GARLIC

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

 

Benefits & Use: Intensely aromatic and flavorful, garlic is used in virtually every cuisine in the world. When eaten raw, it has a powerful, pungent flavor to match its mighty benefits. It is particularly high in a certain sulfur compound, alliin, that is believed to be responsible for its scent and taste, as well as its positive effects on health. (Garlic benefits rank only second to turmeric benefits in the amount of research backing this superfood.) Eating garlic regularly has been linked to reducing or even helping to prevent four of the major causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infections. It is also a known blood cleanser, aiding in detoxification and immunity.

Additional Uses: A an external application, garlic paste improves blood circulation and relieves pain, which is excellent for  joint inflammation and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and sciatica.

In the Kitchen: Garlic is consumed in both raw and cooked forms. When enjoying it raw, be sure to thoroughly chew the garlic to crush the plants cells and release the alliinase enzymes. If going with the cooked route, I recommend finely chopping or mincing the garlic, crushing far more plant cells and again, releasing the beneficial alliinase enzymes. High heat for long period of time will risk damaging these nutrients as well as make the garlic bitter so expose garlic to heat for as little time as possible (5-15 minutes).

 

Recipe: Tuscan White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry Cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 sage leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tb chicken bouillon or cube (or substitute vegetable bouillon)
  • sea salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Place beans, 6 cloves of the garlic, water and a few sage leaves in the crock pot; cover and set to HIGH for 4 hours, or until beans are soft. Don’t add salt.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Place remaining garlic cloves in the center of a 7×7 inch square of aluminum foil. Cover garlic with olive oil and a little salt. Seal aluminum tightly and place in the oven 25-30 minutes, until garlic is soft and golden. Remove from oven and set aside until the beans are done.
  • When the beans are soft, add the bouillon and mix well until dissolved.
  • Carefully transfer some of the beans and liquid along with the roasted garlic to the blender.
  • Blend until smooth and pour it back into the crock pot. Repeat with the remaining beans until you get the texture you desire. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.
  • Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
  • Serve with fresh sage and white pepper. Add some whole roasted garlic cloves on top (optional).

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.