Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
Seemingly light and delicate, herbs and spices are unassumingly powerful. Phrases like "spice up your life" hint at their knack for making food more interesting. Spices not only bring delightful flavor to meals, they are evocative of unique cultural experiences. A curry conjures up India. Chili powder, cilantro and cumin whisk your imagination to Mexico. Sliced ginger and wasabi transport you to Japan. It seems that each culture and tradition has a unique way of expressing itself through spices.
As if enjoyment and cultural flair weren't enough, spices also have medicinal value that can be used to support your body. Ayurveda has made an art and science of this medicinal value of spices, often using them interchangeably with herbs. With Ayurveda, use of spices literally turns your pantry into a medicine cabinet, once you know how.