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Honey has always been one of my favorite foods, for me it is a sweet nectar that I never tire of. It contains vitamins A, B and C as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, copper and iodine. According to Ayurveda honey brings strength and beauty to the body and has many health benefits.

As a major tea connoisseur I naturally sweeten my tea with honey rather than sugar, a substance I prefer not to indulge in. During my panchakarma treatment at the Arya Vaidya Sala, naturally I have been learning Ayurvedic tips and I was told that when you add honey to hot water it becomes toxic. I verified this with one of the chief Ayurvedic Doctors and unfortunately it is true. Natural devastation.

Honey when heated above 40˚ C becomes toxic to the body, it creates excessive heat as toxins from the pollens are released and in turn unbalances the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. Honey should never be heated or mixed with hot foods or with alcohol. To think that all of these years I have been unbalancing my doshas that I work to keep in balance, creating an unnecessary potential energy drain.

Knowing this may curtail my chai drinking habit I am sure. I also have a fondness of drinking white tea when I feel the need for caffeine stimulation though there is something about the synergy of milk and tea and the spices of masala chai that is so divine, especially on a cold and rainy Vancouver day. I will be in search of a new sweetener, we all need our vices, though I am not sure it will be locally sourced.