Digestive Tea for Kapha Dosha: GINGER TURMERIC TEA
If you've ever tried to make a fire, you know how important the initial kindling is to get the fire to take and keep you warm for hours. This tea is like that fire starter for Kapha-type digestion; starting your day with a cup of Ginger Turmeric Tea will brighten your mood, stimulate your appetite, improve circulation, and get the fire of your day on a roll. Kapha dosha governed by the elements of Water and Earth is enlivened by things that are spicy and hot, just like a delicious cup of tea.
Nearly any hot beverage will balance excess Kapha Dosha (with symptoms like lack of appetite, slow metabolism, feelings of prolonged fullness or heaviness after a meal, slow bowel movements, or loose watery (non-smelly) stool). This tea is an introduction to two of the most readily available and versatile Kapha-balancing spices. This tea will also support Vata-type digestion with slightly less turmeric and the addition of almond milk. Ginger and turmeric in these quantities will aggravate Pitta dosha, and so Pitta-prone folks should enjoy cautiously.
Ginger, in one preparation called vishvabheshaja or universal medicine, could be said to be the most revered spice of the ayurvedic kitchen because it benefits health so broadly. Dry ginger is suitable for all doshas, but fresh should be avoided by those experiencing excess Pitta dosha. That said, I have also heard that dry is hotter than fresh, so for those with higher pitta, it is wise to experiment and see for yourself. Ginger is pungent and heating and has a sweet or pungent vipaka, or post digestive-effect, depending on the preparation. Ginger primarily acts to enkindle agni, the digestive fires and improve digestion and assimilation of food. Ginger makes excellent kitchen medicine for the common cold, flu, gas, jet lag, abdominal pain, and poor circulation.
Turmeric is "the best medicine in Ayurveda" writes Dr. Vasant Lad and is considered "the poor man's saffron". It is bitter, pungent, astringent and heating. In its fresh form it resembles ginger but is orange inside. It's healing properties range to every organ system of the body and in moderation it can balance all doshas. It is somewhat drying and heating and therefore best suited to balancing Kapha Dosha. Turmeric benefits digestion, circulation, and in modern day is considered anti-biotic and analgesic. It is one of the first things I recommend to students with injuries. *Warning: It's beautiful color will dye your clothes, cutting boards, and aprons if you are not careful. :)
Turmeric is best assimilated when warm and with a source of fat, hence the recommendation for a touch of coconut oil in this recipe. A touch of your preferred milk works as well. Coconut oil is preferable to milk for balancing Kapha.
This tea can be enjoyed warm or hot at any time of day. Enjoy!
GINGER TURMERIC TEA
~ digestive tea for KAPHA dosha
Makes roughly 5 servings.
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced into coins
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 6 cups water
- coconut oil
Combine ingredients in a medium pot and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. After 7 minutes, turn off heat and allow to cool to a drinkable temperature. Strain with a fine strainer to serve and stir in a pea-sized amount of coconut oil. If needed, sweeten with a bit of raw honey. Be sure not to add the honey until serving as boiling honey is considered to make it toxic in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda: Life, Health, & Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda and Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha & Vasant Lad