Common Culinary Herbs – Energetics

Estimated read time... 2 minutes

What are some herbs that you think of that make you feel warmer?  I think of garlic, cinnamon, citrus peels, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  What about herbs that make you feel cooler?  Lavender, peppermint, basil, cilantro?  Below is a chart with common herbs/foods that are used in the kitchen for you to refer to.  For those of you who tend to be neutral-Yang, why not consider drinking teas with chamomile, rose hips, or lemon balm?  For those of you who tend to be neutral-Yin, why not consider teas with cardamom, fresh ginger, or chamomile?  For those of you at either end of the spectrum (mostly Yang or mostly Yin) try to stick with drinking teas in the opposite category (ie Yang teas for the Yin type, and Yin teas for the Yang type.) 
When eating, try utilizing spices like black pepper, ginger, and parsley to “warm up” the coolness of zucchini and yellow squashes, adding lots of black pepper, parsley and oregano to balance out the cooling nature of a tomato-cucumber salad; or add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to apple and pear dishes. This is already done with apple pie isn’t it?!  How brilliant that the spices balance out the apple’s coolness so much!  We can use herbs like cilantro and basil in those spicy Thai or Indian curries to balance out the heat. 
In India, milk is boiled with a variety of spices/herbs such as: ginger, cardamom, clove, peppercorns, cinnamon and a bit of black tea to make chai.  It is fantastic in the wintertime.  In the summer, try steeping peppermint, lemon balm and rose hips in boiled water for 5 minutes, strain then cool in the fridge and drink at cool to room temperature – it is very refreshing and cooling for the summertime heat! 
Each of these herbs has valuable healing properties, if you’d like to explore the nature of herbs a bit more a great at-home reference is: Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease by Aggarwal and Yost. 
For a recipe utilizing a bunch of spices check out my teacher’s blog post:
Anise Seed – warm
Lavender – cool
Star Anise – warm
Rose Hips
Nettles – cool
Horseradish – hot
Coriander Seeds – neutral
Cilantro – cool
Black Pepper – warm
Echinacea – cool
Cardamom – warm
Flax Seed
Galangal – warm
Fennel – warm
Lemon Balm
Cinnamon – hot
Ginger – slightly warm (fresh), warm (dried)
Cayenne Pepper – hot
Clove – warm
Nutmeg – warm
Sage – warm
Thyme – warm
Parsley – warm
Oregano – warm
Scallion – warm
What spices and herbs can you use to help bring your diet and self into a greater state of balance?  What can you change today that will bring balance to your body?