In the Kitchen with Kelley: Homemade Chai Tea
A powerful blend of tea, herbs and spices, chai tea has been cherished for centuries in the East as a soothing way to preserve health and increase peace of mind — according to Easy Health Options contributor, Dr. Isaac Eliaz.
And the taste is just divine — according to me. If you find most herbal teas too bitter, chai tea may be a better choice for you. When everyone else is clamoring for everything pumpkin spice this time of year, I’m more than happy to reach for chai.
And the more you learn about the ingredients in chai, the more benefits you’ll discover…
It’s no secret that tea is full of antioxidants. However, the antioxidants in tea may provide more far-reaching protection than we previously suspected. For example, black tea may support a healthy HDL (good) cholesterol ratio, helping to maintain desirable cardiovascular health. In addition, research has shown black tea has antiviral and anti-cancer properties. A 2012 study published in Pharmacognosy Research shows that black tea exerts beneficial anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating actions.
An important root used in Eastern medicine, ginger attacks cancer-causing inflammation, helps digestion, improves circulation and boosts the immune system. It offers antioxidant support, and some research has also shown that ginger can help fight cancer cells. In 2011, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that whole ginger extract inhibited the growth and progression of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
Found in virtually every Tibetan medicine formula, cardamom aids digestion and supports the immune system. In addition, it helps detoxify the body and improve circulation, and it may also fight respiratory allergies. A 2012 study in the Journal of Pharmacy Research demonstrated the antioxidant, immune-modulating and antimicrobial effects of cardamom extract.
Keeping with the theme, cinnamon has wonderful digestive properties and may also help balance blood sugar. In addition, research has shown that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects–but that’s just beginning of what this amazing spice has to offer.
Clove helps digestion, has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties and may help alleviate ulcer pain. In addition, clove has antibacterial action.
New research shows that black pepper may have an effect on our metabolism and help speed weight loss. A 2012 study demonstrated black pepper’s direct influence on fat storage, suggesting that it may be useful to prevent fat accumulation. Black pepper also offers antibacterial and antioxidant support and aids digestion.