Medicinal benefits are listed first, followed by the recipe…

Spicey foods are used in many different natural medicine and indigenous health practices for their medicinal properties and benefits. Spicy foods that contain capsaicin may help improve blood pressure, satiety, gut health, and longevity. With spice, a small amount can be beneficial, but it is important to ingest them in balance. Excessive or high intakes of spicy foods may cause gut imbalances, uncomfortable GI symptoms, acidity, nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Pitta is one of the 3 doshas in the body according to Ayurveda and it is believed to control the digestive power or ‘fire’ in the body. When pitta goes out of control, or becomes too high, it can cause you a lot of discomfort and stomach issues. When pitta is too low, the symptoms include poor digestion and metabolism, feeling cold, loss of skin luster, body stiffness, pricking pain, loss of appetite, excessive roughness or coarseness of the body, tremors, feeling heavy, sluggish or weight gain, whitish coloration of eyes, skin, or nails.

Ayurveda uses foods with high heat or ‘hot’ potency promote digestion and metabolism, as well as being energetic and light in the body, and they boost blood circulation. Within Ayurveda, warming or ‘hot foods’ include ginger, garlic, tomatoes, honey and dry. Additionally to increase pitta or heat within the body ghee, turmeric, root vegetables and chili peppers are often used.

While in Traditional Chinese Medicine, warming foods have the effects of raising the yang, energy (qi) of organs and warming and improving the circulation and dispelling the cold. Yang deficiency can bring cold limbs and intolerance of cold. Essence deficiency is manifested as premature aging, weakness of lower limb, slow movement, glazed expression, hair loss, loose teeth, etc.

These types of food are suitable for people who are yang deficient… Yang foods include peppers, chicken, beef, lamb, cinnamon tea, chai, ginger, garlic, onions, peppers, leeks, pumpkin, shallots and cherries. Herbs that boost Yang energyinclude basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley and rosemary. Spices that boost Yang energy include anise, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper.

Native Americans have used cayenne (Capsicum annuum, frutescens, or red pepper) as both food and medicine for at least 9,000 years. The hot and spicy taste of cayenne pepper is mostly due to a substance known as capsaicin, which helps reduce pain.

‘Known as the “King of Spices,” black pepper has been valued for its flavor and antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have shown that the chemical compounds of black pepper, particularly piperine, may be effective in the early acute inflammatory process.’ Ground black pepper is used often in Ayurvedic medicine, often combined with turmeric and is always combined with ghee or oil in order to facilitate absorption.

Probably the most popular and accessible pepper in the USA is the bell pepper. ‘The antioxidant activity of bell peppers can be attributed also to the content in vitamin C, carotenoids, and capsaicinoids… The antioxidant activity of bell peppers can also be affected by ripeness. That is, the green fruits have a lower activity than the red ones, perhaps due to differences in the content in carotenoids, phenols, and flavonoids, which contribute significantly to the antioxidant activity and are found in red peppers but are scarce in green ones. Howard et al. reported higher antioxidant activity in ripe peppers of the variety Yellow Bell than in the immature ones (42.75% and 66.9%, respectively).’,by%20orange%20ones%20(Simpaty)

All of the foods, herbs and spices that I have listed are examples of the types of foods you can include in your diet if you need to balance your diet with more warmth/heat.

Now that I have introduced a few medicinal benefits of foods with heat, let’s jump into my medicinal Cajun Jambalaya recipe…

Medicinal Cajun Jambalaya

My recipe is one that boosts medicinal benefits and integrates herbs, spices and ingredients that are not commonly found in a Cajun Jambalaya. My goal in creating medicinal recipes is always to honor the roots and culture of the recipe while adding a unique twist of healing food elements.

*It is important to note that different people’s systems can tolerate different amounts of heat. All spicey ingredients listed below offer mid-range heat. Add or reduce to meet your own body’s needs. LISTEN to your body when it comes to spice and heat.

This recipe makes about 10-servings. Perfect to bulk cook for the week ahead or freeze in individual batches.


Veggies: celery, white onion, shallots, red onion, okra, bell peppers – red, orange, yellow and green bell pepper, organic okra, jalapeño pepper, poblano pepper, habanero pepper, serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, la rouge pepper, lime and diced or crushed organic tomatoes.

*If the peppers listed are not fresh and in season as well as available to your location you may opt for any mix of peppers… try to add different colors, sizes, and shapes!

Spices & Herbs: cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, kosher Celtic Sea salt, fresh chopped garlic (or garlic powder), ground black pepper, ground white pepper, ground red pepper (Baies Roses from France if you can find it), onion powder. Herbs ideally should be organic and fresh: basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, bay leaf & thyme, lemon grass, chives, and 1-inch of fresh ground turmeric root (pop the root into a food processor for one minute).

For heat level: feel free to add more or less of either, depending on your heat preferences. Taste as you go so that you don’t end up too far down the heat rabbit hole!

Healthy fat: ½ avocado (thinly sliced), 1 tablespoon of grass-fed ghee & 1 tablespoon of pure organic olive oil (these are not cooked into the broth but stirred in for about 1-minute prior to either removing the jambalaya from heat or just before serving. For vegans, skip the ghee.

Protein: chicken, cod, shrimp, and andouille sausage (made from chicken – READ ingredients closely, you want chicken made andouille that is not heavily processed). You can also skip animal proteins and opt for beans for a vegan option). Or use whatever proteins you prefer. Feel free to choose one or two, or you can use them all together. High protein meals have numerous health benefits so I like to add a LOT of protein!

Broth: Organic clean sourced bone broth (beef, chicken or fish bone broth… yes, fist bone broth is available too, but it is rare and more challenging to find. It is very rich in Omega’s). For a vegan option you can opt for organic vegetable broth (ideally from root veggies).

Base: While traditionally served a top a bed of white rice, here are my more nutrient rich and clean recommendations for your base – brown rice and spelt, forbidden black rice, wild rice or cauliflower rice (be sure when sourcing grains that they are non-GMO & organic)

Don’t forget to taste and season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.

Also, feel free to garnish with whatever you prefer! I like to use sliced green onions and a hint of chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

Prepare Ingredients:

  • Chop the veggies: celery, white onion, shallots, red onion, okra, and bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, and green). Dice or crush organic tomatoes. Slice jalapeño pepper, poblano pepper, habanero pepper, serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, la rouge pepper, and lime.
  • Finely chop fresh herbs: basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, bay leaf, thyme, lemon grass, and chives.
  • Grind 1-inch fresh turmeric root in a food processor for one minute.
  • Slice avocado thinly for garnish.
  • Gather spices: cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, kosher Celtic Sea salt, garlic (chopped or powder), ground black pepper, ground white pepper, ground red pepper (Baies Roses if available), and onion powder.
  • Prepare protein options: dice chicken, cod, and andouille sausage. Peel and devein shrimp if needed. For vegan option, prepare beans.
  • Choose your broth: organic bone broth (beef, chicken, or fish) or vegetable broth. Select your base: brown rice, spelt, forbidden black rice, wild rice, or cauliflower rice.

Cooking Process:

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add grass-fed ghee and pure organic olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add chopped white onion, shallots, and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add diced chicken and andouille sausage (if using). Cook until chicken is browned on all sides.
  • Stir in chopped bell peppers, okra, jalapeño pepper, poblano pepper, habanero pepper, serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, and la rouge pepper. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add crushed or diced tomatoes, fresh herbs (basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, bay leaf, thyme, lemon grass, chives), and ground turmeric root. Mix well to combine.
  • Season with cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, kosher Celtic Sea salt, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, ground red pepper, and onion powder. Adjust seasoning to taste, keeping in mind the desired heat level.
  • Pour in organic bone broth (or vegetable broth for vegan option). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, allowing flavors to meld together and vegetables to soften.
  • Add cod and shrimp (if using), and cook until seafood is opaque and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • If using beans as a protein option, add them now and cook until heated through.
  • Remove the pot from heat. Stir in thinly sliced avocado.
  • Serve the jambalaya over your chosen base: brown rice, spelt, forbidden black rice, wild rice, or cauliflower rice.
  • Enjoy your flavorful and nutritious jambalaya!
  • Remember to taste and adjust seasoning as needed throughout the cooking process. Enjoy your delicious jambalaya with your preferred protein and base options!