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April 12, 2020

Ayurveda prizes foods and drinks that can improve your agni, or digestive fire. Your digestive fire is a measure of the health of your gut: The stronger your agni, the stronger your digestion (and ultimately the stronger your immune system since the two are connected1). Here are two recipes that can help rev up your digestion and support your immunity.

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Digestive Tea

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. whole fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds 
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
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Method:

  1. Boil 4 to 5 cups of water in the morning.
  2. Add your seeds and ginger to the water, and let steep for at least 10 minutes, with a lid on your tea.
  3. Strain out the seeds and pour the liquid into a thermos. 
  4. Sip the liquid warm or hot throughout the day, and start with a new batch of tea each morning. 

Ginger Gut Flush

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 knob ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of natural salt (preferably Himalayan)
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Method:

  1. Squeeze ½ cup of fresh lemon juice into a cup or jar.
  2. Cut up your knob of fresh ginger into thin, ½-inch strips. Add to the lemon.
  3. Add salt and stir.
  4. Eat 1 to 2 pieces of the soaked ginger before, during, or after each meal. (You can make enough at the beginning of the week to last you 7 days—just keep it refrigerated.) 

Some more do's and don'ts for increasing your digestive fire.

In addition to adding these recipes to your routine, there are plenty of other ways to support a healthy digestive fire. Here are some quick do's and don'ts:

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Do:

  • Cook ginger, garlic, and onions.
  • Add small amounts of spices like cumin powder, turmeric powder, and cinnamon powder to your meals.
  • Eat warm, soupy, well-cooked foods.
  • Drink warm/hot liquids throughout the day.
  • Cook with moderate amounts of ghee (clarified butter).

Don't:

  • Eat raw foods. (They are more difficult to digest and weaken your digestive fire.)
  • Eat dairy such as ice cream, cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and cold milk. (If you want to have milk, heat it up and add a pinch of turmeric and black pepper.)
  • Eat fruit with other foods. (Eat them either 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after meals.)
  • Eat cold foods and drink cold beverages.
  • Eat your heaviest meal at dinner since your digestion is weakest at night.
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These techniques do more than promote a healthy gut. They can also support your immune system and keep you feeling your best every day, physically and mentally.

Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.
Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.

Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D., is a neurologist. She is also a member of the Healthy Directions family of integrative health experts where she shares her Ayurvedic expertise to help others re-establish their natural connection to health and restore their ability to thrive.

Chaudhary has participated in over 20 clinical research studies in the areas of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. She is the author of The Prime and Sound Medicine: How to Use the Ancient Science of Sound to Heal the Body and Mind. She holds her M.D. from Loma Linda University School Of Medicine.

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