So, winter is finally here! All around you, the natural world is gradually withdrawing and simultaneously embracing a long and dark season of dormancy and slumber. There is a characteristic stillness every winter, which brings with it a subtle invitation to redirect our own energies.
Winters hold the ideal antidote to the fast-paced mobility of spring and summer. This is a perfect time to rest, reflect, hibernate, and withdraw some of your outwardly focussed energies and successfully redirect it inward.
As the days become shorter and the air cools down, you will probably find yourself seeking foods and beverages that offer warmth and comfort.
Ayurveda views the winter season as a “Kapha” season, with robust “Vata” undertones.
Winter and Immunity
Winters can be quite a challenge when it comes to immunity. The combination of cold temperatures and dry heat can lead to a wide array of illnesses, the most common being flu and common cold.
Busy holiday schedules translate to increased stress, which can have a negative impact on your immune system. Moreover, holiday parties along with feasts can send your dietary plans for a toss, making it challenging to consume well-balanced meals. Being aware of the potential risks that are associated with the winter season can help you take concrete action to boost your immunity in a wide range of areas.
So, warm Ayurvedic beverages are just what the “doctor ordered” to not only boost immunity but also enjoy the winter season in a healthful manner.
Let’s look at some of the most soothing Ayurvedic beverages that you will surely fall in love with.
While the heat obtained from ginger offers protection against infections, the honey will soothe your throat. To add a dash of comforting taste as well as alleviate indigestion, you may want to add a pinch of cinnamon to this tea.
- Ginger Root (1 teaspoon)
- Honey (1/2 teaspoon)
- Cloves (2 nos.)
- Cinnamon (1 pinch)
- Orange Peel (1 strip)
Add all ingredients with a cup of water in a saucepan, and let the mixture come to a boil. Allow it to slowly simmer, and then let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Strain the tea into a cup and drink it while it is warm.
This is a go-to Ayurvedic beverage for boosting immunity. This Kadha is extremely efficient at healing you from within. Several Indian households swear by this beverage for its myriad benefits.
- Cloves (2-3 nos.)
- Freshly crushed black pepper (1 pinch)
- Black cardamom powder (1 pinch)
- Cinnamon powder (1 pinch)
- Tulsi Leaves (5-6 nos.)
- Ginger (2-3 small pieces)
- Honey (½ teaspoon)
Soak tulsi leaves in a cup of water overnight. Next morning, add these tulsi leaves and its water into a saucepan along with all other ingredients, except honey. Add some more water to the saucepan and simmer the mixture on a low heat for approximately 10 minutes, so that the ingredients steep together. Then, strain the water and add the required amount of honey. Stir well and drink the kadha while it is warm.
When it comes to warm, soothing, and nourishing beverages, golden milk is an obvious favourite. Here is a recipe for golden milk that you can prepare at home with just a few, common ingredients.
Cow’s milk (or coconut/almond/oat milk) (1 cup)
Black pepper (ground) (1/8 teaspoon)
Turmeric powder (1/2 teaspoon)
Cinnamon powder (a dash)
Cardamom powder (a pinch)
Ghee/Ghruta/Coconut Oil (1 teaspoon) [optional]
Ashwagandha root powder (Withania somnifera) (1/3 teaspoon)
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a point of boiling. Turn off the heat just before the milk comes to a boil. Pour the milk into a mug and stir well. Your golden milk is now ready. You may add a dash of honey or maple syrup to sweeten the taste. Top the milk with freshly ground nutmeg to help in falling asleep. A few strands of saffron, too, adds aroma and cools the Pitta dosha. In addition, you may want to add in a spoonful of Chyawanprash for an added “ojas” boost.
On a Final Note:
These Ayurvedic beverages will not only boost your immune system but will also keep you cosy, warm, and safe for a healthy winter.