A Beginner's Guide To The Wonders of Āyurvedic Herbal Teas
As herbal teas make a comeback as the infusion of choice, it's worthwhile considering just how well an Āyurvedic tisane can promote your wellbeing. Learn about the ancient scientific teachings that make these botanical blends a force to reckon with and discover how best to approach your own brewing process.
Despite their name, herbal teas aren't tea - they're not derived from the same plant that gives us black, green, white or oolong tea. Shocking! But this is the only deception these humble concoctions perpetrate. Everything you've ever heard about their wonders is true.
While modern science is still catching up, these aromatic tisanes have historically served as remedial instruments in Egypt, Greece, China and India. In Āyurveda - the holistic approach to wellbeing - their ability to gently restore balance to your doshas (life energies/systems) and bodily functions, has long been acclaimed.
And the wisdom of the ancients is hard to ignore. Today, the prominence of these brews is rapidly increasing. So, whether you are seeking their medicinal benefits or looking for a caffeine-free alternative to your regular cuppa, read on to discover the marvels of Ayurvedic herbal infusions.
How Do Āyurvedic Herbal Teas Work?
The scientific practice of Āyurveda stems from the understanding that total wellbeing requires the synergy of your body's three systems (doshas). And that this involves your mind, body and spirit, working as a whole.
If your doshas (Vāta, Pitta and Kapha) are out of balance, then you are more prone to sickness. Seasonal changes, new diets and lifestyle factors can all lead to a misalignment. As a result, you may notice an increase in psychophysiological symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, poor mental health, bloating or migraines.
When taken proactively, Āyurvedic herbal teas work to maintain your natural dosha balance. By understanding the energy & post digestive effects of plants and using their nutrient-rich properties to focus on digestive and lymphatic function, Āyurvedic tisanes stimulate your body's immunity.
What sets Āyurvedic brews apart is how they work gently, to contribute to long-term wellbeing. Rather than overpowering your self-healing mechanisms, they provide just enough stimuli to boost and support natural body function.
How Are Āyurvedic Herbal Teas Made?
All Āyurveda practices rely on natural herbs and spices. The teas are no different and even use flowers and leaves to transfer the therapeutic properties of plants to your rasa dhatu (plasma & lymphatic system).
A well-constructed tea mix will use:
ideally 6 (no more than 10 ingredients) that complement each other, for maximum benefit,
only high-quality ingredients for effective potency,
individually measured ingredients to ensure the right consistency in each dose.
What's The Best Way To Make An Āyurvedic Herbal Tea?
When brewing a tisane from a pre-mixed sachet, it is always best to follow the instructions provided. However, generally speaking, for a hot infusion you should:
Use boiling water to infuse the recommended dosage of tea. Avoid hard water if possible
Use a glass or porcelain container for brewing (metal can react to the heat).
Cover your concoction with a lid while steeping, to build pressure inside the vessel and increase the efficiency of nutrient extraction.
Allow the tea to infuse for 10-15 minutes at the very least, before filtering and drinking. Even 30 minutes is great if you have the time.
Avoid storing or re-heating your tea. Consume soon after preparation, while hot or at room temperature (if you have a heightened pitta imbalance). Cold drinks destroy your digestive fire.
For a cold infusion (ideal if you’re suffering from Pitta imbalances):
Steep the recommended dosage of tea mix room-temperature water for 4-6 hours (preferably overnight).
Discard the infused herbs and then consume your brew.
Other than that, enjoy the sensory experience of the whole process. Remember, Āyurveda celebrates your mind, body and spirit. Take in the textural feel of the herbal mix. Appreciate the aroma while it infuses. And relish the you-time the process offers.
What Are The Benefits Of Āyurvedic Herbal Tea?
A vast array of benefits awaits drinkers of these tisanes, including:
promotes digestive, lymphatic and immune health,
a healthy source of hydration that also detoxifies,
provides nutrition in the form of minerals and vitamins,
easy to make,
inexpensive to purchase,
a non-aggressive source of plant-based wellness,
can be used by any age-group,
offers a break from your day, for psychological wellness.
Is An Āyurvedic Herbal Tea Right For Me?
The plant-based, natural composition of an Āyurvedic brew makes this a winner for anyone who enjoys a warm cuppa.
To get the best out of a tea mix, be aware of your natural dosha balance & understand the imbalance.. There are many online tests for this. Or you can book in a consultation with an Āyurveda practitioner, for a personalised evaluation.
It's hard not to fall in love with the goodness and deliciousness of a well-brewed herbal tea. And as the snows start to fall, why not curl up with an infusion that keeps the chills at bay and fills the air with the most divine aroma?