A great chai-inspired recipe for immune (and mood) support that I use for myself and clients:

It’s that time of year. The children in my jiu jitsu class have been showing up with runny noses for the past week or so.  They range from age 4 to 6, and it’s common for their fingers to be in said runny noses.  As careful as I am, this is a full contact sport and the day after class, my throat often starts to itch, a little cough starts, or I get the chills (or all of the above). Indeed, many of us burn the candle at both ends, leaving our immune systems beat down and needing a little support.

Want to strengthen your immunity and help your body better deal with stress?  And want it to taste good?   Look no further. This is a great tasting “chai” blend that should help do the trick.


Herb mix:

1 tsp Roasted Dandelion Root

1 tsp Astragalus

1 tsp Orange Peel

0.5 tsp Chaga (organically produced, not wildcrafted)

0.5 tsp Cardamon

0.5 tsp Ginger

0.25 tsp Licorice

0.25 tsp Black Pepper

0.25 tsp Cinnamon

Coconut Milk – Dairy is traditional with chai but can be mucus forming.  Not good if your sinuses are already full of boogers.

Black Tea


  1. Add the herb mix to 40 ounces of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Steep for 15 more minutes to (better yet) overnight.  Can strain and store in fridge for several days.
  2. Meanwhile, boil water and add 8 ounces to 1 tsp of good quality black tea. Steep for 4-5 minutes. (Can skip the black tea if wishing to avoid caffeine).
  3. Combine 2/3 cup herb tea with 1/3 cup black tea.
  4. Add full fat coconut milk to taste.

This also works as a cold beverage but warm is more appropriate during the cold months.

How the ingredients help for cold & flu season

Black or Green Tea

•Tea polyphenols inactivate the flu virus and cold viruses

•Boosts immune system function

Dandelion Root

•Increases white blood cell production

•May stimulate both innate and adaptive immunity

•Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for respiratory support and resistance to pathogens

•Helps clear wastes (an “alterative” herb) via liver, kidneys and lymph system

Black Pepper

•A component, piperine, stimulates immune cell activity and boosts antibody production in response to pathogens

•Piperine also reduces respiratory airway inflammation

•Inactivates respiratory viruses

•Helps with chills, fever and achiness

•Increases absorption of the other herbs

•Warming, blood moving


Qi Tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine – Improves vitality, resistance to pathogens, respiratory health

Increases production of immune cells

•May enhance both innate and adaptive immune responses

•Reduces influenza virus replication

•Active against the common cold


Orange peel

•Contains vitamin C

•May improve antibody production against pathogens

•Active against respiratory viruses

•Digestive bitter (these help reduce mucus & help body assimilate nutrients)



•Contains immune stimulating polysaccharides

•Traditionally used in Russia as a tonic and blood purifier


•Warming, blood moving

•May increase white blood cell production


•Traditionally used in India for asthma (dilates airways) and as a respiratory tonic

•Traditionally used in Pakistan for cough and sore throat


•Traditional cold, sore throat and asthma remedy

•Antiviral, antibacterial

•May relax respiratory airways

•Reduces achiness

•Warming and blood moving


•Revitalizing, helps counter effects of long term stress

Increases production of immune cells

•Increases production of interferon gamma, an antiviral immune chemical

Antibacterial as well as antiviral

•One of my favorite herbs for respiratory infection. Just a small amount in a formula is plenty

•Cough soothing


•Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for colds, flu and bronchitis

•Antiviral, Antibacterial

•Blood moving


Coconut Milk

•Contains immune boosting, antiviral and antibacterial fatty acids active against multiple respiratory bugs


Content © Dr. Anna Marija Helt, Osadha Natural Health, LLC. Permission to republish any of the articles or videos in full or in part online or in print must be granted by the author in writing.

The articles and videos on this website for educational purposes only & have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or to substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare provider.