When I was in college, I worked at a startup tea house for extra spending money. It was really hard work with open to close hours, special events, and running the shop alone more often than not, but I loved it because it gave me the chance to work with herbs and make custom tea blends. It was like beginners herbalism training and I ate it up, constantly experimenting with balancing flavor and medicinal benefits. I especially fell in love with the art of making homemade chai.
Anyone on the ASC team can tell you that I love a good chai blend—last year on one of our event trips I threatened to move to Boulder, CO when I found the kava chai that my dreams are made of.
And I’ll be the first to tell you that if I’m giving you a chai, there’s herbal medicine hidden in it. Why not? Everything tastes great when you mix it with cinnamon, ginger, and cardamon.
It completely depends on what you're focusing on with your health, but this herb blend is both tonic and adaptogenic, making it a great everyday health booster that you'll look forward to drinking.
What Are Tonic Herbs?
It just so happens that I wrote about this just last week…
Adaptogenic herbs are those that help maintain homeostasis in the body, helping to increase stamina and vitality. By definition, they are nontoxic and can be taken everyday.
In Chinese medicine, these adaptogenic herbs are often called ‘tonic herbs.' Tonic herbs are those that promote happiness, longevity, and radiance. That means you definitely want them in your daily routine.
And this herbal chai recipe is a delicious way to do it!
If you ask me again in the springtime I’ll give you a different answer but this recipe is my current favorite. It’s warming and anti-inflammatory and delicious, plus it’s a really pretty color.
I typically make it at the beginning of the week and then drink a cup or two everyday. It’s got the good chai spices and then I added turmeric and shatavari. You can definitely have fun with this recipe and make it your own!
Herbal Chai Ingredients
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of almond milk (or any kind of milk you like)
- 3 tbsp of shatavari root
- 2 tbsp of turmeric
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 2 tsp of ginger
- 1 tsp of cardamon
- 1 tsp of black pepper
How to Make Herbal Chai
1. Put all of your ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil.
2. Lower it to a simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Strain and enjoy.
I recommend drinking 1-3 cups daily. Consider incorporating it into your routine by making it your morning brew.
Other flavors that I absolutely love in this blend: clove, nutmeg, cacao, star anise, chicory
Other medicinals that I would hide in here: reishi, ceanothus, astragalus, dandelion root, willow, ashwagandha, kava, yellow dock
Sometimes I like to add a little honey when I drink it or a teaspoon of licorice root to the recipe but I love the creamy bitter flavor of this drink without sweetener. That’s completely up to how you like your chai!
Health Benefits of Herbal Chai
These ingredients are beneficial as well as delicious:
- Shatavari root – Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, shatavari is an amazing plant to include in your life. Like we mentioned in this article, shatavari is particularly amazing for your reproductive health, increasing fertility, enhancing libido, and helping to ease menopause symptoms.
- Tumeric – It's all the rage right now. Not only does it lend its amazing hue to this brew, but it's also really good for you. Naturally anti-inflammatory, turmeric is good for you internally.
- Cinnamon – A Chinese tonic herb, cinnamon helps get your blood flowing, warms you, and improves sexual health.
- Ginger – Perfect for winter, ginger is warming and also acts as a digestive aid (we included it in our article about herbs that help with bloating).
- Cardamom – With similar benefits to cinnamon, cardamom helps improve circulation and gastrointestinal health.
- Black Pepper – It adds some spice to this recipe, and we promise it blends deliciously with the other ingredients.
How do you like to make chai? Tell us in the comments below!
Authority Nutrition – 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
The World's Healthiest Foods – Ginger
Organic Facts – Health Benefits of Cardamom
Nutrition Facts – Pepper Boosts Turmeric