WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MASALA CHAI TEA?
What is chai?
Chai, also known as masala chai, originated in India in the early 20th century, and literally means “spiced tea”. While this was the standard, traditional beverage throughout India, in the west, we have come to know this blend of delicious, aromatic spices as something quite unique.
While many people drink chai tea for its grounding, spicy and delicious taste, chai tea also offers a wide range of health benefits. It is full of revitalising ayurvedic spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ginger, pepper and turmeric, which can support healthy digestion, circulation and enhance vital force. These spices also offer a warming quality, which is perfect through the cooler winter months to help warm you from the inside out.
Are there any health benefits from drinking chai tea?
These spices offer a great range of health benefits, which we can bring into our daily diet, simply by drinking good quality chai tea regularly. For example, Turmeric and ginger have traditionally been used for their anti-inflammatory and circulation benefits, which may help reduce joint inflammation and pain, such as arthritis or swelling of the joints. They have also traditionally been used to support healthy digestive function which enhances the potential for optimum break down and absorption of nutrients from the foods we ingest. Just as we can add these spices to our meals, you can drink chai tea 30 minutes before or after a meal to enhance the digestive process.
Does chai tea contain caffeine?
Many people don’t actually know that chai tea normally contains caffeine, as it is based on a black tea base. We designed our Caffeine Free Chai tea to offer a delicious option for young children, pregnant mothers or simply those wanting to avoid caffeine. It makes a great after dinner treat, as an alternative to a caffeinated beverage, to ensure you are not stimulated before going to sleep.
Our Caffeine Free Chai is based on Rooibos and Honey bush teas which are naturally caffeine free and also mineral rich, so you are able to reap the health benefits from this amazing chai. We also offer another caffeine free chai blend which is based on Dandelion root, called Dandelion Chia. Dandelion has traditionally been used in western herbal medicine to support healthy liver function and support detoxification, so this blend offers these added health benefits, in addition to the benefits of the spices. Dandelion chai has a beautiful toasted caramel flavour which arrives from the roasting process of the dandelion root.
The way chai tea is made is also important as there are many variations of chai on the market. Many products which are called chai, actually contain very little of the authentic spices (which is the main part of chai tea that offers health benefits), and actually contain sweeteners, sugar and flavourings. The other thing to look for is the ratio of tea to spices. The spices are far more expensive than tea, so some blends will offer far less proportion of spices to cut down on cost. The bad news is often the flavour is left lacking as a result.
It is important to ask at cafes and restaurants what type of chai they are using, otherwise, you may be a little disappointed when you receive a sugary, powdered drink made with artificial ingredients that is actually, no better for you than having flavoured milk. The key is to find a whole leaf chai tea, with a decent portion of the blend being made with spices. And while your there, ask if their chai is certified organic, that way you can be assured there won’t be any chemicals in your chai, which obviously means it will be better for you and also better for the planet.