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Tea is commonly thought of as black tea with milk and sugar. However, the word ‘tea’ refers to any herb. When Tulsi is boiled in water, it makes Tulsi tea; hot mint water makes mint tea. Several different herbs can be used to make different varieties of teas, such as jasmine tea, lemon tea, lemon grass tea, masala tea, sounf tea, etc.
When the decoction of the leaves and the water is reduced to half on boiling, it forms Kadha. Black tea without milk and sugar is much healthier than the one with these two ingredients.
A tea without sugar and milk has an astringent taste. As per Ayurveda, this is good for health as it reduces Kapha imbalance. Addition of sugar and milk (both having sweet taste) neutralizes the weight reducing and kapha-relieving properties of black tea. Hence, for enhancing taste, add jaggery or an artificial plant sweetener, such as stevia.
Black tea also acts as a mild diuretic and increases urination on account of its caffeine content, which is a stimulant as well. That’s why tea helps you stay awake. Coffee is stronger than tea in this case. Taken in moderation, black tea is good for the heart and general health. While choosing between different teas, go for jasmine, lemon and lemongrass teas.
In Ayurveda, different teas are prescribed for different personalities. Therefore, we can have vata-pacifying tea, pitta-pacifying tea and kapha-pacifying tea.