Herbal Tonic

Digestive Tea

In Ayurveda, teas serve as an important means of delivering the medicinal effects of herbs and spices to the body’s tissues. This easy-to-make tea recipe consists of only three ingredients but gets right to the core of digestive issues. It helps to stimulate circulation and relieve bloating and puffiness caused by water retention. Its flushing action simultaneously cleanses the urinary tract and reduces excess water weight. The combination of potent yet soothing spices it contains stokes digestive fire, restoring vitality; purifies the blood; and brings calm and clarity to the mind.

Digestive Tea Blend

  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds

  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds

  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds

Boil 1 ½ cups of water, add the seed mixture, and steep for at least 5 minutes or until the tea is cool enough to drink comfortably. Strain and serve. Drink throughout the day or with every meal. It’s best to avoid drinking this before bed; otherwise you’ll probably find yourself waking up to urinate.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. 

Brahmi, the Ayurvedic Nervine Tonic

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Brahmi has long been revered in Ayurvedic medicine as its most valuable nervine—an herb that benefits the nervous system. It revitalizes the brain cells, removes toxins and blockages within the nervous system, and improves memory and concentration. Indian yogis eat a few fresh Himalayan brahmi leaves daily. This practice optimizes their capacity for meditation by awakening the crown chakra and balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain. 

In addition to nurturing brain power and nervous system health, brahmi contributes to many other aspects of wellness. It calms the heart and helps protect against heart attacks. As an antispasmodic agent as well as a nervine, this multi-functional herb helps ease recovery from every kind of addiction, whether it’s to alcohol, drugs, or sugar. Brahmi also purifies the blood, boosts immunity, and supports liver and kidney health, as well as aiding management of sexually transmitted diseases.

Brahmi is also known for its dosha-balancing qualities. It not only balances and refreshes pitta, but also actively reduces excess kapha. Brahmi can also pacify vata imbalances, especially when combined with other vata-reducing herbs like ashwagandha.

According to Ayurvedic texts, brahmi ghee is an essential medicine for the mind and heart that should be kept in every home. It can be taken in small amounts daily to maintain good health. As a milk decoction, the herb is an excellent brain tonic, particularly when combined with ashwagandha. Brahmi taken with holy basil and a little black pepper is recommended for all kinds of fevers. Many people find that drinking a cup of brahmi tea sweetened with honey before meditation greatly enhances their practice.

Source:Vasant Lad and David Frawley,The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, Lotus Press (January 25, 1986).

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.

Nighty Night Cap

Those who are suffering with insomnia, it is good to have a warm nourishing drink before bed. This method is best when using raw milk, but for those with milk sensitivities, almond milk can be used as a replacement. Cardamom is useful in reducing milk's mucous forming tendency. Sip this night cap just before bed in order to fall easily and deeply asleep. Modify and use cumin, coriander, and cardamom for a more cooling effect. If pitta is irritated, use maple syrup or sucanat instead of honey for sweetening. Add a pinch of fresh vanilla bean for additional grounding and flavor. 

1/2 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp ghee
1/2 to 1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon powder
1-2 tsp honey
pinch fresh ground nutmeg

Warm the milk and ghee with cardamom and cinnamon. Place honey in bottom of drinking cup. Add warm mixture to it. Do not use the same amount of honey and ghee by volume as it causes disturbance in digestion. Add fresh ground nutmeg, as it has a sedative quality and can support peaceful sleep.