If you’re rather surprised at the sight of a story on the good-old ‘kaadha’ that is every Indian household’s go-to drink to beat cough and cold in the winter, we don’t blame you. However, the reason we’re writing about it during the off-season is because it is being consumed in the off-season, all thanks to the covid-19 pandemic!
With no news on vaccines or a definite cure for the novel coronavirus any time soon, health practitioners have turned to Ayurvedic remedies to strengthen immunity in a bid to put up a stronger fight or simply prevent the deadly infection.
However, before you go on to consume kaadha to build immunity to fight the coronavirus infection, here’s all you need to know about the immunity-boosting drink as explained by Dr. Neha Pathania, nutritionist, Paras Hospital, Gurugram.
What is kaadha, really?
“‘Kaadha is an ayurvedic remedial drink that has many medicinal benefits to boost the immune system. It’s made by boiling edible medicinal plants such as giloy, guduchi, tulsi, and mulethi along with spices such as ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon,” says Pathania.
“This drink can help in fighting seasonal infections and flu. It is also extremely beneficial for those suffering from arthritis, persistent headaches, bronchitis, asthma, urinary tract infections, renal and hepatic disorders,” she adds.
How can it help you in times of the covid-19 pandemic?
According to Pathania, kaadha is one of the best drinks to keep the deadly coronavirus infection at bay.
“Since ‘kaadha’ contains the decoction of herbs and spices, it is loaded with antioxidants that help in boosting the immune system. Since various reports suggest that the coronavirus affects those whose immunity is compromised, drinking kaadha can help you protect against it,” she explains.
But, is it safe to consume ‘kaadha’ in this hot weather?
“Kaadha is a healthy drink and one should preferably consume it in the cold and dry winter months. However, due to the current scenario, if somebody is consuming kaadha in hot and humid summer conditions, that too in excess quantity, it can lead to several health problems such as acidity, high blood pressure, anxiety, nausea, nose bleeding, heart burn, etc,” warns Pathania and adds that the thermogenic properties of most ingredients used in kaadha are to be blamed for it.
Basically, the thermogenic nature of common kaadha ingredients such as black pepper, ginger, and turmeric can heat up your body, increase your heart rate, and leave you with acidity. This heating up can have worse effects due to the already-existing hot summer conditions.
Apart from this, the use of honey/jaggery/sugar to add sweetness to the kaadha can negatively affect those who suffer from severe diabetes.
So, what is the right way to consume ‘kaadha’ safely during the summer?Pathania recommends keeping the following pointers in mind while consuming ‘kaadha’ to boost immunity:
1. The best time to have kaadha is in the morning, an hour after you wake up and in the evening between 4 pm and 5 pm when the summer heat isn’t as bad.
2. While drinking it in the morning, you should not have it on an empty stomach because the ingredients present in it can lead to acidity. You should have it after breakfast.
3. Don’t consume ‘kaadha’ more than 150 ml of kaadha in one go if you want to avoid feeling nauseous/acidic/ hot and stick to drinking it once or twice a day for best results.
4. Limit the quantity of naturally warm ingredients such as black pepper and ginger in your kaadha.
5. Do add honey to your kaadha as it can help neutralize the acidity and heartburns that can be caused due to the other ingredients.
6. However, if you’re diabetic, avoid using too much honey and mulethi in your kaadha.
7. In case, your body simply refuses to take well to kaadha in this weather, you can sip on lemon tea, green tea, homemade black tea, and black/green coffee to boost immunity instead.
So, kaadha can be that elixir that boosts your immunity to protect you against infections but only if taken in the right amount!