Mother Earth Living

Herbs for Digestion: Melanie's Chai

Improve digestion and lose weight with these recipes.
By Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., A.H.G.
May/June 1998
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Hot chai tea is delicious and stimulates the digestive system.
Photo by Richardmasoner/Courtesy of Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/


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Melanie's Chai

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Chai is a traditional drink throughout the Middle and Far East. The flavors and ingredients vary widely, and some recipes include black tea. This is a decaffeinated version specifically formulated to improve digestion. (See page 24 for more about the history of chai.)

• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 3 to 4 whole peppercorns
• 8 to 10 cardamom pods
• 1/2 cup milk (or use almond, soy, or oat milk)
• Nutmeg powder and honey to taste

1. In a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, combine the water, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

2.Add the milk and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

3. Strain into mugs, sprinkle ­nutmeg on top, and sweeten with honey, if desired.


Christopher Hobbs’s case studies are gleaned from his thirty years of studying and practicing herbalism. Hobbs, a fourth-generation botanist and herbalist, is an Herbs for Health Editorial Advisory Board member and licensed acupuncturist. He is the author of St. John’s wort: The Mood Enhancing Herb, (Botanica, 1997), Stress and Natural Healing, (Botanica, 1997), and many other books.

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