The ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda has been practiced for thousands of years. In Sanskrit, ‘Ayur’ translates as life and ‘Veda’ means science or knowledge. Thus ‘Ayurveda’ means ‘the science of life’ and it has been around for as long as 5000 years. Ayurveda focuses on the belief that the health and wellness of living beings depends on the balance of mind, body, and spirit. It incorporates diet, lifestyle, herbs, and yoga to truly heal from within. This natural system of medicine draws from the wisdom of nature’s goodness for cures and remedies to alleviate a variety of ailments. Ayurveda makes use of fruits, roots, herbs, minerals, and spices to promote wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.
Three Doshas – Pitta, Kapha & Vata
Ayurveda believes that a person’s body is made up of a unique balance of three elemental forces, or Doshas: Pitta (fire), Kapha (water), and Vata (air). When there is an imbalance in these Doshas, the flow of the body’s energy gets disrupted and this may lead to illness and diseases. Yoga, meditation, and diet are some of the techniques used in Ayurveda to balance a person’s Dosha. Aside from these techniques, one’s Dosha can also be balanced with the help of herbal remedies or Ayurvedic teas.
What are Ayurvedic Teas?
Ayurvedic teas include a blend of natural ingredients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, relaxation, and detoxification benefits, to name a few. Ayurvedic teas are created with the intention of balancing one or more of the Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and this goal is best achieved by blending a synergistic combination of supportive herbs.
Imbalances in Pitta Dosha cause inflammation in the skin or joints, feelings of anger, criticism, jealousy, and other heated emotions. To balance the Pitta or fire Dosha, Ayurveda recommends herbs and spices that have a cooling effect. Here’s a simple recipe for Pitta tea that you can try at home:
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh coriander leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon rose petals
- 1 cup boiling water
- Mix the cumin seeds, coriander, fennel, coriander leaves, and rose petals together.
- Add the boiling water.
- Steep for five minutes, covered.
- Strain and discard herbs and spices and serve cool, lukewarm, or at room temperature
Kapha imbalance symptoms include feelings of lethargy, heaviness, and stubbornness or sluggishness, as well as low libido, allergies and weight gain. Here’s a simple recipe for Kapha tea:
- 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger
- 1 clove
- 1/4 teaspoon dill seed
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seed
- 1 cup boiling water
- Mix the ginger, clove, dill seed, and fenugreek seed together.
- Add boiling water to the herb and spice mixture.
- Steep for 5 minutes, covered.
- Strain and discard the herb and spice mixture and serve hot.
Signs and symptoms of Vata Imbalance include anxiety, panic, fear, and restlessness, as well as spasms, dry or chapped skin, constipation, gas, bloating, etc. to name a few. Below is a simple recipe for Vata tea:
1/4 teaspoon ginger (fresh grated)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ajwain seeds
1 cup boiling water
- Mix the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and ajwain seeds together.
- Boil the water and then add it to the herb and spice mixture.
- Steep the tea, covered, for five minutes.
- Strain and discard the herbs and spices and serve warm.
The health benefits of drinking ayurvedic tea are immense and range from aiding weight loss, curing indigestion, brightening the skin, detoxifying the body, boosting immunity, and enhancing the quality of life. Since our bodies often have more than one Dosha, you can drink teas with multiple Ayurvedic ingredients. Aside from balancing the Doshas, these Ayurvedic herbs offer other health benefits as well.