Ayurvedic Teas & Agni
"Agni is necessary for the normal process of digestion, and the subtle energy of agni transforms the lifeless molecules of food, water, and air into the consciousness of the cell." Charaka Simita, As told through Dr. Vasant Lad, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home RemediesAyurvedic teas are one of the best ways of strengthening Agni - which is the life force for all metabolism and digestion. This includes the digestion of food, emotions, memories, and consciousness. Warming foods and teas contribute to a stronger digestive fire. The temperature of teas mimics the fires of the organ systems of the body, which, paired with the herbal effects, are what strengthen the digestive fire (Agni) of the body. When the Agni is strong, dis-ease subsides, and the body can pursue reparation and rejuvenation with fewer obstacles.
Ayurvedic Teas & the DoshasAyurvedic teas are made from specific blends of herbs to balance each dosha (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). Ayurvedic teas can be taken to maintain balance in one's constitution or correct specific diseases arising from a dosha imbalance. While there are specific ingredients and recipes recommended for Vata tea, Pitta tea, and Kapha tea, here we will cover some of the more common tridoshic Ayurvedic tea blends that can be incorporated into your daily routine.
Daily Ayurvedic TeasAyurvedic teas contain specific Gunas (qualities) depending on their herbal formulation and blends. Ayurvedic tea blends that can be drunk every day include qualities pertaining to sattva, which is rejuvenating for cells and promotes mental harmony. Some common daily Ayurvedic teas which can be implemented right away into your daily tea ritual (and are primarily tridoshic), include: Teas for Better Digestion This can include ginger, ghee, and fennel. Turmeric in your tea can also help with balancing the pH of the stomach, which helps strengthen Agni. A popular and effective daily Ayurvedic tea that supplements a healthy digestion and provides a gentle daily detox is cumin, coriander, fennel (CCF) tea. You can steep and drink CCF tea throughout the day. It's an excellent tea for all doshas. Teas for Healthy Skin Varnya Gana is the effects of herbs for a healthy complexion. A tea with turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, licorice root, and saffron can help promote healthy skin and act against fungal or bacterial issues related to the skin. Teas to Boost the Immune System Ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon steeped together strengthen the immune function against viruses and illness. This specifically blended tea is also referred to as Kadha. When the tea is warm (not hot) you can also add honey, which helps to soothe the throat and other mucous membranes. Teas to Help Sleep or Relax Chamomile, skullcap, valerian, passionflower, and Brahmi help to calm the mind and nervous system to assist in restful sleep. The tea can be drunk in the evenings close to bedtime. Teas for General Health & Wellness Chyawanprash is versatile remedy that can be taken as a tea daily to boost overall health and wellness. Chyawanprash is made from a variety of powerful herbs and spices which work together to nourish and rejuvenate all tissues. Learn about the health benefits of Chyawanprash here.
Ways to Make Ayurvedic TeaIn the herbal remedy world of Ayurveda, there are several different practices of making tea blends. Each way has a different effect on how the constituents of the herbs are absorbed and utilized by the body. The two most common ways to make Ayurvedic tea at home include:
- Infusion - this is the most common way to make Ayurvedic tea. It involves steeping the herbal formula in hot water for several minutes, up to the full day while drinking. Hot water can be continuously added as teas should remain warm.
- Decoction - this involves "cooking" down the herbs in hot water for several hours, until most of the water has dissipated, and a thick concentration is left. This can be used for several days, kept in the fridge, and added to hot water when consuming. This method extracts the medicinal properties deeper. Decoctions are often used for more potent medicinal formulas.