Drink Your Herbs: the Benefits of Herbal Teas and Drinks
In this article:
- The Ayurvedic Perspective on Herbal Drinks
- Carrier Substances and the Power of Intention
- Create Your Own Herbal Teas and Drinks
- Ready to Go Teas and Drink Mixes
- Sip, Savor, and Repeat for Wellness
When we think of living a healthy lifestyle, it can sometimes feel like we’re signing up for a long road of hard work and discipline in order to reach our desire for greater health.
The wonderful thing about Ayurveda is it guides us into greater well-being in a way that is practical, sustainable, and even pleasurable—leaving plenty of room to enjoy the simple delights of life along the way.
One of the most prized and precious simple pleasures in life, across all times and cultures, is a daily warm drink ritual. The intentional act of making and drinking nourishing warm beverages naturally invites us to slow down, tune into our senses, and become present to the beauty of the moment.
Along with the heart-opening and spirit-nourishing benefits of warm drinks, sipping on herbal teas and drink blends is an excellent way to invite the health benefits of herbs into the body. The heat of the warm brew also promotes healthy digestion by enkindling agni, our digestive fire.
So go ahead—start your day off right with your favorite nourishing warm drink, or end your day snuggled up with a cup of grounding herbal tea for sleep support to settle your system before you go to bed.
The Ayurvedic Perspective on Herbal Drinks
Throughout the long history of Ayurveda, the use of beneficial herbs has been an integral part of healthy living, rooted in a harmonious relationship with nature and a deep understanding of the healing gifts of plants.
There are a variety of ways that herbs and plants are used in Ayurvedic protocols, but drinking herbs in the form of a tea or warm herbal brew is one of the most traditional methods.
Most commonly, the powder of the plant—from the root, stem, fruit, or leaves—is what ancient practitioners used in these preparations. Careful consideration went into creating a specialized Ayurvedic drink for each client, intended to achieve a specific effect in the body.
The Way Nature Intended
One major reason for preparing herbs as a drink is that you get the benefit of the whole herb in its innate form. Plants have a certain innate intelligence that works synergistically with the intelligence of the human body, and the whole plant contains everything that is needed for proper absorption, digestion, and assimilation.
This is why we at Banyan have avoided the now popular practice of extracting specific constituents of herbs, such as separating curcumin from turmeric. We believe that the various healing compounds of the plants work most effectively when taken in their whole form.
Drinking herbal blends also provides the opportunity to taste the herbs. In Ayurveda, it is said that digestion begins in the mouth when we taste what we are taking in. This belief is confirmed by science—the tongue communicates directly with the brain and other parts of the body and sends important information based on the taste it receives.1
So next time you sit down to enjoy your favorite herbal drink, know that your body and brain are lighting up in gratitude, ready to receive the wisdom and goodness of the plant kingdom.
Carrier Substances and the Power of Intention
When you think of drinking warm tea on a cold day, you can almost feel the sensation of comfort and nourishment it brings to the throat and belly as it goes down. The quality of warmth and moisture it delivers has an immediately soothing effect on the system, while also igniting the digestive fire and promoting healthy agni.
For this reason, Ayurveda considers warm water to be an anupan, or carrier substance. An anupan serves the purpose of bringing herbs deeper into the system and delivering their benefits more fully and completely to the tissues of the body.
Along with warm water, other common Ayurvedic anupans include ghee, honey, and milk or milk alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Each of these carrier substances brings distinct qualities and can make a difference in the way that an herb affects the body.
- Milk adds a heavy, nourishing quality that is beneficial to pitta and vata dosha.
- Honey has an astringency, or drying effect, that is balancing for kapha dosha.
- Ghee has a sattvic, lubricating effect that is generally a great choice for all doshas.
Getting to know these carrier substances, and which are most beneficial for your body, expands the realm of possibility when it comes to creating delicious and nourishing herbal drinks. The sky is the limit and there is ample room to play!
You can blend milk and ghee for a rich, creamy beverage, add a spoonful of honey for a bit of sweetness, or stick with warm water for a light, cleansing option.
Connecting to Intention
Along with these anupans, it can be helpful to connect with a clear idea of how you hope your herbs will serve you as you prepare your herbal drink.
If at any point you feel uncertain or overwhelmed, return to a simple connection with your senses. Pause to smell, taste, and offer gratitude to the herbs. Trust that the combination of your body’s intelligence, your intention, and the life-force energy of the plants themselves will be enough to deliver the benefits of your beverage precisely where they are needed most.
Create Your Own Herbal Teas and Drinks
It can be a beautiful and educational practice to choose your favorite herbs and experiment in blending them according to your own preference and tastes, creating drinks and tea blends that are unique and satisfying to you.
You may have fresh herbs growing in your garden or a local herb shop where you can pick and choose the plants that call to you. If you are excited by the process of creating your own teas, it can quickly become a beloved practice and a way to build a lasting relationship with the world of plants.
Another option is to enhance ready-made tea with herbs and spices to further support your health. For example:
- Power up your tea with ginger and turmeric to support healthy digestion and overall well-being.
- Infuse your tea with Tulsi liquid extract to welcome in sattva.
- Create your own dosha-balancing herbal chai mix.
- Add a touch of healthy sweetness with Turmeric Honey or Elderberry Honey.
Keep it Simple with These Tasty Herbal Teas and Drinks
There is also a time and a place for keeping things simple. If you prefer to have several ready-to-serve options on hand, Banyan offers a variety of Ayurvedic teas and drink mixes that are chemical and additive free, easy to prepare, and thoroughly delicious.
CCF Herbal Teas and Herbal Infusions
CCF Tea, a simple but powerful trifecta of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds, is one of the most beloved drinks in Ayurveda for supporting strong and healthy digestion. It is the perfect way to maintain a healthy digestive fire while encouraging subtle detoxification and gentle cleansing.
Along with the original CCF Tea staple, we here at Banyan have been inspired to infuse CCF tea with different herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, or tulsi. We created a line of teas that use cumin, coriander, and fennel as a base and highlight some of our other favorite herbs in unique and beautiful blends. These include:
Detox Digest: Herbal Tea for Digestion
A cleansing blend that incorporates ginger and turmeric, Detox Digest is a great choice to support an Ayurvedic cleanse or provide the digestive system with an extra boost.
Joyful Heart: Herbal Tea for Stress
Featuring soothing hibiscus and elegant rose, Joyful Heart is an uplifting blend for cultivating contentment and opening the heart.
Mellow Mind: Herbal Tea for Calm
Our most soothing and calming tea, Mellow Mind combines the soothing qualities of brahmi, chamomile, and lavender for promoting deep relaxation and restful sleep.
Tulsi Fields: Herbal Tea for Immune Health
Uplifting, aromatic, and great for supporting immune health, Tulsi Fields features prana-rich tulsi grown on Banyan Farm in Southern Oregon.
Turmeric Milk Mix
If you’re looking for the perfect caffeine-free drink to nourish your body and satisfy your soul, look no further. Treat yourself to a luxurious mug of golden goodness with this carefully blended and perfectly spiced drink mix that delivers the renowned health benefits of turmeric.
Turmeric Milk Mix, our signature take on golden milk, offers an easy, delicious, and caffeine-free way to get your daily dose of turmeric and ashwagandha. Inspired by the traditional Indian recipe of turmeric milk, or haldi doodh, this mix blends herbs, spices, and a touch of natural date sugar for a delicious beverage that is ready in minutes. Just add warm milk, cozy up, and savor the goodness!
Ashwagandha Latte Mix
A wonderful alternative to coffee, this caffeine-free blend of nourishing herbs offers a delicious mix of delicate flavors that can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Ashwagandha Latte Mix is delicious added to milk and blended into a creamy warm drink. It’s the perfect way to energize and awaken the body and mind at the start of your day, to replenish your muscles after a workout, or to wind down and relax in the evening before going to bed. Grounding and nourishing, this beverage may just become your new favorite latte ritual.
Adaptogenic herbs are renowned for their ability to work intelligently with the body to deliver just what is needed in the moment, whether it be a natural lift of energy or a sense of calm on a stressful day.
Elevated Adaptogens can be easily added to any other drink of choice to provide the body with an extra dose of health benefits. Made with powerful rejuvenating herbs like moringa, ashwagandha, and eleuthero, this blend provides whole-body nourishment and promotes an optimal state of natural, balanced energy.
Sip, Savor, and Repeat for Wellness
Hopefully you’re feeling inspired and ready to brew up a warm, tasty mug of herbal health. The options are endless, and we encourage you to experiment with your own creative ways of incorporating your favorite herbal allies into your daily drinks.
Whatever your herbal drink ritual of choice, may it offer you a chance each day to slow down, tune in, and savor the simplest pleasures of life.