Chai spiced tea is a popular drink hot, cold, or as a latte, but it also has additional health benefits besides being a delicious exotic beverage. Common ingredients for Chai tea are: black tea, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Here are the benefits of the individual ingredients.
Cardamom is high in the minerals manganese and iron, which are very necessary for cellular metabolism. Manganese plays a role in bone health, and iron helps the body to metabolize oxygen. There are also cancer-fighting compounds that both kill cancer cells and prevent new ones from forming. Cardamom was highly prized in the east for its cancer-fighting properties for thousands of years. It is closely related to ginger and has similar properties of fighting indigestion and nausea. It detoxifies the kidneys. It helps to clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys removing salt, toxins, waste, excess water, and bacteria. It helps to prevent cold and ‘flu symptoms, and is used against bronchitis and coughs. It helps to cure mouth ulcers and fights infections of the mouth and throat. Cardamom prevents blood clots by making the platelets in the blood less sticky. It inhibits the growth of fungus, bacteria, viruses and mold. It has antioxidant properties that fight cell decay and aging caused by free radicals.
The health benefits of ginger are numerous, and it has been recognized as a medicinal powerhouse in the east for thousands of years, similarly to Cardamom. It is a natural pain reliever; it prevents motion sickness; fights nausea and indigestion; prevents heartburn; aids in metabolizing fat and promoting weight loss; deals with gassiness and bloating; fights cancer by killing cancer cells especially ovarian cancer; it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is useful for treating arthritis; freshens breath; clears congested sinuses; treats morning sickness; opens airways for people suffering from asthma; improves blood circulation; and heals frostbite.
Yet another rock star in the spice world, cloves has multiple health benefits. Cloves is packed with antioxidants: in fact more than most foods. It also has manganese, calcium, vitamins C and K. It has anti-viral and antibiotic properties. Cloves has been a common home remedy for toothache. It has muscle relaxant properties and was used in the past to relieve the cramps of childbirth. It can also treat insomnia.
Nutmeg has been prized in ancient Chinese medicine for its many curative properties. It has been used in China to treat abdominal pain, inflammation, and soreness. It is also a brain stimulant that increases focus, and reduces anxiety. It is useful in treating intestinal problems like flatulence, bloating, and constipation. It kills the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath. Finally, it induces sleep.
There are many different types of Cinnamon, but the two most common are referred to as Cassia and Ceylon. They are two entirely different plants, but they have similar medicinal properties. Cassia contains more of a compound called “coumarin” which is a blood thinner. There is less coumarin in Ceylon. Both types help with type 2 diabetes treatment and lowering blood glucose levels, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Cinnamon fights the formation of cancerous tumors. Ceylon inhibits the changes in the brain that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Cassia can treat inflammatory ailments.
Regular drinking of black tea has many health benefits. It contains caffeine, tannin, catechins and antioxidants. It may lower the risk of ovarian cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and Diabetes. It lowers cholesterol. It stimulates the brain without overtaxing the heart.
Well, I am off to have a cup of Chai tea.
Photo Set of spices by Supertrooper from freedigitalphotos.net