BLACK PEPPER

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Taste (Rasa): Pungent
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Pacifying for Vata and Kapha

Benefits & Use:  Black pepper stimulates the taste buds altering the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. (Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body's production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn or indigestion, or it may pass into the intestines, where it can be used as a food source for unfriendly gut bacteria.) Because black pepper is a carminative (a substance that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas) it helps prevent constipation, colic, and distension. When added to a person’s diet, black pepper promotes sweating and urination further removing toxins from the body. In Ayurvedic practices, pepper is added to tonics for colds and coughs. Pepper also provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion. It has an expectorant property that helps to break up the mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract, and its natural irritant quality helps you to expel these loosened material through the act of sneezing or coughing, which eliminates the material from the body and helps you to heal from whatever infection or illness caused the deposition in the first place.

Additional Uses: Earaches; insomnia; joint pain; tooth decay

In the Kitchen: In ancient times, black pepper held such high prestige that it was not only used as a seasoning but as a currency and a sacred offering. Nowadays it's readily available whole, crushed, and ground into powder and used in nearly every cuisine around the world.  To ensure the best flavor and healing benefits, buy whole peppercorns and grind them in a mill just before adding to food. As this spice loses its flavor and aroma if cooked for too long, adding at the end of food preparation helps  preserve the flavor.

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.