Kesar Tea: Boost Your Immunity With This Winter Beverage
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Brimming with a variety of spices and herbs, the Indian kitchen is a reservoir of healthy ingredients. The benefits of each of these Indian spices and herbs are so many that sometimes we are not even aware of how much they are boosting our well-being. One such popular spice is kesar (or saffron). Largely grown in Jammu and Kashmir, this treasured spice has a rich history of its own, and is today extensively used in Indian, Middle Eastern and European cuisines, lending its deep orange colouring and lightly sweet, earthy flavour to the dishes. But what many might not realise is how extremely healthy saffron is. 

Kesar is a spice extracted from the flowers of Crocus Sativus Linn, and is a store-house of vitamins, antioxidants, iron, and potassium. All these nutrients help promote our overall health and nourish us from within. The medicinal usage of kesar is well-documented in our history too, where Hippocrates - the ‘father of medicine’ - had recommended the use of saffron in the 4th Century BC. According to an article published in Research Gate, Hippocrates stated that saffron may come as a remedy against scarlet fever, smallpox, colds, asthma, and even heart diseases, tumours, and more. No wonder that in India, kesar has been a part of the traditional medical practice for ages. Kesar also has aphrodisiac effects. That is why physicians prescribed it to treat stress and several other ailments. 

How you can include kesar in your diet: 

While kesar is often used in our rich curries and other delicacies, health experts suggest that one can prepare a detox water of saffron or kesar doodh to enjoy the benefits to the fullest. And for those who avoid milk in their diet, kesar tea can be a good option. While the warmth in kesar makes the drink a great choice to add to your winter diet, the hint of sweetness it lends makes it a delicious drink to consume. 

Health benefits of kesar tea: 

1. Boosts immunity: 

Saffron is a rich source of ‘riboflavin’, a B-Vitamin that helps you maintain a healthy immune system. 

2. Improves memory: 

Kesar also contains two chemicals - crocin and crocetin - which according to research, may help promote learning and memory functions.

3. Promotes heart health: 

The antioxidants in saffron can help manage cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body, which may reduce the risk of heart-related problems. 

Here’s how you can make kesar chai at home: 

Boil 1 cup water. Lower the flame and add two strands of kesar to it. Let it simmer for a minute or two. Strain the water in a cup, add some honey and take a sip. For the ones who like milk, you can simply bring milk on a saucepan, simmer it until it thickens. Add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron, simmer for a while and serve hot.