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Bedtime chai

Bedtime chai

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You can alleviate a range of everyday ailments using ingredients from the garden!

Mum always said to have a glass of milk before bed, and she was right. Milk contains tryptophan, which our bodies convert into melatonin, our ‘sleep hormone’. I’ve taken this classic mum’s medicine, and ramped up its dream factor with a little hypnotic herb called valerian. Studies have shown that as little as 1 gram of this guy can induce relaxation and improve sleep onset.


Cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 teaspoons rooibos tea leaves
2–3 teaspoons finely chopped valerian root
1 vanilla bean pod, halved lengthwise
Large pinch of ground nutmeg
600ml full-cream milk (or your favourite alternative plus 2 tsp coconut oil)
A little honey or stevia, to taste 


Coarsely grind the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in a coffee or spice grinder. Place them in a heavy-based saucepan with the tea leaves, valerian root, whole vanilla bean pod and nutmeg. Pour over the milk, plus the coconut oil if you’re using a non-dairy option.

Bring to a simmer over a very low heat, stir well, then cover and continue to simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain, discarding the solids. Stir through your choice of sweetener if desired, then enjoy. Sweet dreams! 


For more on infusing and concocting, get your copy of the September 2017 issue of ABC Organic Gardener magazine OUT NOW!