Monsoon Magic: Healthy Herbal Drink Recipes For The Season

It is important to consume copious amounts of pepper, turmeric, ginger and honey during monsoon time.

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Recipes
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While monsoons are much looked forward to, it is also a time for those niggling colds, coughs and infection.
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Curling up on your couch with a mug of hot chocolate and devouring a book while it pours cats and dogs outside is indeed an ideal way to spend a monsoon evening. The pitter patter sound of the rains against the roof and window panes, the smell of petrichor and the sight of plants and trees refreshed after being awash are just some of the beautiful scenes of the monsoon season.

While monsoons are much looked forward to, it is also a time for those niggling colds, coughs and infection. Hence it is imperative that we keep ourselves healthy and fit by consuming the right food this season. And this is not really a tough ask for Indian kitchens are a storehouse of flavourful and healthy spices that are a treasure trove of goodness.

While the quintessential “haldi doodh” (hot milk flavoured with turmeric and pepper) is a panacea for many problems during the monsoons, it is important to consume copious amounts of pepper, turmeric, ginger and honey during this time.

While pepper has anti-microbial properties in abundance turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties hence both are used to fight off infections. Ginger is again a magical stem during the rains as it not only improves blood circulation but also prevents the formation of excess mucus; hence it is a staple ingredient in all monsoon drinks.

Adding honey to your drinks not only improves the taste but makes it healthy too as it helps combat allergies. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties help ward off infections as well.

Here is a look at some easy yet highly beneficial drinks this monsoon.

Tulsi, Ginger, Honey Tea

Ginger Lemon Tea
Ginger Lemon Tea
(Photo: iStock)

An excellent remedy for common ailments like cold, cough and congestions, this drink helps build stamina and works as a highly refreshing drink during the monsoons. Tulsi offers several benefits considering it has strong anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is believed to relieve the body of stress and works on improving cholesterol levels. Coupled with the benefits of honey, ginger, pepper and turmeric, this is a healthy drink to sip on in the rains.

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 leaves of freshly plucked tulsi
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice freshly extracted ( ¾ tbsp ginger powder, if fresh ginger is not available)
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Honey to taste

Preparation:

  • Boil the above ingredients (except honey) in 1.5 glasses of water till the content is reduced to one glass.
  • Filter the liquid.
  • Cool a little, then add honey and consume while hot.

Cinnamon, Ginger, Honey Tea

Cinnamon Ginger Lemon Tea
Cinnamon Ginger Lemon Tea
(Photo: iStock)

An excellent and time-tested remedy for cold and cough, this concoction is highly effective even if you are beginning to feel symptoms of a sore throat and slight temperature. Loaded with anti-oxidants, cinnamon powder has anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight infection due to bacteria and fungi. Combined with the goodness of pepper, turmeric and ginger, this drink helps boost your body’s strength and is an elixir for monsoon related problems.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice freshly extracted ( ¾ tbsp ginger powder, if fresh ginger is not available)
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Honey to taste

Preparation:

  • Mix all the powders and boil in in 1.5 glasses of water till the content is reduced to one glass.
  • Cool a little, then add honey and consume while hot.
  • Note: you can also mix all the ingredients in honey to form a thick paste and just consume one spoon for quicker results.

Brahmi Juice

Brahmi Leaves
Brahmi Leaves
(Photo: iStock)

An extremely therapeutic herb which is commonly known for its memory-boosting properties, the benefits of Brahmi leaves are innumerable. Apart from being a stress reliever, it is known for its positive effects on relieving insomnia, headaches, sinus and cold. Hence, it is used in Ayurveda for problems like congestion and clearing excess mucus and phlegm. Rich in antioxidants, it has a neutral taste and can be used on a regular basis just like coriander and mint.

Ingredients:

  • Handful of Brahmi leaves
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • Pink salt/normal salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Wash, clean and grind Brahmi leaves into a fine paste in a blender adding some water
  • Strain the mixture to extract the Brahmi juice.
  • Add salt, cumin powder and pepper along with warm water
  • Serve at room temperature or slightly warm

Kashaya

Spices
Spices
(Photo: iStock)

A well-known Ayurvedic remedy for sore throat, cold and cough, Kashaya is a mixture of several spices that are commonly found in the kitchen. Loaded with benefits, this one has the goodness of coriander which is great digestive as well as cumin and fennel seeds both of which are known to boost immunity and treat respiratory disorders. These spices are combined with pepper, turmeric and ginger to make it a complete health drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1-2 cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Jaggery to taste
  • ½ cup milk

Preparation:

  • Dry roast all the dry ingredients till aromatic. Cool and grind to a fine powder and store in an air tight jar.
  • Take half glass of water, add 1 tbsp of this mixture and jaggery to taste.
  • Mix well and bring to a boil.
  • Add this hot mixture to milk and consume hot.
  • You can increase the quantity of the dry ingredients and make the Kashaya powder in bulk and use it as and when required.

(Rashmi Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and travel-lifestyle blogger from Bangalore.  She writes on travel, food and decor. A strong advocate and supporter of responsible and sustainable tourism, she blogs at http://rashminotes.com/ and tweets at @rashminotes.)

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