In ancient times, spices were used to preserve as well as flavor foods, and during the middle ages women often embroidered a sprig of thyme into scarfs to protect their children against illness. Even today in India, garlands of cardamom are often worn as a preventative against disease.
Spices are packed with healing power! Think of how much spice is used in cooking compared to the quantity of foods that we eat; this is because they are so powerful.
One of the most important uses for spices is to kindle our agni (digestive fire) – which is imperative for proper digestion. And proper digestion is critical for optimal health, since everything we eat will either become the tissues of the body or toxins called “ama” – and the determining factor is the strength of our agni. Spices help to regulate agni, and thus help to ensure that we properly digest the foods that we eat. So use them liberally in your cooking! Food should never be bland, because bland food is hard to digest. Enjoy delicious spices and know that you’re giving your digestive fire an important boost!