An Ancient Beverage to Advance Your Health
Chai tea has been a staple in India for thousands of years, and today it is enjoyed throughout the world as an uplifting and health-promoting beverage. But what is it that makes chai such an excellent wellness tonic? A powerful blend of tea, herbs and spices, chai has been cherished for centuries in the East as a soothing way to preserve health and increase peace of mind. But the more we learn about the ingredients in chai, the more benefits we discover. Chai tea improves digestion, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that chai has antibacterial and immune-boosting effects.
Chai can be made using various recipes. Usually, the blends are specific to the region where it is consumed. Essentially, however, there are a number of standard ingredients, including black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, clove and black pepper. Though they act synergistically to increase each other’s benefits, the separate ingredients offer impressive health benefits on their own.
It’s no secret that tea is full of antioxidants. However, the antioxidants in tea may provide more far-reaching protection than we previously suspected. For example, black tea may support a healthy HDL (good) cholesterol ratio, helping to maintain cardiovascular health. In addition, some research has shown black tea has antiviral and immune enhancement properties. A 2012 study published in Pharmacognosy Research shows that black tea exerts beneficial anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating actions.
An important root used in Eastern medicine, ginger aids digestion, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation, which can be especially helpful for people with arthritis. It offers antioxidant support, and some research has also shown that ginger can improve cellular health.
Found in countless Asian herbal formulas, cardamom aids digestion and supports the immune system. In addition, it helps detoxify the body and improve circulation, and it may also fight respiratory allergies. A 2012 study in the Journal of Pharmacy Research demonstrated the antioxidant and immune-modulating antimicrobial of cardamom extract.
Keeping with the theme, cinnamon has wonderful digestive properties and may also help balance blood sugar. In addition, research has shown that cinnamon has immune supportive and antioxidant effects.
A great source of antioxidants, fennel provides vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Fennel also has demonstrated cell-supportive effects.
Clove helps digestion, has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties and may help alleviate ulcer pain. In addition, clove has antibacterial action.
New research shows that black pepper may have an effect on our metabolism. A 2012 study demonstrated black pepper’s direct influence on fat storage, suggesting that it may be useful to prevent fat accumulation. Black pepper also offers immune and antioxidant support, and aids digestion.
Given these and other benefits, chai’s popularity is no mystery. Some people in the East assert that their daily cup of chai tea is what keeps them healthy and strong throughout the years. As more people discover what Eastern practitioners have known for centuries — that chai calms the mind, improves digestion and provides numerous health advantages — this ancient beverage will continue to gain popularity around the world for its delicious flavor and vital health benefits.