Part Two: The Spice of Life
A key to avoiding jet-lag is including a fair amount of warming spices in your meals. Two to favor during travel are garlic and ginger.
Why are ginger and garlic travel essentials? The key to staying relaxed and balanced during and after airplane travel is to support the “downward flowing wind.” The idea of “wind” is an idea that links the body and mind in Tibetan Buddhism & Tibetan Medicine.
Tibetan Medicine conceives of the mind as functioning through a series of internal flows of energy known as “wind” (Tibetan: rlung Sanskrit: Prana). These flow in different ways supporting various states of mind. In particular the downward flowing wind (Tibetan: ཐུར་སེལ་རླུང་ thur sel rlung; Sanskrit: apana vayu), regulates our elimination of toxins and food wastes, psychologically allows us to let go of thoughts and emotions and keeps us feeling “grounded” and relaxed. When it is balanced it supports joy and pleasant emotions but when disturbed can lead to constipation, indigestion, worry, anxiety and other wind disorders.
Both garlic and ginger (Tibetan: སྒོག་པ་ sgog pa and སྒ་ sga) keep wind disorders at bay by warming the body, increasing the metabolic power and by promoting balance of that downward flowing energy. Garlic is well known as being anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, circulation increasing and a natural anti-biotic. Both garlic and ginger are also known for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory properties, so this can also be a way to ward off seasonal illness during travel. Raw garlic and ginger with warm soupy meals is best for those who tolerate spice.
Alternatives to Garlic
If you would rather not smell like you were trying to ward off vampires, don’t respond well to hot spices or abstain from garlic due to practicing Indian yoga systems, there are alternatives. In some Indian yoga traditions garlic is avoided because of its stimulating “rajasic” properties which would get in the way of a celibate lifestyle or achieving absorptive states of non-thought. Garlic’s healing ingredient is allicin which is lower in odor and can be taken in supplements. Or if your body has unwanted reactions to garlic and ginger, favor less heating but more gentle warming digestive spices such as Cumin, Dill, Nutmeg, Fennel and Tumeric.