HEALING SPICE TEA

A few years ago, I spent five weeks at a traditional Ayurvedic healing center in India. It was a life changing and transformational experience. Each day someone on staff, who embodied love and care in the deepest of ways, would bring me a cup of this tea. I sat on my porch looking out at a garden of Ayurvedic herbs and shrubs sipping this tea, feeling deep peace and well-being. As the weather cools and the pandemic wears on, this tea is once again bringing healing and comfort. I hope it can be of benefit to you too.

The tea is a wonderful combination of medicinal and culinary spices and herbs which support the respiratory, immune, and digestive systems. Here’s a deeper look at the main spices which you may use also in everyday cooking.

Cardamom has an intoxicating aroma. The taste is sweet and pungent yet the effects of cardamom are cool and light. It is best to buy the green pods or the black inner seeds and crush or grind them yourself as the store-bought powder loses its potency quickly.

The benefits of cardamom are:

  • Aids in nausea
  • Reduces mucus
  • Stimulates the digestive process
  • Reduces bloating, flatulence and indigestion
  • Supports nutrient absorption
  • Opens the respiratory channels
  • Promotes clarity and joy

Coriander is the seed of cilantro and is part of the parsley family. Having vastly different flavors, cilantro and coriander are both pungent and cooling in nature.

The benefits of coriander are:

  • Improves digestion
  • Digests ama and toxins
  • Supports nutrient absorption
  • Prevents ga­­s, bloating, belching and acidity
  • Eases chronic constipation
  • Reduces excess heat and acidity

Ginger is a wonderful remedy for the cold months as it promotes warmth and burns away thick, heavy congestion. Some say a cup of ginger tea a day will keep the doctor away.

The benefits of ginger are:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases metabolism
  • Aids digestion
  • Digests ama and toxins
  • Strengthens respiration
  • Decongests the sinuses and lungs

About sugar, you’ve likely heard the saying a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Although this is a metaphor aimed at finding sweetness in the unpleasant moments of life, there is truth to this adage. A small amount of sugar is often used in Ayurvedic medicine as sugar is fast absorbing and aids the medicinal qualities of the herbs to be carried more quickly to the deeper tissues of the body for greater results.

Steep a cup of this tea to warm your bones and boost your health. If you’d enjoy more recipes like this, check out my Nourishing Drinks e-book.

Healing Spice Tea
Makes 2-4 servings

4 cups water
2 tbsp coriander seeds
8 green cardamom pods⠀
2 black peppercorns
1 tsp dry ginger or 1″ fresh ginger
1 tbsp tulsi tea or two tulsi tea bags
2 tsp raw sugar or jaggery

In a small pan, on medium-low heat, dry roast the coriander seeds, cardamom pods, and black peppercorns until fragrant (be mindful not to burn).

Grind the roasted spices in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle, then add the dry ginger.

In a medium pot, combine the spices and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add tulsi tea, let steep for 5 minutes. Strain the tea with a fine mesh strainer into a tea cup. Add raw sugar or jaggery.

If you are someone who runs hot or has acid reflux, you will want to reduce or omit the dry ginger and black peppercorns, which are quite heating. This tea is also delicious replacing tulsi with mint or nettles.

 

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