We as Indians love our cup of chai and are very sceptical when it comes substituting it with something like the green tea. Although green tea has various health benefits, our desi masala chai is equally healthy and tastes far better than that bland cup of green tea. Also, it is very easy to make and you don't need to depend on manufacturers to make a cup full of masala chai. All you need are some spices that are available in all Indian kitchens like clove, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, tulsi and some tea. Here are a few things things that make this drink unique and healthy. Here are 6 reasons I will never give up drinking tea
Anti inflammatory: All the spices that make up masala chai not only have their individual health benefits but they work in synergy to help your body combat any inflammation. One of the most important ingredients that helps with inflammation is ginger. A paper published by the National Institute of Health  highlighted ginger s ability to stop the synthesis of prostaglandins (a major player in the initiation of the inflammation process) and leukotriene biosynthesis, which in turn helps reduce the amount of inflammation one experiences.Another component that makes masala chai a great tool to reduce inflammation is clove. Known to be packed with compound eugenol, clove is great when it comes to reducing inflammation in the muscles of the body. To add to that both these spices are very potent painkillers.
Beats fatigue: A hot cup of masala chai is the best thing after a long hard day. The tannins present in tea help calm the body and revitalize it. Moreover tea contains caffeine a stimulant. Albeit in a much lesser quantity when compared to coffee, but it has the same uplifting effect as a cuppa. This combination of spices (that helps beat fatigue) combined with a stimulant like caffeine acts as the best way to drive away fatigue. The effects of masala chai are so well known that even Olympic athletes resort to the drink as a 'banned-substance-safe' pick-me-up. Read more about the health benefits of elaichi.
Fights cold and flu: Believed to strengthen the immune system and keep common infections at bay, masala chai is infused with the goodness of all the antibacterial, anti fungal, anti parasitic properties of its constituent spices. Moreover the immunity boosting effects of clove, cinnamon, elaichi and ginger make masala chai a great way to keep coughs and colds at bay. Read more about the health benefits of cinnamon.
Improves digestion: Wondering how that is possible? Well, according to Mickey Mehta, holistic guru, Masala chai contains spices like clove, tulsi, ginger and elaichi. What makes it great for people is that chai on its own is highly acidic in nature but when you add ginger to it making it masala chai, it becomes a great digestive and in fact cuts out the acidic nature of the tea. So drink a cup of chai, it will rejuvenate you, beat fatigue and make you calmer. Apart from ginger, clove and elaichi also help improve digestion by increasing the amount of saliva produced and peristalsis (the movement of food down the digestive tract). Read more about the health benefits of ginger.
Good for your heart: Black tea (one of the main constituents of masala chai) is known for the strong anti oxidant properties it contains. Apart from that, spices like clove and elaichi also help lower the amount of bad cholesterol and improves the amount of good cholesterol. Thereby, reducing the amount of plaque formation of arterial blocks. The tannins present in tea are also known to help regulate one s heart rate and blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels.
Boosts metabolism: Having a good and active metabolism is usually associated with weight loss, but did you know that a good metabolism is also responsible for other things like helping your body digest and use food more efficiently. Being an essential part of your health, drinking chai also ensures your entire digestive system is in top condition. Moreover in Ayurveda, tea is known as a heat generating food and therefore helps speed up your metabolism.
Prevents diabetes: Clove, cinnamon and elaichi are both known to help prevent diabetes by increasing the insulin sensitivity in the body and lowering one's blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is known to keep the mind sharp and prevent the onset of diseases like Alzheimer's  and clove can help your body better utilize sugars.
Relieves PMS: If it s that time of the month and you need something natural to fight the symptoms of PMS, tea is your best friend. Masala chai not only has agents that can help calm your nerves and make you happier, but it also has muscle relaxing properties. Elaichi, clove and cinnamon all act as potent painkillers and can help you deal with the pain of your periods. Read more about natural methods to beat menstrual pain.
Image source: Shutterstock
For more articles on diseases & conditions, visit our diseases & conditions section. For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.