Lipstick, memory cards, second-hand cars and cumin!

Something is wrong! That’s what occurred to me while I was soaking in the bath last night after a hard weeks’ teaching to my French ayurveda students. Sharon, my OTL, at the other end of the bath asked me: “babe, how much do think a tube of lipstick costs these days?”

After a short, but pensive pause, I replied “about 12 Euros?”. Sharon grimaced and confessed to having paid 30 Euros for what she assured me was a typical but decent lipstick.

I must admit, I was shocked. “You must be kidding” I said, and proceeded to make some random comparisons between material objects that came to mind.

After a five minute rant about the bizarre inequality of modern commodities – in particular their relative size, weight, and true practical usefulness, I found myself unable to break free from the surreal image of a bathtub with 33 lipsticks lined up on its edge. I imagined flicking them off onto the hard tiled floor in one enthusiastic massacre.

It would be so quick, so easy! I was so enthralled by the thought of this mind-experiment that I actually enacted it out there and then by flicking my finger, 30 times, at 30 brand-new imaginary lipsticks. It was so satisfying. I felt like I was somehow setting something right in the world. Well, at least we both got a good fit of the giggles.

Then I go to thinking about SDHC flash memory cards. I saw one for sale the other day at our local supermarket. The latest 32 Gigabyte card was for sale at 100 Euros. Three minutes of silence later and I professed to my patient bath-mate that if I filled the Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle full with these little flash cards, we would only need about 50 bottles worth to match what we paid for the house. And you can guess what comes next:

It’s a funny old world. Mind you, makes me think of a subject close to my heart: did you know that spices like cumin and black pepper were once worth more than their weight in gold? Now there’s some food for thought.

Well, before I wrap up this blog, I feel I ought to leave you with something at least slightly useful. So here is a copy of a paragraph from one of ayurveda’s more recent, classical texts, the Asthangha Hridayam, written a couple of hundred years or so A.D.

The author is talking about the three main groups of enzyme functions in the body that relate to digestion and cellular metabolism. He states that the ‘digestive fire’ (enzyme function) in the digestive tract should be protected, kept healthy, if we wish to have maximum longevity and good health and strength.

One of the best way to achieve this maintenance of your digestive fire is to use mild spices like cumin, fennel, coriander, ginger, cardomom etc. in your daily diet on a regular basis. This is because spices actually help to boost or stimulate your digestive enzymes. This help digest food better, ward of pathogens, and keep your gut healhy and free from ailements. Even chewing a couple of teaspoons worth of fennel seeds after a meal is helpful.

Well, that’s all for now. Take care. Alex.

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