Beverage recipes such as spice water and other ayurvedic juices help to maintain the healthy status of your body and balance the Pitta, Vata, and Kapha dosha. Leverage your liquids with these slurpilicous recipes!
Beverages serve multiple purposes:
- Water and non-caffeinated teas help hydrate your body
- Teas are made with simple spices and herbs. The specific combination of the ingredients can support digestion, gently stimulate or calm the nervous system, soothe a sore throat and cough, aid in detoxification, and more. In this role, teas are a form of medicine.
- Nourish your body. Some beverages are packed full of nutrition such as Ojas-building recipes (think of Ojas as your core vitality). Even though you are drinking your nutrition, your body will process the liquids primarily as food.
- Some beverages dehydrate your body and can negatively affect the nervous system with regular use. They can also add empty calories. For a healthier life, you minimize your use of sodas and sugared drinks, alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated teas.
Spice water is a type of herbal tea
In Ayurveda, water mixed with spices (spice water), herbs or juice (lemon or lime primarily) are used for a variety of reasons:
- Digestive teas help process and absorb food and decrease digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, and acid indigestion.
- Certain teas relax the nervous system and when taken at night can promote nourishing sleep and decrease insomnia-type symptoms.
- Basic spice waters geared toward an individual dosha support overall health as well as help the body absorb the water more effectively.
- Hot water with lime or lemon juice first thing in the morning helps wake up the digestive system and give your body a dose of hydration after a night of liquid barrenness.
Plain water also should be taken at different times during the day such as upon rising in the morning, after exercising, and after 7:00 p.m. since spice-water can be too stimulating to drink before bedtime.
Today many people walk around partially dehydrated – not only due to either not drinking enough hydrating liquids or having too many dehydrating beverages (caffeinated drinks, sodas, alcohol) but also because the system may not be absorbing the water.
Just like your digestive system benefits from spice in your food to assist digestion and absorption of the food you eat, your body also can use a little help absorbing water.
Spice water helps in absorbing your hydration liquids
To get started, get in the habit of making up about 2 quarts of the spice water that is right for you first thing in the morning. Then spread out your hydration, sipping a little every fifteen minutes throughout the day (or about 1 cup per hour) so you are creating an even hydration for your body. After the spice water is finished, switch to plain water. And if you don’t finish the spice-water by dinner time, throw it out and start fresh again the next morning.
In Ayurveda, each person is different and has different needs based on their constitution or body type as well as what conditions of imbalance may be present at any moment. Ayurveda addresses these differences in terms of the three life forces or doshas of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The following spice water recipes are designed to support one of these doshas.
Vata Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add 3 leaves mint, 1/2 t. fennel seed, and 1/4 t. marshmallow root. Place the water in a thermos to keep warm, but not hot, and sip it throughout the day.
Pitta Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1/4 t. fennel seed, 2 rosebuds, and 1 clove. Store it hot inside a thermos. Before drinking, pour it into a cup and cool to room temperature in summer; in winter, it can be slightly warmer.
Kapha Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 3 holy basil leaves, two thin slices of fresh ginger, 1/4 t. of cumin, 1/2 t. of fennel. Place the water and spices in a thermos, and sip the water at a hot or warm temperature throughout the day.
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