Kashayam is an herbal tonic used in the ancient Indian healing and medicinal art of Ayurveda. Kashayam refers to a water tonic that is made with a single herb or spice or a combination of herbs and spices. Kashayam has been used for thousands of years in southern India as a form of homeopathic and natural medicine to help clear away coughs to common colds, sore throats, and stomach issues. Kashayam is not a medicine but rather a soothing herbed water to help alleviate the symptoms of these ailments.
The flu and cold bug has been making the rounds in our family lately with half our family being sick at one point or another for the last month or two. When my friend Radhika found out that I’ve been sick as well, Radhika shared this recipe for kashayam that her Mom has been making for her family this cold season. She explained how her Mom’s kashayam has been doing wonders for her family; it soothes the throat, calms their coughs and makes them feel better.
A recipe passed down through the generations
This kashayam recipe has been passed down to Radhika from her Mom and from her Great Grandmother’s Grandmother. Here is a logic question 🤔. How many generations of women has this kashayam recipe been passed down? Six generations of women! This recipe is at least over four hundred years old! Radhika describes her recipe in this way: “This kashayam is a real story of strong women in my family. Please make it and have it every day, it will do wonders for you and your family.” A very special thank you to my dear friend Radhika and her Mom for sharing this amazing herbal tonic recipe. One thing to remember with kashayam is that like any herbal remedy it has to be taken consistently for a few days to reap its full benefits.
recipe courtesy of Radhika and her Mom
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole black pepper
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 inch pieces of fresh ginger peeled and cut into small pieces
- Soak all the spices and fresh ginger in 2 cups water overnight.
- The next morning bring water to a boil until the water becomes a dark colored tonic. The water will condense down to half the amount of liquid.
- Strain the kashayam and store tonic in a container to use for upto 2 days. I stored mine in a small teapot.
- When ready to drink kashayam, dilute 2 tbsp kashayam with hot water and drink up. You may sweeten kashayam with honey if desired. Kashayam can also be added to warm milk, soymilk or any nut milk.
- The kashayam spice mix can be used for one more batch of kashayam tonic. After making kashayam Radhika’s Mom dries the spices (minus the ginger), roasts the spices, then grinds them in a spice mill into a spice blend, which she then incorporates into savory dishes like curries, soups and stews.
- Drink kashayam 2-3 times a day as needed to reap it’s natural herbal benefits.
Cook’s Notes: I ran into my friend Rose. M at the gym and she informed me that she made the Kashayam tonic and had it in her morning tea and how it made her feel great. Give this kashayam a try with your morning or afternoon tea for a wonderful pick-me-up.
Kashayam: A Soothing Ayurvedic Herbal Tonic.