A drink both balancing and absolutely delicious? Yes, please…
This post comes from our friends at The Great Kosmic Kitchen.
This twist on a chai concentrate combines many of our favorite herbal allies for supporting ‘moon-time’ balance, and beats anything you can buy at the coffee shop! Along with classic chai spices, we’re adding in some additional herbs for extra plant power that support the reproductive system. In this recipe, we will also go over what is called a decoction in herbalism.
This is our favorite addition to the blend, and why we like to call it a “Luna Chai.” Chaste tree berry, also known as Vitex angus-castus, is often used to balance out hormones (especially for the menstrual cycle) by supporting the pituitary gland, a major gland involved in hormone production. We’ve used this herb for hormone imbalances, including issues around menstrual irregularity.
This plant is sometimes misunderstood as a weed when, really, it’s an ancient and powerful herbal ally. The root, leaves and flower can all be used as a food or as herbal medicine. Dandelion is a mild bitter, great for the digestive system, liver (which stores and processes excess hormones) and skin. The roasted roots are super yummy, but more medicine can be gained from the root in its pure form — dried and chopped.
The root can be used for emotional and physical stress, balancing the endocrine system, immune system support, and as a calming before-dinner treat. The whole plant is commonly used in Ayurveda and is warming energetically.
6 cups water – decoct (simmer) down to 3-4 cups
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch thumb of ginger, chopped
2 tsp whole cloves
1 tbsp cardamom pods
3 star anise
3 tbsp rooibos tea
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp local honey, or stevia extract to taste
1 tbsp. adaptogenic powder of choice (we chose Sun Potion’s Ashwagandha)
1 tbsp dried dandelion root
1 tbsp dried vitex berries
Quart-sized Mason jar
Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a steady simmer.
Add in everything except the rooibos tea, honey and vanilla extract.
Allow the herb and spice mixture to simmer (a.k.a. decoct) for 20 minutes or more. A decoction in western herbalism is used to extract the medicinal properties from roots, barks and seeds of plants. Since these plant parts are denser, they take a longer stronger method of extraction, rather than a light brew of a tea. The water should reduce to about 3-4 cups after about 20 minutes.
After your roots have been simmering for 15 minutes, add rooibos tea in the last five minutes of the decoction.
When the rooibos flavor is to your liking, turn burner off and add vanilla extract.
Once your Luna Chai concentrate has cooled down a bit, strain out the herbs and rooibos (using the mesh strainer layered with some cheesecloth), add in the honey, and bottle it up in a quart-sized Mason jar.
Make sure to let the mixture and the glass cool down before you refrigerate it! Otherwise, the glass could break, which sadly, many of us have done before.
You can serve the beverage hot or cold; 1 part milk of your liking to 1 part Luna Chai concentrate.
*When using any form of medication, natural or not, you should always consult your health care provider before use.
XO, Summer + Sarah of The GKK
And a very, very special thank you to Alessandra Olanow for her gorgeous illustrations!