I have met very few people in this life who dislike a good cup of chai. There is something so comforting about a nice warm cup of this perfectly balanced spiced tea. When thinking up tea blends that I wanted to create for Christmas gifts, it didn't take long to realize I needed to make a chai! Of course I wanted to add a botanical twist to it. I originally intended on making an Astragalus chai (for the cold and flu season) adapted from a recipe by the herbalist Rosalee de la Foret, but alas my favourite botanical store was all out of astragalus. I decided to use the adaptogenic herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) instead.
Ashwagandha is known as "Indian ginseng" due to the similarities in the actions of these two herbs. Ashwagandha is used to aid with mental exhaustion, stress and restore balance to the nervous system. It is used to enhance mental clarity and improves memory and stamina. It is an adaptogen that I take daily to reduce the negative effects of stress and help my body be more resilient to stress. It is a wonderful herb that blends in perfectly with chai spices.
1 cup Rooibos tea
1/4 cup dried ashwagandha root
1/4 cup dried ginger root
1/4 cup cinnamon pieces
2 TBSP pink peppercorns
2 TBSP whole all spice
2 TBSP whole star anise
2 TBSP cardamom pods
Grind the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods and all spice in a pestal and mortor. Alternatively, you could pulse for a few seconds in a food processor.
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl until well combined. Separate into individual gift packages.
Steep 2 tsp of tea in boiled water covered for 10-15 mins. Serve with honey and milk (coconut milk is a great alternative!) or on its own.
Curl up with a book and enjoy!