Chai tea as a holiday treat & digestive tonic!
Who doesn’t love a good chai? Did you know that the herbs in chai tea support digestion and the immune system? Chinese medicine suggests that Chai Tea is beneficial for digestive health due to its combination of herbs and spices, each believed to have properties that support digestion. The key ingredients, such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, are thought to possess warming and digestive-aiding qualities. Ginger, in particular, is known for its ability to soothe the digestive tract and alleviate nausea. Additionally, the overall warming nature of Chai Tea is believed to enhance the digestive process and balance the body's energy according to principles in traditional Chinese medicine.
Read below for our chai recipe that will alleviate digestive discomfort, boost the immune system, and warm those cold toes this holiday season. A great tea to sip on after a heavy holiday meal or before skiing!
Ginger - warms the lungs and digestion - great for beginning stages of a cold with watery, runny nose or when you’ve had too many cold-natured foods that slow digestion. Warming for the body as it promotes perspiration.
Cardamon & clove - strengthens stomach qi, treating belching, nausea, and vomit
Nut meg - warms the digestive system, aiding with food stagnation, bloating, or feelings of nausea
Cinnamon - increases circulation to warm the body, has a diaphoretic effect which is useful for the beginning stages of a cold or flu
Black Pepper - helps to stop diarrhea and warm the interior
Chai Tea Recipe:
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 6-8 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3-4 whole cloves
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger (for less intense ginger flavor, slice instead of grating)
- 3 Tbsp loose leaf black tea (or ~3-4 black tea bags // use decaf as needed)
- 2 cups dairy-free milk (we favor oat milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk // use thicker, richer dairy-free milks like canned coconut milk or our Oatly recipe for creamier chai!)
- Sweetener such as stevia, organic cane sugar, or maple syrup to taste
1. Add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves to the bowl of a mortar (or cutting board) and use pestle (or heavy pan) to slightly crush the spices. You aren’t pulverizing into a powder, just slightly crushing into small pieces
2. To a medium saucepan add crushed spices, water, and grated (or sliced) ginger and bring to a boil over high heat. (Note: For a less gingery chai, reduce amount of ginger and slice rather than grating). Then reduce heat slightly to medium/medium-low and maintain a simmer for 15 minutes or until it reduces by about one-third.
3. Add tea (loose leaf or bags) and dairy-free milk of choice (we love light canned coconut) and lower heat to low. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Then turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes more (covered) or longer for deeper flavor.
4. Add sweetener of choice to taste (we prefer stevia or maple syrup, but sugar is more traditional). Strain through a fine mesh strainer before serving.
5. Keep strained, cooled leftovers covered in the fridge up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in a milk frother. Not freezer friendly.
In essence, this chai tea isn't just a delightful holiday treat—it's a digestive tonic and immune booster. From the warming effects of ginger to the stomach-soothing properties of cardamom and clove, each ingredient contributes to overall well-being. Whether enjoyed post-feast or pre-skiing, this chai recipe seamlessly blends flavor and health benefits.
I hope you find this blog article informative and engaging. Not sure if herbal medicine is right for you? Call us or send us an email to speak with one of our practitioners.