Don’t knock it before you chai it
We know that some people hear the word “spice” and run for the woods, but our Ayurvedic Blissful Chai might just change your mind if you’ve steered away from spiced foods or drinks in the past.
Chai actually simply means “tea,” in Hindi, and its origins date back thousands of years ago to the royal courts of India. Chai, or more accurately masala chai, “mixed-spice tea,” is India’s favourite drink to this day, and as it has made its way West, people referred to this specific flavour of spiced tea simply as “chai.”
The spices of chai and their benefits
The traditional herbs and spices in chai steep together to create a spiced, sweet tea that doesn’t just taste luxuriously indulgent, but also has a number of health benefits.
People do not normally correlate “spiced” with digestive aid, but most of the spices used in chai are incredibly beneficial to digestion. The warming effects of the spices in chai work to ignite your digestive agni, or your digestive fire. This fire is also called jathargani, and it lives in the stomach to govern digestion, nutrient absorption, and assimilation of foods into other substances required for bodily functions.
Of all the spices in chai, most can enliven your digestive fires, including cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and ginger. Though these spices all have digestive benefits, they do not work in the exact same way.
While cinnamon and black pepper are probably the “hottest” ingredients in chai, cardamom is warming without being overstimulating, and it can offer a nice balance to cinnamon and black pepper. This balance is particularly useful as cinnamon is also helpful with circulation and black pepper can remove toxins from the body and relieve stomach pain, so you can enjoy these benefits whilst cardamom soothes energy and promotes clarity.
Cardamom isn’t the only balancing spice in chai. Ginger, fennel seeds, and clove also work to balance out the flavours and effects of the spices. Both ginger and clove have important anti-inflammatory properties and can remove toxins from the body, and fennel seeds work to create balance by controlling your acid-base, and they can improve heart health, as well.
Rich in antioxidants, black tea is beneficial in its ability to reduce the risk of various diseases through reduction of oxidative damage to your body. Black tea can be a stimulant and help those who need a little boost to get going, while others avoid black tea due to its caffeine content, which can give some a jittery feeling.
The final herbal component of our Ayurvedic chai is our very own Bliss elixir. This potent formula’s superpower comes from its adaptogenic abilities. Bliss works to give your body what it needs. If you are running hot from the stimulating spices of chai, it can assist with calming nerves for steady energy and mitigating the negative effects of the caffeine from the black tea.
Ayurvedic Blissful Chai for One:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup milk of your choice
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 black peppercorns
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp cinnamon quill
- 1-2 tsp black tea leaves or 1 black tea bag
- 1 tsp natural sweetener of choice (we recommend monkfruit)
- ½ tsp One Eleven Bliss
- ½ tsp ghee (optional)
- Put the ginger in a saucepan with water, and place on heat
- Combine and grind spices in a mortar and pestle
- Add spices to the water and bring to a boil
- Once water is boiling, add sweetener of your choice, black tea leaves, and milk
- Bring back to a boil
- Once the mixture darkens to the strength you like and the spices become aromatic, reduce to simmer for one minute
- Pour chai into a mug using a sieve to catch the spices
- Stir in Bliss and a touch of ghee if you choose
Should you alter your chai for your dosha type?
Our Ayurvedic Blissful Chai can be modified to taste, but it can also be changed to fit your dosha type. Whether you feel sluggish or have too much energy, are creative or prefer structure, or are prone to weight gain or naturally slim, your energetic qualities can find further balance by altering these ingredients.
If your dosha is primarily vata, people may describe you as slim, energetic, creative, and easily distracted. You may find that your mood often depends on the weather, people around you, and foods you eat. As vata types can feel easily stimulated, the caffeine from the black tea may agitate vata types, and it may be beneficial to lessen the quantity of black tea used or even leave it out entirely. While ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon help to balance vata, clove and peppercorn can be too hot, so it’s important to use these spices in moderation.
Pitta types are often associated with hot, light, sharp, and oily qualities. People with pitta dosha may be described as athletic, motivated, and competitive. As pitta dosha can run “hot,” it’s important not to overdo it with the warming spices in chai by reducing cloves and peppercorns. Pitta types may also want to add some cooling ingredients to their chai. Though the milk will cool your chai to an extent, adding rosewater or saffron can help to reduce the heat even more.
The final dosha is kapha, and this dosha is most well-suited for warmth. As kapha is quite cool by nature, even being described as slow, or sluggish when out of balance, caring, and intentional. This means that kapha types can particularly benefit from the heat and stimulation of chai, and they do not need to worry about lessening the hot spices. However, kapha types may want to consider almond milk to balance kapha, as they can be prone to mucus build up.
Each person is different, and each person is a combination of the doshas. These are merely suggestions that may benefit you, but it is important to be mindful of your individual preferences and needs.