The Power of Chai: Tap Into the Goodness of This Ancient Beverage


Jan. 8 2024, Published 11:50 a.m. ET

Two cups of delicious looking traditional Indian chai tea on a wooden table accompanied with the spice ingredients
Source: iStock

Chai, often referred to as masala chai, holds a prominent place in Indian culture. According to Chai House, its origins reach back millennia, where it intertwines with the Ayurvedic practice of using "masala," a spice blend, for its refreshing and medicinal properties.

This masala has evolved, incorporating warming spices like ginger, cardamom, and clove. However, it wasn't until tea cultivation began in India around the 17th century that masala chai really came into its own.

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Today, chai remains an integral part of Indian culture and is still enjoyed throughout the day. Its popularity continues to soar globally as well, inspiring creative adaptations like chai lattes and fusion blends.

Here are a few benefits of drinking chai that might make you want to incorporate it into part of your daily routine.

A beautiful array of chai spice ingredients on a dark grey slate surface
Source: iStock
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5 benefits of chai that’ll have you wanting more:

When a food or beverage is touted to have health benefits, you automatically assume it won’t taste good. (Take anti-inflammatory smoothies, for example.)

Happily, that’s not the case when it comes to chai. The brew has done a superb job of masking its healthy goodness behind a delectable flavor. You’ll probably give up your morning coffee to drink more of it.

1. Masala chai is a boost for the immune system.

Tea purveyor Madura claims chai is rich in antioxidants that help boost the immune system and protect against illnesses. Combining spices like ginger, cardamom, and clove in chai provides antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it an effective natural remedy for fighting infections and boosting overall health.

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2. Enjoying this ancient brew can support heart health.

Certain spices used in chai, like cinnamon and cardamom, have been linked to heart health benefits. According to Outside, regular consumption of this tea can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system. It can also improve blood circulation, help lower blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels.

3. Chai may help with blood sugar levels.

Incorporating chai into your routine may benefit those looking to support healthy blood sugar management. Per Healthline, cinnamon, a key spice in masala chai, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

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Extreme close up of two chai lattes with some ingredients artfully decorating the drinks
Source: iStock

4. Try a cup of chai the next time you feel nauseous.

Chai is known for its soothing properties, and Livestrong says it can be especially beneficial in relieving nausea. The combination of ginger and other spices in this tea has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for nausea.

Ginger, in particular, has been shown to have anti-nausea properties and can help calm the digestive system. So, the next time you're feeling queasy, a cup of chai may be just what you need to find some relief.

5. Drinking chai may improve brain function.

Chai's black tea and spice blend may offer some cognitive benefits, too. WebMD says stimulating compounds like cinnamon, caffeine, and L-theanine can improve attention, memory, and focus.

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