The origins of chai tea go back nearly 5,000 years to ancient India and Siam. Stories tell of a king who formulated a recipe in an attempt to create a beverage with healing properties. After he had succeeded in perfecting his recipe, chai tea was used in the healing tradition of "ayurveda", an alternative form of medicine. During the Vedic period in India, people consumed chai tea to naturally heal their bodies, along with practicing yoga and massage. The tea's popularity spread throughout South Asia and eventually into the Western world.