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Kate Bentley

Drawn to the classical teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga, Kate has also studied the indigenous practices of Peruvian Shamanism as well as Tantric Buddhism. Immersed in her love for plants, natural healing and the well being of all global communities, Kate blends these experiences in her practice to help others co-create long term solutions for inner and outer balance.
Herbal Medicine (Herbalism)
Ayurveda (Ayurvedic Medicine)
Shamanic Healing
About Kate Bentley

Drawn to the classical teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga, Kate has also studied the indigenous practices of Peruvian Shamanism as well as Tantric Buddhism. Immersed in her love for plants, natural healing and the well being of all global communities, Kate blends these experiences in her practice to help others co-create long term solutions for inner and outer balance.

On Core Spirit since November 2020
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Articles
Kate Bentley
THE WINTER MAGIC OF CARDAMOM

TAKING OUR MEDICINE BACK – The Yogi Veda Spice Series

Cardamom: Elletaria Cardamomum

From tea to coffee and from exotic marketplaces to palaces, cardamom’s warmth and sweetness has earned her name as the Queen of Peace. Going back to her origins, long before the Romans and Arabs discovered the benefits of this intriguing spice, the ancient Vedic texts mentioned her being thrown into the sacred fire rituals as as an offering up to the Gods and Goddesses. As a symbol of alliance, cardamom continues to play an important role in Indian and Persian weddings to this day.

Mixed with coffee it has been historically used in both Ethiopian coffee growers homes, to honor respected guests as well as in Sufi monasteries. Used not just as an intoxicating aromatic, or to add layers of complexity to the roasted coffee beans, but as a digestive aid. Cardamom has now been used for thousands of years to help with digestion. It’s often mixed with other medicinal spices to relieve discomfort, like nausea and vomiting and to reduce the distress associated with stomach ulcers.

This coffee-cardamom brew is one that’s high in phenolic compounds, with potent antioxidant properties, and the resulting blend has a different biological activity than regular coffee, less heating, drying and acidic.

Ayurvedic medicine mentions the many properties of cardamom, including the special benefit of The Queen of Peace, helping to open the mind and reduce anxiety. It is noted in the classical Ayurvedic medical texts that it is most beneficial for the respiratory system. Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing. Another way that cardamom may improve breathing and oxygen use is by relaxing your airway. This may be particularly helpful for treating asthma.

It also functions as mild analgesic for pain management. It can be taken both internally and used topically. One of the major active components of cardamom oil is its strong antimicrobial action. Chewing the seeds kills oral bacteria associated with infection that can lead to cavities, gum disease and bad breath.

Cardamom extracts have compounds that fight several common strains of bacteria. One test-tube study examined the impact of these extracts on drug-resistant strains of Candida, a yeast that can cause fungal infections. The extracts of cardamon were able to inhibit the growth of the strain.

In an other study, ½ a teaspoon a day of cardamom was given to newly diagnosed adults with high blood pressure. After 12 weeks blood pressure results significantly reduced to normal ranges. Researchers believe that this spice may lower blood pressure, due to its diuretic effect, meaning it promotes urination, removing water that builds up in your body, particularly around your heart.

We can all benefit from using cardamom daily in our cooking of curries, stews, rice dishes, or desserts. It can be drunk straight up as a beautiful aromatic tea on its own or mixed with other spices like fennel and ginger for additional benefits. For teeth and gums, the cardamom pod can be chewed whole and the juices kept in the mouth for up to 10 minutes and then spit out. For nausea, vomiting or diarrhea the pod can be chewed and the juice slowly swallowed. Cardamom pods can be added to your coffee roasting process for a rich and complex coffee experience. In powder, 250-500 mg packs a powerful punch, mixed with ghee or honey and taken daily as a diuretic, for blood pressure, digestive or respiratory problems.

Adding cardamom to your daily diet in small doses (a pod a day) is generally safe for everyone including pregnant or lactating women and children. A simple and aromatic brew shared with a friend to transport you across time, this sweet and versatile Queen of Peace has worked her magic around the globe for centuries.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Kate Bentley
An Āyurvedic Approach to Toxins

Our health depends on our bodies digestive fire or ‘agni’ to break down food into nourishment for the cells and to eliminate waste properly. As undigested food lingers in the body, it leads to the formation of ama. Ama is essentially the toxic residue of undigested or partially digested food. This residue can accumulate, stagnate, ferment and is the beginning of the disease process. An unhealthy diet as well as physical and emotional stress, poor lifestyle choices and not living in natural rhythm with seasonal changes all contribute to the build up of ‘ama.’ If ama is not cleared from the body and continues to build up, after some time it can leave the digestive tract and start circulating throughout the body.

How do you know if you have ama?

If you have a heavy feeling in your body, or you wake up feely puffy or groggy, if your joints are stiff, if your tongue is coated, especially upon rising, if you have an unpleasant body odor, if you feel dull and sleepy after eating, if your mind is foggy…these are all symptoms of ama in the body. Diarrhea, constipation, joint pain, sadness, dullness, lowered immunity, frequent colds and flu are all health problems that can be caused by ama. These symptoms are caused because ama clogs both large and microscopic channels in the body. It prevents nutrients from flowing to the cells, and blocks cellular communication, resulting in disease.

If a person has ama, it’s possible to remove it from the body by increasing or balancing agni, your digestive fire. It becomes important to begin an ama - reducing diet, that includes warm, freshly-cooked whole foods that are light, easy to digest, with spices that are suitable for the person’s body type and season. The ama - reducing diet includes fresh, organic vegetables, sweet, juicy fruits, whole grains, and easily digested proteins such as mung dhal or lentil soup. Cooked leafy greens such as chard and kale are especially good for improving elimination and helping to detoxify the body.

Detoxifying Spice Mixture

1 part turmeric

2 parts ground cumin

3 parts ground coriander

4 parts ground fennel

Alternately, you can try one of our spice mixes for Vata (Earth Spice), Pitta (Moon Spice) or Kapha (Sun Spice).

Sauté 1 teaspoon of spices in ghee until the aroma is released. Add steamed vegetables, mix lightly for one minute. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Avoid fried foods, heavy foods such as aged cheese, meat, rich desserts, anything that is difficult to digest including poor food combinations. Avoid eating or drinking anything cold. Drinking warm water throughout the day is a good way to flush out ama and toxins of all kinds, especially if you add detoxifying spices to make a tea.

Detoxifying Tea

Boil two quarts of water in the morning.

Add 1⁄4 t. whole cumin, 1⁄2 t. whole coriander, 1⁄2 t. whole fennel

Let steep for ten minutes with the lid on.

Strain out the spices and pour water into a thermos and sip throughout the day.

Article published in Mantra Magazine June 2019.

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2020-11-10 22:25 UTC

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2020-11-10 22:16 UTC

New article THE WINTER MAGIC OF CARDAMOM already available! corespirit.com/articles/the-winter-magic-of-c…

2020-11-10 22:11 UTC

New article An Āyurvedic Approach to Toxins already available! corespirit.com/articles/an-ayurvedic-approach…

Ayurveda (Ayurvedic Medicine)
Kate Bentley
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