One of the most wonderful things about having my private practice within an Ayurvedic wellness center is that I have the opportunity learn about a variety of herbs, spices, oils and foods that are beneficial for each season.

Autumn brings with her the wind element or vata dosha.  Excess wind can scatter thoughts, creating stress and anxiety in the mind and heart.  Stress Free Chai is a supportive blend of herbs and spices to calm the mind and soothe the nerves while supporting immunity.

Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic Indian ginseng, is an adaptogen which can help one cope with stress. Adaptogens also support the nervous system and are helpful for anxiety and sleep.  Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse.” It brings the strength of a horse with its capacity to restore energy and vitality.   Astragalus is a Chinese herb known for boosting the immune system and supporting the adrenal glands.  It is known as a preventative for respiratory colds and for being helpful during times of fatigue.  Chai spices are known to stoke the digestive fire, agni, as well as promote warmth and circulation.

All of these herbs and spices can be found at Community Pharmacy on State Street in Madison or online through Mountain Rose Herbs.

8 cups water
2 tbsp Ashwagandha, cut/sifted
2 tbsp Astragalus, cut/sifted
4 – 3″ Cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp Cardamon, green pods
1 tbsp Licorice, cut/sifted
1 tsp Black Peppercorns, whole
6 Star Anise
6 Cloves, whole
2″ Ginger, fresh/chopped
  1. To enhance flavors, break up the cinnamon, cardamon and star anise in a mortar/pestle or spice grinder
  2. Place all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes.  I turn off the heat yet leave the pot steeping on the stove all day.  Sometimes adding more water, boiling again, as I take cups out.
  3. Strain chai with a fine mesh strainer as you pour tea into each cup.
  4. Add a bit of milk and honey, a black tea bag if you wish, though most of us will benefit most not having caffeine:)
  5. Place remaining strained chai tea in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Reheating as needed.

Ashwagandha and astragalus are not recommended for pregnant woman.

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  • Hi Andrea, Thanks for posting this recipe; I’m gathering ingredients to make it. YTT class was awesome last week, I miss the practices and its challenging to come back to “real life.” Looking forward to February already, and hopefully I’ll make it down to Madison for one of your classes between now and then.

  • Hi Andrea,
    (Thanks Beck for letting me know about Andrea’s blog!)
    Mountain Rose Herbs is in my hometown of Eugene, OR It’s a delightful place to visit. So glad to see you supporting them!
    ~ Julia

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