Year 2020 began with turbulent times when we suddenly realised our very own haldi doodh and sugar-coffee paste found a place of pride on Walmart shelves as Turmeric latte and Dalgona coffee. Little did we realise that the onslaught of Coronavirus will bring surprise status upgrade to our very own, submissive, kadha or herbal concoction that we vehemently avoided.
Dressed as the super immunity booster, kadha is undoubtedly 'The Drink of 2020' replacing all the fancy cocktails and green teas of the yore. Not something new, kadha was always there - ask any Ayurvedic guru or granny - they will tell you how the humble kadha kept that galling cough and cold away for generations.
Winter season, especially in India, sees a lot of advocacy for tulsi, honey, turmeric, black pepper, etc. for illnesses resulting from change of weather and pollution. Everyone knows natural immunity is better than any Covid vaccine. Kadha provides just that. Kadha is an Ayurvedic herbal drink made of varied herbs. It not only helps to fight cold, cough by building body's defence mechanism called as immunity but it also helps to manage blood sugar, improves digestion and prepares the body to keep away from the novel coronavirus infection, of course, by boosting immunity.
As coronavirus onslaught rose, so did the chorus for building immunity and drinking kadha. There are survivors out there who have their own unique recipes to share and swear by. This virus is so complex that while some people get away with few or no symptoms, others lose their life and age has got nothing to do with the number of fatalities. People who are obese, or who are diabetic are particularly prone to the severity of COVID-19. There are some generalisations such as this virus is less threatening to children but despite the known elements, it is still beyond experts as to why some people get very sick and die while others have few or no symptoms. Immunity is the buzz word.
In our bid to lose weight and eat 'healthy' we ditched food we grew up on and started having food imported all the way from Western countries. Have you heard 'eat local', yes, it is important, very important. Desi ghee ke parathe, makhana kheer, honey lemon, haldi doodh, til laddoo (winters) – tempting? Go ahead, have these things and you will never have to strive to lose weight again or deal with low metabolism/low immunity. These foods have everything you need, you grew up on these, they will never harm you unless of course you overdo and eat odd hours. Ghee is rich in Vitamin A, D, E, K and can reduce cholesterol. Ditch popcorns, have makhana or Foxnuts that are low in calories, have fibre and antioxidants. They contain minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And we all know about the health benefits of haldi doodh – I had a good laugh when I first heard about ‘haldi wala doodh’ being sold in fancy restaurants in San Francisco as Turmeric Latte!
Coming back to ‘King Kadha’, India's Health Ministry, WHO and other health agencies have time and again advocated measures and urged people to keep immunity strong to stay safe from the virus. Here's how you can also make kadha at home – I am sure you have your own recipe but this one is recommended by Ayush Ministry:
Boil Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini(Cinnamon), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) in a glass of water. Add jaggery (natural sugar) and / or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed. Sip this concotion in the morning and/or evening daily.
Golden Milk - Half tea spoon Haldi (turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk - once or twice a day.
Let's stick to our traditional Indian roots and stay safe. Now, rush and brew some kadha... cheers!