(Jagan Nath Singh's Recipe)
This 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
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
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.
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 mixed tea.
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
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, especially osteoarthritis.
It is one of the best herbs for nausea and vomiting. It aids digestion
and assimilation generally, relieves cold spasms and cramps, and promotes
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
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
Cinnamon 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 circulation.
Strangely enough, cinnamon
enhances the flow of blood through the body, but, paradoxically, herbalists
revere it for its ability to stop excessive bleeding.
Cinnamon 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 this symptom.
The classic patient who can benefit
from cinnamon is cold, dry and frail, and often has osteoarthritis,
asthma and digestive problems.
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 manufacturer.
Chinese medicine authorities say
that cinnamon is very safe, but should be used only with caution during
- Dhuley 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 1999 Mar;37(3):238-42
- Mancini-Filho J, Van-Koiij A, Mancini
DA, Cozzolino FF, Torres RP Antioxidant activity of cinnamon (Cinnamomum
Zeylanicum, Breyne) extracts.
Boll Chim Farm 1998 Dec;137(11):443-7
- Kurokawa 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
Cardamom 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.
This herb has
a warming, anti-mucus action, so is particularly appropriate to be used
as a component in lung formulas.
It 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.
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.
have shown that cardamom has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and
- al-Zuhair H, el-Sayeh B, Ameen HA, al-Shoora H
Pharmacological studies of cardamom oil
in animals. Pharmacol Res
Cloves 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 digestion.
cloves to promote fluid flow in the lymph system.
oil is a powerful analgesic.
In animal experiments,
clove lowers triglycerides and blood sugar.
- Arai 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
1999 Dec 15;68(1-3):307-14
Black Pepper 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 action.
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 thistle.
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 A.
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.
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
Rodale, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1997.
- 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.
- Shanmugasundaram 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.