Slippery elm, or Ulmus rubra, is a tree native to North American from Texas to Manitoba, and from Florida to Quebec.
It has been used for generations by Indigenous people of that region by peeling its slimy, red inner bark from twigs and branches and using it as a remedy for many common ailments, like fevers, wounds, and sore throats. When made into a powder and mixed with water (in this case chai), it generates a sticky material known as mucilage, which is very soothing to the throat.
I thought it would be the perfect addition to my Masala Chai that I prepared for my friend Tina Estes who uses her voice to sing. You can read about my visit with Tina HERE!
2" piece of ginger, cut into small pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
10 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the back of a large spoon
6 cups water
6 teabags of Darjeeling tea, or 2 teaspoons of loose Darjeeling tea
2 cups of your favorite milk (we used hemp milk)
1 tablespoon *slippery elm bark
Honey to taste
Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags or loose tea and steep 5 minutes. Add milk. Bring tea just to a simmer to warm the milk. Stir or whisk in the slippery elm bark. Strain the masala chai into a teapot and serve warm with honey.
*Slippery elm bark can be found in most herbal apothecaries or here at Mountain Rose Herbs
Orally administered medications should be taken one hour prior to or several hours after consumption of slippery elm as the mucilage may slow the absorption of orally administered drugs. Although considered very safe, I recommend that you consult with your healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.