Wei’s Digestive Spice Blend

One of my favorite spice blends to uplift a pot of noodles or rice is the Japanese spice powder called shichimi togarashi. Being a lover of DIY kitchen projects, I decided to make my own adaptation of this digestive spice blend with an Arogya-touch. Not only does this blend bring an added dimension of flavor and depth to any meal, it also has medicinal value. In Chinese medicine, healthy digestion comes with good stomach-fire. When the stomach-fire is weak, digestion is poor, which also affects other systems of the body including immunity. This well-balanced, anti-inflammatory and flavor-enhancing powder promotes healthy stomach fire, and thus, improves digestion. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in my version of shichimi togarashi:

  • Ginger and chilli add a little heat to jump-start the digestive fire, improving the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients.
  • Seaweed is packed with nutrients and minerals, and is even considered by some to be a superfood.
  • Tangerine peel is a common ingredient in Chinese medicinal herbal formulas, used to aid digestion, facilitate the digestion of fatty foods, lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar and promote liver detoxification. While a few pinches of this spice blend may not be as potent as a Chinese herbal formula, you are still getting many of the same benefits on a subtler level, as well as vitamin C and aromatic flavor.
  • Sesame seeds are surprisingly high in calcium and iron, great for vegans and vegetarians.
  • And last but not least, anti-inflammatory Dragonwell green tea leaves give a wonderful umami flavor to the blend.


  • 3 dried chilli peppers
  • 1 tablespoon kombu seaweed
  • 1 tangerine rind, dried
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dragon well green tea


1. In a coffee grinder dedicated for herbs and seeds, grind all of the ingredients (except for one teaspoon of the sesame seeds) together until a smooth powder is formed.

2. In a small bowl, add the rest of the whole sesame seeds to the blend.

3. Sprinkle a pinch or two on rice, noodles, eggs, or any dish to add a digestive kick.

4. Store in a jar.


Recipe by Wei Bertram

Photos by Chloe Bolton