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Good medicine can be as simple as steeping dried herbs and spices with water to make herbal tonics, “healing waters” that help address the body’s imbalances. According to Vidya Light Miller, author of Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing, “When you take herbs with water, you strengthen your whole system. Their potency goes directly into the body—it’s like taking liquid medicine.” You can drink these herbal tonics just as you would regular water—carry a bottle with you and sip all day.
Why? Cinnamon helps reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood-sugar levels.
How? Crunch a whole cinnamon stick with a rolling pin. Add the broken chips to 1 quart of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm or at room temperature.
Dried Ginger Tonic
Why? Food for relief from nausea, dried ginger will pierce through the heavy sensation you may get after eating a cheesy dinner or too much ice cream.
How? Grind 1 teaspoon of dried ginger and heat it to a boil in 2 quarts of water. Boil for 3 minutes. Strain and serve this herbal tonic warm or at room temperature.
Why? Tulsi is considered a spiritual herb in India, used to balance the body’s whole system. It’s especially good for the lungs.
How? Drop a sprig of tulsi (holy basil) in a glass of room-temperature water and place in the sun for an hour. You can grow tulsi in a pot at home or look for its sister plant, Thai basil, in Asian markets.
Why? Besides aiding digestion, cumin flushes toxins from the body.
How? Dry roast 12 teaspoons of whole cumin seeds in a heated pot until their color darkens slightly (about 10 seconds). Add 1 quart of water and bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes. Strain and serve this herbal tonic warm or at room temperature.