Teas and Tonics: Modified Chai and Golden Milk Recipes

Teressa P.

Home remedies and recipes for teas, and tasty tonics

I LOVE teas and tonics. As a child, my Grandmother tried to teach me to love herbs and used them regularly. When I got older and spent the majority of my life uninsured so teas, tonics and other natural remedies were all I had to help me.

*The following is not medical advice or treatment suggestions. Please consult your physician before using any home remedies and do not use if you’re allergic to any ingredients.

Spice Spotlight: Star Anise: I love star anise and it doesn't hurt that it's also used in Tamiflu. I keep this in stock when I feel a cold or “bug” is brewing (tea puns are fun).

Tea, spice, and herd tips

Infographic for herbs vs spicesHomegrownherbgarden.com
  • Check your spices and make sure they’re fresh. If they’ve lost their distinctive smell, their color has faded or they’re more than a year old, toss them and get a fresh batch.
  • Always consult your doctor to make sure that your medications don’t interact with different herbs, spices or foods you frequently eat. For example, the FDA warns that grapefruit can cause problems with some statins and blood pressure medications
  • Try to avoid using nonstick or aluminum pots when you’re brewing or steeping teas and tonics, use stainless steel or any pot that you don’t mind getting stained.
  • Herbs should be rubbed in your hands to release oils before you add them to recipes
  • Spices should be bloomed (quickly toasted or cooked in oil) when cooking


These recipes are for small batches of 1–3 servings max. I suggest you sip on them 2–3 times a day, preferably first thing in the morning and before bed.

Chai Spice Inspired Warming Tonic

When I’m feeling like my body needs a spicy, herbal boost


1 nub of freshly grated ginger (length of your thumb) or 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger
10–15 dried cloves or 2–3 pinches of dried clove powder
5 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
5 cardamom seeds or 2–3 pinches of dried cardamom powder
A pinch of nutmeg or 2–3 grates from a rasp
32 ozs of filtered water
Sweetener of your choice

Boil for 1 minute and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and pour contents in a clean, sterile jar or covered glass container, and let it steep in the refrigerator overnight or a maximum of 24 hours. Strain and consume within 2–3 days in the refrigerator.

You can drink it immediately, but it won’t be as strong.

Quick Golden Milk Remix

Add 1/2 cup of Warming Tea Tonic to 2 cups of plant-based milk
Bring to boil with 1 tsp of turmeric — steep for 5 minutes
Cool and drink warm with honey or sweetener of your choice

*I’ve tried it with a packet of hot cocoa mix and it was yummy -

Other notes

Both of these brews can be turned into a simple syrup and diluted with hot water.

Salt Water

Another simple mixture is saline—saltwater. It’s really good if you have dental problems and gum issues. I keep a jar of saline in my bathroom and use it as a pre-brush rinse every day.

Because of potential parasites and contaminants in tap water, I strongly suggest that you buy sterilized saline solution for oral use and don’t use tap water. I’d even boil filtered or distilled water if I need to make a homemade saline solution for an oral rinse.

NEVER use unsterilized water in a Neti pot.

Here are the CDC’s instructions on how to sterilize water:

Making Water Safe in an Emergency

Thank you for reading -

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Philadelphia, PA

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