Since the cold weather has arrived I’ve replaced my morning smoothie with this Spice Tea, a variation of the popular Chai Tea. It’s made with everyday spices selected for their immunity boosting properties and specifically aimed at keeping colds and flu away.
A great thing about this Spice Tea mix is that the ingredients are everyday spices and products found in most homes thereby eliminating the need to run to specialty stores.
The basic Spice Tea Mix contains the following ground spices:
1 Tbsp. each of – Allspice and Cloves
1/4 cup each of – Cardamom and Nutmeg
1/2 cup each of – Cinnamon and Ginger
Contents from 16 Tea Bags – Can be black or green
Mix everything together and store in air-tight jar in a dark location. This makes slightly less than two cups or about 28 tablespoons mix.
To make a pot of Spice Tea:
- 2 cups milk – whole, soy (best for lowering cholesterol) or rice milk (most hypoallergenic) may be used
- 2 cups water
- 2 – 3 tsp. raw honey
- 3-4 Tbsp. spice tea mix, more or less depending on personal taste. (Best contained, see note below).
Directions: Put all the ingredients in a medium size saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the spice bag(s) and pour into a teapot (or straight into cups if preferred) and serve. Lightly sprinkle with favourite spice – our spice of choice is cinnamon, it really is yummy.
NOTE: The first time I made this I added the loose spice mix right to the liquid in the pan. That was a mistake. I didn’t realize that the spices would expand the way they do and ended up with such a thick mixture that only half of it would go through the strainer. Because of my herbs I always have a quantity of self-sealing tea bags around and use them to make up spice tea bags ahead of time, filling them loosely to allow room for expansion. The large tea bag (pot size) is filled with 1/4 cup mix and the smaller ones use 3/4 Tbsp. mix. The same could be done using squares of cheesecloth, as shown. The packages will still need to be stored in an air-tight jar in a dark location.
To make Spice Tea for one:
1/2 cup milk – whole, soy or rice milk
1/2 cup water
Dab of raw honey
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. spice tea mix (2 tea bags).
Directions: As above.
Health Benefits of the Spice Tea components:
BLACK TEA – Helps prevent cardiovascular disease; controls cholesterol; protects HDL the good cholesterol; strengthens the immune system; rich in the antioxidants that help cut the risk of cancer; promotes a general feeling of well-being.
ALLSPICE – Soothes symptoms of colds and flu; relieves stomach related problems – constipation, flatulence, indigestion, vomiting; eases menstrual cramping; stabilizes blood pressure and blood sugar levels; anti-bacterial, kills germs on teeth and gums, relieves tooth ache.
CARDAMOM – Immune system booster; soothes mucous membranes and lessens respiratory allergies; improves blood circulation; relieves stomach related problems – flatulence, heartburn, nausea, vomiting; increases appetite; supports the digestive system.
CINNAMON – Natural pain reliever; fights colds, flu and sore throats; anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal; stimulates circulation; helps detoxify the body; helps balance blood sugar levels; lowers cholesterol; helps relieve stomach problems – nausea, diarrhea; lessens menstrual cramps; calming agent.
CLOVES – High in antioxidants that help support the immune system. An expectorant, helps clear mucous membranes and cut phlegm; warming, soothes symptoms of flu and colds; pain reliever – relieves toothaches and gum pain; soothes ulcers; lessens nausea.
GINGER – Boosts the immune system; fights colds, flu and sore throats, loosens congestion; reduces sinusitis; anti-inflammatory relieves aches and pain from arthritis; improves circulation; soothes the stomach; reduces flatulence; used in the fight against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
NUTMEG – Reduces drying of mucous membranes; keeps airways moist and open; supports digestive system.
OTHER. A pinch of either one – or both – of the following spices can be very effective in the prevention and treatment of colds, flu and fever. Both promote a feeling of general well-being.
- CAYENNE – Cayenne warms the body and a pinch added to the tea can promote the release of mucous from the sinus and respiratory passages. It stimulates sweating which helps to bring down a fever and remove toxins from the body. Increases circulation.
- TURMERIC – Excellent anti-inflammatory, turmeric is highly effective in preventing colds and flu. Boosts the immune system and supports liver function. It has anti-viral and antiseptic properties.
RAW HONEY – Anti-bacterial and loaded with enzymes, vitamins and minerals that work together to boost the immune system, fight against germs and prevent or lessen the severity of colds and flu. Greatly increases the antioxidant activity of other foods and spices.
Drinking two cups of Spice Tea a day will significantly boost the immune system and prevent colds and flu – or at the very least, lessen the symptoms. As a bonus, this tea is a delicious, comforting winter drink that lifts your spirits and just plain and simple makes you feel good.
Talk to you again next week,
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