Hello Readers, I’m back with another miraculous tea to keep you all in the pink of health. Come August and we have a line of festivals to feast upon. Not wanting to be a killjoy (why, even I shall plan a festive meal for the family!), I shall just remind you to have a hot cup of this delicious tea to calm your digestive tract after you’ve devoured the khasta kachauri on Raksha Bandhan day!
The Humble Tej Patta
Of all the ingredients of our garam masala, without which the kitchen cabinet will become poor, the tej patta is the cheapest but nay, do not undermine its lesser known uses. In fact, I doubt many know of its medicinal uses.
Better known as Bay leaf in the Mediterranean countries, North and Central America it is commonly used in soups and other dishes to impart a mild flavour. In our country we do use it in pulao and gravies, but that is all about.
In my home we use it extensively as a Tea, more so these days, to keep the immune system healthy. Fortunately, we have a tree in our garden to provide abundant leaves before the winter.
Every night we let the leaves infuse in hot water, boil the water again the next morning and keep it ready for the family. Observing the benefits ourselves, I would say, “If you want your tummy and your immune system to sing then make it a practice to have tej patta ki chai or make it fancy by saying Bay leaf Tea every day!”
Westerners, I’ve learnt call the tea we mostly drink in India chai, which is tea leaves boiled with ginger/cardamom and milk and sugar. Anything else is Tea.
So, there is Bay leaf Tea, Chamomile Tea, Jasmine Tea and so on.
How to Make the Tea:
- You can make a decoction of 4-5 leaves in 1 litre of water by soaking the leaves overnight, in in hot water
- Boil the water again the next morning
- Strain and add a dash of lime juice
Sip this delicious tea on a wet rainy day.
Bay leaves contain Vitamin A and C, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium and iron.
Benefits of Bay Leaves:
- It aids in digestion – one is tempted to have hot pakoras on a breezy monsoon evening and forget that the monsoons also weaken digestion. This cup of Bay leaf Tea will come to your rescue!
- The enzymes in the leaves help to break down proteins and digest food faster.
- The leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Use the decoction (sans the lime) as a compress to heal skin infections.
- It helps in regulating blood sugar – a great boon for those dealing with diabetes.
- It eases joint pain and arthritis. Having Bay leaf Tea regularly ensures supple movement of the body.
- It rejuvenates the body and sore muscles. The decoction can be added to your bath water.
- It reduces congestion and provides great relief in coughs and colds as the Bay leaf Tea helps in clearing congestion.
- It is useful in treating headaches and migraines.
- The leaf decoction can also be used as a post-shampoo hair rinse to keep the scalp healthy and dandruff free.
To the reader, the above may seem frivolous but believe me, my family has been taking Bay leaf Tea regularly and we are much better for it.
Do try it yourself too!
You can reach Kumkum at firstname.lastname@example.org
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