The Ancient Art of Healing – Tea in Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian healing art and is considered the oldest and constantly practiced medical system in the world. As a scripted science, Ayurveda can be traced back to the middle of the 2nd century BC. The oral tradition of healing on the other hand is already over 5000 years old. According to a legend, Brahma, the creator of the Hindu Trinity, was the one who brought the medical knowledge of Ayurveda to the people, who have been preserving and developing it ever since.
to stay balanced: the three principles of life in ayurveda
Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “knowledge of life”, and the name speaks for itself: the knowledge of the three vital energies – or doshas – is the basis of Ayurvedic medicine and crucial for the production of physical and mental balance.
Doshas can be understood as energies in the body and all three doshas can be found in every person. Often one of these energies is particularly pronounced. Only if the three vital energies Vata (the principle of movement), Pitta (the fire and metabolic principle) and Kapha (the structural principle) are in balance, the Ayurvedic teachings, the human remains healthy. Diseases however are the result of an individual imbalance of these three doshas.
Behavioral changes, internal and external therapies, and above all, proper nutrition, can correct this imbalance, restore health, and maintain it permanently. Through constant development with the help of the findings of the latest medical research and thanks to the wealth of experience Ayurveda is still one of the most important life and healing programs. Originally originating from South India, Ayurveda has long been able to take over the Western world, which is certainly not least the holistic orientation of the art of healing: the human being as an individual, who is influenced in his physiology of different predispositions and factors, is the focus of teaching.
Tea as a hot beverage generally plays an important role in Ayurveda, as many people eat too cold. This is to understand quite literally: Many of the foods we eat come straight out of the refrigerator and lead to a decrease of the hot fire element that controls the processes in our body. Hot and warm drinks can reverse this imbalance. Depending on the composition, teas can have very different effects. A distinction must be made between regular tea and ayurvedic tea.
The basis of the classic tea are always tea leaves. Differences between the common varieties such as green and black tea result from different fermentation levels. From the Ayurvedic point of view, primarily unfermented or slightly fermented teas should be preferred, as fermented foods can be a bit irritating according to Ayurveda and can lead to inflammation. Ayurvedic tea, on the other hand, is produced by brewing herbs, flowers and spices and usually contains little to no caffeine or tein. Ayurvedic tea consists of carefully matched herbs and spices and depending on the Dosha type, the recommended tea blends differ significantly from each other. For Vata types warm and spicy but also sweet spices like cloves or cinnamon are recommended, the Pitta type should stick to fresh and cooling ingredients such as mint. For Kapha types, however, stimulating ingredients such as ginger are suggested. Green tea – such as the Organic Green Tea ‘Silver Shan’ – is less fermented, and perfect as a basis for ayurvedic tea mixtures.
Many types of tea that one finds in the supermarket nowadays bear the words “Ayurvedic”, but you should pay close attention here: Often, the compositions of these teas (the tea blend) – from an ayurvedic point of view – has no healing power, and the term ‘ayurvedic’ is merely used for an advertising purposes. For ayurvedic tea, the respective ingredients should be adapted to their properties, so that you achieve the desired effect for you. An interesting fact to keep in mind is that the second infusion of green tea leaves are an optimal basis for an ayurvedic tea mix because the amount of caffeine is reduced.
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