If you’re familiar with the low-histamine diet as a way to manage histamine intolerance symtoms, you’re probably aware that many spices traditionally used in delicious chai contain histamine – especially cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I love cinnamon, and am so grateful I can eat it again. Cinnamon is a plant that is dear to my heart, because it was the ingredient that clued me in to my migraines and histamine intolerance. Early on in my migraine hell post c-section, a naturopath prescribed a Chinese remedy that contained cinnamon in it as its first ingredient. She was trying to help me with my peripheral neuropathy issues, and thought cinnamon would be great for increasing circulation to my limbs. But while on the remedy, my migraines got even worse (she also prescribed vitamin B12 to me, which increases histamine). I examined the ingredients and started doing some online research. It was the realization that cinnamon contains histamine that tipped me off to the whole concept of histamine intolerance, which was one step on the path towards me finally healing my migraines.
The beauty of my protocol, the SimplyWell Migraine Protocol, is that elimination of histamine and tyramine rich foods is only a temporary step while your gut heals. So, you should be able to drink normal chai with all the cinnamon and nutmeg in it again – but you may not want to after tasting this delicious and creamy antihistamine chai. Eventhough I can consume traditional chai spices now, I stick to this chai recipe because I love the benefits all the ingredients confer, and it tastes amazing.
This chai imparts an incredible creaminess without the use of dairy, thanks to the coconut oil. You can use coconut manna too (which has arabinogalactan prebiotics in it) but it will be a little bit gritty. I prefer just the oil. Cardamom is anti-inflammatory and incredibly delicious.
This chai will spice up your antihistamine diet during the temporary month long elimination phase of the Simplywell Migraine Protocol. The majority of antihistamine foods are bland and have little flavor – so this chai will bring some much-needed character and kick to an otherise bland diet.
Anti-inflammatory Chai Recipe
2.5 thumbs of chopped raw ginger (a thumb is the width and length of the tip of your thumb to its first joint)
3 cups of water
seeds from 2 pods of fresh cardamom, or 1/8 t of turmeric powder
a dash of fresh black peppepr
honey or maple syrup to taste (I use 1.5 teaspoons)
1.5 T coconut oil (or manna)
Important Note: I also like to add 1 thumb of fresh turmeric (or 1.5 teaspoons of dry turmeric powder) to this mix, but I don’t include it in the main recipe here because turmeric is a DAO inhibitor. If you get migraines relatively infrequently, adding turmeric to this drink will probably be overall very beneficial for you, but if you get constant migraines, you should probably leave the turmeric out. Now that I no longer get migraines thanks to the SimplyWell Protocol, I use turmeric liberally. Turmeric is not a migraine trigger, but because it is a DAO inhibitor, it is not supportive of the breakdown of histamine.
To make this, simply blend together all the ingredients except for the coconut and honey in a blender on high. Transfer this mixture into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. The color will change from a lite to a deep orange. Strain the mixture back into the blender so that only liquid remains. Add the honey and coconut and blend for about 30-60 seconds so that the coconut gets fully whipped into the chai. I like my tea very strong but if you prefer it less concentrated, just add a little more hot water.