A Pitta Tea Recipe

herbal ayurvedic tea
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Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 0
Fat 0g
Carbs 0g
Protein 0g
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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.
Total Time 10 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 5 min
Servings 1 (1 cup)

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. The diet may include raw green vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, and celery, bitter vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and broccoli rabe, and naturally sweet foods such as fruit and root vegetables.

Spicy, sour, salty, and pungent foods like chili peppers, garlic, coffee, horseradish, and lemons are typically avoided.

Ingredients in Pitta Tea

In addition to diet, ayurvedic practitioners may recommend a herbal tea containing a blend of herbs and spices thought to be cooling and pacifying for those with excessive pitta energy. Although there are many different blends, common ingredients include hibiscus flowers, rose petals, chamomile flowers, coriander, cilantro, cardamom, saffron, fennel, and peppermint. The herbs in the tea are said to balance pitta energy and, in turn, promote healing from related health conditions.

The following homemade herbal tea recipe was created by ayurvedic chef Patti Garland. Pitta tea is also available in packaged tea form. 

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 five 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).

Benefits of Pitta Tea

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, 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.

Before You Try Pitta Tea

If you're thinking of trying pitta tea, there are a few things you should know:

Although most people can enjoy a cup of pitta tea occasionally, avoid drinking excess amounts of any type of tea.

If you purchase tea bags, be sure to check the ingredient list carefully, as ingredients vary widely from brand to brand. Licorice, for instance, contains glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizin, which may cause high blood pressure and other adverse effects.

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 first to be assessed and to receive treatment, if needed.

Pitta tea should not be used as a substitute for standard treatment for any health condition. If you're still considering trying pitta tea, be sure to talk to your doctor first to weigh the pros and cons and to see whether it's appropriate for you.

Pregnant or nursing women and children shouldn't drink pitta tea. There's some evidence, for instance, that fennel can shorten the gestational age.

Other Ways to Balance Pitta

If you're seeking to calm pitta energy, some practitioners of ayurveda suggest massage therapy with brahmi oil or neem oil, the herb triphala, or certain yoga poses (including inversions and standing forward bends).

It's said that pitta types tend to take on too much stress, so stress management techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and tai chi may also help.

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