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Traditionally, different types of herbal teas are used in the 5,000-year-old science of Ayurveda as part of preventive health and management of ailments. Kadha is the name for Ayurvedic herbal teas where herbs and spices are boiled to make a decoction (and extract their therapeutic properties). It is typically used to enhance immunity and prevent seasonal ailments like colds, coughs, allergies and other respiratory conditions. Kadha can have various anti-inflammatory herbs (besides the ones in Ayush Kwath, like cardamom, cloves, cumin, turmeric, ginger, etc.)
Ayush Kwath is a caffeine-free rejuvenating herbal formulation that is recommended to boost immunity.* Its herbal ingredients are easy and cost-effective to procure, in fact many of them are commonly used at home. And it’s easy to make! There are scientific studies and experiential knowledge about the benefits of its ingredients.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) or Holy Basil—4 parts
Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) or Cinnamon—2 parts
Sunthi (Zingiber officinale) rhizome or dry ginger—2 parts
Krishna Marich (Piper nigrum) or black pepper—1 parts
Munakka or Raisins—4 parts
Jaggery, honey or lemon juice to taste. (Add honey only in lukewarm and not hot tea.)
- Boil these ingredients in about 300 ml (1.5 cups) water till it reduces to roughly half. (Some formulations suggest that instead of a decoction or Kwath you can directly add the ingredients to 150 ml of hot water for a hot infusion or Phanta).
- Strain, add lemon juice, jaggery or honey to taste.
- Enjoy your cuppa!
You could dry roast the ingredients (1–4), grind them to make a fine powder and store the tea in an airtight container. Three grams (1 tsp) of pre-made Ayush Kwath powder can be boiled in water along with raisins, and strained. Or, a teaspoon can directly be added to 150 ml of hot water.
- Rasa or taste is pungent and bitter
- Veerya or potency is heating
“Tea is to the body as music is to the soul.” —Earlene Grey
The decoction is Ama (toxins) Pachana (digests toxins or detoxifies) and agni (digestive and metabolic fire) Deepana (kindles agni). It is considered anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-microbial, stress-relieving, and antipyretic. It helps in cleansing channels, balances Kapha and Vata (energy principals), is Raktashodhana (a blood purifier) and acts as a Rasayana (rejuvenator) for the formation of Ojas (vitality) and enhancement of Vyadhikshamatwam (immunity).
According to the Ayush Ministry which governs traditional medicine in India, you can have this once or twice daily; it could replace your cup of Chai. Raisins are mentioned in the some recommendations and omitted in some; you could add them to pacify pitta (energy principal of fire and water) and respiratory ailments, but be mindful of the natural sugar content. Because of its Ushna Veerya, or heating potency, Ayush Kwath can be pitta-aggravating. Also, be mindful if you are allergic to any of the herbs, or if it causes you gastrointestinal irritation.
“Conservatively speaking and at this time, there are no known nutrients, botanicals, vaccines, or prescription or over-the-counter medicines available to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 … our community should be encouraged to employ the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda, which by nature upholds prevention as a core principle.”
—Margrit Mikulis, President, National Ayurvedic Medical Association
Indeed an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Would you like to try Ayush Kwath herbal tea? Avoid it in the summer (or have it infrequently) and if you have a pitta aggravation like hyperacidity. There are many other immune boosting herbal teas (here are some recipes). CCF tea pacifies all doshas (energy principals). Want to know more about your Ayurvedic Constitution, imbalances and ways to manage them with nutrition, lifestyle, herbs and therapies? Try our online Ayurvedic Consultation and empower yourself with our Ayurveda Culinary Retreat!
If you feel unwell, be sure to follow medical advice. Take care of your health, stay well, use tools like meditation to manage stress—we will weather this together!
*About Ayush Kwath: The Ministry of Ayush in India (where Ayurveda originated and which governs traditional medicines like Ayurveda and Homeopathy) has recommended Ayush Kwath for boosting immunity at the time of Covid-19. In fact, in its post Covid-19 recovery protocol, the Indian Government has recommended Ayurvedic formulations—such as Ayush Kwath, Chyawanprash, Amruth, Yashtimadhu, Amalaki and Ashwagandha—yoga, pranayama, meditation, and counseling as an integrative, holistic protocol for recovery. Ayush Kwath is now being commercially produced in India.
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Disclaimer: This content on the Art of Living Retreat Center Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience only and the Art of Living Retreat Center is not responsible for their content. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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