is a staple in the yogi's armamentarium of health
producing foods. It is tasty, energizing and cleansing.
It acts as a gentle tonic for your entire system.
It provides a gradual stimulation without the letdown
that stimulants leave you with. One of the pleasant
memories members of 3HO (Healthy, Happy and Holy organization)
share is their first cup of well - prepared yogi tea
after a vigorous workout in kundalini yoga. The uses
of this precious formula are many. In the yoga tradition,
Monday is a good day to increase the cleansing fluids
in your body. Many people will use Monday as a liquid
fast day. Then yogi tea or juices are used exclusively
for a good systemic flush. People interested in a
more powerful cleansing with the tonic use it periodically
for a three day fast. Each day they will consume 8
to 24 cups. Because of its immediate energizing effect
it is often used as a substitute to ease someone off
of caffeine, coffee, cigarettes and even drug habits.
It has tremendous effectiveness in warding off colds,
lowering respiratory infections and fighting off the
effects of flu. On the positive side it was often
taken by women before sexual contact and by men afterwards,
since it balances the flow of that creative energy
in the body. In Ayurvedic medicine each food is thought
of in terms of the qualities it blends. Each food
is potentially medicinal or harmful depending on those
qualities. If a food is universally health producing
and neutral in the balance of qualities so it can
be used by anyone, then it is tridosha - it combines
all three major qualities. This is true of the components
and proportions of them in yogi tea. Mostly yogi tea
is taken because it tastes good and makes you feel
good. It is a ubiquitous part of the yoga lifestyle.
It is a medicinal and gastronomic blessing, which
we share often. Yogi Bhajan has said the key to happiness
is to sweat, laugh and drink Yogi Tea everyday.
16 sticks of cinnamon [the 3" long kind]
1 heaping TBSP of black peppercorns
2 level tsp of whole cloves
3 level TBSP of green cardamom pods, or
decorticated cardamom seeds
2 2/3 cups of fresh ginger, chopped small
A small palm-full of black tea like English
Breakfast, or jasmine, or 6 tea bags
Bring 2 gallons + 1 quart of water to a boil
in a stainless steel pot.
When at boil, put in the cinnamon sticks, cloves,
peppercorns, and ginger. The mixture will stop
boiling. Keep the heat on high until it boils
again and then lower the heat to a very slow rolling
boil and cover the pot. Boil for 1¼ to 1½
hours. Remove from the flame and let the tea
sit for 1½ hours at least, but not more than
3 hours. Strain the spices out. Bring back to boil
and throw in the tea leaves. Let steep for 2 minutes.
Strain the tea leaves out.
beautiful yogi tea liquid, called “raw”
yogi tea, is them mixed to taste with whole raw milk.
Use a ratio of 50% tea, 50% milk, but some of you
may like it stronger. This recipe, though, creates
a more potent raw tea than other recipes, so you may
find diluting it 50/50 is fine indeed.
After adding milk, bring the mixed tea back up to
a near boil. Sweeten with honey. Use 1/3
cup honey per gallon of mixed Yogi tea. For a special
touch, add 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract per gallon of
raw Yogi tea will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator,
but once it is mixed, it has a life equal to that
of milk, so mix only what you'll use in the next few
days. Yogi tea without milk is not really yogi tea.
The milk aids assimilation and digestion. Herb tea
may not be substituted for the black tea. In this
combination and with the small amount it is a balanced
chemical action. Below is more information
on the ingredients if you want to understand more
fully why Yogi Tea is so good for your health.
Ginger is considered to be the universal
medicine in Ayurveda. Ginger is one of
the best herbs for nausea and vomiting. It aids digestion
and assimilation generally, relieves cold spasms and
cramps, and promotes menstruation.
It is particularly synergistic with onions and garlic,
the combination of the three being called Trinity
Roots in Ayurvedic dietary therapy.
Whether consumed as a delicious food, or as a potent
medicine, ginger acts in diabetes both by stimulating
pancreas cells and by lowering lipids (cholesterol,
triglycerides) in the blood.
Ginger is considered to be one of the most valuable
Ayurvedic medicines in the treatment of arthritis,
It is one of the best herbs for nausea and vomiting.
It aids digestion and assimilation generally, relieves
cold spasms and cramps, and promotes menstruation.
Herbs and spices are typically not significant sources
of nutrients in the diet, ginger has relatively high
calcium and iron content.
Ginger increases peripheral circulation, so is used
clinically for cold hands and feet. Being diaphoretic,
it treats cold and flu.
- Uma Pradeep
K, Geervani P, Eggum BO Common Indian spices: nutrient
composition, consumption and contribution to dietary
value. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1993 Sep;44(2):137-48
- Fuhrman B, Rosenblat
M, Hayek T, Coleman R, Aviram M Ginger extract consumption
reduces plasma cholesterol, inhibits LDL oxidation
and attenuates development of atherosclerosis in
atherosclerotic, apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.
J Nutr 2000 May;130(5):1124-31
- Ernst E, Pittler
MH Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a
systematic review of randomized clinical trials.
Br J Anaesth 2000 Mar;84(3):367-71
is a very mild herb that is well tolerated by a broad
variety of people. Cinnamon is a pungent, sweet and
hot yang tonic. It increases general vitality, warms
and energizes the body as a whole, counteracts congestion,
stops diarrhea, improves digestion, relieves abdominal
spasms, is antirheumatic and aids the peripheral blood
enough, cinnamon enhances the flow of blood through
the body, but, paradoxically, herbalists revere it
for its ability to stop excessive bleeding.
bark excels in treating menstrual cramps. Many American
women have found it to be a dramatic remedy, often
giving relief on the first try, after years of monthly
Like dong quai, cinnamon
is a warming herb, which in Chinese terms "warms the
middle and disperses cold." This property makes it
a very good choice to promote menstruation. Cinnamon
enhances circulation to the uterus, so the warm relaxing
blood can relieve the cramps. As you would imagine,
cinnamon is often used together with dong quai for
The classic patient who
can benefit from cinnamon is cold, dry and frail,
and often has osteoarthritis, asthma and digestive
Since cinnamon is common
as a culinary herb, it is necessary to be a selective
shopper to get good quality. You will find medicinal
quality cinnamon in your health food store, Chinese
herb pharmacy, or from a top quality medicinal tea
Chinese medicine authorities
say that cinnamon is very safe, but should be used
only with caution during pregnancy.
JN Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum
verum) bark and greater cardamom (Amomum subulatum)
seeds in rats fed high fat diet.
Indian J Exp Biol
J, Van-Koiij A, Mancini DA, Cozzolino FF, Torres
RP Antioxidant activity of cinnamon (Cinnamomum
Zeylanicum, Breyne) extracts.
Boll Chim Farm 1998
M, Kumeda CA, Yamamura J, Kamiyama T, Shiraki K
Antipyretic activity of cinnamyl derivatives and
related compounds in influenza virus-infected mice.
Eur J Pharmacol
1998 May 1;348(1):45-51
is an excellent digestive enhancer, especially for
cold and sweet food.
Since it is widely consumed as a food, it is regarded
as being quite safe. It is used in herbal medicine
to treat gastralgia, enuresis (involuntary urination),
spermatorrhea, phlegm, indigestion and gas.
herb has a warming, anti-mucus action, so is particularly
appropriate to be used as a component in lung formulas.
is considered to be particularly rejuvenative for
the spleen. According to Ayurveda, it removes kapha
from the stomach and lungs, as well as being good
for reducing high vata generally.
compound in cardamom oil, terpinen-4-ol, appears to
suggest that cardamom can be effective in treating
yeast vaginitis. Studies have shown that preparations
containing high amounts of terpinen-4-ol have been
as effective against yeast infections as the pharmaceutical
antifungals nystatin (Mycostatin) and clotrimazole
(Gyne-Lotrimin). Cardamom may have twice as much terpinen-4-ol
as teatree oil.
studies have shown that cardamom has pain-relieving,
anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic effects.
- al-Zuhair H, el-Sayeh
B, Ameen HA, al-Shoora H Pharmacological studies
of cardamom oil in animals. Pharmacol Res
promote circulation in the lungs and the stomach.
They are warming. They treat cough, and enhance digestion.
Cloves are widely
used medicine in Asian herbalism. They are considered
to promote circulation in the lungs and the stomach.
Clearly, they are warming. They treat cough, and enhance
use cloves to promote fluid flow in the lymph system.
volatile oil is a powerful analgesic.
animal experiments, clove lowers triglycerides and
I, Amagaya S, Komatsu Y, Okada M, Hayashi T, Kasai
M, Arisawa M, Momose Y Improving effects of the
extracts from Eugenia uniflora on hyperglycemia
and hypertriglyceridemia in mice.
1999 Dec 15;68(1-3):307-14
is known only as a humble condiment in most of the
Western world, but in Asia, it is considered to be
the foremost detoxifier and anti-aging herb.
Black pepper is
a warming digestive remedy, which has a carminative
This herb increases circulation, and lowers blood
pressure and contains compounds that prevent osteoporosis.
black pepper has been esteemed as a detoxifier, particularly
in Ayurveda, recent research has begun to bear this
out. At least in rats, pepper seems
to increase release of carcinogens through the liver,
reducing cancer. Piperine, a main active ingredient,
protects against liver damage almost as well as milk
is also getting a reputation for increasing bioavailability
and absorption of nutrients. For example, in one recent
study, scientists measured the absorption of turmeric
active ingredients. Administering the turmeric along
with piperine increased bioavailability by 154%, and
reduced the time for absorption by half.
pepper reduces free radicals. It is antioxidant, and
prevents the depletion of glutathione. It also prevents
the destruction of other antioxidants, such as vitamin
is used in Ayurveda as an anti-kapha herb, particularly
to release sinus congestion. Its warming nature balances
cold herbs in formulas. It is ideal for kapha
conditions such as glaucoma.
black pepper as a culinary spice. An excellent Ayurvedic
preparation for sinus congestion is to boil 10 peppercorns
in milk, strain, and drink.
- James A. Duke,
The Green Pharmacy, Rodale, Emmaus,
- Singh A Rao
AR Evaluation of the modulatory influence of black
pepper (Piper nigrum, L.) on the hepatic detoxication
system. Cancer-Lett. 1993 Aug 16; 72(1-2): 5-9
- Kaoul I and
A Kapil. Evaluation of the liver protective potential
of piperine, an active principal of black and long
peppers.Planta Medica 1993. 59: 413-417.
KR et al, Amritabindu for depletion of antioxidants.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1994. 42(2): 83-93.
- Yogi Bhajan,
The Ancient Art of Self-Healing, Silver
Streak Publishers, Eugene, Oregon,1982.