Elizabeth's Chai Tea Recipe

From MAS acu-punk, Elizabeth Ropp:

Who doesn’t love a spicy warm cup of chai tea? I admit, I have at least three different varieties of chai tea bags at any given time. Last weekend, I was inspired to make chai from whole dried herbs by a video made by my favorite YouTube yoga teacher.

Chai tea tastes really good. It’s also a drink that offers many health benefits, particularly for warming the body, promoting healthy digestion, opening the sinuses, and improving circulation.

Chai tea is typically associated with India and Ayurvedic medicine. But just about all of the spices in chai tea are found in the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica.

Black pepper, cinnamon sticks, clove, and star anise are in the category of herbs that Warm the Interior and Expel Cold.

Cardamom and Coriander are herbs/spices are aromatic herbs that transform dampness or stickier body fluids (think phlegm). Like pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and clove, they also benefit and promote healthy digestion. They are also particularly good for resolving phlegm and mucus in the chest or in the stomach.

Fresh Ginger is in the catagory of Warm, Acrid Herbs that release the exterior. This makes it a great herb to relieve body aches when you feel like you are catching a cold. Like the other herbs, it enhances digestion and relieves stomach pain. It also relieves a phlegmy cough.

I like Yoga with Adriene’s Basic Yogi Tea Recipe and I’ve made my own additions:

Bring a pot of water to boil on your stove, about 8 cups.

20 Black Peppercorns
15 Whole Cloves
3-5 Cinnamon Sticks
20 Cardamom Seed (split)
7 Slices of Fresh Ginger
1 black tea bag (optional)

Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes to 2 hours and then strain and drink hot or cold. You can add any kind of milk or sweetener to your taste level or drink it straight.

I like to add Star Anise and Coriander seeds to my chai. Other variations include fennel seeds. Chai is versatile. If you have some of these ingredients, but not all, you can still make a tasty cuppa chai.

If you are not sure where to find some of these ingredients, In Manchester, I recommend the Saigon Market on Union Street, The Spice Center on Valley Street, and A-Market on South Willow Street. All of these shops are taking good precautions right now with respect to wearing gloves and facemasks and asking shoppers to keep a six foot distance while waiting at the cash register.

All of us at Manchester Acupuncture Studio miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.
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