The importance of working on and improving our immunity has perhaps never been as important as it is today. This is because focusing on improving our immune system is one of the best ways to safeguard our body against the attack of the novel coronavirus. While we are trying different medicines and foods to build our immune system, there are many homemade food items from around the world that, while overlooked, can work wonders for your immune health.
One such item is 'Kadha' – a traditional homemade medicinal drink used for fighting the cough and the cold and building your immunity. The drink originated in India and is an Ayurvedic concoction made with a number of herbs and spices that are boiled in water to extract their benefits.
Interestingly, the practice of preparing kadha is almost five hundred years old. The spice and herbs mixture is considered one of the oldest forms of medicine invented in Ayurveda. When all of these herbs are mixed together they don’t just help you fight the cough and the cold, they will also help strengthen your immune system.
What are the ingredients required for preparing kadha?
So, how do we make a kadha drink and what are the ingredients required for it?
The most essential herbs and spices that you would need to prepare a kadha drink are - raw turmeric, basil leaves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. All these herbs and spices are natural immunity boosters and are packed with various beneficial nutrients.
Related Guide: The Top 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Cinnamon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cardamom has several impressive medicinal properties and is known to relieve a sore throat while also having a cooling effect for the body.
- Turmeric has curcumin and is helpful at fighting off a variety of viruses, including herpes and the flu. It is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly useful in boosting your digestion.
- Cloves are loaded with strong antioxidants and are also a good source of a compound called eugenol. Consuming them regularly helps boost your immunity.
- Ginger is one of the healthiest roots on the planet. It has certain chemical compounds that help your body ward off germs and also in halting the growth of certain bacteria.
- Black peppercorns are also high in antioxidants and can combat some respiratory conditions and rejuvenating the lungs. They also contain piperine, which is an alkaloid like capsaicin and can help relieve nausea, headaches, and poor digestion.
- Basil leaf is a healing herb that helps in treating the cold, nasal congestion, cough, and the flu. These leaves are also great for improving digestion and contain a range of natural antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system.
You can even add gooseberry to this drink if it is available in your area. Gooseberry is rich in Vitamin C, which boosts your immunity. Additionally, it also lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
What are the steps involved in preparing kadha?
Now, to prepare the kadha drink you will first need to fill a pot with 2 cups of filtered water. Then, follow the instructions below.
- Allow the water in the pot (or pan) to boil for a few minutes.
- Take 2 tablespoons of cardamom, 1 tablespoon of cloves, 2 tablespoons of black peppercorn, 1 tablespoon of raw turmeric powder, 3-5 cinnamon sticks, 5-6 fresh basil leaves, and 3/4 cup of dry ginger powder (or 1 inch of peeled ginger) on a large plate.
- Crush all ingredients (except honey and basil leaves) properly.
- Alternatively, you can also take half a tablespoon of each of these ingredients and mix it in boiling water.
- All the ingredients, including the basil leaves, should then be cooked on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the decoction is reduced to half.
- Let the drink simmer down well and once done, cool it.
- Lastly, strain the mixture into a glass or a cup and drink it while it is warm.
That’s it! Your kadha drink is ready.
Check out this video to further understand how to prepare kadha in your home.
To improve or sweeten the taste of the drink, you can even add lemon, jaggery, and honey to the kadha. The best thing about this traditional drink is that you can warm it again and have it multiple times a day. Ideally, twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – should be good for you. Having kadha throughout the season is known to aid digestion, boost your immunity, and fight symptoms of the flu.
Do note, however, that avoid adding too much black pepper and ginger in the kadha. It can cause heartburn and a burning sensation in the throat.
Note: While there are various known benefits of kadha as mentioned above, it shouldn’t be a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist if you have any recurring health issues.
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