Pitta Tea

herbal ayurvedic tea

ULTRA F / Photodisc / Getty Images

Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Servings: 1 (1 cup)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

0 calories
0g fat
0g carbs
0g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 (1 cup)
Amount per serving  
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

In Ayurveda (an ancient Indian system of medicine), each person's constitution is made up of a unique proportion of three elemental forces, or doshas: pitta (fire), kapha (water), and vata (air).

Imbalances in the doshas are said to contribute to the development of illness. According to the principles of Ayurveda, pitta is responsible for digestion, metabolism, immune function, and energy production. Excess pitta energy is said to be a factor in such health issues as acne, skin rashes, inflammation, heartburn, indigestion, arthritis, loose stools, and anxiety.

To balance pitta energy, practitioners of Ayurveda often recommend a diet of foods and beverages that are believed to be cool or pacifying in nature. There is currently a lack of research supporting the ayurvedic constitutional types and the benefits of pitta tea (and other dietary recommendations).

Some preliminary evidence suggests that certain herbs and spices found in pitta tea may have health effects. In a study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice in 2014, researchers found that consuming cumin as part of a weight reduction diet reduced levels of fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL (often called the "bad" form of cholesterol), and increased HDL (known as "good" cholesterol). The researchers also found that weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fat mass, and percentage fat were reduced.

In addition, a study published in 2018 examined the effect of fennel in postmenopausal women and found that fennel may help improve symptoms in women with depression or anxiety disorder.

The following homemade herbal tea recipe was created by ayurvedic chef Patti Garland. Pitta tea is also available in packaged tea form. If you purchase tea bags, be sure to check the ingredient list carefully, as ingredients vary widely from brand to brand.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose petals
  • 1 cup boiling water

Preparation

  1. Mix the cumin seeds, coriander, fennel, cilantro, and rose petals together.

  2. Add the boiling water.

  3. Steep for 5 minutes, covered.

  4. Strain and discard and herbs and spices and serve cool, lukewarm, or at room temperature (pitta types are aggravated by hot temperatures).

Substitutions and Variations

Pitta tea contains herbs and spices that are thought to be cooling and pacifying for those with excessive pitta energy. Other pitta herbs you can add or substitute in your tea mixture include hibiscus, chamomile, cardamom, saffron, fennel, licorice, or peppermint.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Try adding a spoonful of maple syrup or date sugar to your tea for added sweetness.
  • A splash of cashew, rice, coconut, or hemp milk is a nice addition.
  • Although most people can enjoy a cup of pitta tea occasionally, avoid drinking excessive amounts of any type of tea.
  • Note that children and pregnant or nursing people shouldn't drink pitta tea. There's some evidence, for instance, that fennel may cause preterm labor.

If you're experiencing any new or unusual symptoms that are characteristic of a pitta imbalance (such as joint pain, skin rashes, or loose stools), be sure to check with your healthcare provider before trying pitta tea. Pitta tea should not be used as a substitute for standard treatment for any health condition.


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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sumantran VN, Tillu G. Cancer, inflammation, and insights from AyurvedaEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:306346. doi:10.1155/2012/306346

  2. Zare R, Heshmati F, Fallahzadeh H, Nadjarzadeh A. Effect of cumin powder on body composition and lipid profile in overweight and obese women. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014;20(4):297-301. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.10.001

  3. Ghazanfarpour M, Mohammadzadeh F, Shokrollahi P, et al. Effect of foeniculum vulgare (fennel) on symptoms of depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women: A double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018;38(1):121-126.

  4. Trabace L, Tucci P, Ciuffreda L, et al. "Natural" relief of pregnancy-related symptoms and neonatal outcomes: Above all do no harm. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;174(4):396-402. doi:10.1016/j. jep.2015.08.046

  5. National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Using dietary supplements wisely. Updated January 2019.