Chai tea is an actually a misnomer since chai means tea in Hindi. In India, tea is prepared by brewing for a long time using ingredients which are freshly ground. When spices are used, it is called chai tea or masala chai. The main ingredients of chai tea are black tea, milk, sugar and spices. Although the spices vary from region to region and households, the spices which are commonly used are ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Chai tea has a soothing, warming effect. It also works well as a digestive aid and people having it will feel a sense of well-being.
What Are the Benefits of Chai Tea?
There have been various studies done to show the anti-inflammatory properties of the ingredients used in chai tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective to use instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The study has been published in Journal of Medicinal Food in 2005. Cinnamon also works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the human body. Another ingredient used in chai tea is clove. Cloves have potent anti-inflammatory constituent called as eugenol which is beneficial in reducing pain in the gums as well as general inflammation in the body.
Ingredients in chai tea act as potent anti-oxidants. These are beneficial in prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disorders. When it is drunk with black tea as its ingredient, it protects the cells and tissue of the body from free radicals. When ginger is added to chai tea, it helps in protecting the body from various types of cancer like colo-rectal cancer and ovarian cancer. Piperine, present in pepper, is a strong anti-oxidant and can help in preventing oxidative damage. What's more, cardamom acts as an anti-oxidant against non-melanoma skin cancer. It is also beneficial in lowering blood pressure and reducing cardiovascular risks.
When chai tea is taken post meals, it has digestion boosting effects. When the meal is high in fats and proteins, chai tea with black pepper should be had. It causes the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes and thus digest the heavier foods. Ginger has always been known to aid in digestion and also helps in stopping nausea. It is also called as a potent digestive herb. Cinnamon is also a digestive stimulant and is widely used.
How to Make Chai Tea
1 piece of 1/4th inch
Green cardamom pods
Time & Yield