Ayurvedic ways to drink tea in winter

By TNT Bureau

Dec 8, 2017: Do you know how hot tea benefits you? For that you should first know the the two basic principles of ayurveda—first, good digestion and elimination, both mental and physical; and second, importance of drinking hot water for good health, as it carries beneficial substances into the body, and helps waste products and toxins to flush out. So, now, could you relate, the importance of drinking tea? It helps prana to flow in.

What and when are important

But there is a limitation. You cannot drink tea at any time, and any type, and expect good health. What and when you should drink tea, the quality and flavor of the herbs you use, and the tea’s energy (virya) are all very important.

For example, you can have tea with ginger, as its sweet and spicy flavor strikes agni (digestive fire), and will make you feel nourishing. Whereas, tea with cayenne pepper, which will make the tea spicy and warm with flavors is good for treating treating colds and flu. But cayenne alone as a tea may prove to be too stimulating.

Tea for digestion and calm

Most teas can be consumed at any time of the year, but some are more effective during winter. For example, Licorice tea has a bittersweet flavor, but a cooling energy that help soothe a dry or sore throat, and will also help in good digestion. Whereas, hot lemon and mint tea not only help in digestion, but also makes the gives clarity to the mind, senses and emotions.

But according to ayurveda, the best tea to have during winter, particularly on days when you do not feel well, is tulsi tea. This nutritive tea helps treat cough, cold, or flu. It can also reduce fever, and help in digestion. Tulsi tea also helps in detoxification at mental and physical levels.

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According to Dr Robert Svoboda, a well-known ayurvedic physician and teacher, if a substance or action is food, medicine, or poison to the body/mind, depends on the circumstances in which it is taken. So tea should be drank at the right time with this principle in mind.

Morning tea should be warm, with spicy herbs with bitter and astringent flavors. You can start your day with green or black tea mixed with tulsi and ginger. If you are congested, have ginger tea with lemon, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne.

Midday tea should have cool herbs with a sweet taste and astringent and bitter flavors. You can also drink ginger or tulsi tea if you feel cold or weak. Lemon tea, excellent for digestion, can also be taken. Add mint if you feel overheated or irritable, but the tea should be at room temperature. If you have a scratchy throat, you can have licorice tea.

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Evening tea should have sweet, sour, or salty flavors. Try Yogi tea, or vata tea, which includes licorice and a little ginger and cardamom. At this time of the day, you can also have tulsi/Gotu Kola (cooling herb) tea with honey, hot almond milkand a pinch of nutmeg, or miso (made from fermented soybean).

Bedtime tea should be taken with tulsi or chamomile, two soothing herbs that will calm you down and aid in good sleep.

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