Kadha/ Herbal Spicy Tea
THEME: #226 GRANDMA’S REMEDIES
What is Kadha?
Kadha is a mixture of herbs and spices boiled in water for about 7-10 minutes. Lemon juice and honey/jaggery are added, mixed and this herb and spice mixture or tea is a remedy for colds, flus and coughs both dry and chesty. Its usually drunk when its hot or warm depending on who is having it. Usually children are given warm kadha.
Ingredients for kadha are usually found in the kitchen. If you don’t have the ingredients then they are easily available from and Indian store or online. If fresh holy basil is not available then use dried one or add more mint.
- Fresh turmeric or turmeric powder
- tulsi leaves/ holy basil
- mint leaves
- fresh ginger or ginger powder
- ajwain seeds/ carom seeds/bishop’s weed/ajmo
- lemon juice
Health benefits of Kadha:
With the onset of winter or the rainy season colds, coughs, flu are common. Drinking half or a full cup of kadha during winter helps to relieve symptoms of cold and coughs or it prevents one from catching the cold. In short, hoping that after you’ve read the benefits of the ingredients, you’ll make kadha a ritual in your home especially during the cold season. While all the ingredients have a multitude of health benefits, here I will only emphasis the benefits in regards to colds and coughs.
- Turmeric: As a powerful anti inflammatory, it helps find inflammation therefore helping the body fight germs.
- Tulsi Leaves: Helps fight asthma, bronchitis, colds, congestion, coughs, flu, sinusitis, sore throat and similar ailments
- Mint Leaves: Is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. It is a good relaxant, relieves congestion and also has a soothing effect for asthmatic patients.
- Cloves: have antimicrobial properties, which means that it prevents the growth of micro-organisms like bacteria.
- Pepper: In addition to having anti inflammatory properties, it also stimulates circulation and mucous flow.
- Cardamom: contains anti -inflammatory properties and also helps to fight growth of micro organisms.
- Cinnamon: is high in cinnamaldehyde which has anti – inflammatory properties, helps the body fight infections and repair damaged tissues.
- Ginger: has anti inflammatory properties, prevents nausea, helps to get rid of nose and chest congestion, helps to revive a dull appetite, helps fight infections.
- Ajwain(carom seeds or bishop weed): aids digestion,wards off constipation, relieves cough and asthma, helps prevent bloating, good remedy for migraines.
- Honey: has anti – inflammatory and ant – bacterial properties. It helps to relieve cold and coughs symptoms. Honey adds like a lubricate for sore throats relieving dryness and itchiness.
- Jaggery: helps to boost immunity, keeps the body warm and helps fight colds and coughs.
- Lemon Juice: Its rich in Vitamin C, helps to reduce phlegm and reduces upper respiratory tract infection.
How is Kadha taken?
Usually on its own, best to sip it hot. Some have it first thing in the morning or the last thing before going to bed. As for me, I prefer drinking it before going to bed as on an empty stomach, the cloves and peppers uses may cause stomach burns.
Other Home Remedies:
With the weather getting really cold in India and my family in UK and Canada are complaining of bitter cold, its really good that Narmadha suggested Grandma’s Remedies as this week’s theme. I’ve actually grown up having Raab and Haldi Ka Doodh whenever anyone of us came down with a cold. To clarify, I use hate Haldi ka Doodh as my mum would add salt to loosen the phlegm but nowadays like it. With both recipes on the blog I was wondering what to make for this theme. As a result, asked for a suggestion on the Facebook Group Chalo Jamva (a group for Gujaratis), and while some suggested simply honey and lemon water, and my friend Priya suggested Mug Nu Paani (moong water), Varsha the admin of the group suggested Kadha and she even shared a recipe with me. Consulting my family, we added a couple more ingredients and also changed the quantity for some to come with a kadha that is not too spicy.
Steering away for a few seconds from health, I love Hide and Seek Cookies but find them so sweet and unhealthy. Narmadha has a home baked version using wheat flour and of course without any additives and preservatives which I’d love to try.
- Gluten Free
- Satvik friendly
- For Vegans, replace the honey with jaggery.
- Do not give babies under a year old honey, make the kadha for them with jaggery.
Makes 2 cups
4 cups of water
1 tbsp fresh grated turmeric/1 tsp turmeric powder
10-12 tulsi leaves
10-12 mint leaves
6-8 cloves lightly crushed
10-12 peppercorns, lightly crushed
4 cardamons, lightly crushed
1″ cinnamon stick, lightly crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp ajwain(carom seeds)
1-2 tbsp honey or grated jaggery
2 tbsp lemon juice
- Take a saucepan and put it over medium heat.
- Add lightly crushed cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, ajwain, cardamom and dry roast them stirring all the time, till you get the aroma of the spices and the ajwain begins to pop.
- Add the water, be careful as water hitting a hot pan will make it splatter.
- Add turmeric, ginger, tulsi and mint leaves. Its best to tear the leaves up roughly.
- Let the water boil with the herbs and spices for 7-10 minutes or till the water reduces to half the quantity.
- Strain the liquid using a strainer and serve it hot.
- Don’t add too much peppercorns, fresh ginger and cloves as it may cause a burning sensation in the gut.
- Drink kadha either first thing in the morning or before going to bed. If cold symptoms are severe you can have it thrice a day.
- Don’t force toddlers to drink a whole mug, a quarter cup or half is enough.
- Giving it to babies, about 1-2 tbsp every day is good for their overall health. Don’t add honey for babies under 1 year old.
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