These are the gorgeous Ayurvedic teas I offer to my clients at the start of every session. I choose the tea specifically for them based on the season, their constitution, or to balance aggravated doshas. For example, the combination of Cinnamon, Fennel Seeds, Cloves, Black Pepper and Ginger makes it very warming and therefore pacifies Kapha (water + earth elements). It is also good for any Kapha type disorders like weight gain, colds, allergies.
At home, we like to make our own blends… In my kitchen cupboards you’ll find a disorganised array of jars, boxes and spices amongst the teacups. It’s a curious blend of smells. The icebox in the freezer is filled with pretty ice-cubes, like so many miniature icebergs with plants and flowers trapped inside, waiting to be thawed.
Making a pot of tea in our house is an occasion. The children have learned to medicate themselves with herbs and spices and it really works. Grazed knees are soothed, sore throats and bad moods eased – all with a few leaves and flowers from the garden or some dried wild herbs foraged during long summer walks. Our favourite tea time is whilst supper is on the stove – we’ll have a pot of tea on the go and homework books and playing cards out and we’ll play, drink tea and just hang out, waiting for the food to cook. In a house with four children, the kitchen is a busy, social place and I treasure those times. Over a cup of tea we discuss deep matters of the heart, or we laugh about the time when…
My eldest is 18 and it won’t be long now before he is absent from our social tea times, and it makes my heart ache to think that there will soon be an empty chair at the kitchen table. But I know that I have taught him well. There will be plenty times in the future, I’m sure, that he’ll be hung over or feeling dull and heavy from too much junk food – but I know that he’ll be able to whip something up to make himself feel better – a cup of tea, pot of soup or heal-all Kitchari. I like to think that ‘tea time‘ will be a tradition he will take with him into his new life at Uni and beyond.
1 cup raw Honey
2 broken Cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
1 inch length of Vanilla bean
1 pinch ground Cardamom
Put all the herbs in a sterilised glass jar. Add the honey and put the lid on, making sure it’s airtight. Gently shake the jar until everything is covered in honey. Allow it to sit in a dark cupboard for 3 weeks. Add the honey to hot water with a slice of lemon and fresh ginger. No sore throats or coughs!
TO BOOST YOUR DIGESTION
2 cups of boiling water
2 big mint leaves/a mint tea bag or Coriander leaves
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
2-3 thin slices of fresh ginger root
Put boiling water in a small bowl and add spices and herbs to steep. Strain into thermos. Sip during day.
1 part Rose petals
1/2 part dried Lavender
1/2 part Jasmine
2 parts Hibiscus
Sweeten with honey if required.
Steep in hot water for 10 minutes. (I’ve written ‘part’ instead of teaspoon because a teaspoon of each is too much for a cup of tea, and it depends on whether you’re making a cup or a teapot of tea. I usually just take a 2, 3 or 4 fingered pinch)