This article is shared with permission from our friends at taliand.com.

Now that the temperature is dropping, it is important to maintain agni, our digestive fire, in order to keep us energized, warm and free from colds and flu.

Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

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One of the most amazing herbs for stimulating agni is cayenne pepper.  Cayenne has amazing health benefits, such as stimulating and repairing digestive tissues, increasing circulation and decreasing the risk of heart disease and even stimulating the release of fat tissue, aiding in weight loss.

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There are a number of studies showing its effectiveness for reversing heart disease, reducing headaches, helping to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and more.  You can read more here.

This winter I have become obsessed with cayenne pepper, adding it to everything from water (with one full squeezed lemon and ginger) and to soups.  As a delicious study aid, I invented this chai tea recipe.It only takes a couple of minutes to make and is absolutely delicious (and vegan and gluten-free, so everyone’s happy, right?).

Benefits of Chai Tea

It contains three more excellent spices:

  1. Cinnamon – Helps lower blood sugar levels
  2. Ginger – Another warming digestive aid that helps decrease nausea
  3. Nutmeg – Helps increase the absorptive power of the small intestine and colon, according to my Ayurvedic class

Here’s how to make it:

Chili Chocolate Chai Latte

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Add the spices and almond milk to a giant mug (approximately 1.5 cups) and then microwaved the mixture for 1 minute
  2. When the mixture has finished heating, stir it, add raw cacao powder and continued to stir until the spices began to dissolve, turning the milk brown
  3. The, add the honey and continue stirring
  4. Finally, top the mug up with some boiling water

If you are opposed to using a microwave or want to make a larger portion of Chili Chocolate Chai Latte, this recipe can be made my mixing everything together (except the honey) and heating it in a saucepan over the stove on low heat.  Add the honey last.  Be warned, however, that this method will take longer than 2 minutes…

Other variations have included adding cocoa instead of raw cacao, or even (if you really want to live it up) a square of pure dark chocolate to let melt, mochaccino-style, in the bottom of your mug.

The tea is creamy, slightly sweet, spicy and chocolatey.  It’s the perfect stimulating, warming beverage for a crisp Winter day!

Try out some more lattes!

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Dr. Talia Marcheggiani
Naturopathic Doctor
Contributor to The Hearty Soul.
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