In Ayurveda, we have this gorgeous polyherbal formula known as Trikatu: ‘tri’ meaning three, and ‘katu’ meaning pungent. Basically, Trikatu is three pungent spices in equal quantity that are mixed together.
We use this formula quite a lot when we have sluggishness in the body, such as when the Agni (or the digestive fire) is slightly impaired and weak; this causes the quality of our digestive functioning to be low. If we have an excess of Ama (also known as metabolic waste) in the body, we may again reach towards this formula. Trikatu also helps to support the respiratory system, especially for those who have a tendency for wet, sticky coughs.
What are the three main spices in Trikatu?
In this blog, I am going to introduce you to the three main spices.
The first is called Piper Longum, also known as Pippali (or long pepper). It is a fabulous type of pepper. It has a pungency to it, but it doesn’t have the same amount of heat intensity as, for example, black pepper. The second ingredient is called Piper Nigrum, also known as Maricha (or black pepper). The third spice is what we call Shunti, Zingiber Officinale or dry ginger powder.
In Ayurveda, we see ginger, whether it is fresh or dry, as two different spices. The dry ginger powder, as the name suggests, has more of a drying quality on the body. It is also more heating that the fresh version. Click here to read my previous blog about ginger.
These three heating spices are then equally combined together.
To give this formula, we tend to put it in water, but you can put it in other drinks. We can mix it with honey, and occasionally jaggery (which is a kind of raw cane sugar). However, we tend to mix it with the latter only when there is a lot of heat already in the body, as this formula itself is very heating; therefore, if we want to soften this heat, we can combine it with jaggery.
Sometimes, we also combine it with ghee, as this formula is also deliberately drying. However, if we want to pep up the digestive system without creating excess dryness, mixing the formula with ghee is a good idea. Click here to read my previous blog about ghee.
When do we and don’t we use this formula?
We tend not to use it when there is a lot of excess heat/acidity in the body; for example, when there is gastritis, we may choose to use other formulas instead.
We can also use Trikatu if we want to stimulate the liver and the spleen, particularly if we want to encourage the body to naturally secrete more digestive enzymes.
I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about Trikatu! If you want to find out more about using this formula for yourself, then I would suggest looking up your nearest local Ayurvedic practitioner who can help to guide you and suggest how to best use it.