Health Benefits of Chai Tea
Known to those in India as masala chai, chai tea has become very much a Western beverage. The spices used in traditional chai are the same spices used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, giving many chai tea benefits for health.
Each of the herbs used in chai tea has a particular benefit to the consumer. The ingredients in chai tea are typically cardamom, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and fennel, each with its own benefit to health. The black tea in chai is also known to have multiple benefits for health.
The antioxidant properties of black tea are well known to researchers. Numerous studies have been conducted showing that the polyphenols in tea reduce free radical DNA damage. A recent study showed that almost every type of tea, including black tea, has these same antioxidant effects no matter how much processing the tea has been through.
The spices used in chai tea come from Ayurvedic medicine and have been used for hundreds of years to treat specific health issues. Most of the spices used for chai have benefits to digestion and metabolism.
Ginger has been known for many years to help with nausea. Practitioners of Ayurveda also believe that ginger can help improve circulation and improve regulation of blood sugar. Ginger has also been found in scientific research to have anti-inflammatory properties, making ginger the leader in the benefits of chai tea.
Other ingredients with beneficial uses include cardamom, found to decrease mucus and treat lung disorders. Cinnamon is thought to have calming properties and also aids in digestion and increases vitality. Pepper is a digestive stimulant and is thought to increase circulation and decrease sinus problems. Cloves are another digestive stimulant and fennel is also used to calm the nerves and improve mental acuity.
As black tea contains caffeine, it is also a stimulant. The main side effect of the tea is related to caffeine, and those that are sensitive should not consume it.
There are many health benefits to consuming chai tea, and it can be made in any number of ways, including adding vanilla chai. Science is still catching up and many more benefits are sure to be found.