Try sipping some healthy herbal teas to keep those sinuses clear this monsoon, advises Naini Setalvad
From scorching heat to sudden rainfall and being slapped in the face with cool breeze, we are certainly adapting to the monsoon, the rainy season. As we shift from, shorts and tank tops to rain gear , to weather the season we also need to alter our diet and choice of beverages. All types of foods are available to us throughout the year. However, we must eat local and seasonal as much as possible because the nutritional value of non-seasonal fruits and vegetables is significantly lower.
This time, I will focus on some delicious hot and healthy teas you can make in the comfort of your home to keep your immunity strong and your temperature right in this damp weather. Out go the cold beverages and in come the hot ones that include antioxidants and vitamins, which can help fight sickness and infections.
Masala chai: Firstly, in this weather, your partner in crime should be a spicy cup of the trusted masala chai. What an excellent excuse to have a good old ‘cutting chai’! Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi, and other Indian spices are used in this concoction. A cup of masala chai will soothe your throat and protect you from germs during the cold and flu season. This tea has a distinct flavour that is sweet with a bit of fire from the spices. Another plus is that it reduces inflammation, contains antioxidants, boosts immunity, aids digestion, prevents certain cancers, and stabilises energy levels. My recommendation is to replace the sugar with jaggery.
Tulsi tea: Tulsi is a tried-and-true cure for colds and coughs, which are two of the most prevalent illnesses during the rainy season. This miracle leaf aids in the battle against ailments. Tulsi green tea is also beneficial to the digestive and respiratory systems. It’s simple to make: all you need is tulsi and a cup of hot water to steep it in for a few minutes. Try it and let us know how you like it.
Black tea: Antioxidants, polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids, and tannins are abundant in plain old black tea. Squeeze a dash of lemon juice to add that zing and Vitamin C. Boosting metabolism, protecting the body from hazardous diseases, and maintaining a healthy body temperature are just a few of the many perks of black tea. If the throat is sore, I recommend gargling with black tea.
Ginger tea: Next on the list is ginger tea. If it’s raining, you must have ginger—end of story. This commonplace spice is a superhero, curing you from the inside out and protecting you from any seasonal ailment. Ginger helps with one of the most common monsoon issues: sluggish digestion. Another essential role that ginger plays this time of year is in the treatment of common colds. It helps to clear the respiratory tract, soothe the throat, and relieve other allergy symptoms
Hibiscus tea: Hibiscus tea, commonly known as sour tea, is produced from a blend of dried hibiscus flowers, leaves, and dark red calyces, and has an acidic flavour when consumed. Hibiscus tea contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, which are not only good for your heart and digestion but are also useful for treating bacterial infections.
Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is your best friend for reducing tension and getting a good night’s sleep. It possesses characteristics that aid in relaxation and the prevention of stress fevers. It is also useful in the treatment of the common cold and improves digestion.
Herbal teas are not only delicious (and trending), but they are also miraculous at healing and soothing the body. So befriend these teas this monsoon, and you will be on your way to strengthening your immunity.
CHAI: DIGESTIVE TEA
Chai is a wonderful spicy tea used commonly in the Middle East to settle the stomach and aid digestion after a meal.
1 cup water
1 tbsp grated ginger, fresh
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole peppercorns
4–5 cardamom pods
¼ cup milk
A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
In a saucepan, combine the water and the herbs.
Cover and allow simmering on low heat for eight to ten minutes.
Add the milk and continue simmering for a further eight to ten minutes.
Pour into a mug and garnish with nutmeg.
A twist on the traditional chai recipe, with chamomile and other herbs. The chamomile may be relaxing, but all that fresh ginger will perk you up again.
3 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
2 tsp chamomile
Combine everything, except the chamomile, in the water and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add chamomile.
Steep for another 10 minutes.
Strain out herbs and serve hot.
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