6 Ayurvedic Kadha Recipes to Strengthen your immune system!

In the wake of monsoon and transitional weather, our bodies have started showing signs of sickness in some way or the other. We need immunity and strength to fight viruses and bacteria, enhancing the body’s natural defense system in maintaining optimum health throughout the year.

Ayurveda is a way of life, a healthy balance between science & wellness. There is a simplicity in how Ayurveda works in harmonizing our doshas. According to Ayurveda, our daily diet and routine needs to be aligned as the seasons change to maintain a healthy balanced life, ‘Dinacharya’ - daily routines and ‘Ritucharya’ - seasonal routines. And when there is a lack of balance, the toxins in our bodies prevent our systems from proper functioning, improving and strengthening our immunity to fight better.

We all know prevention is better than cure, and the best way to boost your body’s immunity and keep it running is by drinking immunity-boosting drinks at home. Emphasized across Ayurvedic scriptures for centuries, Ayurveda recommends the daily intake of Ayurvedic Kadha or winter immunity boosters such as herbal teas infused with various potent herbs and spices.

What is an Ayurvedic Kadha?

An Ayurvedic Kadha is a traditional, homemade recipe similar to that of a milkless tea that is aromatic and made by boiling a mixture of herbs and spices. Prevalent in India since ancient times, Kadha strengthens immunity, boosts stomach health, improves the symptoms of cold and cough, makes the skin’s overall health, maintains the body temperature and much more.

What are the benefits of Ayurvedic Kadha?

Before we start exploring the Kadha recipes, let's explore a few benefits of Kadha.

-Helps detoxify the body: Kadha makes for an excellent detoxifying drink. Infused with ingredients such as ginger, pepper, tulsi and more, they act as antioxidants that help clean the body and keep it healthy.

-Helps boost immunity: The antioxidants and vitamins present in the drink protect against infections and help improve the body's immunity.

-Helps in anti-ageing: The ingredients contribute to slowing down the process of ageing, thereby making your skin clearer and glowing.

-Helps in respiratory problems: An excellent drink to relieve respiratory ailments such as asthma, cough and cold, Kadhas infused with tulsi, lemongrass, or cinnamon are great for respiratory problems.

-Helps improve digestion: Drinking a cup of Kadha helps in indigestion, vomiting, nausea etc. It helps promote a healthy metabolism and digestion.

-Helps in inflammation reduction: Kadhas are a great drink for curing pain relating to inflammation in joints and arthritis. Incorporate Turmeric and Ginger to make the drink potent.

-Helps in weight loss: The potent ingredients present in Kadha work as natural fat burners that boost metabolism and help you lose weight.

What herbs & spices are used to make immunity boosting drink or Kadha?

We can incorporate several herbs and spices into our daily diets to enhance our immunity system. These include Tulsi, Turmeric, Clove, Ginger, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Lemongrass and more. When we concoct these and other Ayurvedic ingredients, we are left with a healthy and potent immunity-boosting drink.

Here's a list of ingredients and the benefits you can derive from them.

Tulsi: One of the best-infused ingredients in Kadha, Tulsi is rich in Zinc and Vitamin C and has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. These help in keeping the body healthy and free from any infection. Apart from maintaining oral health, Tulsi also regulates blood sugar levels and respiratory diseases and is known to help patients with arthritis pain and digestion.

Turmeric: is one of the best spices with anti-inflammatory properties and is known to reduce swelling and inflammation and keep our overall health steady. It also helps internal wounds and weaknesses and treats irritable bowel syndrome and lunch conditions. Having a Turmeric infused Kadha regularly will improve your overall health.

Clove: Clove is highly beneficial for those suffering from sinus or chest congestion as clove helps in clearing phlegm. Consuming clove helps boost immunity and improves digestion, metabolism, oral health, and hygiene. It is also packed with anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.

Ginger: Ginger, a well-known ingredient found in every Indian household for making ginger tea, not tastes good but is great for fighting infections. A great ingredient packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, ginger helps digestion, migraine and headaches.

Cinnamon: Also known as Dalchini, this spice contains antioxidants that boost immunity and fight infection. Besides boosting metabolism and brain health, cinnamon is also said to slow down the risk of chronic diseases and improve bad breath.

Black Pepper: A super spice in Indian households, black pepper has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of diabetes, arthritis and cancer while combating infections. It helps break down the fat deposit in our body, improves digestion, metabolism, and immunity and reduces asthma.

Lemongrass: A wonder herb in treating cold, cough and fever, lemongrass is rich in anti-oxidants and regulating blood pressure. It is also known to have relaxing properties that help in relieving anxiety. Lemongrass also prevents infections, reduces cholesterol and boosts oral health and hygiene.

Honey: A super healthy ingredient to balance out the bitterness in your Kadha, honey or brown sugar is an excellent substitute over synthetic sugar. A healthier and natural option, studies have shown that honey has anti-bacterial properties that boost immunity and fights cold and cough causing infection.

What is the best time to drink immunity boosting drink or Kadha?

Drinking Ayurvedic Kadha once a day in the evening shows great benefits, and one can increase the intake to twice a day when you are feeling under the weather.

Here are a few Kadha Recipes:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Ginger

Ingredients you need:
. One cup water
. One-inch peeled and grated ginger
. One tsp unpasteurised apple cider vinegar
. One tsp honey

The first step is to boil the water. Then you can either add ginger to the boiling water or turn off the flame and let the ginger steep in hot water for 5 minutes. Finally, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Your homemade immune booster is ready.

2. Turmeric & Lemon Peel

Ingredients you need:
. Grated turmeric root (or use 2 tsp turmeric powder instead)
. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
. honey
. 4 cups of water

Heat 4 cups of water in a pan and add grated turmeric. Let the mixture boil on a medium flame until the water reduces to 1 cup. Strain the water and add lemon juice & honey to improve the taste. Drink it warm.

3. Cinnamon & Cardamom

Ingredients you need:
. 1 tsp cardamom
. 1 tsp cinnamon
. 1 tsp dried ginger
. 1 tsp black pepper
. 3 cups of water
. Honey

Boil 3 cups of water and add the remaining ingredients, except honey. Let the mixture boil until the water is reduced to one-third. Strain the decoction into a cup and add honey to improve the taste.

4. Tulsi and Sultanas

Ingredients you need:
. 8 holy tulsi
. 1 piece of cinnamon, about 1-inch in length
. 1⁄2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
. 4 black peppercorns
. 4 sultanas
. 1 teaspoon jaggery, optional
. 1 teaspoon lime juice, optional

Pour 500 ml water into a saucepan. Add tulsi, cinnamon, dried ginger powder, black peppercorns, and sultanas and bring to a boil on a medium flame. Boil till reduced to half. Remove from heat and strain the Ayurvedic Kadha. Add jaggery and lime juice to taste. Serve immediately.

5. Black Pepper and Tulsi

Ingredients you need:
. Clove
. Black Pepper
. Black Cardamom
. Cinnamon
. 5 Tulsi leaves
. Ginger
. Honey or jaggery

The preparation for this Kadha recipe begins the night before. Soak five tulsi leaves overnight in a few cups of water. When ready to make the kadha, add clove, black pepper, cardamom, and ginger to the tulsi-infused water. Now, add another cup of water to this mix. Boil all these ingredients until you have enough for one glass of water. Add honey or jaggery to sweeten the drink.

6. Mint and Cinnamon

Ingredients you need:
. 5 leaves Holy Basil Tulsi
. 10 leaves Fresh Mint Pudina
. 1 Green Cardamom
. 1 Black cardamom
. ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
. 5 grams Ginger
. 2 grams Cinnamon
. 2 Cloves
. 3 Munnaka raisins

Crush tulsi and mint leaves and place them in a bowl. Lightly pound green and black cardamom, and add to the same bowl. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, whole black peppers, munnaka to the same bowl and soak them in water overnight. Next day, heat 2.5 cups of water, add these soaked ingredients and simmer it for 4-5 minutes. Drink it hot.

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