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The "Big Four" Herb Roots You Should Always Have on Hand



From left to right; Onions, ginger, turmeric, and garlic!

I've been making Kitchari for a long time. I used to follow the rules of Ayurveda and only use onion and garlic for medicinal purposes. As a long time cook it was hard to limit onion and garlic in my dishes... I've found that you must take bits and pieces of this science and use it to your advantage.


The reason Ayurveda discourages these herbs is because they get you heated, excited, sexual, and smelly! If you're a monk/yogi meditating in ashrams or temples all day long... then I would disapprove of these herbs too! Well, here in the 20th century its another story...Most of us are not meditating all day long. Use these herbs with caution but don't only use them when you're sick or have an infection.


I believe that these 4 Herbs used together can cleanse the body and maintain energy in almost all dishes you cook... PLUS... THEY TASTE AMAZING!


1. Garlic-

Health Benefits- Great remedy for when you are sick and is known to help with a cough, fever, soar throat, asthma, and more.

It's a pain killer and reduces joint pain, muscle pain, stiffness, arthritis and to extract excess fatty tissue.

Reduces the bad cholesterol (oxidised cholesterol particles), and supports the growth of good cholesterol.

Anti-inflammatory and heals fractured bones

Fights gastrointestinal disorders, septic poisoning, typhus, and cholera.

Ayurvedic Components

Taste- Pungent

Energy- Mobile, hot, clear

Dosha- V-K-P+

Action- stimulant Laxative, stomachic, detoxicant, vasodilator, anthelminthic, antifungal, antimicrobial, diuretic, bronchodilator, decongestant

In the kitchen:

Ways to eat garlic: Roast it and spread it on toast, make a dip out of it! Saute it with everything, add it to soups and roasted veggies, use in dressings and juices!


2. Turmeric-

Health Benefits- Powerful in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory actions that has been shown to protect and improve the health of virtually every organ. - Proved to be more effective at reducing inflammation than pain-killing medications and cancer drugs. - Inhibits the genes that trigger cancer and inhibits the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell. This root is the secret to smooth and radiant skin!

Ayurvedic components

Taste- Pungent, bitter

Energy- Heating

Dosha- K- V- P +

Actions- Stimulant, alterative, antibacterial, vulnerary

In the Kitchen Turmeric pairs well with these spices:

Pepper, fennel, caraway, garlic, galangal, cardamom, ginger, mustard seed, cinnamon, onion, coconut, coriander, cumin and sun dried tomato

Compliments recipes featuring:

Curries, lentils, rice, soups, tomato sauces, vegetables; especially cauliflower and onions


3. Ginger-

Health Benefits- The best all natural nausea reducer. It can ease motion sickness, morning sickness, medication induced nausea, and even nausea from food poisoning. Phytonutrients called gingerols, are anti-inflammatories that reduce arthritis, cancer cells, migraine pain, and asthma coughs. Ginger can decrease clumping of blood that can trigger artery clogging that causes heart attacks and strokes.

Ayurvedic Components

Taste- pungent and sweet

Energy- heating

Dosha- V-K-P+

Actions- stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, carminative

In the kitchen-

Pairs well with these spices:

Allspice, cardamom, cumin, sesame seed, star anise, tamarind, turmeric, curry, cumin, fennel, garlic, mustard seed, onion, parsley, coriander, coconut, clove, and cinnamon

Complements recipes featuring:

Ale or beer, pumpkin, squash, chicken, shellfish, sushi, sweet potatoes, winter squash, chutney, duck, oranges, and pork.


4. Onions

Health Benefits- Attacks harmful bacteria and purifies the blood and helps build new blood. Cures colds, flus, fever, laryingitis, and diarrehea.

Ayurvedic Components-

Taste- Sweet

Energy- Cooling

Dosha- P-V-K+

Actions- Rajasic, alkalizing, and tamasic

In the Kitchen-

Pairs well with these spices: Basil, turmeric, tarragon, sage, thyme, paprika, celery, and pepper

Complements recipes featuring: Kitchari, curry, mixed veggies, main dishes, side dishes