In addition to all the things we have in common, Eloïse and I love coffee. What’s better than the smell of a freshly made coffee, the feeling of waking up a second time while sipping your cup, or the aromas released by freshly brewed beans… But, lately, we were feeling more and more guilty while drinking our coffee cup together. While for a while it was considered as an energizing and a stimulating product for the heart, coffee has now a bad reputation. Hopefully, thanks to Ayurveda, there are ways to make “healthier” coffee and we are happy to offer you here a recipe that allows to combine wellbeing and pleasure!
Discovered during the 12th century in Ethiopia, coffee is now a universal beverage. Coffee is the first agricultural commodity traded in the world and the second raw material in value after oil. It is a huge economic stake! Coffee is the first consumed beverage in the world after water, far beyond wine!
For many of us, coffee is the very first thing in the morning. As soon as we get out from bed, the machine is ready for this energy shot. It’s the first one of a long series of cups during the day…
Coffee and health
There is a controversy about coffee and its effects on health among studies and medical research. According to some research, coffee is responsible for many disorders and aggravates some illnesses as stress, depression, polyarthritis, Alzheimer… According to other research, it has positive effects on some diseases and reduces chances of getting cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, cancers… However these positive health effects may be due to polyphenols - which could be also found in cocoa or wine - rather than to caffeine. So, is coffee good or bad for health? According to Ayurveda, the more accurate answer would be « it depends »! It depends on the individual, the situation, and the health condition… It depends on too many variable factors… So there is no absolute answer.
Something we can say for sure is that caffeine contained in coffee has stimulating effects that tire adrenal glands on the long term. For a healthy adult, a small quantity of coffee can help increase vigilance and concentration. For other people, it may lead to undesired biological effect such as insomnia, headaches, irritability, and anxiety.
Another thing we can assert: nothing should be over consumed on the long term. Coffee makes no exception to this rule, in particular because of its depletive and drying action on adrenal glands. In fact, caffeine stimulates adrenal glands through the pituitary gland, which liberates adrenalin and gives this energy boost. The more we drink coffee, the more the body is in a « stress » state, due to the adrenalin that is constantly released in the blood. On the long term, it tires adrenal glands, which contributes to create many hormonal complications. In addition, coffee has an effect on dopamine release, a hormone responsible for pleasure and addiction. And DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a steroid hormone which play a major role in tissues and cells reparation, tends to decrease with a high consumption of coffee.
Coffee in Ayurveda
From an Ayurvedic perspective, everything could be used as a medicine. It depends on the quantity and the way it is used, in addition to the each individual’s health condition. Coffee is considered as a mental and digestive stimulant.
Its taste is bitter. Its metabolic action is warming and its digestive action is catabolic (in fact, many like it because of its laxative effects!).
In Ayurveda, Ojas is a concept used to describe the source of vitality, vigor and immunity for body and mind. It is the health capital. Due to its effects on stress control hormones, coffee is considered to decrease this capital.
For now, coffee plays an important role in our society and daily lives. Therefore, Eloïse and I have thought about a morning coffee recipe that allows increasing its benefits while diminishing its side’s effects! Very soon, this recipe will become the masterpiece of your energizing breakfast!
Spiced Ayurvedic Coffee
1 mug coffee (~300 ml)
1 pinch cardamom
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch ginger
1 tsp coconut oil / coconut butter / ghee
Regarding coffee’s effect on nervous and hormonal system, it is important to use an organic and good quality coffee.
Prepare a long coffee with filter or piston coffee machine. If you prefer your Italian coffee maker, just add some hot water to obtain the desired amount of liquid.
In the blender, pour coffee, add spices and coconut oil / butter. Blend for one minute. A slight foaming will appear upon. Serve and drink unsweetened, or add some rapadura or coconut sugar if you prefer.
Why this recipe?
* Vata individuals are already hyperactive, spending their time running everywhere and tend to be agitated and to disperse energy. They are more vulnerable to dehydration, constipation and insomnia. For them, coffee consumption should be limited. The sweet, salty and sour tastes balance Vata.
Pitta ** are brilliant people active and determined. Also with a tendency to hyperactivity. They tend to develop inflammation and acidity. Just as Vata, Pitta should control its coffee consumption. The sweet, bitter and astringent tastes are good for Pitta.
The Kaphas *** are the most stable individuals. They tend to gain weight and have a slow metabolism. There are those who benefit the most from the coffee and its digestive properties especially if it is black, without sugar and after the meal. The spicy, bitter and astringent tastes balance Kapha.
To antidote coffee for the 3 doshas, but also to take into account the fall season (and the rise of Vata), we chose to add spices and coconut oil in its preparation … These spices are good for the three doshas.
Cardamom is cooling and digestive action is sweet, which means it has an anabolic effect (creation of tissues) which balances the catabolic action of the coffee. It is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, digestive, anti-flatulent, anti-nausea ... By its action decreasing Vata, Pitta and Kapha, cardamom is a good antidote to reduce stressful coffee effect on the adrenal glands.
Cinnamon is heated is also anabolic. It destroys toxins, increases appetite, traffic, energy; it is digestive, antispasmodic, expectorant. It is also used to treat menstrual problems (dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and menorrhagia). It reduces Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta.
Ginger is also heating and anabolic. It destroys toxins, increased appetite, stops nausea, reduces pain, is an expectorant, diaphoretic and regenerative (all tissues), emmenagogue ... It is also widely used in the treatment of various types of arthritis or in cases cold calls. Ill decreases Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta in excess.
Coconut oil is cooling is anabolic. It will therefore calm the heating side of cinnamon and ginger and therefore Pitta. Its mild, sweet and oily side get rid of the drying effect of coffee. This serves as protection for the adrenal glands. She will give a velvety appearance to coffee, dense and smooth, which is very good for Vata and Pitta.
You can also use nutmeg (just a tip). It is heating and catabolic. It is nervine, sedative, carminative, stimulant and expectorant. Its action on the nervous system will decrease the exciting side of coffee and therefore limit the release of adrenaline. Some people do not necessarily like its very pronounced taste, so we haven’t added it to the recipe. However, its virtues combined with this recipe are beautiful and deserve our attention. So if you like its taste, try it! Otherwise the basic recipe suits you best!
Ayurveda is based on the theory of the 3 doshas.
The doshas are fundamental energies of the body and organizational principles that govern physiological and psychological functions of the body. It is a system based on the 5 elements used to codify the functioning of the body, mind and soul.
There are three doshas:
Vata * = Air + Ether
Pitta ** = Fire + Water
Kapha *** = Water + Earth
To find out your constitution, a consultation with an Ayurvedic therapist is indicated.
Hi there! I'm Majda.
Foodie, yogini, life lover!
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