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Lavender Chai

One of my favorite coffee shops makes an amazing honey, lavender, and earl grey chai. But shop hours have changed, so I was inspired to make my own, and it's not really too difficult. Earl grey has caffeine, so you might want to switch it up if you're trying to avoid the extra stimulation. Because of the caffeine, this would make an excellent coffee substitute for the mornings.

I put lavender and earl grey into a tea ball and put about 3:2 hot water to heated coconut milk and a generous teaspoon of honey.

So what are the goods?

Earl grey is black tea (camilla sinesis) with oil of the citrus fruit bergamot (citrus bergamia). There are tannins in tea, which are good astringents - they help manage water.

Lavender is mostly popular as an essential oil, but the blossoms can be dried and used in herbal teas. Lavender is mint, and the specialities of mints are stimulation AND relaxation. Stimulation can in fact be relaxing. Herbalist Jim McDonald put it this way (I'll paraphrase): It's like a head rub - your scalp tingles with stimulation but you start relaxing. I see it as bringing your nerves back on-line. They're stimulated so they can do their job, which is to help you relax.

Honey is just amazing. Raw honey hasn't been heated high enough to kill off the constituents that are so beneficial. If you get it locally, you can also give you micro doses of local pollen. Because of this, it has helped some people build a tolerance toward pollens that would normally over-power them. Honey is anti-microbial, making it good against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can draw out infection, making it good on wounds, as well as keeping the wound clean.

I used unsweetened coconut milk because it isn't prone to inflammation like cow dairy. And it's tasty.

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