The synchronicity of the seasons with nature and our daily lives is pure magic (and a little bit of mystery, too). Through the changing of the temperatures, the slowing down of our lives, and courage to let go of what is no longer serving us – it’s important to tend to our lungs, large intestine, and skin to support and balance our immunity.
What better way to keep our organs warm and cozy while boosting our immune system with a nice cup o’Chaga Chai? This yummy and nutrient-dense beverage can be made with or without black tea (i.e. caffeine), although if you are drinking it at night, it’s best to not have caffeine to preserve a good night’s sleep. I also like to remove any refined sugar as it’s known to challenge the immune system, and we’re aiming to boost immunity after all! The antiviral and antibacterial properties of chaga mushrooms give this evening enjoyment even more meaning.
Immune Boosting Chaga Chai
1⁄2 cup dried chaga mushrooms (not freeze-dried)
11⁄2 teaspoons ground
11⁄2 teaspoons ginger
Ground or fresh chopped (fresh is spicier)
1 teaspoon ground
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Milk (preferably homemade nut milk)
- Put the chaga mushrooms in a coffee grinder and blend until powdered.
- Add the chaga powder and all the spices, salt, and pepper to a small jar and shake thoroughly to mix. Store the jar at room temperature in your spice cupboard.
- To brew a cup, begin with 1 heaping teaspoon chaga chai spice and a 1:1 ratio of water to milk.
- Whisk together in a small saucepan over low heat.
- When the mixture is steaming but not boiling, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain using a small colander, pour the mixture into your mug of choice, and enjoy immediately.
If you’re looking to make your chai stronger, you can simply play around with the amount of chaga chai spice you put in the milk-water mix. Feeling particularly run down, experiencing cold hands and feet, or feel sluggish in your digestion? Try using 3 or 4 heaping teaspoons of the spice mix!
To increase the immunity and organ support to your chai, you can add in additional herbs such as reishi, powdered chicory and burdock root to support the kidneys and adrenals, or powdered dandelion root to add support for the liver. One or two additional teaspoons added to the saucepan usually gets the job done!