Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aryurdvedic Kapha Tea

The Medicine Buddha teachings have a dovetail with Aryurvedic teachings. Although Aryurveda is associated more with Hinduism (Santana Dharma), it is an integral part of Vajrayana Buddhism (Arya Dharma). There is a section I hope to share more about some time where the three dosha of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha emerge from the three poisons of the mind (addictive craving, condemning negativity, and obscuring delusion). This can be represented as vata>wind>craving, pitta>fire>negativity, and kaptha>earth and water>delusion. There are seven dosha types, strong vata, strong pitta, and strong kapha, then the mixed pairs of each, and then the tri-dosha (this is considered a state of healthy balance and is the ideal, though I guess it is possible to have a near death state where all the doshas are equally aggravated, that would then make 8 types) of all three together. This kind of understanding serves as a basis of an integrated mind-heart-body healing approach. This fits in with Amritayana Buddhism's belief that aging and death are not necessary, but are due to causes and conditions that we can potentially master and cure.

I found a Kapha Tea which helps dissolve excess Kapha. This tea is very simple:

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon dill seed
1 clove bud
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
1 cup of pure water

Mix ingredients together, bring to boil, simmer (or steep as in the original recipe, the simmering is for the extra herbs mentioned below) for five minutes, and it is done.

I have made a few modifications to this formula to tweak it a little. I do 1/8 teaspoon dill seed and 1/8 teaspoon of dill weed powder instead of 1/4 teaspoon of dill seed, do about 3 clove buds ground, grind the fenugreek, add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom, half a stick of cinnamon (which can be used a number of times) and add 1/2 teaspoon of sencha green tea about halfway through the simmering period. Once the green tea is added, it is important to strain the liquid to remove the leaves in about 5 minutes, because more tannins enter the water after this. It makes a subtle and important flavor difference between a mellow more alkaline tea and a bitter more acid tea. I finish off this formula with two drops of liquid stevia as a sweetener and one drop of lemon oil as a support for the cardamom. Ginger powder seems preferable to fresh ginger root. I am noticing as I study that these two states of the same ingredient have different warming properties. Each has their place but do not function identical to each other. Ginger powder is more consistent in potency and is a very good warmer. I do find that the proportions of this tea are important, especially with the ginger.

Thanks to Aryurvedic chef Patti Garland for this recipe:


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