Immune boosting Kadha Tea
This Traditional Ayurvedic concoction has been used for thousands of years as an immune booster, flu and respiratory infection fighter, cough remedy and fever reducer. In India, it is generally homemade and all of its ingredients are commonly found in the average kitchen and home garden. Kadha's synergy of aromatic spices and herbs work as an expectorant, inflammation reducer and a whole body rejuvenator.
In India, plants are considered sacred and are commonly homegrown and processed in ways to be stored or kept on hand as medicine. Ayurveda is quite particular on how the plants are used and consumed for healing and wellness. Tulsi ( Holy Basil), for example, is commonly found in the centre of any Indian household and is considered not only sacred and auspicious, but a reflection of the "soul" of the inhabiting family. The holistic and energetic health of the family depends on the plant. Tulsi is meticulously cared for by a grandmother or elder and is worshiped at dawn and dusk every day. It is said to impart prana and spiritual shakti, the life force and the highest vibration of vitality. It is also a highly revered adaptogen in the west and is a key element in Kadha.
In the Charak Samhita ( the ancient text on Ayurveda), there are five way to consume medicinal herbs and plants. These are as follows:
Kalka (in paste form)
Hima (an herb induced concoction, prepared and consumed as an infusion, like tea)
Phant (an herb-infused concoction where aromatic herbs are soaked in water. The valuable nutrients from the extract get dissolved in water which is then consumed).
Kadha is a homemade Hima or infusion (tea), usually using all or a combination of these spices and herbs below. Since Kadha is usually handed down by Grandmothers and elders for generations, each family's own recipe is unique. I will share mine here, but feel free to omit the Gilroy Guduchi if it is hard to find in your local area. Luckily, this treasured Indian folk medicine is easy to prepare and most of, if not all the ingredients can be found in your kitchen cupboard or local grocer.
Here's the Recipe:
You'll need a mortar and pestle or alternatively, a deep metal bowl or pot and the sturdy butt of a large knife to grind and crush the herbs and spices in.
Ginger: 1 thumb about 5 to 7cm or so. *( Anti- inflammatory/ antioxidant)
Cloves: 4. *(Anti-inflammatory/ expectorant)
Whole Black Peppercorns: 5-6. *( Expectorant)
Fresh Holy Basil (Tulsi): 5-6 leaves or 1 Tbsp dried Tulsi leaves. *(Adaptogen)
Cinnamon stick (1 inch): 2. *(Anti-inflammatory)
Half teaspoon of Giloy Guduchi (Indian Tinospora ) powder *(whole body rejuvenator)
Manuka Honey: 1/2tsp or to taste *(Anti Viral/soothes sore throat)
In Mortar and Pestle, grind Tulsi leaves, black pepper, cloves, and ginger together roughly. Add Giloy Guduchi powder in.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
Add all dry ingredients to water, including the cinnamon stick and boil for 2 minutes or so. Take off heat and cover tightly. Let it steep 5- 8 minutes. Strain, Pour into a tea cup. Let cool for a few minutes before adding honey to taset.
Makes 2 cups. Drink up to 4 cups daily, as needed.
* Use a little less ginger and black pepper if you suffer from Acid reflux and stick to 2 cups at first. Kadha can be very warming!