Osupan of Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea Sri Lanka
Image: Ausiri Tea

Moving overseas to a culture that you know almost nothing about is like taking a giant leap into the unknown.

What is the biggest expectation on your mind when you start your journey? It is most likely “To adapt quickly to the new country and experience as much as possible during your trip”. Sample the food and beverages of a new country is exciting way to get to know it. Sri Lankan food is not only unique, most food has a great impact on your health and beauty.

Sri Lanka’s tradition of Osupan dates back thousands of years. A long time ago, these revitalizing beverages were served to family and visitors at almost any time of the day. They were gradually replaced by Ceylon tea, introduced to the country during British colonial era. Today, with the global emphasis on natural health, the country’s heritage of herbal drinks is regaining its rightful place among Sri Lanka’s national beverages.

Traditionally, these drinks are prepared with dried buds or flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, boiled for hours over a hot open fire. The brew is then strained and sweetened with jaggery or sugar and sipped warm. The most common of herbal drinks are koththamalli, polpala and ranawara, iramusu and belimal, available at most roadside stalls.

Beli (Aegle Marmelos Correa) is indigenous to Sri Lanka. Wild beli flowers and buds are sun-dried and boiled in water. This refreshing brew is said to regulate the digestive system and has a cooling effect on the body.

Ranawara (Cassea Auriculat) grows in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Sun-dried ranawara flowers are boiled in water. Dry ranawara has a short shelf life, and so should be used quickly. Ranawara is said to be good for stress relief, diabetes and blood diseases.

Mature koththamalli (Coriander) seeds boiled and sweetened is a popular home remedy for a variety of common ailments, ranging from common colds, indigestion, nausea (morning sickness) and fever and has the ability to warm an overcooled body.

Polpala (Aerva Lanata) also has a strong diuretic effect. As it is very cooling, it should be taken sparingly, perhaps just once a week. When taking these teas, the cooling and heaty effects have to be taken into consideration. Cooling teas, for example, are avoided at night, while heaty teas are avoided at noon.

Weniwel is a well-known native antibiotic, taken when the body is wracked by aches and pains of flu.

Kothala-himbutu tea is made up of dried branches and fruit and is said to be an excellent cure for diabetes.

For an authentic Sri Lankan experience, stay at our Ayurveda Resort and sample all the Osupan of Sri Lanka.