Taste (Rasa): Pungent, Bitter, Astringent
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Balancing for Vata and Kapha

Benefits & Use: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related dis-eases. The very aroma of cumin (from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde), activates our salivary glands which facilitate the primary digestion of food. Once our salivary glands are on board, thymol, another compound present in cumin, stimulates the digestive glands that secrete acids, bile and the enzymes responsible for the complete digestion of the food in the stomach and intestines. A carminative, cumin simultaneously relieves gas, thereby improving digestion and appetite. It is also considered a good source of Iron, manganese, and other vitamins and minerals.

Additional Uses: Lactation; piles; boils; diabetes; anemia; cognitive function

In the Kitchen: Cumin can be used both as the whole seed or ground. The seed benefits from toasting before use to being out its aromatic, nutty flavor. Cumin is a staple ingredient in most curry powders and many spice blends. It's reserved primarily for savory recipes, like chili, stews, meat, fish, and vegetables.

Recipe: Curried Pumpkin Soup with Coconut & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.