Chai Tea For A Cold Winter’s Day

Cold winter days can wreak havoc on our health. The cold temperatures cause contraction of our muscles, which results in joint and body pain. It lowers our immunity and decreases digestive function. Diet is a huge tool in the winter battle of keeping our bodies warm, and chai tea is a simple and delicious solution.

Below is a recipe for you to make at home, along with a breakdown of how the herbs keep us warm, reduce pain associated with the cold, and harmonize digestion.

Have a cup daily and enjoy the benefits!

Chai Tea for a cold winter’s day

Serves 6


  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons fennel
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 6 bags of black tea (optional)
  • 2 cups whole milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar (optional, can substitute honey at a lesser amount)

Preparation Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Using mallet or back of large spoon, lightly crush or bruise spices. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add milk and sugar. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Strain chai into teapot and serve hot.

How these herbs work for your health and wellness

Cardamon: Bai Dou Kou

  • Category: Aromatic transform Damp
  • Nature: Spicy, warm, aromatic
  • Function: moves qi, dissolves dampness, and strengthens the ST
  • Function: warms the abdomen and stops vomiting/relieves nausea
  • What it helps with: fullness/stuck feeling in the stomach, nausea/vomiting

Cloves: Ding Xian

  • Category: Warm interior, expel cold
  • Nature: Spicy, warm
  • Function: warms the abdomen and directs rebellious qi downward
  • Function: warms the Kidneys and tonifies Kidney yang
  • What it helps with: nausea/vomiting, hiccups, abdominal pain, diarrhea, lack of appetite

Cinnamon: Rou Gui

  • Category: Warm interior, expel cold
  • Nature: Spicy, sweet, hot
  • Function: fortifies the Kidneys and Spleen yang, warms Heart yang and fortifies yang
  • Function: disperses deep cold, warms the channels, unblocks the channels and vessels, alleviates pain
  • Function: leads the fire back to its source
  • Function: encourages the generation of qi and blood
  • What it helps with: aversion to cold, cold limbs, weak back, abdominal pain and cold, lack of appetite, diarrhea, wheezing, weak and cold lower extremities, chronic deficiency of qi and blood

Ginger: Sheng Jiang

  • Category: Warm, acrid surface releasing
  • Nature: Spicy, warm
  • Function: releases the exterior and disperses viruses
  • Function: warms the middle and stops vomiting
  • Function: warms the Lungs and stops coughing
  • Function: resolves toxicity
  • What it helps with: viral infections, cough, phlegm, nausea/vomiting, harmonizes digestion

Peppercorns: Hu Jiao

  • Category: Warm interior, expel cold
  • Nature: Spicy, hot
  • Function: warms the abdomen, disperses cold, and relieves pain
  • What it helps with: nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain

Fennel: Xiao Hui Xiang

  • Category: Warm interior, expel Cold
  • Nature: Spicy, warm
  • Function: Disperses Cold, warms the Liver and Kidneys, and stops pain
  • Function: regulates the qi and harmonizes the Stomach
  • What it helps with: lower abdominal pain due to cold, indigestion, lack of appetite, and nausea/vomiting

I hope you enjoy a cup of chai every day, while this cold winter lasts. If you’re interested in finding out more about TCM herbs and diet therapy, I’m always happy to connect!