Food & Drink, Health & Beauty

Anyone for Chai?

Herbal teas are great medicines.  Just the act of relaxing, sitting drinking a cup of tea can re-centre your mind and body, and combine that with some wonderful tea ingredients and you are giving yourself a great big hug.

Chai is one tea I have been enjoying a lot through the cold weather.  It’s wonderfully warming and comforting, and the aroma that fills your home from it is glorious.

Chai is also really good for you and has some amazing health benefits.  My recipe for Chai contains 6 different spices: Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Star Anise, Cloves, and Black Pepper.  Before we go into the recipe though let’s have a look at the benefits to your body from these ingredients. I could easily write a whole post about each of these individual ingredients, but here are a few of the key benefits from each.

Ginger.

  • Improves digestion
  • Antinflammatory
  • Fights respiratory problems
  • Improves circulation
  • Boosts immune system
  • Relieves stress

Cloves.

  • Improves digestion
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps fight gum diseases
  • Reduces headaches

Cardamom.

  • Antioxidant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antinflammatory
  • Antiparasitic
  • Helps with Hypertension
  • Improves circulation
  • Relieves flatulence, indigestion, constipation, & diarrhea

Cinnamon.IMG_6081

  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Helps the body to store less fat
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Antioxidant
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts brain function
  • Anti inflammatory

Black Pepper.

  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Improves digestion
  • Assists in the breakdown of fat cells
  • Provides respiratory relief from sinus and nasal congestion
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Enhances bioavailability by transporting the benefits of other herbs to different parts of the body thus maximising efficacy of those herbs

Star Anise.

  • Antioxidant
  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Improves digestion
  • High in vitamin A & C
  • Helps in treating coughs and flu

As you can see there are many health benefits to these spices but the ones that occur the most are improving digestion and boosting the immune system which makes this tea a great one to be drinking when coughs, colds and bugs are going round.

As well as being incredibly good for you, Chai is also extremely easy to make and you probably already have most, if not all of the ingredients in your kitchen.

You will need:

  • 1 tsp chopped ginger root
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken up)
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 black pepper corns

Put all the ingredients into a pan of water and simmer for at least 20 minutes.  You can serve this tea as it is or add some milk and honey if you prefer.

In our home we put all the spices and water into a slow cooker and leave it brewing constantly.  When we fancy a cup we use a ladle to spoon some chai from the slow cooker into a mug and then we top the slow cooker back up with water  so we have beautiful fresh chai whenever we fancy it.

Give some homemade chai a go yourself. x

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