Chai: Simple Ingredients, Major Benefits
Autumn is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to prepare the body for the drop in temperature than to boost the immune system with a soothing, warming Chai. I’m not talking about the sugar-enhanced version made by coffee houses. I’m introducing you to the ingredients and benefits of real Chai: the Chai that really does promote therapeutic healing on all levels.
Unlike coffee, Chai has many inherently beneficial properties. According to Ayurvedic philosophy and medicine, Chai spices are considered to be ‘Sattvic:’ calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying, the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life.
Benefits of Spices in Chai
Ginger-used to remedy a number of ailments. Researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders. Here are just a few of the many ailments that it can be used to treat:
-Helps in the reduction of pain and inflammation (a natural painkiller)
-Cold and flu prevention
-Menstrual cramp relief
Cinnamon–not only does it taste good, but it makes you feel good too. Here are a few of its beneficial properties:
-Regulates blood sugar levels
-Helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels
-Contains natural anti-infectious compounds
-Reduces pain linked with arthritis
Cloves - have a therapeutic role in the following conditions:
-Skin disorders such as acne
-Symptoms of flu, bronchitis, sinus conditions, coughs and asthma
-Gum and tooth disorders
Cardamom - known in India as ‘Choti elaichi,’ cardamom is considered an extremely useful medicine.
-Helps reduce stomach cramps
-Eases suffering from flatulence and gas
-Cleanses the body
-Improves circulation to the lungs; may treat asthma and bronchitis
-Stimulates appetite; may relieve stomach acidity
Black pepper–a spice you may not think of as having a large amount of healing properties, but below are just a few.
-Helps decrease intestinal gas
-Prevents heartburn and constipation
-Rich in anti-oxidants; contains high levels of vitamin A and C
-Assists in controlling blood pressure and heart rate
Black Tea–all to often, black tea is compared with the negative aspects of coffee. Below are some of the positive reasons for drinking black tea.
-Skin and hair health
-Abundant in anti-oxidants such as flavonoids, demonstrated to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol
-Contains caffeine and the amino acid, L-Theanine, which increases mental focus and concentration
-Oral health–polyphenols and tannin perform as antibiotics, preventing bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath
-Contains abundance of tannins, which fight viruses and influenza, dysentery and hepatitis
How to make Chai:
- 10 handfuls of filtered water
- 8 slices of fresh ginger root finely diced
- 12 cloves
- 16 green cardamom pods, cracked
- 16 black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 black tea teabags (black tea is normal tea bags or loose tea)
- 1 double handful of milk/soya milk (optional)
- Add honey to taste (optional)
- In a saucepan bring the water to the boil.
- Add the spices.
- Cover and simmer the spiced liquid for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the teabags and let them steep in the liquid for 2 minutes.
- Add the milk and bring to the boil.
- Remove from heat immediately.
- Add a teaspoon of honey to the cup, strain out the spices and serve.
- NOTE: 2 double handfuls of liquid are equal to 250ml.