February 22nd, 2013 12:00 PM
Chef, Restaurant Owner
There are many benefits to enjoying a nice cup of hot tea; me, I prefer Chai. The black tea in chai is rich in antioxidants and the spices in chai have been used for thousands of years to promote general health and well-being, as well as to treat various ailments.
Chai tea is a combination of spices with tea and milk that makes a delicious, healthy beverage. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, chai tea comes from Ayurvedic medicine and can be created with different recipes. All the recipes use health-promoting spices. Ayurvedic medicine, also called Ayurveda, works with each individual's constitution; and, traditionally, chai tea recipes are tailored to the constitution of each individual.
Almost every chai recipe includes ginger, cinnamon, cloves and black, green or oolong tea. Other common chai tea ingredients are cardamom, black peppercorns and fennel. All of these are considered healthy ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine. Milk, which is almost always part of chai tea, enhances the taste and makes it a richer, more satisfying beverage, but it isn't necessary for the health benefits. People with lactose intolerance can use soymilk or rice milk.
Cinnamon is thought to increase circulation and open breathing, increase awareness and vitality, and reduce fatigue. It is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac!
Nutmeg has been used for centuries to ease sciatica and promote the digestion of heavy foods. It was also used by ancient Arab physicians to treat kidney and lymph problems.
Widely used to support circulation and metabolism, black pepper can help to alleviate chronic coldness.
Chinese Star Anise
Traditional Asian herbalists credit star anise with a variety of properties. It's used frequently as a cough remedy and to freshen the breath.
Long valued as a stimulant for the circulatory and the immune systems, ginger has been used to treat such disparate conditions as impotence and motion sickness.
Chai tea provides a robust, satisfying beverage that can substitute for some of your daily coffee consumption. Caffeinated tea has less caffeine than coffee, and decaffeinated tea has almost none. Having chai instead of coffee provides health benefits and satisfies the taste buds.
For those Coffee lovers try Vanilla Soy Chai Tea with a shot of Expresso.... A great way to start your morning.
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