Long Life Movement


Healing Elixir

This really is a magic potion. It’s decreased inflammation in my body, significantly.

I started making and drinking this awesome healing elixir after a long month of travel. Sitting on airplanes and driving in cars can make my leg lock up.

Below is the phenomenal recipe that may help you feel better, too. This recipe makes enough of the healing chai elixir to last about a week.

A bit of background

If you don’t know much about me, I have my own pain story. Since 2003, I have been growing tumors in my right leg. It’s a rare condition, and I shouldn’t be able to walk. Yet, I do. I also lead an active life.

Over the years, I have learned a lot of ways to decrease inflammation in my body through diet and have enjoyed increasing my movement potential and decreasing my pain through the disciplines of therapeutic yoga and Pilates.

In my own body, I have discovered that movement helps with pain and inflammation. And not surprisingly, I’ve learned that diet helps, too. I really want to live with vitality and have found ways to increase my vitality.

This recipe for homemade chai tea is one way to increase vitality by reducing inflammation. When we have inflammation in our body, we often feel pain and decreased range of motion in our joints.

A gift worth giving

I am going to admit that making the chai tea base is a multi-step process. And, if I can do it, you can, too.

It’s a gift worth giving to yourself to help you feel better.

I was gifted this recipe by a dear friend and fellow Anusara┬« yoga teacher, Madhuri Martin. Madhuri and I worked together for a year on a national gathering for fellow yoga teachers in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

lisa long madhuri martin anusara yoga samudra shakti
At the big yoga teacher event we planned together, here’s me and my friend, Madhuri Martin, who gifted me this healing chai recipe.

As a thank you for putting in the hours, she gifted me a basket full of spices and a recipe. Little did I know that Madhuri’s recipe would change my life.

Chai tea recipe starts with ginger

A good tip for making this chai tea recipe is to start the night before. The base begins with a strong ginger tea. For your water to absorb all of the healing benefits from the ginger, it needs a good, long, hot soak – overnight.

Certainly, you could also start your ginger tea base early in the morning. And then by evening, you could continue making the rest of the chai tea base.

Either way, first, you’ll need a piece of fresh ginger root about the size of your hand. Ginger root can be found in most grocery stores in the produce department.

ginger root on a red cloth
Purchase a fresh ginger root with good color and not dried out.

Slice the ginger root into small sections. You may leave the skin on. Then use a mallet or tenderizer to break down the fibers in each ginger slice.

tenderizing ginger with a mallet
Tenderizing the ginger with a mallet allows for the water to come in contact with more surface area of the root and will increase the healing potency.

Put the sliced and tenderized ginger root in a slow cooker or crock pot. Add at least 1 quart to a half gallon of water.

Set the crock pot to low. And let it run overnight – about 8-10 hours.

slow cooker with ginger slices in crock pot
Add at least a quart or two of water to your slow cooker to make your ginger tea base.

Health benefits of ginger

Allowing the ginger slices to slow cook in the crock pot on low for 8-10 hours will permit the healing properties of the root to be leached into your tea. Ginger has many documented and well researched benefits. Here’s a few to entice you to use ginger as your base for your healing chai elixir.

  • Gingerol is the potent anti-inflammatory compound in the root. Gingerol is the substance responsible for alleviating joint and muscle pain. In addition, The Journal of Pain noted that daily use of ginger supplements reduced exercise-induced pain by 25%.
  • Researchers have found that ginger contains anti-tumor properties. Several studies have shown ginger’s effectiveness at treating ovarian cancer, as well as breast cancer. Furthermore, this powerful, healing root also has strong research supporting its benefits for healing from prostate cancer and also colon cancer.
  • Ginger has been noted for its anti-diabetic compounds. The root helps lower blood sugar and increase insulin release.
  • Migraine sufferers and women with painful menstruation also benefit from ginger’s ability to reduce pain.
  • Long known for its ability to help subside nausea and vomiting either due to motion sickness or morning sickness, ginger also helps those enduring medical treatments like chemotherapy.
  • In general, ginger is a powerful digestive aid. It not only helps settle an upset stomach, it also helps eliminate intestinal gas and bloating.

The rest of the healing spices

chai spices with names of each spice on a blue place mat
These are the base spices for chai. Use fresh, whole spices for maximum healing power.

Chai Tea Spices – Ingredients

Buy fresh whole spices. Grind the spices either by mortal and pestle or an electric grinder. Hand grinding is definitely harder, yet a good physical activity combined with mental focus. And, you’ll need more time. It takes time to do things by hand.

You could also grind the spices in a coffee grinder. I use an electric coffee grinder.

  • Fennel Seed – 2 Tbs.
  • Anise Seed or Star Anise – 1 Tbs.
  • Coriander Seed – 1 Tbs.
  • Cardamom Seed – 3 Tbs.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon Stick – 2 sticks
  • Cayenne (pre-ground is fine) 1 tsp.

According to my friend, Madhuri, you can use black tea or green tea as the chai tea base, too. Due to its powerful healing properties, I really prefer to use the ginger tea made in the crockpot.

ginger tea in crock pot with blended chai spices
The ginger tea after slow cooking for 10 hours with the dry ground chai spices.

Making the Chai Tea Base

In a large pot, combine the ginger tea (and the ginger slices) with dry ground chai spices. Add more water to your pot on the stove. Maybe add another quart or so of water.

Bring the liquid to a boil. Then, simmer on low for at least 20 minutes or longer. I usually simmer for about 40 minutes.

chai tea on stove in a blue pot
Bring to a boil. Then simmer the ginger tea and ground chai spices on the stove.

Strain the liquid

At this point, your house will smell really good from the spices simmering on your stove. Use pot holders and a fine strainer to pour the liquid into a big bowl.

All of the leftover solids from the tea – the ginger and spices – are awesome to add to your compost pile or dig a small hole and bury in your garden.

straining ginger and chai spices
Strain the chai “liquid gold” into a large bowl or pot.

Store the Chai Tea Base

I like to use mason jars with lids to store the chai tea base in my fridge. It will keep for a week. And, pretty much, this recipe makes about a week’s worth of chai tea base.

chai tea in mason jars
The recipe makes enough chai tea base to last a week in the fridge.

Making a Cup of Chai

I have found that my Chai Tea Base is pretty potent. So, I like to “cut it” with other liquids. Also, by “cutting” my chai, the “liquid gold” lasts for the week. So, here’s how I make my perfect cup of homemade chai.

You can certainly change it up and experiment! You have your base elixir which is the most important part of the recipe. The rest of the recipe is based on your personal taste buds.

chai tea ingredients
Ingredients for a daily cup of homemade chai – the healing elixir.

How to Make a Cup of Chai Tea

  1. Boil water and add a tea bag to your mug.

    I like to use a non-caffeinated detox tea from Arbonne. You can use an type of tea that you like.

  2. Fill a large mug 2/3 full of hot water.

    Be sure to leave room for the chai tea base and milk of your choice.

  3. Let your tea bag steep for 5-15 minutes depending on your specific tea.

    All teas have a perfect steep time. Be sure to follow the instructions for the type of tea you selected.

  4. Add your Chai Tea Base liquid to your mug.

    You’ve spent time following this recipe for the ultimate Chai Tea Base liquid. Now you get to enjoy it! Depending on how strong your Chai Tea Base liquid tastes, you may vary the amount you put in your mug. You don’t need a lot. Maybe an inch or two in your mug.

  5. Add a sweetener.

    I like to use Stevia in the liquid form. Trader Joe’s makes a version that uses an eye dropper. About a half a dropper gives enough sweetness. You can certainly use any sweetener that you prefer.

  6. Add milk.

    You may use any milk that you prefer. I have been enjoying a coconut milk / coconut water milk, lately.

  7. Stir and enjoy!

Good questions. Great answers.

As I kept feeling better from drinking Madhuri’s Chai Tea, I became super curious about the healing power in my cup. It’s a delicious and therapeutically potent combination.

What are the spices in a cup of chai?

Chai tea is healing and powerful due the spices in the tea. The spices include the following: fennel seed, anise seed, coriander seed, cardamom seed, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger. Furthermore, some chai recipes may also include the following spices: clove, nutmeg, bay leaf, and black pepper.

What are the benefits of fennel seed?

Fennel is touted for its help with digestive disorders. As well, its been known to alleviate respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. Fennel’s also supports eye health. And eating fennel seeds freshens your breath.

What are the benefits of anise seed?

As one of the oldest spices, anise contains protein, fatty oil, and crude fiber. It helps reduce phlegm and assists with expelling wind from the stomach. Furthermore, it has anti-fungal and anti-insecticidal properties.

What are the benefits of coriander seed?

The coriander seed has been used for thousands of years as a digestive aid as it helps with calming intestinal spasms. Known as a strong anti-anxiety herb, coriander also assists with chelation, removing toxins and heavy metals from the body.

What are the benefits of cardamom seed?

Cardamom seed has been claimed as a remedy for depression. When mixed with ginger, clove, and coriander, it is an effective remedy for indigestion. Also, cardamom can be used as a stimulant to help with male sexual dysfunction.

What are the benefits of cinnamon stick?

Cinnamon stick has gained fame for assisting with diabetes, cutting cholesterol levels, and preventing blood clots. Rich in anti-oxidents, cinnamon is a strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory spice.

What are the benefits of cayenne?

Cayenne is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxident. It helps relieve congestion from colds and helps boost metabolism. Capsaicin, the oily compound in cayenne, is the active ingredient in most over the counter muscle, arthritis, and nerve pain relievers.

Make a Batch; Reap the Benefits

I hope you’ll take the time to take care of you. Try making a batch of homemade chai. Using this recipe, you’ll have enough Chai Tea Base to last you a week.

Make a cup of chai tea based on your personal taste buds. Do it for a week. Let me know how you feel.

Drop me a comment below. I’d love to read how it works for you or any modifications you make to the recipe.

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about the author

Lisa Long, M.A.

Lisa Long wants to live in a world where Love gives you a "permission slip" to drop the mask and be who you are. Known for her hearty and full-body laugh, Lisa meets people where they are in the present moment. She passionately believes in the healing potential of movement. As a teacher and producer/writer, her work has been featured on Good For You blog, CBS television station affiliates, and telelvision cable channel networks as well her print manual called "Home Practice: A Guide for Healing from Breast Cancer" was published by a 5 hospital health care network. When she's not helping others reach their fullest potential, you'll find Lisa hiking a trail to a waterfall or riding her bike at the beach. Her latest collaboration with an online classroom platform launched in 2020.


  • Penny Kennedy says:

    Thank you Lisa! I hope Mary, Barb and I can have a chai tea making session. ­čĺč

    • Hi Penny!
      Awesome! The chai elixir is delicious and healing. And, it’s best as a morning drink! I was drinking it in the afternoon/evening… and even though it does not contain caffeine, it was keeping me awake! Ginger and all the chai spices are considered stimulants. So, I have definitely narrowed the time of day for enjoying drink that keeps helping me feel better (except at night!).

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