion from the inside out to ensure you’re party-ready and geared up for Christmas.
Pukka’s Majestic Matcha Chai is the perfect blend to kick-start your day with, especially when you need a little extra boost to get you out of bed on a cold December morning. Matcha not only provides supreme antioxidant protection, it also helps to naturally boost energy, memory and focus to power you through the day. Cinnamon is a naturally sweet and warming spice, helping to balance blood sugar levels and curb sweet cravings, whilst cardamom naturally supports and boosts a healthy metabolism and digestion.