The Sunday Herbalist

Reliable information, clinic updates and general tips for people who see better health as a possibility for them

April 2020

Welcome to the Sunday Herbalist Newsletter 

Chai – a warming health gift from India
Have you tried Chai? Like it? – Never tried it at all?

I’m talking about Chai made from first principles not the instant powder or tea bags from the supermarket.

Chai is like your average cup of tea that has then been supercharged with a range of aromatic spices. It is sweetened and traditionally milk based.

You could say it is a medicinal tea. For our current times it is well suited as it takes time to make – which we all have. It uses a range of spices most kitchens have. The end product is very yummy and great to share with the family plus great health benefits.

My first experience of real Chai was at a Yoga intensive where a special person was designated to make the Chai. It warmed you form the inside out and every drop in both your cup and the saucepan was consumed.

The position of being the Chai Walla was deemed very important. If ever there was a morale improving drink this is it.

With the cooler weather coming along this drink is well worth the time and effort.
Read on then
Here is the recipe –
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds or grated
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 6 bags of black tea (preferably Darjeeling) – you can substitute Rooibos tea
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar or honey or Indian Sugar
Combine first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan. Using mallet or back of large spoon, lightly crush or bruise spices.
Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags.
Add milk and sugar. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves.
Strain chai into teapot and serve hot.

For my taste this recipe has too much tea- adjust to your taste and preference.
The beneficial effects of these spices are many – lets go through a few
Cinnamon – Antiviral, warming, supports and strengthens weak digestion, good for digestive problems and stimulates your circulation.

Ginger – circulation stimulant, excellent remedy for many digestive complaints warming and soothing for coughs colds flu and respiratory problems

Black Pepper – warming effect as well plus stimulant and antiseptic effect to the digestive tract, antiseptic, antibacterial and reduces fever

Cardamom – warming digestive stimulant, anti-spasmodic (anti cramping)
carminative (promotes digestion) aphrodisiac (do I really have to define that for you?)

Variations – you could use milk alternatives, careful with the temperature range so that it is only put in at the end so that it is not boiled.

Fennel is often an addition so here is what fennel does for you – Anti-inflammatory, relieves bloating, settles stomach pain, stimulates the appetite.

Star Anise is also a great addition as well- with the similar properties of supporting digestion.

Make sure your spices are fresh and still aromatic. Use cinnamon sticks not the powder which is often diluted down with filler.

Your ACTION STEPS this month 

So make the damn chai, don't just think about it!
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