Chai has been drunk for centuries in places like India and Nepal to maintain good health and for peace of mind. And because it tastes so damn good. But the combination of tea and aromatic spices provide health benefits, too. Especially during transitional seasons like autumn.
There are many variants of chai but essentially, it’s comprised of black tea with added spices. The most common ingredients include ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and cardamom. Milk and a sweetener are then often added.
Like everything, the benefits of chai depend on the quality of the blend and types of spices. We stock Leaves and Flowers teas as they keep their ingredients as whole and intact as possible— resulting in a fragrant “re-bloom” when infused— plus their botanicals and teas are ethically sourced and sustainably harvested, with reverence to the land and farmer. The quality of Leaves and Flowers tea delivers the most benefits to the body and spirits.
Here, we outline the main health benefits found in their Chai Asam.
Assam tea is a particular type of black tea that’s well known for its rich, malty flavor and many potential health benefits including reducing inflammation, heart health and immune function. Because of its naturally high caffeine content, we recommend Chai Assam as a morning tea ;-)
The third most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla, cardamom has a wealth of health benefits, most notably that it aids digestion and supports the immune system. It also has great antioxidant properties to help detoxify the body and improve blood circulation. Studies show that cardamom also lowers heartbeats and controls heart rhythm and hypertension, as well as possessing anti-depressant properties.
Perhaps ginger’s greatest claim to fame is as a remedy to nausea and as a digestive aid. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help muscle soreness. Moreover, ginger has gut-boosting properties, which bolster our defences against colds and other common viruses.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. It has been mentioned in the bible and at one point was considered more precious than gold. Cinnamon contains manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds, nausea, diarrhea and menstrual cramps. If you're one of those people who have an aversion to this spice, we suggest Peni Miris Cinnamon. It will change your opinion. #promise
Evidence from modern studies suggests cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar and offset sugar cravings, making it a helpful aid for those with type 2 diabetes. Other studies also highlight its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
Black pepper has antibacterial properties that help prevent digestive issues. In addition, black pepper may increase levels of digestive enzymes needed to properly break down foods and support optimal digestion.
The addition of rose in Leaves and Flowers Assam Chai is unconventional, but not out of left field. While we may think of rose as a sweet-tasting herb, dried rose petals taste bitter. We like this addition as we want to move towards fall with grace, and a touch of bitter in rose petals can help ease the decline of more firey aspects of summer. We also like adding a capfull of Pure Bulgarian Rosewater in water anytime of year, for mood and internal cooling.
Similarly to rose, peppermint is a fresh addition to traditional chai, and takes a back seat to classic Chai ingredients. The refreshing qualities of mint improves the perception of airflow. We like this addition because, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is the season of the lungs, and any opportunity to strengthen and nourish these vital organs is good by us.