What’s your favourite time out activity? When I want to unwind I like to sit down to sip on a chai. I LOVE a really spicy almond milk chai where the tea is actually infused on the milk. I’ve ordered them literally all over the world, as I’m forever looking for the perfect chai. So if you find a really good one make sure you let me know! But what does chai have to do with essential oils? I’m SO glad you asked!
In a moment I’m going to share one of my all-time favourite chai recipes with you. And guess what? It’s infused with amazing essential oils. But first, how much do you know about chai?
The Story of Chai
Did you know chai is actually the Hindi word for tea? And the original chai didn’t have any tea leaves in it at all? It wasn’t until the British were colonising India and growing tea in the 1800’s and early 1900’s that they started adding black tea leaves to the spice mix. Original chai didn’t have milk or any sweetener (honey or sugar) either.
Tradition says that it was a King who ordered the creation of chai. Sometime between 5000-9000 years ago, in what is now India (although some say it could have even been in Thailand), he commanded his healers to create a spiced beverage for use in Ayurveda, a traditional medicinal practice.
They believed that the heat from ginger and black pepper stimulated digestion. The antiseptic properties in cloves helped relieve pain. Cardamom was a mood elevator. Cinnamon supported circulation and respiratory function. And finally, star anise was known to freshen the breath.
How do You like your Chai?
My favourite chai’s are usually quite spicy. Like the ones with lots of ginger and black peppercorns which leave your mouth a little tingly. Or even ones with fennel or liquorice root. Oh and not to forget, cinnamon and nutmeg!
Tell me – where have you had your best chai ever?
Before we get to my special Chai Infused With Essential Oils recipe I need to answer an important question which often comes up:
Is it Safe to Make Chai With Essential Oils?
As a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, people often ask me about this. Is it really safe to use Essential Oils in food and drinks? It’s a great question and the short answer is Yes… and No.
Let me explain… I use essential oils in the kitchen all the time, in both food and drinks. In fact, they’re an absolute bonus to use in cooking. I’ll explain more about that in a moment. But… and it’s a BIG BUT… The ONLY Essential Oils I will EVER use in my kitchen have to pass two critical tests:
Firstly, they have to be permitted for use as flavouring under the Food Standard Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) legislation.
Secondly, I only use Essential Oils from Young Living because they are the purest and I know they are ethically and sustainably sourced.
That is why I only recommend Young Living’s Culinary Range of Essential Oils. They pass the FSANZ standards, so I know they’re safe to use. And like all Young Living oils they meet YL’s rigorous Seed to Seal standards.
The sad fact is there are SO many dodgy essential oils out there in the marketplace. And what’s more – using THEM in your cooking could be dangerous and potentially disastrous. They could be synthetic, not to mention diluted or doctored with who knows what… there are no guarantees. So, when people ask me whether they can just head down to the local health food shop – or $2 Shop (!!!!!!) – to buy some essential oils to cook with…. I scream NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Whenever I’m in the kitchen you’ll find me using Young Living’s Culinary Oils. Check out this article for more reasons why you should use them in your cooking too – Cooking Up a Storm With Essential Oils
Spicy Chai Infused With Essential Oils Recipe
Do you like your Chai spicy? I do! So, here’s my own special recipe for Spicy Chai Infused with Essential Oils:
4 tsp Black Tea or 4 Teabags (can be substituted for decaf tea)
4 Star Anise pods
8 – 10 Cardamom pods (I have tried this with 1 drop of Cardamom Essential Oil, but I prefer it with the pods)
6 Clove buds
1 cup Milk
3 cups Water
1 drop Black Pepper Essential Oil
1 drop Ginger Essential Oil
3 drops Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
4 tsp Honey or Maple Syrup
Firstly, crush up Clove buds, Cardamom and Star Anise in a mortar and pestle or in the thermomix.
Boil up the crushed spices in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.
Turn off the stove.
Add in the Black Tea (or tea bags) and let steep for 5 minutes
Add in the Milk
Combine the Honey or Maple Syrup with the Essential Oils in a bowl.
Add the Essential Oil mixture to the tea mixture.
Finally, strain the Chai tea before serving.