Antimicrobial Spiced Chai Latte



This spiced chai latte is what I start most mornings with and most definitely when an unwelcome cold or flu virus pays a visit! The warming spices are the perfect antidote to cooler weather and have scientifically proven benefits including antibacterialimmunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Shikimic acid which is the active ingredient of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu is actually derived from star anise! In addition, cloves contain eugenol which reduces blood clotting and can aid in the relief of a sore throat. If only all our meds tasted this good. 

2 cups 

2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup milk of choice (regular, soy or almond work well)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
8 cardamom pods gently smashed
1/2 inch long thin shaving of cinnamon bark (preferably Ceylon cinnamon)
1 clove
1 star anise
2 teaspoons black tea leaves or 2-3 English Breakfast tea bags depending on how strong you like your tea
Sweetener of choice if using (sugar, coconut palm sugar, agave nectar, honey)


In a medium sized pot, bring the water and whole spices to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer for 5 minutes. Add the milk and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tea leaves or tea bags, give the pot a stir and simmer for 3 minutes. For a stronger, darker brew, allow the pot to rest off the heat for another 2 minutes. Strain into your favourite cup, sweeten if you like and enjoy. 

For a quick albeit less spiced version, place the whole spices in a tea pot or in a strainer placed in a large mug. Pour boiling water and tea leaves/bag and brew for 5 minutes. Add a splash of milk, sweeten if you need to and enjoy.