DIY Chai Tea with Tonic Herbs

Herbal chai recipe

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—I even threatened to move to Boulder, CO on one of our team event trips 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.

The extra herbs you add completely depend 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?

We wrote about Adaptogenic herbs here but in a nutshell, they help maintain homeostasis in the body while increasing stamina and vitality throughout the whole body. 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 again in the springtime I’ll give you a different answer but this recipe is a great fall adaptation. It’s warming, anti-inflammatory, and delicious—plus it’s a really pretty color.

I typically make a big pot 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 but I definitely encourage you to 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.

Herbal chai recipe

2. Lower it to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

herbal chai recipe

3. Strain and enjoy.

herbal chai recipe

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, marshmallow root, 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

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Reader Interactions


  1. Suzie says

    Where do you purchase your shavatari and other herbs from? I know that proper sourcing are just as important as good ingredients. Thanks for the recipe, need to order some ingredients and then I’m going to make this. Currently I use a Chai Spice blend from a local spice shop.

  2. Sophie says

    What a wonderful recipe! Are you straining the chai before drinking it… it looks like it in the picture but it is not mentioned in the instructions. Thanks for your help!

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