As there are different recipes for different kinds of chai tea, health benefits it can bestow upon you also vary. Most chai tea recipes include cinnamon, ginger, cloves and oolong, green or black tea. Fennel, black peppercorns and cardamom are some of the other frequently used ingredients. And of course, no chai tea goes without milk. To sweeten it all, some people use honey, while other prefer sugar. All of these ingredients have medicinal properties of their own, but their mixture brings forth some additional benefits for human health. Some people may opt to not use some of the mentioned ingredients because of allergies, intolerance or certain medical condition. You can simply leave the ingredient in question out, or you can choose to replace it. For example, if you are lactose intolerant, you can replace cow’s milk with soy or rice milk.
Chai tea recipes are being created since many centuries ago. Many of them are centered around teachings of traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine. Modern alternative medicine continues to practice recommending chai tea to people in need. As time goes by, it gains more and more support even in more conservative circles of modern medicine. These are common health benefits chai tea brings no matter what its precise composition is:
1. Anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is the most effective ingredient in chai tea mixtures when it comes to treating inflammations. Even in the old days ginger was used to treat inflammations, and that is something time hasn’t changed, as doctors recommend ginger for this exact purpose to this very day.
2. Digestive aid. Poor digestion can often because to a more serious health condition. Doing everything to help yourself digest your food more efficiently is very important, and drinking chai tea is great to do just that. Unlike with some other health benefits chai tea brings, in this case not just one ingredient that can claim to be the sole benefactor to digestion. Simply put, the whole spice mix works towards improving digestive processes. Cloves accelerate digestion, ginger soothes the stomach, fennel helps disperse flatulence, cinnamon calms the stomach, reduces nausea and helps with diarrhea…
3. Antioxidant effect. Most types of tea are rich in antioxidants. As chai tea is actually made from other types of tea, it is not an exception to this tendency. If you have read about health benefits of green, black, oolong, or just about any oriental tea, you will know exactly how important antioxidants are. They fight off free radicals which attack all types of cells in the human organism. Free radicals are, in fact, the leading cause of aging. They also cause a multitude of different health conditions, including, but not limited to cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Now, depending on your health problems, you may want to tamper with a balance of ingredients. To be more precise, you will want to increase the ratio of those ingredients which specifically help with the type of problem you’re dealing with.
Here are some of the ingredients you may opt to use and their particular beneficial effects on human health:
1. Cinnamon. You will want to have more cinnamon if you’re dealing with flu, cold or other respiratory problems. Cinnamon also greatly helps with indigestion, control of cholesterol and blood sugar levels, losing excess weight, blood circulation, oral hygiene, menstrual comfort… the list goes on. Some people will even swear it acts as an aphrodisiac.
2. Ginger. Ginger will help you maintain your mental health and get rid of stress, headaches and migraines. It’s also proficient in dealing with stomach and menstrual discomfort, asthma and coughing. Health benefits ginger brings are still looked into. There are reports claiming it may help people suffering from infertility, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Cardamom. This is another type of spice which belongs to ginger family. Benefits particularly attributed to this ingredient are gas relief, digestive aid, metabolism improvement and removal of bad breath among others. This is another chai tea ingredient said to have aphrodisiac properties.
4. Black pepper. Black pepper is sometimes used to “sweat out” a fever. It’s also great for dealing with bad metabolism and blood circulation, as well as respiratory problems and chest congestion.
5. Nutmeg. Nutmeg has been traditionally used to relieve neurological pain, maintain strong immunity and kidney health.
6. Clove. Clove is a potent antifungal agent. This provides it with a wide variety of applications as health conditions caused by fungi are often and numerous.
There are, of course, many other ingredients which can be included in chai tea. In fact, you can do some experimenting on your own. This is, of course, if you are familiar with benefits, possible side effects and recommended doses of ingredients you are thinking of implementing in your recipe.