A spice treatment for the wave – 2 of the pandemic

All of us today are currently fighting a pandemic that has devastated humanity as a whole. It is important that we come together with our collective consciousness to put forward our best practices and learn the ways to overcome a virus that’s ever mutating and multiplying. Two years back, lockdown was an alien concept to our generation but today it is a worldwide practice agreed upon as one of the effective measures to reduce transmission of the virus. 

Many of us reading this blog are lucky to be in a better place during the lockdown to stay indoors safely. Recent research and studies are showing that there is a radical shift in our lifestyle especially in our eating habits. While many of us face problems due to staying indoors for months together, some of us have found these lockdowns as blessings in disguise and that’s possible only with the disciplined few. Of course, not all of us are disciplined in our approach to a healthy eating lifestyle. Though most of us try hard to stay healthy by making healthy food choices, how many of us stick to this plan? How many of us continuously practice it for the rest of our lives from the moment we have decided to bring in that change?

I make healthy food choices every now and then and most of the time, I fail to stick by it and end up eating junk food and later suffer emotional setbacks as I find food as a weak point in my otherwise disciplined outlook to my life. (Maybe I should add regular exercising to that list, but this blog post is not about me :p)

This blog is for sharing two more lovely recipes of spice and herbal decoctions for immunity building. Check out my previous blog A Spice Treatment For This Pandemic with interesting facts about spices and a couple of lovely traditional homemade herbal concoction recipes.

In Indian kitchens, the most basic spices like pepper, turmeric, clove, cinnamon etc are inevitable. These spices can be brewed into concoctions that can help us improve our immunity during viral infections. In current COVID times, I reached out to various households who brew their own herbal decoctions and have already made it a habit to consume it everyday. Many have started to enjoy a cleaner digestive tract and an easy stomach due to consumption of healthy herbal drinks on a regular basis. A clean digestive tract will avoid 90% of lifestyle related diseases. It ultimately boosts your immunity as well; unfortunately lack of which many have succumbed to the coronavirus.

Iyer’s Kashayam: 

Kashayam is Tamil word for herbal or spice based decoction. This one is a traditional Iyer recipe curated by my flatmate. Since the onset of the pandemic, my flatmate has been treating me everyday with a glass of this decoction that emits lovely spice aromas and tastes good. 

Ingredients: Serves 1 cup (250 ml)  

½ inch dry ginger (sukku)
1 cardamom
Palm jaggery ½  cube
Palm sugar candy 3-5 grams
A pinch of pepper powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
½ inch cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
Half lemon

Add 1 ½  cups of water and let it come to a boil. Add all the above ingredients and keep stirring while the water is boiling. Let the essence of the dry ginger get mixed thoroughly. Stir for 3 minutes more when the water is boiling and the concoction is ready when you get the spice aromas. Strain it into a glass and serve. Consume while it is mildly hot. Don’t let it cool down to room temperature. 

Aldrin’s Spice Decoction Recipe (New approach to Kashaya) 

This recipe comes from a chef who specializes in vegan & vegetarian cuisine. He brews this decoction at home and consumes it everyday for immunity boost.  

Ingredients: Serves 1 cup (250ml) 

Cinnamon stick- 1 inch
Cardamom-3 pcs
Stone flower- 3-5 flowers
Cloves- 3 pcs
Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds (Saunf) -1/2 tsp
Crushed Black pepper- 1/2 tsp
Ginger – 1/2 inch crushed
Honey- 1 tbsp

Method: 

Add 2 cups of water (400ml). Let it come to a boil, Add the above whole spices. Boil till colour changes… and u smell aromas( it may take upto 3- 5 mins)

Add crushed ginger n honey or jaggery, mix well and strain while pouring into glass and serve hot. 

Go ahead and try these recipes and make a habit to drink herbal and spice based decoctions on a regular basis to help keep improving your digestion and general immunity. These decoctions are also very helpful in relieving fever and cold symptoms. If you have any special decoction recipes, do share it with us in the comment section. Share your thoughts and suggestions on this blog and if you have any suggestions for topics to be covered for future blogs, feel free to shoot them.

Let’s stay inside as much as possible to reduce transmission of this virus and help save lives. Venture out only if it’s very much necessary. Stay blessed and stay safe.

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