Yogi Tea
It Will Re-Vitalize and Maintain You

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 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.

This 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 mixed tea.

The 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, 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 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


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 pain.

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 pregnancy.


  • 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.

One 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.

Recent studies have shown that cardamom has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic effects.

(pungent, sweet, hot)


  • al-Zuhair H, el-Sayeh B, Ameen HA, al-Shoora H Pharmacological studies of cardamom oil in animals. Pharmacol Res 1996 Jul-Aug;34(1-2):79-8



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.

Herbalists use cloves to promote fluid flow in the lymph system.

The volatile oil is a powerful analgesic.

In animal experiments, clove lowers triglycerides and blood sugar.

(pungent, hot)


  • 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 in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 1999 Dec 15;68(1-3):307-14

Black Pepper

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.

While 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.

Piperine 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.

Black 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.

Pepper 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.

Use black pepper as a culinary spice. An excellent Ayurvedic preparation for sinus congestion is to boil 10 peppercorns in milk, strain, and drink.

(pungent, hot)


  • James A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy, 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.

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This page last edited on: January 15, 2016