I can't believe how fast time is flying!! It seems like I just wrote my first "Contributing Angel" post but here we are starting a New Year! This is my tenth Contributing Angel post and I'm still thrilled to have the privilege of contributing to this wonderful blog.
I thought I'd start the New Year off with one of my recipes to a warming Beverage - my herbal Chai Tea recipe that will warm you from the inside out - and it's healthy! We have had a cold start to this winter here in Michigan but not much snow yet. Although, nothing will compare to last winter (click HERE to read about the winter of 2014)
|From the top and then going to the right: Ginger, Cayenne Pepper (or Chili Pepper), Cloves, Black Peppercorns, Cinnamon Sticks and in the middle: Star Anise|
I am NOT a doctor (see disclaimer at the bottom of this post) but I have researched these ingredients and here are some of the health benefits that I have found:
Ginger Root - is relaxing, aids in digestion, it is good for your equilibrium and for inner ear issues..... and much more.
Cinnamon - is good for your blood sugar, aids in lowering cholesterol, helps relieve indigestion and colds.
Cloves - used in dentistry and helps with tooth pain, anti-bacterial, reduces joint inflammation and some even claim preventative against intestinal cancers (again - I'm NOT a doctor)
Peppercorns - increases stomach activity and digestion, it has antioxidant and anti-bacterial effects.
Chile Peppers or Cayenne Pepper - increases circulation and heart health, cancer preventative, aids in weight loss and is great for the intestinal tract.
Star Anise - this is actually the spice that they extract "Shikimic Acid" from - which is used to make the antiviral drug "Tamiflu" (which has been used to treat the Swine Flu). It also decreases abdominal cramps and expels mucus.
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns (whole)
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 star anise
2 dried cayenne peppers (or chili peppers) (If you don't like spicy hot - then you may omit this pepper - it's so good for you though!)
1 small lump of fresh ginger root (washed and any bad spots cut out)
Place all of these ingredients in a stainless steel pot and cover with 5 to 6 cups of filtered water. Boil for about 10 minutes and then turn off the burner. Allow this tea to steep overnight on the back of the stove (Make sure that your burner is turned OFF!). Then the next day your tea is ready for drinking - simply warm it up when you desire. Add a little more water whenever you take some tea out and keep it topped off and ready for the next time you want some Chai Tea.
After 2 weeks you will need to start from scratch again with new and fresh ingredients - and the initial steeping overnight is only done that first time - at the beginning of a new batch (once every 2 weeks).
NOTE: When the tea has boiled and you are ready to drink - just remember to strain out the spices before drinking - and then return any peppercorn or clove back into the pot for the next time that you want to have this tea. Also, I like to add a little cream to my cup & some honey - delicious!