The word “Chai” actually means “tea” in the Hindi language, therefore saying “chai tea” is like saying “tea tea”. In the west however this had to be done so that marketers could make it easy for customers to understand what it was that they were selling.
Chai is many centuries old and originated in India. In most cases, it is a milky spiced tea made with black tea and a variety of spices that include cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, peppers, cloves and many other spices. Chai is normally sweetened with sugar or honey depending the persons choice.
Different drinkers of tea like Chai in different forms, so there is no one distinct recipe for Chai. The list of spices used in Chai vary depending on taste and on what herbal health benefits one requires.
Chai is a very common household drink in India and is as common as tea in England and Coffee in the United States. A guest in an Indian home would be offered a Chai as the main form of beverage. The spices used Chai are considered “exotic” in the west, however they are very common ingredients in India and its subcontinent.
The potential health benefits of drinking Spiced tea can be quite great compared to other hot beverages such as coffee, however some tea companies may not be using fresh spices so buyers should be aware. Customers should try to brew their own Chai with their own ingredients to ensure the tea is fresh to wreak the benefits. If you are not confident with such things you may want to purchase Chai boxes from a trusted brand such as Palanquin Tea, so that you know that the Chai you are drinking will actually be healthy for you and uses genuine freshly sourced ingredients.
Following is a list of benefits of the different types of Chai recipes.
1. Ginger: In the Asian subcontinent, ginger has been used for centuries to treat common ailments such as diarrhoea, stomach pains, arthritis and heart problems. More recent findings by scientists in the west also suggests that ginger can help lower the risk of colon cancer.
2. Cinnamon: Based on a recent study by the US Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon has been shown to help diabetic patients, this is because the cells are less likely to let insulin in. Lab tests that were done on rats with Type 2 diabetes, showed that cinnamon helped to stop the growth of certain bacteria and yeasts.
3. Cloves: These are used in many natural herbal medicines to remedy everything from toothaches and to halitosis. Cloves are also known to have antiseptic qualities and can be used to remove intestinal parasites and bacteria. Treating diarrhoea is also a common use for Cloves.
4. Cardamom: The benefits of cardamom are similar to ginger, in that digestion issues can be soothed and breathing problems due to asthma or other kinds of respiratory spasms can be reduced. There have been animal studies done in Saudi Arabia that showed that cardamom had also helped reduce muscle spasms.
5. Black Pepper: This spice is known to reduce intestinal gas and also works as an antioxidant.
If you are new to Chai, one thing to remember is that adding spiced tea to your daily drinking habits can have a great long term effect on your health. It can be refreshing with many varieties of spices to choose from. Also buy your spiced tea from an approved dealer such as Palanquin Tea to ensure you are putting the right type of products into your body.