Culinary Herbalism, what a great phrase! It’s the best of both worlds in my opinion; cooking and herb medicine, or perhaps more simply, preparing food that nourishes your body. Only recently in human history did the words culinary and herbalism stop being synonymous, which I believe is to our detriment. But, alas I grew up in a world where those words had very separate definitions and thus didn't get the opportunity to learn why certain herbs, went with certain foods, at certain times of day. I do however remember my grandmother telling me to put some baking soda into baked beans with pork hocks, because it would 'take the wind out', which was her way of saying the beans wouldn't have such a gasy affect on the body. ha! The wind... she was so cute.
Anyway, for those who are interested I'm going to outline below some of the benefits of each ingredient in the yogi tea recipe, which I got from a Culinary Herbalism webinar I took a few days ago. For those of you who just want a delicious cup of tea, that also happens to be good for you, skip to the bottom. But if you're reading on, please keep in mind that herbalism isn't a quick fix, the general idea is that small, frequent doses add up over time, there is no quick fix!
Black Pepper - it aids digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes when it taste hits your tongue, it's an antioxidant, and when used with honey helps with respiratory congestion.
Cloves - aids in digestion, helps with the nervous system, and is an anti-inflammatory.
Cardamom - helps with gas, soothes the stomach, helps with bad breath, and contains well-known cancer fighters.
Cinnamon - has warming and antibacterial properties, and helps with digestion.
Ginger - aids in digestion, helps with nausea, and lowers blood sugar.
For convenience the recipe says to make 4 cups at a time, so go ahead and quadruple everything below; I did the first time I made the recipe and was happy that I did.
For each cup of boiling water, add:
3 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods
6 whole black peppercorns
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 slice fresh ginger root
Bring everything to a boil and then simmer 20-30 minutes. Add ¼ tsp black tea (for each cup, so if making 4 cups use 1 tsp) and stir in.
Let sit 1-2 minutes, then add ½ cup milk (per cup!) and reheat until just about to boil, then remove and strain. Sweeten with honey.