According to the ancient text on Ayurveda, there are five ways to consume medicinal herbs and plants. Swaras (juicing), Kwath (decoction), Kalka (in paste form), Hima (an herb-induced concoction, prepared and consumed like tea), and Phant (an herb-infused concoction where aromatic herbs are soaked in water).

Several types of ancient medicinal decoction teas in Ayurveda are called Kashayam, Kwath or better known as Kadha. Kadha is a water decoction from a single herb or group of herbs that are typically used for ailments like digestive issues, cough and colds, immunity, and so on.

Many Indian homes have their very own traditional kadha recipes that have been passed down by their ancestors, often adapted to their genetic predispositions and regional biases, hence making the family kadha recipe that much more customised, special and effective.

The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine published a study as recently as 2018, stating that herbal teas like the kadha are a rich source of natural antioxidants like carotenoids, phenolic acids, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, terpenoids, polyacetylenes, coumarins, and many others. This increases the body’s antioxidant levels while reduces the risk of several ailments playing the role of an immune system booster

Various spices commonly found in age-old kadha recipes are known to strengthen the nonspecific immune system either by fighting directly or by facilitating the production of some substances in the body, which fight and neutralize the microorganisms.

As we have seen, kadha can be made in many ways and it can be a combination of many ingredients. The recipe recommended by the AYUSH ministry (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy), comprises tulsi (Indian basil), cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger and raisins. While the recipe recommended by Patanjali Ayurved founder, Ramdev, comprises mulethi (liquorice) and giloy (Heart-leaved moonseed) along with tulsi, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and black pepper.

Working on your immunity is a continuous lifelong process. Including kadha in your daily lifestyle can support this journey. Here are 4 simple Kadha recipes that can help boost your immune system while keeping in mind your bodily constitution.

KADHA FOR CONGESTION (COLD & COUGH)

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon whole Cardamom, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper, crushed
  • 3 cups of water
  • 5-6 fresh holy basil (tulsi) leaves
  • Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional)
Method
  1. Bring the water to boil.

2. Add the cardamom, clove, ginger and black pepper. Boil for 10 minutes.

3. Add the tulsi and boil for another 3-4 minutes.

4. Strain and pour into a pot. Add Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional).

Advantage: Treats nasal blockages and chest congestions. 

KADHA FOR DIGESTION (METABOLISM)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon whole saunf
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Bishop’s Weed (ajwain)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves
  • Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Bring the water to boil.

2. Add the saunf, cumin and ajwain. Boil for 10 minutes.

3. Add the mint and boil for another 3-4 minutes.

4. Strain and pour into a pot. Add Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional).

Advantage: Helps in gastric ailments such as indigestion and acidity. 

KADHA FOR VIBRATION (BLOOD SUGAR)

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon whole Fenugreek, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cinnamon, crushed
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered Gurmar leaves
  • Honey OR Jaggary to taste (optional)
Method
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper. Boil for 10 mins.
  3. Add the tulsi and boil for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Strain and pour into a pot. Add Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional).

Advantage Helps balance sugar levels.

KADHA FOR PREVENTION (IMMUNITY)

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or powdered turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon mulethi (liquorice)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cups of water
  • 5-6 fresh holy basil (tulsi) leaves
  • Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional)
Method
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the turmeric, black pepper, and mulethi. Boil for 10 mins.
  3. Add the coconut oil and tulsi and boil for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Strain and pour into a pot. Add Honey OR Jaggery to taste (optional).

Advantage: This not only prevents illnesses but also helps in improving the skin and metabolic activities of the body. 

No matter which recipe you choose to pick up, remember that the decoction must be boiled for at least 10 minutes with clean or fresh herbs and spices to get the best results.

If one does not have the bandwidth to brew a fresh blend of kadha daily, one can take Ayurvedic tonics or supplements that follow the extensively researched principles of kadha. Ayurvedic brand Amore has introduced one such Ayurvedic supplement keeping in mind the two primary objectives of protective and corrective health care. There are two tablets; the first formula O.M.G focused on the protective function, has a formula based on a polyherbal combination of Sudhershan ghan vati, primarily containing Chirayta along with 45 other herbs that have proven effects on chronic fevers. The second tablet formula A.S.H focused on the corrective function, has a concoction similar to a classic immunity-based kadha with Turmeric, Piperine from Black pepper, Guduchi(an antimicrobial), Ashwagandha (an antioxidant and adaptogenic), and Ginger.

 Ayurveda goes back over five hundred years, and the practice of making and having kadha is almost as ancient. This method of decocting medicinal spice mixtures is considered to be one of the oldest forms of medicine invented by humanity to boost your immune system and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Additionally, if you wish to boost up your immunity, Wellness Forever strongly recommends Forest Treasure’s Ayurvedic Immunity Booster

FOREST TREASURE’s AYURVEDIC IMMUNITY BOOSTER

This combo pack contains a tablet and capsule formula. The tablet formula known as O.M.G. acts by arresting the AMA, i.e. the endotoxins formed during the attack of external forces like micro-organisms by directly killing these pathogenic organisms. While the capsule formula labeled as A.S.H. controls an acute attack by subduing the inflammatory reaction ignited by an organism and its after-effects on the whole body. It thereby stabilizes the imbalance in the levels of the inbuilt biological forces known as Tridosha (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) that helps restore immunity as well as good health.

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