Chai tea to ward off colds

At the weekend I was chatting to a friend who had a nasty cold and recommended my favourite chai tea recipe to her. I told her I use it all the time in the winter to ward off those pesky colds. The next day she sent me a text, “Your chai tea worked! I feel loads better. Thanks”.


Since it seems like most people I know are fighting colds right now, it occurred to me to share the recipe with you. It’s become such a staple in our house over the winter months that I’d forgotten others may not know it.


I want to give full credit for this one to my old yoga teacher, Marilyn, who in turn credits it to an ancient Hindu recipe.


One of the reasons I like this recipe is that you can be a bit loose with the quantities so if you put in 30 instead of 20, it really doesn’t matter. That’s my kind of recipe!



20 cloves

20 cardamon pods – crush the pods slightly with a rolling pin

20 whole black peppercorns

5 pieces of cinnamon bark

3 dried red chillis

1.5 inches of fresh ginger, finely sliced

½ inch of grated turmeric root OR 1.5 tsp dried turmeric

2 normal black tea bags or 5 redbush tea bags

5 pints of boiling water, which is approximately 2 kettles full.

Honey and full fat milk, coconut milk or plant milk of preference



Put everything except the tea bags in a large pan and boil it all together for 20mins.

After 20mins, add in the tea bags and simmer for an additional 5mins.

Strain the liquid through a colander into a large bowl.

Serve really hot with milk and honey.

The tea can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.