Monday, September 29, 2008

Yogi Tea: a Blissful Autumn Drink

Yogi Tea is SOOOO good.
Once you start drinking it you will want to drink it all the time. It is so nourishing and calming to the body. All of the spices in the tea, following the Ayurvedic tradition, have a health building, medicinal quality; and many of the ones mentioned in this post – like ginger, cardamon and cinnamon – are very warming and appropriate for autumn and winter. They cure what ails you, and even better, the help to prevent the ailing in the first place.

Tea is comforting, and it can be used as a part of wonderful daily rituals that cultivate mindfulness, and foster gratitude for each small moment. Tea after yoga class is often used as a way to build sangha (community) by giving people a reason to sit down together to talk and share.

YOGI TEASThese recipes came to me through a Kundalini Yoga yahoo group I belong to. Thank you, and Sat Nam, to RUTH SALDANHA, who posted them to the group. I have added some of my own notations as well.
This recipe comes from Yogi Bhajan, who introduced Kundalini to the west in the late 1960s. Yogi Bhajan is also the founder of the "Yogi Tea" brand, which is easy to find in health food stores.

- 2 quarts water
- 15 whole cloves
- 20 black peppercorns
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- 20 whole cardamon pods (split the pods first and be careful with the
tiny seed sticks that come from the inside)
- 8 fresh ginger slices (1/4" thick, no need to peel)
- 1/2 teaspoon regular or decaf black tea leaves (approximately 1 tea

Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add cloves and boil one
minute. Add cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger. Cover and boil for
30 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for two to three hours. Remove from heat,
add black tea, and let cool. Strain and store in the refrigerator. Reheat
when you want a cup and add milk and honey to taste.

Spiced green tea
- 1 tablespoon organic green tea leaves,
- 3 pods black cardamom (green cardamom will do if black cardamom is
unavailable), crushed
- 1 piece of ginger, crushed

Makes one large teapot. Do not brew for more than three minutes, as green
tea becomes bitter after that. Black cardamom has a slightly smoky taste,
very different from that of green cardamom. This tea is good for digestion,
but it is heating, and both ginger and cardamom are said to be aphrodisiac,
so don't have it before bed, unless you are planning not to sleep immediately.

Chamomile and ginger tea
- 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
- 1 piece of ginger, sliced timely

Chamomile is a relaxing herb, calming to the nervous system. Add a teaspoon of honey and sip slowly before your evening meditation.

Thyme and mint tea
- 1 pinch dried thyme, or better, a few twigs fresh thyme,
- 1 pinch dried mint, or better, a few leaves fresh peppermint
- 1 small twig rosemary (optional)
- 2 pints boiling water

Mint can be grown in any garden, and even in pots on a window sill. This tea
taste much better with herbs freshly picked from the garden. Brew for a few

Liquorice and fresh mint tea
- a few leaves fresh peppermint
- 1 piece of liquorice stick (it's actually the rood of the plant, and
looks like a twig), about 1 inch long
- 1 pint boiling water

Pound the liquorice stick with a mortar and pestle. Brew with the mint for
at least five minutes as liquorice take a while to release its delicious
bitter sweet flavour. A great digestive tea, excellent for Pitta constitution.

Spicy pink tea
- 1 large pinch of dried hibiscus flower
- 1 large piece of ginger, crushed
- 1 stalk lemon grass, chopped
- 1 pint boiling water

Hibiscus flowers give this tea a reddish colour, as well as a distinctive
tang, which complement very well the fieriness of ginger. Brew for a few

Indian Chai
- 1 tablespoon organic black tea leaves
- 5 pods green cardamom, crushed
- 1 piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 cloves
- 1 small piece of cinnamon bark
- 2 pints of water
- 1 cup milk
- 3 teaspoons organic cane sugar

Put all the ingredients in a large pan, bring to the boil and simmer for
five minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.

Clare island punch
- 1 large pinch of dried hibiscus flower
- 1 small pinch Bancha tea (black tea can be used as a substitute)
- 6 pods green cardamom, crushed
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely sliced
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 3 seed black pepper, crushed
- 1 piece of liquorice root, crushed
- 1 sprinkle of allspice powder

Put all the ingredients in a large tea pot, cover with boiling water, and
keep on the stove for 10 minutes before serving.

Drink in good health!
Jai bhagwan-
Teal Marie

One interesting, and to me VERY surprising piece of information I came across regarding cinnamon: "Coumarin is a flavouring which is found in higher concentrations in the types of cinnamon grouped together under the name “cassia cinnamon”. Relatively small amounts of coumarin can already damage the liver of particularly sensitive individuals. However, this is not permanent damage."

You can read more about it here, and find out more about Ceylon cinnamon that evidently does not have this component here.

Now cinnamon has been shown to be a very effective assistant in lowering blood sugar, and has many other healthy benefits, so I wouldn't get to panicked about the coumarin issue. This article discusses the health benefits and the coumarin issue as well. Like all of these issues it is going to take some research to get to the bottom of. I will try to get back with some posts with my findings, I welcome any information readers may have to offer.

This site has a lot of useful information on the medicinal uses of herbs and spices. And this one as well. Here is a site for buying organic herbs.

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LBluca77 said...

I am going to have to try yoga tea. I had never heard of it before.

Kate said...

You're right, I DO like this post!!

Anonymous said...

There are lot of discussion around green tea. This is really good.

Wu Yi