With seasonal changes and the threat of coronavirus looming over our heads, the only saving grace of our life now is building a strong immune system. And this is where Ayurvedic concoctions, also known as Kadha come to our rescue. Kadha is known to be of various kinds based on the types of herbs that are boiled to prepare it for a specific health issue – most often, it is used for immunity. The process also includes boiling the concoction with several spices in the water for a length of time. It is known to be effective especially for ailments like cold, cough and allergies caused due to changes in season. These concoctions have the added benefit of strengthening the immune system. While following all the guidelines during the pandemic like social distancing, maintaining utmost hygiene and going out only when necessary, people have also turned towards drinking kadhas to boost their immunity. Read more about the benefits of kadha and kadha recipes.

7 Benefits Of Kadha: The Traditional Indian Medicinal Drink

Kadha is an ancient form of Ayurvedic herbal drink that is very popular in every Indian household passed on from the dadi/nani’s notebook! Kadhas are a rich source of natural bioactive compounds or antioxidants like carotenoids, phenolic acids, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, terpenoids, polyacetylenes, coumarins and many others.

1. Boosts Immune System 

Herbal tea is full of antioxidants and vitamins that are very essential to enhance your immune system. Antioxidants help to reduce internal infection by destroying free radicals. It protects against the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes. 

2. Detoxification 

As it is loaded with antioxidants it is excellent for detoxing your body. Turmeric, ginger, black pepper act as antioxidants to keep you clean and healthy.

3. Fights Against Respiratory Issues

Herbal teas are great for coughs and colds. Tulsi, lemongrass works wonderfully to relieve your respiratory symptoms. It also reduces the symptoms of asthma.

4. Aids Digestion 

A cup of herbal tea after your meal can help to relieve your digestive complaints such as indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. It enhances your metabolism and helps to keep the normal digestion process.

5. Anti-Ageing Properties 

The antioxidants found in herbal teas help to slow down the ageing process and make your skin look healthy and glowy. It also makes your hair healthy.

6. Reduce Inflammation 

It is a great tonic for arthritic pain. Herbal teas like ginger, turmeric, and eucalyptus are excellent to reduce the inflammatory condition. This also makes an ideal treatment for joint and muscle pain.

7. Lowers The Blood Pressure 

Herbal teas like hibiscus tea help to reduce blood pressure without any side effects. This natural treatment is more effective than using modern medicines.

5 Kadha Recipes To Boost Your Immunity In Monsoon

Most common kadha ingredients include haldi, tulsi, neem, dalchini, pepper, elaichi, ginger, laung and lemon. All these kadha ingredients have various health benefits of their own and when combined to make a kadha, it is like a win-win situation. Here are some kadha recipes that you must try out at home for various daily health needs: 

1. Cinnamon, Tulsi & Other Spices Kadha

Tulsi has vitamin C and zinc which makes it a natural immunity booster. Cinnamon or dalchini is a superfood! It is packed with antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative stress. It prevents your body from any damage and keeps the risk of many chronic diseases at bay. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 5-6 holy basil (tulsi) leaves
  • Water

Method:

  1. Boil cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper, one tablespoon each, in three cups of water. Add about 5-6 holy basil (tulsi) leaves. 
  2. Let it brew till about one cup of water is left in the pan. 
  3. You can add honey to sweeten up the concoction. 
  4. This is the perfect drink to sip during monsoon season and treat nasal blockages, chest congestions and boost immunity. 

2. Kadha Tea

Kadha tea is a quick, easy and refreshing recipe that packs the goodness of a number of spices along with tea leaves. Cardamom (elaichi) is a treasure of free-radical fighting antioxidants, while cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, ginger is a traditional remedy for indigestion, flatulence, and bloating. Including it in your warm drinks could help treat throats and nasal infections. Honey is a natural energy booster and comes loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties that help ease cold, cough and flu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoon of black tea leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 5-7 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cardamom seeds (elaichi)
  • 2 black pepper
  • 2 cloves (laung)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 inch of turmeric root
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Honey

Method:

  1. Add black tea leaves to boiling water along with cardamom (elaichi), bay leaves, black pepper, cloves, ginger and turmeric. 
  2. Strain it in a cup and finish with some lemon juice and honey for taste.

3. Immunity-Boosting Drink With Multiple Spices

This kadha is brimming with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants; therefore, it may help relieve sore throat and cold, and may also boost the immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 2 moti elaichi
  • 5-7 cloves
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 7-8 basil leaves (tulsi)
  • Turmeric (haldi)
  • Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Method:

  1. Peel turmeric and ginger, and crush them in mortar and pestle. 
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Add all the spices – moti elaichi (you may use green elaichi if you don’t have black moti elaichi), laung (cloves), kali mirch (black peppercorns), tulsi (basil leaves), dalchini (cinnamon) and munakka (optional).
  4. Let it boil for 20-30 minutes till you get a nice yellow-coloured and aromatic drink. 
  5. Sweeten it with honey or jaggery (gur) and have it regularly.

4. Healthy Concoction For The Immune System 

By now, we all know the importance of immunity for healthy living. It is the first line of defence in the human body. A strong immunity not only helps prevent several infections but also lowers the effects. Make this powerful immune-boosting concoction at home. Use it for kids over 2 and everyone else to strengthen the lungs and break down mucus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Ginger
  • 7-8 tulsi leaves
  • Water
  • Lemon juice

Method:

  1. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4 garlic cloves, a knob of ginger and 7-8 tulsi leaves in 2-litre water and boil.
  2. Then simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice and sip it warm. You may also store it at room temperature for a day.

5. Tulsi, Haldi, Dalchini & Laung Kadha

Tulsi, haldi, dalchini and laung kadha is made with some common ingredients, which are well-known for their medicinal and healing properties. All these ingredients bring their individual characteristics to the kadha, and together may help build and improve immunity.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 basil leaves (tulsi)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 2-3 cloves (laung)
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder (haldi)
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Method:

  1. Crush 10-12 basil leaves, 1 cinnamon stick and 2-3 cloves in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Transfer the crushed spices to a pan. Dry roast all the spices along with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. 
  3. Add 5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes so that the flavours and nutrients of the spices are properly infused in the water.
  4. Strain the kadha through a colander. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and drink it hot.

Possible Side Effects Of Kadha

People think that such herbs cannot cause harm to the body. However, in reality, excess consumption of kadha or any herbal concoctions can lead to many side effects such as:

  • Burning sensation in the food pipe
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Digestive issues
  • Acidity
  • Problems in urinating
  • Boils in the mouth
  • Bleeding from the nose

Kadha can be used for a variety of ailments. It can help strengthen the body’s natural defence mechanism, improve the skin by balancing skin pigmentation, acts as a blood purifier (detoxifier) and is an effective laxative that helps in relieving constipation. It is, therefore, beneficial for various bodily systems and functions and a very good addition to your daily diet.

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