Made from a combination of some of the most medicinally active herbs in the world, chai tea is a pungent, spicy, drink that is taken worldwide for its numerous health benefits and its warm, refreshing effect.
Though there are numerous chai tea recipes –majority of which are Indian-inspired-there are however some basic ingredients of chai tea which include ginger, black pepper, black tea, clove, cardamom and cinnamon among other ingredients. All these ingredients have their own health benefits, meaning that chai tea overly has numerous health benefits. Here is a comprehensive list of 15 health benefits of chai tea according to science.
1. Boasts powerful antioxidants
Chai tea is parked with powerful antioxidants, which are widely known to play a crucial role in countering degenerative diseases attributed to aging (1).
Again, the black tea contained in chai tea is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that has been scientifically established to help with protecting the body against the harmful effects of free radicals and some types of cancers (2).
The ginger contained in this herbal tea provides the body with beneficial medicinal properties, and it is also associated with a wide array of health benefits as well (3).
Basically, chai tea has several ingredients that are well-known for being powerful antioxidants. For instance, piperine, which is basically the main active compound of black pepper, is a strong antioxidant whose role in countering oxidative stress and inflammation is well documented (4).
Drinking this herbal tea can be a refreshing way of giving your body plenty of antioxidants thus ensuring it is gaining a host of health benefits as a result.
2. It offers digestive support
Due to its digestive-boosting effects, chai tea is normally taken after meals. For instance, the
black pepper contained in chai tea is clinically proven to have multiple digestive benefits (5).
Black pepper’s role in supporting the pancreas in the process of secreting digestive enzymes is well-known and documented. By doing this, black pepper can help speed up the amount of time required for the body to fully digest heavy foods such as fats and protein.
Another ingredient of chai tea, ginger, is traditionally a well renowned digestive herb that can help support a healthy digestion in a number of ways, from fighting excessive gas in the digestive tract to soothing the intestinal tract (6)
Ginger can be particularly effective in reducing symptoms of nausea and relieving stomach pain, all of which can promote a healthy digestion a great deal (7).
Drinking chai tea regularly can help improve your digestion and counter those annoying stomach problems such as excessive gas and bloating. To get all its digestive-boosting benefits, it is imperative you take this herbal tea after your meals on a regular basis.
3. Anti-inflammatory effects
Most of the ingredients in chai tea have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which are attributed to multiple health benefits.
For instance, the anti-inflammatory nature of ginger do not only help combat the activity of free radical cells, but they have also been proven to help strengthen the body’s defense mechanism as well (8).
Due to these anti-inflammatory effects of ginger, it has actually been scientifically proven that it can potentially elevate the symptoms of liver cancer by acting as anti-cancer agent (9).
Clove is another powerful anti-inflammatory agent in chai tea. Clove has widely been used in traditional medicine for curing several disorders, thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature which helps strengthen the immune system and further enhance the immune responses (10).
Clove is a rich source of a potent anti-inflammatory compound known as eugenol, which has been proven to help with relieving gum pain (11).
In that regard, taking a cup of chai tea on a daily basis is one of the surest ways of giving your body powerful anti-inflammatory properties and other important medicinal values. In fact, the combination of the powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients in chai tea can make this herbal tea an effective natural alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Owing to the anti-inflammatory effects in most of its ingredients, chai tea is good for the overall health by virtue of being a plentiful source of powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to the body in numerous ways.
4. It can help with weight loss
Some of the ingredients contained in chai tea have scientifically been proven to help with weight loss. For instance, black pepper contains fat burning properties, thus making it effective for burning off belly fat(12).
Due to a powerful compound in black pepper known as piperine , black pepper has been known to counter weight gain by blocking the growth of new fat cells. That is why black pepper has widely been used as a natural treatment for obesity in many communities all over the universe.
Furthermore, the ginger that is contained in chai tea is also clinically proven to aid with weight loss (13). Ginger helps with fat loss through thermogenesis, whereby it speeds up the burning of calories by boosting metabolism and increasing heat production.
It also enhances the usage of the excess fat the body stores in its cells thus preventing long-term accumulation of fat in the body. Ginger also counters the absorption of dietary fat, thus helping with effective weight loss in the long-run.
Taking chai tea is a nice way to shed off those unwanted pounds devoid of doing strenuous workouts or resorting to ineffective and costly weight loss pills.
5. Helps with detoxification
The cardamom present in chai tea has clinically been established to help with liver detoxification and liver cleansing (14).
Due to its anti-oxidative effects, cardamom can be a great and highly effective body cleanser, not to mention the numerous scientifically proven health benefits that are associated with this spice (15).
As such, the dietary cardamom present in chai tea offers one of the most effective ways of flushing those toxins out of your body. These toxins can potentially lead to kidney problems among other health concerns associated with toxin buildup.
The other important ingredient of chai tea that has widely been associated with body detoxification and cleansing is ginger (16). No wonder it is a common ingredient in many detoxification programs out there.
Ginger is widely regarded as a detoxifying herb, and it is thus recommended in detox diets as well as cleansing programs.
Taking chai tea is a great way of reaping the detoxifying benefits of the ginger contained it, as well as reaping other benefits that have been linked with ginger.
6. Helps with lowering high blood sugar
Though diabetes is mostly associated with changes in blood sugar levels as a result of lifestyle and dietary changes, taking chai tea can aid with stabilizing blood sugar levels, thanks to the cinnamon contained in it.
The cinnamon in this herbal tea makes it particularly helpful for persons with type 2 diabetes. Basically, cinnamon lowers blood sugar by reducing insulin resistance, thus making it easier for persons living with type 2 diabetes to manage it effectively (17).
According to one study, persons with diabetes type 2 tested using a blood pressure monitor experienced lower cholesterol levels and improved blood glucose levels after consuming a gram of cinnamon each day (18).
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Therefore taking chai tea that is loaded with a significant amount of cinnamon can be an excellent and effective way of lowering high blood pressure.
Besides promoting insulin sensitivity, cinnamon helps with maintaining stable glucose levels, which is crucial for countering headaches, anxiety and insomnia among other conditions. In most cases, persons living with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to take a cup of chai tea after
having their meals, so as to help stabilize their sugar levels and further boost insulin sensitivity.
Chai tea can be good for people living with diabetes since it can help them keep their blood sugar levels stable, thus enabling them to lead a normal life while living with this condition.
7. Helps promote good health of the heart
There is substantial amount of evidence that chai tea can help promote good health of the heart, thanks to some its benefits that contribute to a good cardiovascular health.
Cinnamon for instance has been found to help counter high blood pressure because it is parked with essential oils such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol , all of which counter hypertension and further improve blood circulation (19).
The active components of cinnamon benefit the cardiovascular system a great deal, particularly by enhancing vasodilatation thus improving blood flow(20).
The black tea in chai tea is also proven scientifically to aid with lowering blood pressure due to the high amounts of flavonoids contained in it (21).
Black tea consumption is also associated with low blood cholesterol levels (22). By lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation and lowering blood cholesterol levels, these two ingredients of chai tea significantly improve the health of the heart and further strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Taking 3 cups of chai tea on a daily basis can help promote a good health of the heart, in addition to reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke among other health problems.
8. Acts as a stress reliever
Chai tea is not only parked with medicinal properties, but it can also work as a stress reliever and help- bring a feel-good effect. All this is due to nutmeg, which is another important ingredient of chai tea. A study involving mice found out that nutmeg has an antidepressant effect upon interacting with the systems that regulate serotonin and dopamine hormones (23).
These two hormones are widely regarded as feel good hormones, and thus taking chai tea can help trigger the activity of the two hormones hence providing relief from chronic stress. In addition to relieving stress, nutmeg has further been found to aid with curing insomnia (24).
Chai tea is not just pleasant to taste, but the nutmeg in it makes it a powerful stress reliever and an effective cure for insomnia. Taking a cup of this herbal tea can therefore help you get rid of chronic stress and get a great night sleep as well.
9. Helps fight inflammation and pain
The potent antioxidant properties in cinnamon and ginger make chai tea quite effective when it comes to fighting pain and inflammation. For instance, there is scientific evidence that antioxidants can help counter rheumatoid arthritis, which is overly a painful condition (25).
Consuming a diet that is rich in antioxidants has also been shown to offer relief for pain, especially chronic pain (26). Therefore, one of the best and natural sources of dietary antioxidants is definitely chai tea.
Antioxidants can also help with fighting inflammation by the very fact that, antioxidants help neutralize oxidative stress and free radical, which are generally attributed to inflammation (27).
Drinking chai tea can offer an easy way of fighting inflammation and acute pain. In that regard, start drinking more of this herbal tea just in case you are suffering from acute pain or inflammation on any part of the body.
10. Helps reduce tumor growth and lower the risk of cancer
Fennel is also a common ingredient in most chai tea recipes. The highly beneficial herb boasts powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and carcinogenic properties. The fennel in chai tea is clinically proven to help with reducing tumor growth, thanks to scientific research which shows that this herb is capable of reducing tumor growth due to its ability to boost the body’s antioxidant defense system (28).
Chai tea also plays a role in lowering the risk of cancer, thanks to the powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties contained in ginger (29).
In fact, there are several studies that show that ginger can potentially counter different types of cancer, ranging from colon, breast, liver, pancreatic to lung cancer (30).
Regular consumption of chai tea is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your risk of getting different types of deadly cancers, in addition to reducing tumor growth. Consequently, make a point of consuming chai tea as regularly as possible to reduce your risk of cancer and to counter the growth of tumor.
11. Helps reduce menstrual cramps
Chai tea can be excellent for relieving menstrual cramps, thanks to some of its key ingredients that have a long-history of relieving menstrual cramps. For example, the effects of ginger on menstrual cramps are well documented (31).
Ginger has been the main cure for menses pain in traditional medicine, especially in Kampo medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine among others.
Ginger is particularly effective in reducing menstrual cramps because it is loaded with powerful components that are known as salicylates, which are scientifically known to have pain relieving effects, including relieving menstrual pain.
The other active ingredient of chai tea that is widely known for reducing menstrual cramps is fennel, which studies have shown that it can help with reducing menstrual pain after a study involving college-aged women with the help of a fertility monitor found out that those who treated their menstrual cramps with fennel extract experienced relief from their cramps as opposed to those that never used the fennel extract at all (33).
Chai tea can provide a nice, natural way for women to get relief from those annoying menstrual cramps. It combines the most effective ingredients that are well-known for their role in fighting menstrual pain and other types of pain as well.
12. Helps eliminate constipation
Chai tea offers a natural treatment for constipation and diarrhea. This is because some of its active ingredients have been established to help with curing constipation. For instance, garlic parks active ingredients that benefit the digestive system and are particularly effective for eliminating constipation (33).
Garlic is also good for the entire digestive system, thanks to the fact that it enhances the absorption of nutrients , balances the microflora in the gut and increase intestinal motility as well.
Cardamom is yet another powerful ingredient in chai tea that is scientifically known to help with treating constipation(34).
Cardamom treats constipation and diarrhea by stimulating the gut when one is suffering from constipation, and it also inhibit digestion where one is suffering from diarrhea. Therefore, cardamom also helps with balancing the gut as well as fighting digestive issues. When the cardamom and ginger are combined, they provide numerous benefits that help promote a healthy digestive system and most importantly eliminate constipation and diarrhea.
Taking chai tea is an effective way of combating constipation and curing diarrhea, thanks to cardamom and ginger contained in this herbal tea and which are well known for playing a beneficial role in fighting constipation and promoting a healthy digestive system.
13. Promotes healthy bones
The black tea in chai tea is scientifically known to play a significant role in promoting good health of the bones. Basically, black tea is derived from Camellia Sinensis, the very same plant that white, green and oolong tea is derived from. However, black tea is lower in caffeine than coffee and it also boasts powerful antioxidants. Drinking black tea has been attributed with healthy bones(35).
More so, it can help improve bone mineral density, which is crucial for protecting against osteoporosis among other bone diseases that are especially prevalent in elderly persons (36).
Black tea is further known to help with decreasing risk of rheumatoid arthritis, after a study involving women was done to test the effect of drinking black tea on bone mineral density reported high bone mineral density in participants who consumed regularly than those who did not consume black tea at all(37)
Ginger has also been proven to play a role in promoting good health of the bone, thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties that makes it a crucial ally in enhancing bone density(38).
Taking that cup of chai tea is a wonderful way of reaping the bone building effects of this tea, and also getting all the benefits of black tea that are likely to promote a good health of your bones. It can also help reduce your risk of getting bone diseases especially due to aging.
14. It can benefit mental health
Chai tea is a rich source of antioxidants, courtesy of most ingredients which are generally parked with antioxidants. For instance, cinnamon and ginger have more powerful antioxidants than most herbs out there. Antioxidants are basically quite important for mental health, since they aid with damaging the cells that contribute to mental illnesses (39).
Cinnamon has specifically been proven to aid with improving overall mental health and for preventing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (40).
Antioxidants also play a role in combating depression and anxiety disorders, thanks to the fact that they help counter the biochemical changes that are brought about by stress (41).
Since foods that are high in antioxidants have been proven to be excellent for brain because of their ability to counter the damage done by free radical cells on mental health (42), then taking chai tea can be an excellent way of loading your body with the powerful antioxidants it requires to maintain a good mental health.
That cup of chai tea can significantly boost your mental health and help you combat stress and depression. Better still, it can help lower your risk of some serious mental disorders that can adversely affect your mental health. The high antioxidant activity in this herbal tea can potentially change your mental health for the better.
15. Loaded with powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties
Chai tea boasts powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties due to some of its active ingredients that are attributed to antifungal and antibacterial properties. These properties have been proven to be highly effective in treating a variety of illnesses and diseases throughout the world (43).
The clove in this herbal tea has particularly been known to be an abundant source of antifungal and antibacterial properties, in comparison to mint, mustard, cinnamon and other spices (44).
As such, clove has the ability to treat various infections especially fungal and bacterial infections. It also has strong antiviral properties hence making it an effective cure for herpes (45).
Clove is one of the most important medicinal herbs courtesy of its wide array of pharmacological effects, thus making it a natural cure for most illnesses and infections that has affected people since time immemorial.
Again, the ginger in chai tea makes this herbal tea a plentiful source of antifungal and antibacterial properties (46). As a result, ginger boasts powerful antibiotic effects that can be effective even on some of the most drug-resistant infections.
Moreover, the anti-fungal properties in ginger have been proven to have the ability to treat even the most infectious fungal infections that are difficult to treat with drugs (47).
Adding chai tea to your dietary regimen can definitely help load your body with powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties, hence enabling it to combat a wide array of illnesses and infections that can prove daunting to treat using prescription drugs.
Chai tea has numerous benefits that are scientifically proven, apart from these 15 benefits covered here. But the surest way to reap the many benefits that are attributed to this herbal tea is by adding it to your daily dietary regimen.
In addition, ensure the chai tea you are consuming has as many herbal ingredients as possible, so that you can get to reap the health benefit of each herb.
5 Delicious Chai Tea Recipes
Here are 5 easy Chai Tea recipes you can prepare at home so as to enjoy Chai tea and also reap its numerous health benefits.
1. Chai Tea Latte
This recipe helps you enjoy chai tea in its most delicious and nutritious form (48). This recipe can produce four cups of Chai Tea Latte. If you prefer the recipe to be void of any dairy, then you should replace the ingredient, whole milk, with canned coconut milk. Ensure that you shake the bottle of coconut milk first before you open it.
Chai tea (should contain these ingredients below)
o 2 black tea bags
o 2 cups of water
o 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
o 2 whole cloves
o ½ tablespoon of ground nutmeg
o ½ tablespoon of ground cinnamon
o ½ tablespoon of allspice
o ½ tablespoon of ginger
o 2 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
o A pinch of ground cinnamon
o A tablespoon of pure syrup
o ¾ cup of whole milk
o ½ cup of chai tea(made from the ingredients above)
1. To prepare chai tea, put the above ingredients of chai tea in a medium-sized saucepan , add water and then bring the mixture to a boil. Whist the ingredients in the water and remove the saucepan from the heat and let the ingredients steep in the hot water for at least 5 minutes.
Place the saucepan back on the heat and then add the maple syrup and the black tea bags before bring the contents in the saucepan to a slight boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the tea bags steep in the boiling water and the other ingredients for about 5 minutes.
Take out the tea bags and strain your tea through a clean fine mesh strainer. Keep 1,2 cup of the chai tea purposely for the latte before storing the remaining chai ten in the refrigerator.
2. To prepare the latte, put the maple syrup, a pinch of ground cinnamon and the milk in a medium-sized saucepan and then bring the content to a slight boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the milk has started to bubble, and then use an immersion blender to for purposes of blending the milk . Make sure the milk has turned frothy.
3. Put ½ cup of the chai tea in a cup and slowly add the frothy milk until the cup is full. You can then sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon on the top of your chai latte if you like it.
4. Serve chai tea latte while it is still warm
2. Indian Masala Chai
This Indian-inspired chai tea recipe is meant to help you reap the numerous health benefits from different herbs and spices, all of which are proven to have different health benefits. This recipe will therefore help you drink your way to a healthy body by ensuring you gain as many healthy benefits as possible in a delicious way (49).This recipe yields two to three units of Indian Masala Chai.
o 3 cups of water
o 4 whole cloves
o ½ cup of milk
o 2 tablespoons of black tea (although decaf is the best option)
o 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
o 1/8 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
o ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
o 1 cinnamon stick that is broken into pieces
o 2 cardamom pods
1. Take a clean mortar and thoroughly crush the cardamom pods, the 4 whole cloves and cinnamon inside it until they are completely smooth. Alternatively, you can make use of a coffee grinder just in case you don’t have a mortar or if you think using a mortar is tiresome.
2. Take a small-sized saucepan and transfer all the crushed ingredients into it, Add the 3 cups of water, the ground ginger and fresh ground black pepper and then bring the resulting mixture into a boil.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and then cover it. Allow it to steep for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the ½ cup of milk together with the sugar to the saucepan containing the boiled ingredients. Proceed and bring the resulting mixture to a boil.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and then add the tea
6. Cover the saucepan before letting the contents inside the saucepan to steep for about 3 minutes.
7. Thoroughly stir the chai before straining it through a sieve
8. Pour the Indian Chai Masala directly into the teacups and then enjoy this delicious tea while it is still hot!
3. Chai Tea Mix
This popular chai tea recipe is an incredibly delicious alternative to Indian-inspired chai tea recipe. It combines cardamom, black pepper and dairy products, thus giving it a wonderfully delicious complexity (50). This recipe takes approximately 14 minutes to prepare, and the recipe can yield 5 ½ cups of Chai tea mix.
o 1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
o 1 tablespoon of ground allspice
o 2 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger
o ¾ teaspoons ground cloves
o 1 ½ cups of unsweetened instant tea(you can also use decaffeinated instant tea
o 1 cup of nonfat dry milk powder
o 1 cup of powdered nondairy creamer
o 1 cup of French vanilla-flavored
o Powdered nondairy creamer
1. Combine all the ingredients mentioned above in a blender or in a food processor. Blend them thoroughly for about 1 to 2 minutes, and then ensure the resulting mixture turns to a fine powder.
Pour the contents in the blender or food processor into a large bowl and then add sugar to the blender or food processer that you used for purposes of blending the ingredients. Blend them until they are superfine. This should take anywhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute, prior to adding more sugar and then stirring in creamers and milk powder. Blend them thoroughly before spoon mixing them into gift jars.
2. Stir 2 tablespoons of the resulting fine mixture above( now Chai Tea Mix) into a mug of boiling water or hot milk.
3. Add a ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa together with the dry milk to resulting mixture above.
4. Blend ¼ cup of Chai Tea Mix , a cup of milk and 3 ½ cups of vanilla ice cream in a food processor or a blender.
5. Add ¼ cup of fine white chocolate to 1 cup of Chai Tea Mix and then stir thoroughly.
6. Depending on the number of people you intend to serve, put 2 heaping tablespoons of Chai Tea Mix per 1 cup of boiling water or hot milk.
4. Homemade Chai
This is definitely the easiest version of chai tea that you can prepare at home. You are definitely going to love the way your kitchen will be filled with spicy fragrances. The other good thing about this special chai tea is that it allows you to use any non-dairy substitute or any milk. Again, most of its ingredients are all-natural and they are readily available (51).This recipe serves four people.
o 6 whole cloves
o 1 cinnamon stick
o 6 whole cardamom pods(they should be lightly crushed)
o 1 cup of low-fat milk
o 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
o 2 black tea bags or a tablespoon of loose black tea
o 1 tablespoon of white black peppercorns
o 1 piece of fresh ginger root
1. Place cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, the 3 cups of water and ginger in a small cooking pot.
2. Place the cooking pot on the heat , boil the above ingredients and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat before simmering for about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and put it aside to steep for about 10 minutes.
3. Place the pot back on the heat and then bring it to a boil. Once the contents in the cooking pot has boiled, remove the pot from the heat and then add tea. Cover the pot and keep it aside so that it can steep for about 5 minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve for purposes of discarding solids and then put back the liquid into the cooking pot.
5. Stir in milk and sugar prior to heating the resulting mixture over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved completely. This can take about a minute or two.
6. Finally, serve your tea to your guests or family, and enjoy it while it is still hot!
5. Punjabi Masala Chai
This is another Indian-inspired chai tea recipe, and is considered one of the most popular and most consumed versions of chai tea. This Punjabi Masala Chai recipe takes approximately 12 minutes in total to prepare. You will need two minutes to prepare the ingredients and a further 10 minutes to cook the Chai. Furthermore, it also combines the common ingredients of other types of chai teas (52).
o ½ cup of milk
o ½ cup of water
o ½ tablespoon of grated ginger
o 2 cloves
o 2 green cardamoms
o 2 tablespoons of sugar
1. To get started with preparing this Indian-inspired chai tea, put the ½ cup of water into a cooking pan and then boil it for a couple of seconds on a consistent high heat.
2. Lower the heat prior to adding the 2 tablespoons of tea leaves to the boiling water. This process is very crucial because it basically entails making black tea. After adding the tea leaves, you can allow the black tea to boil for a couple of seconds.
3. Add the two tablespoons of sugar and then stir them thoroughly until they dissolve completely into the black tea.
4. Place the black tea on the heat until it turns to dark red. Add the ½ cup of milk to the water before stirring the milk thoroughly for about a minute or so.
5. Slightly crush the cloves and the cardamom and then add them to the black tea.
6. Add the ½ tablespoon of grated ginger to the black tea and then stir it thoroughly
7. Take another cooking pan and boil all the ingredients above for about 2 to 3 minutes. Your ingredients should boil on medium heat so that they can give your tea a nice, pleasant flavor.
8. Once the ingredients have boiled, allow them to steep for at least 5 minutes before adding them to the black tea you have just prepared.
9. Thereafter, strain the tea through a fine-meshed strainer for purposes of getting rid of any solids.
10. Serve the tea when it is still hot lest it ends up losing its flavor.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.