Sweet. Spicy. Hot. Delicious.
What’s better than a good cup of chai?
Not the sugary milk most places serve, but a true cup of steaming milky goodness with enough tea and spice to give you a good kick without leaving your Vata Dosha sky high like that double latte. I love a good cafe latte, but the cold fingers that follow are no bueno for this Vata-Pitta girl. If you’re new to Ayurveda, check this out to get the lingo.
Alas, we are in summer. The season of Pitta Dosha. Pitta can be revealed in irritability, intensity, anger, dissatisfaction, skin problems, insomnia (upon trying to fall asleep), itching and overall inflammation. What can contribute to that? I am so very sad to say, our beloved cup of spicy black tea chai. A little isn’t a problem, afterall Ayurveda understands that the amount we take of something affects how great an effect it will have—smaller amount, smaller effect. But drinking spicy chai each morning during the summer like one might do in winter can contribute to higher pitta during the day, which is unpleasant for you and your coworkers.
What is one to do?
Drink Summer Detox Chai!
While this tea doesn’t have the spicy kick of regular chai, it does have the telltale cardamom taste and creaminess of chai with supporting ingredients that actually balance Pitta Dosha and contribute to summertime health! Plus it’s delicious!
Coriander: Improves digestion, can reduce fever, is a diuretic, is used to heal rashes, hives, nausea, coughing and conjunctivitis per Dr. Vasant Lad.
Cardamom: Improves digestion, wards off pathogens (viruses), reduces inflammation, reduces spasms like hiccups or intestinal cramping and is even an aphrodisiac.
Rooibos: A delicious caffeine-free tea rich in anti-oxidants and contains magnesium, zinc and iron, all great minerals. Improves circulation with an anti-oxidant Chysoeriol. Contains phenyl pyretic acid which can help relieve skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne due to inflammation.
Mint: Useful in reducing nausea, giving respiratory relief, relieving depression and fatigue, clearing acne and reducing itchiness of bug bites, improving digestion and reducing allergies.
Make a batch and share with your bestie after that gentle flow yoga class, another great idea for balancing pitta.
Summer Detox Chai
Serves 5-6. You can easily make a half batch instead.
1 tsp. coriander seeds
3-4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp. rooibos tea (or 1 tea bag)
1 tsp. mint tea (or 1 tea bag)
4 cups water
2 cups “mylk” (almond, coconut, sunflower, hemp all work)
Combine all ingredients but mylk in a medium pot.
Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for five minutes while covered.
Turn off heat and allow to steep for another five minutes.
Strain and mix in mylk.
Reheat if necessary and sweeten as you like with a natural sweetener (maple, raw honey, molasses, dates).
Enjoy warm or hot.
For a special treat, use a milk frother to create foam.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Guenevere Neufeld / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: via author