Benefits of Chai Tea
The weather is getting cooler, which means that it is the perfect time for warming drinks. Try brewing some chai tea. Chai is an ancient Indian blend of spices. The yoga nutrition philosophy of Ayruveda, considers the spices of chai to be “sattvic”- meaning calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying. The tea has many beneficial properties, as the black tea used in chai is rich in antioxidants. The “sattvic” spices have been used in the Ayruvedic tradition for thousands of years, promoting wellbeing and treating the stresses of everyday life.
Some common spices in chai include cinnamon, cardamom, clove, black pepper, nutmeg, anise, ginger, and fennel. Cinnamon, as spice that clears and opens the sinuses, helps to open breathing. It also increases blood circulation, increasing vitality and reducing fatigue. Cardamom is another opening, warm spice that also serves as a mood elevator. It is used in many Indian preparations, benefiting the lungs, kidneys, and heart. Cloves offer pain relief and have antiseptic properties. This spice, along with the pepper and ginger, helps to increase the potency of the herbal blend- allowing our bodies to reap all the benefits. Black pepper is warming to the body as it supports circulation and metabolism. Nutmeg is soothing to the body and helps promote the digestion of bulky foods. Anise is a spice that is soothing to the throat. Traditional Asian herbalists often use this spice as a cough remedy and as a means to freshen the breath. Ginger is a great stimulate for both the circulatory and immune systems. It helps to bring the body into balance. When it comes to fennel, this spice has detoxifying properties, helping to treat and support the kidney.
Get creative with chai tea blends. Experiment with different spices to see which ones best warm you this winter season. Start with the black tea and add different spices to your liking. If you are looking to add some sweetness, try adding some raw honey to your blend. You can also add some milk if you want a creamier drink. Be mindful of the effects this tea has on your body and take in all the benefits it has to offer by setting some time aside to sit down and sip on your creation.
Submitted by Erin Henry