Herbs for Yoga, Part 3: Circulation
People who practice yoga certainly improve their circulation. But yoga alone is not enough. In fact, yoga is a small, albeit important, piece of the larger health management system of Ayurveda. And, to even practice yoga at a high level, people need good circulation. Enter circulation-promoting herbs.
The most widely used circulation mender in Ayurveda goes by the name “trikatu” (“three pungents”). Composed of ginger root, black pepper, and long pepper (“pipali”), it is used as a mildly warming preparation to support digestion and circulation. This three part mix is often listed as an ingredient in famous Asian formulas. You will often find this formula recommended for respiratory support during the spring and fall seasons.
We know ginger and black pepper as culinary spices, but in Ayurveda, these two herbs are prized. Ginger can help increase circulation throughout the body, especially to the joints and pelvis, and black pepper is considered to be one that can help detoxify the tissues.
The less familiar pipali is a pepper approximately one to two inches in length. This valued remedy is traditionally used by herbalists as a blood cleanser as well as a beneficial herb for both digestive and respiratory system support. Pipali is moistening, whereas black pepper is drying, so the two peppercorns are combined in this famous combination to offset their energetics.
For a few more warming Ayurvedic choices to bump up circulation, look at cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, anise, cumin and basil, many if which you will find in assorted Yogi teas. Check out the Yogi ingredients pages to learn more about these deliciously purposeful spices and what Yogi teas they are blended in.
If you could use some support with digestion, respiratory or general warmth to cold hands and feet, add some spice to your life!
Enjoy & Be Well,
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa