The average American sodium consumption is 3,400 mg per day while the recommended amount is 2,300 mg or less, according to the FDA. Individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease and who are 51 years or older should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less a day.
Below is a breakdown of the effects different herbs have on specific doshas from The Yoga of Herbs, by Dr. Vasant Lad and David Frawley.
7 Herbs That Taste Better Than Salt
Basil is pungent and heating. It decreases Kapha and Vata and increases Pitta.
Example: Try swapping salted tomatoes for tomatoes sprinkled with whole basil leaves. You can use the chiffonade cutting technique for long, thin ribbons—stack 10 leaves, roll them into a cigar shape, and then slice into strips.
Black Pepper is pungent and heating. It decreases Kapha and Vata and increases the Pitta dosha. This is a great digestive stimulant that can relieve gas and neutralize toxins.
Example: On your next plate of crunchy steamed veggies, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and a splash of lemon juice for some delicious flavor.
Cayenne is very pungent and heating. It decreases Kapha and Vata and increases Pitta. It can relieve indigestion, stimulate digestion, and is great for circulation.
Example: Add cayenne to cucumbers and jicama with a splash of fresh lime for a tasty, mid-day snack. Add some fresh, chopped cilantro and mmm, mmm!
Coriander (aka cilantro) is bitter, pungent, and cooling. It balances Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When all three doshas are balanced this is called tridoshic. In general, coriander is good for hot summer days.
Example: When baking fish, add some delicate herbs such as coriander, basil, or dill near the very end of cooking or just before serving as an alternative to the saltshaker.
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