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Tackle The Seasonal Flu With Kadha

Come monsoons and we find ourselves falling prey to seasonal flu, the common symptoms of which are- cold, cough, fever, body ache, earache, and so on. Recurrent bouts of seasonal flu loosely translate to frequent visits to the doctor, popping in numerous pills, staying indoors, and trying out myriad tricks and home remedies to ease the symptoms that seem to slow you down. One such remedy that has stood the test of time and become everyone’s go-to herbal drink during flu season is kadha.

Touted to be the “Drink of the 21st Century”, kadha is a super immunity booster that can give the most potent medications a run for their money. Ask your granny who spent her days in the kitchen preparing the underrated kadha for you that kept the withering cough and cold away. The last two years of the pandemic have made us all realise just how important a strong immunity can be for one’s overall health and well-being. And what better way to do so than making kadha a part of our regular life, especially during season changes that increase one’s susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections?

In this blog, we shall find out what kadha is, delve a little deep into what this multifaceted drink is all about, its benefits, and the best kadha on the block. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

What is Kadha?

No matter which generation you belong to, you will know some version of this herbal drink. However, if you still want to know, kadha is a decoction that is prepared by simmering herbs and spices in water over the stove for quite some time, until the ingredients start to bubble in water. These herbs and spices are added in certain specific proportions as per one’s requirements and are staple ingredients found in the kitchen.

The kadha embodies the Ayurvedic way of life, which believes that food possesses elements needed to heal the body. The Ayurvedic philosophy believes in the school of thought that everything found in nature, right from herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables to other kitchen staples have therapeutic and medicinal properties. It can benefit the body in several different ways such as strengthening the immune system, improving digestive health, maintaining the pH balance in the body, reducing the chances of inflammation in the body, and improving metabolism, among other things.

In today’s world, a majority of the population prefers natural foods and ingredients over the typical over-the-counter medications to take better care of their health. Watching what you consume daily is a positive lifestyle change and including an Ayurvedic drink such as kadha into one’s routine is a step in that direction. Prepared with immunity-boosting herbs and spices, kadha is an effective herbal remedy for combating seasonal colds, coughs, and flu. In many cases, they also help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and aid the body in staying away from harmful infections and ailments.

What Are The Health Benefits of Kadha?

Besides bolstering one’s immune system, this versatile drink also helps de-stress and relax one’s body. It also helps decrease body temperature, enhance skin health and digestion, and tackle seasonal flu, among other things. Each herb and spice is known to provide sound health benefits to the human body. Let us take a look at a few of the kadha benefits below in great detail.

1. Strengthens immune function

Given that kadha is made of fresh herbs and spices-all natural ingredients, rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients, they are beneficial for strengthening the body’s immunity. As we all know, antioxidants neutralise the free radical activity and oxidative stress in the body, reducing inflammation and the onset of developing different kinds of diseases.

2. Reduces The Risk of Respiratory Ailments

One of the most perfect home remedies for common cold and cough, kadha is known to contain spices and herbs like holy basil (tulsi), echinacea, ginger, lemongrass, black pepper, turmeric (curcumin), and licorice root. Given that they all are known for their healing properties, and work wonders in soothing all kinds of respiratory ailments, right from a sore throat, heavy breathing, severe cold to chronic cough. Furthermore, studies show that kadha helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma.

3. Enhances Digestive Health

Ayurvedic Kadha seems to help manage the vata (air and space) and kapha levels (earth and water) within the body, while stimulating and regulating digestion, improving immunity tremendously, and aiding in detoxification. However, given that it is prepared out of a concoction of numerous herbs and spices that can also heat the body up, one needs to consume it in moderation, in order to avoid potential issues like acidity or gas build up.

4. Aids In Weight Loss

There are different twists in every kadha recipe, as most decoctions follow some common ingredients. However, if the kadha in question has neem as an ingredient, it is likely to improve metabolism and help shed those extra kilos.After all, neem is known for its antioxidant properties that help you burn more and more calories that lead to severe changes in your weight.

How Do I Prepare Kadha?

A kadha can be prepared in several different ways by combining several natural and organic Ayurvedic herbs and spices. Every household has its own unique recipe. The choice of herbs and spices may differ, but they are usually combined together and simmered in water. The most common ingredients used to prepare the Ayurvedic concoction include immunity-boosting elements like mulethi, tulsi, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and licorice root. In the olden days, back in the day when our grandma used to make it for us, kadhas were made with spices that were easily available in the kitchen. However, nowadays most of the modern-day ingredients are easily accessible and available online such as echinacea, bharangi, and shankhapushpi, which can be added to the kadha to enhance its therapeutic potential.

If you are someone who travels often or faces a time crunch due to the busy schedule. Thanks to the new-age technology which has made it possible to have kadha anytime and anywhere within a fraction of minutes with a better flavour. The instant kadha tablets offer the same benefits just like our age-old Grandma’s Kadha. All you have to do is drop one tablet of our Grandma’s Kadha in a cup of hot water and your immunity-boosting brew is ready.

References:

Historical Perspective of Traditional Indigenous Medical Practices: The Current Renaissance and Conservation of Herbal Resources, Si-Yuan Pan, Gerhard Litscher, Si-Hua Gao, Shu-Feng Zhou, Zhi-Ling Yu, Hou-Qi Chen, Shuo-Feng Zhang, Min-Ke Tang, Jian-Ning Sun, and Kam-Ming Ko, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014, doi: 10.1155/2014/525340, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020364/)

● Herbal beverages: Bioactive compounds and their role in disease risk reduction - A review, Anoma Chandrasekaraa and Fereidoon Shahidib, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.08.006, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6174262/)

● Kadha: The Traditional Indian Medicinal Drink With Amazing Health Benefits, (https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/kadha-herbal-ayurvedic-drink-benefits-myupchar-2757253.html)

● A glimpse of Ayurveda – The forgotten history and principles of Indian traditional medicine, Yogini S. Jaiswal and Leonard L. Williams, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.02.002, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198827/)

● What is Kadha and how does it improve the immune system? Know the recipe, (https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/what-is-kadha-and-how-does-it-improve-immune-system-know-the-recipe/577764)

● Why Urban Indians Have Taken To Kadha, (https://www.livemint.com/news/india/why-urban-indians-have-taken-to-kadha-11592228372521.html)

● Ayurvedic Kadha: A Perfect Immunity Booster, (https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/ayurveda/kadha-for-immunity)

Dept. of Dermatology, Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences Belagavi, Karnataka India, IP Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology

Official Publication of Khyati Education and Research Foundation, (https://www.ijced.org/html-article/13304)

Yarmohammadi F, Mehri S, Najafi N, Salar Amoli S, Hosseinzadeh H. The protective effect of Azadirachta indica (neem) against metabolic syndrome: A review. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2021 Mar;24(3):280-292. doi: 10.22038/ijbms.2021.48965.11218. PMID: 33995939; PMCID: PMC8087850.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087850/)

Maurya DK, Sharma D. Evaluation of traditional ayurvedic Kadha for prevention and management of the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) using in silico approach. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2022 Jun;40(9):3949-3964. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2020.1852119. Epub 2020 Nov 30. PMID: 33251972; PMCID: PMC7754934. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754934/)

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