If you are an Indian or know one closely, you know what I mean when I say ‘Kadha is the solution to everything’. At least that’s what my grandmother always said, growing up. Whether it was a cold or indigestion she would always have a cup of this steaming hot amber coloured liquid ready. And this pandemic taught us that improving your immune system naturally is much more important than ever. People are now returning to their roots and have started adding natural ingredients in their diet and Kadha is one of the best drinks in India with a lot of health benefits.
What is kadha?
Kadha is an Ayurvedic home remedy that could protect you, make you stronger from within and also help in fighting infections. Kadha or ‘karha’ is essentially an Ayurvedic drink made with a number of herbs and spices that are boiled together usually in water to extract their benefits. With a variety of whole spices, ingredients and herbs easily found in an Indian household, the decoction is the most inexpensive home remedy to strengthen your immunity and fight infections.
Indian Kadha Recipe
Kadha or Kada recipe, a traditional Indian drink that is Mom’s secret formula and home remedy for common cold, flu and helps in protecting infections that are common during monsoons and winters.
- Any steel container or non stick pan.
- 5 leaves Holy Basil Tulsi
- 10 leaves Fresh Mint Pudina
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 4-5 pieces of cloves
- 2-3 pieces of Black pepper (optional not advice if children are consuming it as well)
- 2 inch piece of Ginger – grated
- 2 1 inch pieces of Cinnamon
- 2 tsp organic tumeric
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 a lemon
- Honet to taste (optional, but a complete hit with children)
- Grate the ginger finely.
- Lightly crush the Star anise, cloves, black pepper and cinnamon.
- Always remember take double the amount of water you wish to consume. For eg, if you need to make one cup then take 2 cups of water to begin with. (Since it is concentrated we just drink 1/2 a cup each)
- Heat the water in a deep steel container, Saucepan makes the water evaporate too quickly, so its best to take a deep container.
- Add all the ingredients other than the honey, mint leaves, lemon and turmeric.
- Boil the concoction on a low flame till it is reduced to half the quantity. You will notice that the liquid turns into an amber color.
- Once ready, put in your turmeric powder and let it rest for about 15min (covered)
- Finally add the fresh mint leaves, squeeze the lemon and add honey to taste.
- The kadha is best consumed while still hot.
This is not an exact science. It is just the recipe that my grandmother always made and one that I make for my little one and all of us now. Every Indian family has its own version and they are all equally good for you. Other additions to the kadha that i know of are lemongrass, mulaithi/licorice, green cardamom, and black cardamom. You can try a few versions and add and subtract the amount of ingredients as per your liking.
Benefits of kadha
Herbal tea or kadha is made from all nutritious ingredients thus making the Kadha rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Here are some benefits of herbal tea or kadha –
- 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 radicles.
As it is loaded with antioxidants it is excellent for detox your body. Turmeric, ginger, black pepper acts as an antioxidant to keep you clean and healthy.
- Fights against respiratory complaints
Herbal teas are great for cough and cold. Tulasi, lemongrass works wonderfully to relieve your respiratory symptoms. It also reduces the symptoms of asthma.
- Aids digestion
A cup of herbal tea after your meal can help to relieve your digestive complaints such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, etc. It enhances your metabolism and helps to keep the normal digestion process.
So there you have it you can pick your reason for drinking it, all of the above are perfectly good reasons to start making it a habit!
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