The Winter Solstice is on December 21st, with the shortest day-light and longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere. In the Northern latitudes it is also a cold time of the year! Do things this month to warm yourself up such as drinking teas, eating warming foods, snuggling with a loved one, doing saunas, and exercise.
Chai has been around for over 5000 years and is still a wonderful medicinal warming tea. Many of the herbs used traditionally in chai are effective for treating and preventing colds, flus, stomach complaints, and other common ailments. Chai is easy to make at home and can be made in large batches and kept for several days. Here is a recipe that I follow, but rarely do I use the same ratios of the herbs from batch to batch.
Rooibos Spicy Chai
This herbal chai is this something I keep in my cupboard all year long. It also makes a great gift!
Medicinal action: This blend will boost circulation, increase body temperature, decrease gas and bloating, help with an upset GI, decrease inflammation in the body, ward off bacterial and viral infections, and warm your heart.
- 2 Tbl Rooibos
- 1.5 tsp Cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 1.5 tsp Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
- 3 tsp Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- 3 tsp Orange Peel (Citrus spp.)
- 4 tsp Cinnamon Chips (Cinnamomum spp.)
- 1 Tbl Rose Petals (Rosa spp.)
- 1 tsp Clove fruit (Syzygium aromaticum)
- 1 tsp Star Anise fruit with seed (Illicium verum)
- 2 tsp Ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale) dried
- 1 tsp Nutmeg (fresh ground)
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Instructions: Powder the herbs (using an electric coffee grinder works the best for this!), filter through a wire mesh strainer to collect fine particles and re-grind the larger pieces. Store in an air-tight jar.
To make a cup: Add 1 teaspoon of powdered herbs to 1 cup of hot water. To sweeten add in honey, maple syrup or molasses, add milk (dairy or non-dairy) to make it creamier, and enjoy hot.
Stay warm this winter and Happy Holidays!
Dr. Jessica Bernardy