We love chai in this house! My two year old even asks for it..... every. single. day. My sister-in-law makes fun, saying we’re hipsters because our toddler sips chai all of the time. It’s pretty funny but for real, this aromatic beverage is one of my favorites which is why my kids find it to be a good way to start the fall and winter mornings too. It’s so incredibly comforting and warming to not only my body but also my mind. I feel embraced with each sip I take and I can rest in its flavor and aromas. I love visiting the memories I have holding a cup of this warm, spiced Indian tea between my palms.
Chai tea is good for so many different things and I'm going to break down the herbs we are using in this chai recipe so you can get a clear picture of just some of the benefits each herb contains.
This healing spice is a carminative, making it helpful for digestion and preventing gas and bloating. Allspice is an anti-inflammatory and assists in relieving inflammatory conditions such as pain in joints, muscular aches and pain, and gout. It is an antioxidant, good for the heart, boosts the immune system.
Not only does cinnamon make most things taste better, it also regulates our blood sugar making it ideal for diabetics. Cinnamon aids in stomachaches while reducing gas and bloating. It is anti-fungal, antibacterial, and an antimicrobial. Cinnamon aids in weight loss as well as lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It can soothe our throats when we have colds and coughs. Cinnamon is also warming, increasing circulation.
These aromatic pods contain vitamins such as C, B6, Riboflavin, and Thiamin. Cardamom also contains minerals like manganese and zinc. It is beneficial to respiratory problems such as asthma. Cardamom is also a wonderful digestive support after a big meal. It prevents gas, bloating, nausea, and provides relief from hiccups.
Clove is a topical analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It is an anesthetic, great for naturally numbing sore gums and toothaches. Also, as an antibacterial and anti-fungal it can be useful in instances of gum disease. Nursing mothers can take clove internally to help their colicky babies.
Pepppercorn is a digestive stimulant, increases nutrient absorptions, and is a carminative. It contains minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. You can also find vitamin C, A, and B-complex within it and antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
This magical little star is actually a fruit! Star Anise is known to be naturally anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. It improves circulation, helps in reducing blood pressure, and is a carminative therefore it assists in digestion, gas, and bloating.
Ginger is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It strengthens the immune system and assists in lowering blood pressure. Ginger is a carminative and digestive aid that reduces nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, bloating, and gas. It improves circulation with its warming quality.
All of the spices that I have listed are amazing on their own but together they work in a synergistic manner to bring us wholeness and balance. One of the common threads in all of these herbs is that they assist in digestion making chai tea an excellent choice for an after meal digestif tea.
Last but not least, the thing that makes this tea so darn special compared to other chai teas is that its cooked with Reishi! My two year old was actually part of the reason I made this recipe because I wanted to give him chai that didn’t have caffeine in it and that would also nourish him deeply. Reishi is a mushroom that grows on the side of Oak and Maple trees. It is a powerful and healing Adaptogen that is useful for stressed and anxious individuals. Adaptogens normalize the HPA axis function as well as enhance the thymic function. They are helpful in treating the overtired, overworked, and depleted individual who has nothing left to give but keeps going. Reishi is a balancer to the immune system that can be used to treat immune deficiency, immune excess (allergies) or hyper/hypo-immune conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Reishi is mixed with other herbs to assist with preventing altitude sickness when taken weeks before arriving to the higher location and can be used to help regulate the heart rate.