Ayurvedic Tea for Colds and Flu by Eyton Shalom

Ayurvedic Tea for Colds and Flu

Drink a quart or more a day of Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu as soon as you feel a cold or flu coming on. Even if you don’t catch it right away, drinking Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Tea during a cold or flu will relieve symptoms and help you heal more quickly.

How Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu Works

Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu is a combination of pungent and bitter kitchen spices and herbs that are used in smaller amounts in Indian or Sri Lankan cooking. Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu works by ramping up your body’s Agni, a kind of internal metabolic fire which is the source of all physiological fire; Agni is at the root of the immune system. Strong Agni gives you good resistance to infection by foreign pathogens. Strong Agni helps you fight respiratory and other kinds of pathogens off once you are infected with them.


For example, people who die from influenza typically die from secondary bacterial infections. If you do manage to contract influenza, you are much more likely to recover quickly and without secondary bacterial infection if you have strong Agni.


Dr. Wickramasinghe’s tea strongly pacifies both Vata and Kapha. Vata and Kapha are the two doshas that become elevated in early and late winter, respectively. If you allow Vata and Kapha, which are both characterized by cold, to elevate, then by definition your Agni will weaken and you will be more susceptible to any kind of infection. Colds are by definition elevated Kapha–characterized by phelgm and runny liquids. More on that here, Common Cold in Ayurveda. Susceptibility to flu, on the other hand, occurs when both Vata and Kapha elevate.


When To Use

Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu is most effective and valuable if you drink large amounts the moment you feel symptoms, whether of cold or flu.  Over the course of the first day of fighting off a cold I might drink 2-4 Eight Oz cups of Dr. W’s tea with honey. Combine of Dr. W’s tea with going to bed very early, and getting lots of rest. If you go to work or exercise when sick, don’t be shocked if you don’t get better!.

Even if you don’t get a chance to nip your cold or flu in the bud,  you will get better more quickly, and help to prevent secondary infections in the throat or lungs with Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Tea if you drink large amounts as soon as you can. And the nice thing about Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu is that the spices in this tea don’t just stimulate Agni, but also have other medicinal benefits. Coriander Seed for example helps to lower fever. Tulsi Holy Basil is has anti-bacterial properties.


Herbs to Take With Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu

Because I also practice Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine, and because Chinese Herbal Medicine excels at the treatment of infectious disease, I like to combine more aggressive anti-viral therapy with Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu, when appropriate. Choice of herbal medicines is based on symptoms patterns.


important to know whether you have a cold (rhinovirus) or flu (influenza virus), so that you can treat appropriately. 

Do I Have A Cold or the Flu?


Gradual onset, Fever and Headache Rare, (unless complicated by bronchitis or sinus infection.). Chills Uncommon. Body Aches Mild..  Minor Fatigue, Frequent Runny or Stuffy Nose


Abrupt Onset, feels like got “hit by a train” Fever and Headache Usual.  Chills Common. Body Aches Strong. Profound fatigue that can last for weeks after the flu,Runny or Stuffy Nose Infrequent.


Herbs to Combine with Dr. W’s Tea if You Have A Cold

–Run Down, Fatigued, Stressed Out, Mild Sore Throat, Stuffy Runny Nose

If you feel run down and you have been working too hard and you feel like you are coming down with a cold with runny or stuffy nose and you feel a bit stressed out, I will combine Dr. Wickramasinghe’s Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Colds and Flu with the famous Chinese Herbal prescription Xiao Chai Tang, or Blue Poppy brand Cold Quell, which is a modified version of Xiao Chai Hu Tang. Xiao Chai Hu Tang is especially appropriate if you have a low grade sore throat, with possible swollen glands, but no pain; not a raging sore throat. This is called a Shao Yang pattern in classical Chinese Medicine.

–Strong Head Cold Symptoms

If there are major head cold symptoms, like stuffy, runny nose, or with lots of sneezing, I might combine Dr. W.’s tea and/or Xiao Chai Hu Tang with Sun Ten brand Tong Bi. Tong means to unblock, and Bi are the sinuses. Also use the Neti pot, and or, the Ayurvedic Nasya called Anu Thailam, medicated oil drops placed in the nose.

–Run down, Exhausted, Feel Like Getting a Bad Cold, More Heat Symptoms, but No Fever or Chills

If I feel run down and exhausted from too much work, and I feel like I caught an out of doors chill, and I feel kind of overheated, with a mild to moderate sore throat, and with thirst, and I feel like the cold  coming on could be a strong one,  that is, stronger than what makes me combine my tea with Xiao Chai hu Tang, I will drink a lot of Dr. W’s tea, along with Source Natural’s brand Wellness Formula in tablet form, 2 tabs, 3x a day with food. This is something you have to learn–how to read your body, whether you need more “heat clearing” herbs, such as Echinacea and Goldenseal, which are in the Wellness Formula.


Flu comes on rapidly with fever, body aches, and chills. Stay home! Get into bed! Starve a fever feed a cold. Eat lightly. Tea and toast. Rice gruel. Hot cereal. Nothing cold.

Herbal medicines I use with flu are very much dependent on the pulse, and also symptoms. I do NOT use Source Naturals Wellness Formula with flu because it contains Chinese tonic herbs like Astragalus and Ginseng that we do NOT use with fever or flu. I do not use Xiao Chai Hu Tang either in this case.

If there is massive sore threat I may use a Chinese formula called Zhong Gong ling



Modifications to Your Symptoms and Dosha BodyMind Type


Drink from one to 5 cups a day if you feel any combination of the following symptoms:

  • chills
  •  run down
  • fatigue
  •  feeling cold
  •  aversion to wind,
  • mild cough with phlegm
  • stuffy nose
  • runny nose,
  • easy to expel mucus,
  • low fever,
  • mild sore throat,
  • fatigue


In Sri Lanka it is used especially during the rainy season, when people tend to catch colds. It is an excellent balance for the very bitter cold herbs like Echinacea and Goldenseal that are, in the Chinese Medicine view, overused in the USA and Europe for colds.

How it Works

In Ayurvedic theory we are more susceptible to colds and flu when we have  accumulated toxic Ama. This kind of thermogenic, pungent, bitter, aromatic tea removes Ama from the body by increasing our internal fire Agni,  which in turn burns the Ama toxins. This tea also has  a detoxifying affect on the shrotas or channels.


Dr. W’s Ayurvedic Tea for Colds and Flu


6 cups water

Adjust the following, more or less, to taste.
Coriander Seed 3 tbsp
Fresh Sliced Ginger Root 5 medium slices
Dried Ginger Powder 1-2 tsp
Green Cardamom Seed or Pods 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seed 1 tbsp
Cumin Seed 2 tsp
Black Cumin 3 tsp (get at Indian market or Amazon) if not avail use more plain cumin
Fennel Seed 2 tsp
Black Peppercorns, 1-2 tbsp, (more for Kapha type or if lots of runny nose, less for Pitta type)
Cinnamon Stick or Cassia, 1-2  4″ pieces
Clove 6
Long Pepper,(Pippili) if available, 4 pieces (I have seen for sale at the Chinese market in the Indonesian spice section…also Amazon.com and Indian grocer)
Holy Basil 2 tbsp (grow in your garden and dry for winter or get at Indian grocers in the body-care section as a powder, also at health food stores in tea bags, also Amazon.)


Bring spices and water to a boil. Simmer for around 40 minutes.

If desired, and I do recommend this for Pitta-Vatta and Vatta-Pitta types, add about 1 cup of goat’s, cow, coconut, soy, or nut milk and simmer another 5 minutes.

Sweeten to taste with Honey for Vatta or Kapha dominant and raw sugar for Pitta. But if a Pitta feels cold and averse to wind, I give them honey. Do not cook the honey, only add at the end.

Drink a lot of this through the day, up to a quart, even more,  as soon as you start to feel sick. If you sweat, change clothes so you don’t get a chill. Stay indoors. Eat light food like toast or rice soup. Rest, rest, rest!

Try to use whole spice rather than powder. If you use whole spice you get a clear liquid; if you use powder you can get a muddy broth.


If you are too busy to make the above, there is a product that is very popular in Sri Lanka that is now available on line. http://www.samahan.info/index.html
It is very similar to the above recipe, but I warn you, it is very hot. If you are a Pitta dominant you must mix it with milk. You might still get some burning sensations in the lower GI, and use with care if you have a tendency to hemorrhoids.


copyright eyton shalom, oct 2012, san diego, ca all rights reserved, use with permission.

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