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Kadha (Ayush Kwath): Ayurvedic Immune-Boosting Drink For Cold, Flu And Monsoon Illnesses

The monsoon season is here to ease the heat and cosy up the weather, and along with the moody gloom, the season brings along with it several diseases and infections. The monsoon season in India is reportedly one of the seasons with the most number of diseases reported, majorly due to unhygienic conditions and not adhering to basic preventive measures.

Some of the common diseases to pop up and catch you during the monsoon season are cold and flu, cholera, typhoid, dengue and several other infections [1]. Health experts point out that the best way to manage the outbreak of infections is by adopting preventive measures such as consuming immunity-boosting foods, taking measures to prevent mosquito bites such as wearing full sleeve clothing and so on [2].

Today, we will discuss one such preventive measure, an ayurvedic one, that can help build your immunity and prevent monsoon infections, cold and flu. Read on to know about kadha - an ayurvedic home remedy to fight against seasonal infections and diseases.

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What Is Kadha?

Kadha is an ayurvedic drink prepared using herbs and spices. A common decoction in Indian households, the drink has immune-boosting abilities that make it a perfect solution for the common monsoon illnesses [3].

Mahasudarshan kwath, Mahamanjisthadi kwath, Bhunimbadi kwath, Dashmool kwath, Punarnavastak kwath, Varunadi kwath and Rasnasaptak kwath are some of the common kadha drinks.

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The herbal decoction, also known as kashaya and kashayam and is consumed after boiling in water for a length of time. This allows the medicinal properties of the herbs and spices to be extracted.

Kadha or kwath is made using dry herbs and spices, which cannot be normally juiced. This ayurvedic drink can be made in many ways and it can be a combination of many ingredients. The recipe can vary depending on the mix and spices used in the preparation.

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Health Benefits Of Kadha

Here are some of the benefits of kwath, especially around the monsoon season.

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1. Prevents Fever And Monsoon Allergies

Consuming the ayurvedic decoction can help improve your body's defence mechanism by tackling microorganisms that cause infections. The common ingredients such as ginger in the drink can help boost your immune levels due to the herb's antiviral properties [4]. Other ingredients such as tulsi, cloves etc are packed with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help prevent cold, cough and a sore throat [5][6].

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2. Improves Renal And Hepatic Health

Drinking kwath has been proven to improve liver and kidney health. A well-functioning liver and kidney are essential to maintain good health. Health issues such as jaundice, poor digestion, loss of appetite etc. stem from poor renal and hepatic health. Consumption of this ayurvedic remedy especially punarvastak kwath has been shown to improve kidney and liver health [7][8].

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3. Treats Health-related Issues

Some of the common heat-related health issues are hyperacidity, headache, gastritis, nausea etc. Consuming kwath has been to shown to help manage the issues as the ayurvedic drink has cooling abilities, which can bring down the heat levels in the body to a healthy level [9].

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4. May Treat Urinary Tract Infections

Kwath or ayurvedic decoctions have been shown to treat urinary tract problems such as stones, infections and inflammations [10]. A study shows that Varunadi kwath can be consumed to manage these problems as it helps bring down the pain and swelling. The drink also helps manage the UTIs due to its anti-spasmodic nature [11].

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5. May Improve Bone And Muscle Health

Some studies have shown that ayurvedic kwath or kadha can help improve your bone and muscles health [12]. Dashmool kwath is said to be the most effective, due to the mix of 10 herbs used in the decoction. Dashmool is also recommended for joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis etc. [13].

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Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, kwath can also help stimulate digestion, improve your skin health and detox your body.

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How To Make Kadha To Improve Your Immunity

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1. Kadha With Tulsi For Cough And Cold

  • Take a bunch of fresh tulsi leaves and wash them.
  • Grind the leaves with black pepper and ginger.
  • Add these to water and boil for about 20 minutes or till the decoction is reduced to half.
  • Strain the mixture in a glass and add a few drops of honey before drinking.
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2. Cinnamon Kadha For Energy

  • Mix half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water.
  • Boil it well for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey and drink.
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3. Giloy Kadha For Immunity And Flu

  • Grind about a half teaspoon of giloy guduchi (Indian Tinospora).
  • Add it to a cup of water and boil for 15 minutes.
  • Let it cool down a bit and drink for improved digestion, immunity and symptoms of flu.

Note: Once boiled, you can even store it and then reheat just before consuming.

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Side Effects Of Kadha

  • Excessive use of ginger in the ayurvedic drink can cause heartburn [14].
  • Avoid consuming Kadha during fasting as it can cause nausea.
  • Do not drink the decoction frequently or more than twice a day.
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On A Final Note…

While these ayurvedic remedies help you fight off the monsoon infections, it is more like a form of a precautionary measure. If you are suffering from a prolonged infection or one that keeps coming back, you must consult a doctor.

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