Make Your Own Herbal Chai Tea: Try Rosy Chocolate Chai! You'll LOVE It!
OH! My. Gosh!!! Is there just anything better than ROSES and CHOCOLATE? And CHAI?!! I've been making this herbal tea blend for a few years now, and it's become a favorite of family and friends. It's a spicy, chocolaty mix with a hint of lovely rose. Here's a rundown of the health benefits of the herbs in most chai teas...but be assured...It is the MOST delicious Chai you will ever experience!
What is Chai Tea?
Chai is a traditional tea that dates back 5000 years throughout South Asia. There are literally thousands of chai recipes, but the main ingredients are among the most medicinally powerful herbs around! The health benefits of drinking chai tea, with its many aromatic spices, are undeniable.
Health Benefits of the Herbs in Chai
Although there are many recipes for chai, there are some common herbs in nearly all of them. Here is where I buy high quality, organic herbs: Starwest Botanicals. You can find all the teas and herbs below at Starwest. They ship quickly and are very fairly priced, as you can buy in bulk if you want.
Black tea is filled with antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. Based on research, black tea may improve your oral health, help prevent cancer, support your bones and heart, lower your risk of diabetes, increase your immune system, and aid with stress relief. You can find out more in this article!
Cinnamon is a powerful, sweet aromatic spice that comes from the inner bark of the tree, Cinnamomum. There are two types of Cinnamon: Cassia and Ceylon. If you can, choose the Ceylon, or "true" cinnamon. Cassia is a cheaper variety, and it also contains coumarin compounds, which can be toxic in larger doses. I use Cinnamon Chips in this tea, which are very small pieces of the bark.
As far as the health benefits of Cinnamon go, there are many! Cinnamon contains a high level of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Some research even shows that Cinnamon is more powerful than even garlic and oregano! Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and help improve good cholesterol (HDL), as well as regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This means it's great for folks who are pre-diabetic, or even have Type II Diabetes. Cinnamon has even more potential benefits too! See this article for more information!
Ginger is closely related to Cardamom and Turmeric, two of the herbal world's powerful spices. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. Ginger is a well-known aid for digestion, and it helps the body absorb nutrients! It also helps support the heart and circulatory system, helping to prevent stroke and heart disease. Additionally, it is a powerful anti fungal and antibacterial. Ginger improves your immune system too! Ginger is also great for nausea and motion sickness! You can tincture Ginger to use as a tonic every day, too. Find out how to tincture Ginger HERE. Source.
Like Ginger and Cinnamon, the antioxidant properties of Cloves are immense! Cloves are also antibacterial and antiviral, therefore supporting your immune system. Cloves have anesthetic qualities---we all know to use clove oil on tooth aches, right? They can be a pretty great pain reliever! Cloves also reduce muscle spasms as well as helping to regulate blood sugar levels. It's best to use the whole Clove bud, as the more an herb is powdered, the greater and faster is the oxidation process. Source.
As with the super spices above, Cardamom also has a ton of health benefits! Here is a short list of the main benefits: Detoxifies the body by helping release waste through the kidneys, aids in digestion, improves the respiratory system, helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the possibility of blood clots, is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral. Source. You can sure see what all these aromatic spices have in common, right?
Health Benefits of Additional Spices in My Chai Version
The Incas believed cacao to be the drink of the gods! Cacao helps improve your mood by increasing endorphins! That's one great reason to use cacao! Additionally, cacao may help with hormone imbalances, weight loss, and provides energy. You want to be sure to use the cacao nibs because these are actually chopped up cacao beans. They are about as raw as you can get! One more great thing about cacao: It may just have aphrodisiac properties! :-) Source
Yep! I use Cayenne Pepper in my version of chai! Here's why: Cayenne improves your circulation, is a pain reliever (and may even help with migraine headaches), relieves joint and nerve pain, may help prevent blood clots, and aids digestion. Another truly great thing about Cayenne Pepper is that it may help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism!
I love using Rose petals (organic) in my chai tea. Basically, they are just beautiful! The lovely bright pink contrasts strikingly with the dark colors of the other spices and black tea too! Besides the esthetic value of roses, they are calming to the spirit and the soul. There is some evidence they may also help support weight loss.
Rosy Chocolate Chai Recipe
4 parts Rose Petals (please use organic, as roses are one of the most highly sprayed flowers)
5 parts (or more if you like stronger tea) Black Tea (you can use Oolong tea if you like)
5 parts Cinnamon Chips
2 parts Ginger Chips
2 or 3 parts Cacao Nibs
1 part Clove Buds
1/2 to 1 part Cardamom Pods or Seeds
1/8 part Cayenne Pepper powder (optional---some people don't like how hot it is)
Just blend everything up, and you have the most beautiful tea blend ever! Plus, it's delicious! What a great way to enjoy the cool Fall days!
How to Make Your Chai
I like to make mine up in a quart size Mason Jar. I just use 3 to 4 tablespoons of the herb mixture, and pour boiling water over. I let mine infuse for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes or so. Strain out the herbs when finished infusing and compost! You can drink it hot (pour into a cup first), or you can drink it cold too! It's very refreshing cold!
NOTE: Traditional chai is either made with milk or has milk added to it, along with sweeteners such as honey. I just like mine plain, but feel free to traditionalize this chai even more by adding the milk! To do this, just strain out the herbs and add however much milk you like. You can use almond milk or coconut milk too!
You know what's so cool about blending your own teas? You can play around with the ingredients and get them just right for you!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. The statements in this article, elsewhere on my website, and in item descriptions are not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or health issue. Please see a medical doctor for your concerns. These statements are simply my own opinions based on experience and study and are for informational purposes only.
Affiliate disclosure: There are affiliate links sprinkled throughout this article. If you happen to click through and make a purchase of any type, I will receive a small commission, and I would truly appreciate this! There is no additional cost to you other than the bit of time it takes to click! Thank you!
Interested in herbalism? The Herbal Academy of New England is a highly rated online school dedicated to teaching herbalism. I am currently taking the Advanced Herbalism Course, and I'm loving it! You can find out more by clicking the banner below:
Learning about herbalism is seriously one of the BEST choices I have ever made for my life.
This article is included in these great blog hops! So hop on over to any one of these great hops and enjoy LOTS of homesteading, DIY, recipes, and simple life articles!
I'd love to know what you think of chai! Do you have your own special recipe?