A good spicy chai invokes warm feelings. The intoxicating cinnamon spice aroma feels good inhale. The full bodied concoction is best savored in the taste buds, and feels warm and spicy going down. It’s a great seasonal tea with numerous health benefits, making it one of those rare pleasures that are both good and good for you.
Surprisingly, chai was originally developed as a form of Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional chai spices were chosen for their health benefits. According to Ayurvedic medicine, these spices are considered to be “sattvic,” or calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying.
Looking at the ingredients, chai has numerous digestive, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting health benefits:
Ginger is a well-known digestive aid that relaxes and soothes the digestive tract. Cardamom and cinnamon help sooth stomach cramps and relieve digestive related issues such as indigestion, flatulence, and nausea.
Clove is high in eugenol, an anti-inflammatory substance. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties. Black pepper and ginger have compounds that inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds.
Tea is full of anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds. In addition, most chai spices possess complimentary immune system benefits. Black pepper, cinnamon, and clove contain different oils and substances that have been shown to effectively eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Other Health Benefits
Cinnamon has been found to lower LDL cholesterol, and have a regulatory effect on blood sugar. Cinnamon has also been found to improve cognitive function and memory.