Masala Chai Benefits, ingredients, Side effects and History

History of Masala Chai

The masala chai is thought to be at least 9000 years old.  Other beliefs claim that masala chai has been around for 5000 years. Regardless of the precise date of creation, the origin is generally thought to be in the Indian subcontinent

This masala chai is thought to have originated during the Ayurveda period of ancient India. Let's go back to the beginnings of masala chai and spices in India. Many of these spices, which were first grown in India, were used for ancient medical treatments throughout the Ayurveda period. This was later combined with the tea. During this time, masala chai was served mostly hot, with the primary goal of providing treatment for infectious diseases by enhancing immunity.

During the British Rule, India saw a tremendous increase in tea production. In areas of Assam, a British ruler developed the first tea plantation in India in 1835. As we know now, the first modern type of masala tea was created during this period. Turmeric, ginger, and elaichi were the main spices mixed in the beginning. As the black tea was made primarily for export, it was costly for the locals to buy. Therefore, the tea sellers started to mix the spices with black tea to reduce the cost.

When tea companies began selling powdered black tea in the 1960s, masala chai's popularity increased. As a result, tea became a relatively affordable item for all Indians. Vigorous crushing of tea leaves during manufacturing leads to losing its natural flavour and developing a pungent smell. So to enhance the flavour, people started adding milk and other spice components. This boosted the popularity of masala chai in modern India and gradually became a habit among Indian tea drinkers to use some spices.

Popularity of The Masala Chai at the Global level 

As Masala chai became more popular in India, people in other nations also began to use spices in their tea. It was primarily due to the health benefits connected with masala tea that it gained global recognition.

Masala tea is brewed like black tea in other regions of the world, such as the United States. However, in India, people began to add milk and sometimes jaggery to masala tea to enhance the flavour. This recipe has now become one of India's most popular forms of tea, among other varieties such as green tea and herbal tea. 

Masala tea consumption is common in Indian households since all of the spices used in the masala chai are readily available. Many packaged tea companies have begun to use artificial flavours to mimic the taste of these original spices. But masala chai lovers are still inclined to use whole spices for making masala tea.

As the name suggests, Masala chai is made up of authentic spices that have a strong stimulant flavour. This cherished beverage, which can be found in every corner of the Indian subcontinent, is highly beneficial to the people in many ways. 

Below you can find the benefits of consuming masala chai, but before that, you must know about the ingredients of masala tea. 

Masala Tea Benefits 

With the delicious taste of masala tea, the best part comes with the health benefits associated with the same. There are now many private tea brands that sell ready-made masala chai powder claiming the benefits of regular drinking. The following are some of the significant benefits of the masala chai:

Masala Chai Boosts Immunity

Masala chai ingredients like clove, eliche, cinnamon are known for immunity boosting properties, the combination of them all is one of the best immune boosters. The medical benefits of these mixtures are pretty effective, and they are proven to enhance the body's immune power.  

Indian Masala Tea Helps with Digestion

The ingredients are also helpful in assisting digestive power. They help in better food absorption ability by cleaning the alimentary canal with the removal of toxic substances. Thus, it is often recommended to drink masala chai for a few days after consuming junk foods as the ingredients of the masala tea can help deal with the unwanted substances associated with junk foods.

Reduction in inflammation

Ingredients in masala tea like ginger are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint pain. It is also helpful for older people suffering from various types of arthritis pain. 

Antioxidant property of Masala Chai

If the masala chai is prepared with black or green tea, it is considered a potent antioxidant property. believed to reduce cholesterol levels and control blood pressure. 

Polyphenols are antioxidants that can be found in a variety of foods and drinks, including black tea.

The primary sources of antioxidants in black tea include polyphenols such as catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins, which may help with overall health.

Prevention of cancer

Regular drinking of masala chai can help reduce the risk of cancer. Even cancer patients can have this tea to further improve their health.

Despite this, polyphenols present in black tea may assist cancer cells in surviving.

The effects of tea polyphenols on cancer cells were studied in a test tube investigation. The finding suggests that black and green tea can help regulate cancer cell proliferation and prevent the formation of new cells.

Another study looked into the impact of black tea polyphenols on breast cancer. It was discovered that black tea could aid in the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancers.

Does Masala Chai Help in improving heart health?

Flavonoids, another antioxidant found in Masala Tea a.k.a black tea, are beneficial to heart health. They may help reduce numerous risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, raised triglyceride levels, and obesity, if consumed regularly. According to randomized controlled research, drinking black tea for 12 weeks reduced triglyceride levels by 36 per cent, blood sugar levels by 18 per cent, and the LDL/HDL plasma ratio by 17 per cent, 

Did you Know these facts about the Masala Chai?

  • According to another study, people who drank three cups of black tea each day had an 11 percent lower risk of heart disease.
  • Another study looked at how catechins in green tea extracts affect body weight. It was shown that those who consumed a bottle of tea catechins containing 690 mg of catechins daily for 12 weeks saw a reduction in body fat.

The ingredients of India's beloved Masala Chai

Not every spice gets to be a part of this wonderful beverage. Masala chai traditionally contains some select spices. Each spice plays a significant role in defining the overall characteristics of the chai. Note the primary ingredients of this special tea:

  • Milk 
  • Water 
  • Green cardamom 
  • Cloves 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Fennel 
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppercorn 
  • Star anise

 

Green cardamom 

                 Cardamom has a strong, mint-like, partly sweet flavour. It is popular worldwide for its role in imparting a unique flavour to recipes and various health benefits. Green cardamom is known to contain unique compounds that prevent the occurrence of cancer. The role of green cardamom has been established in preventing and fighting skin cancer. 

Cloves 

                 

Cloves are  tiny flower buds that are well-known for their unique aroma and sweet flavour. Cloves add an unmatchable warmth to masala chai. This important constituent is responsible for the excellent nutritional value of this beverage. Cloves are a good source of Vitamin K and Manganese.

Cinnamon 

                 

Cinnamon is a valued spice and is well-known for maintaining blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure, and easing digestion. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases. 

Fennel 

                 

Fennel Tastes like licorice and plays a part in creating the spice blend that India's cutting masala chai is well-known for its sweetness. Fennel is a good source of Vitamin A. Iron and zinc components help maintain bone health. Fennel also plays an essential role in lowering blood pressure. This is due to its potassium content that affects the dilation and contraction of blood vessels. 

Nutmeg 

                 

Nutmeg imparts a warm, sweet flavour and blissful aroma to masala chai and is often incorporated as a flavorful ingredient. Like all other prominent spices, nutmeg contains powerful antioxidants that prevent the development of chronic illnesses. The anti-inflammatory nature of nutmeg prevents the occurrence of heart disease and arthritis. 

Black Pepper 

                 Black pepper is popularly known as the king of spices. It induces a sharp and spicy flavour in masala chai. Rich in antioxidants and a prominent anti-inflammatory agent, black pepper plays a significant role in reducing chronic diseases. It is especially beneficial in degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. 

Ginger 

Ginger has a sharp taste and is often referred to as an essential ingredient of masala chai. The incorporation of ginger in masala chai makes it a strong medicinal agent for fighting the common cold. Its unique properties also aid in digestion. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger aid in decreasing oxidative stress. 

All these ingredients are performed in a mix of milk and water to make the incredible masala chai that so many people love. 

Steps to make masala tea

With the expanding popularity of tea, masala tea is one of the most popular options, particularly during the monsoon season, when people are more susceptible to viral influenza and throat infections. Masala tea is consumed by a large portion of the population for breakfast and evening snacks.

When preparing masala tea, different individuals all over India have their own recipe that includes handmade masala as a key ingredient. However, we'll show you how to make masala chai in one of the most popular ways:

Ingredients: ½ inch of ginger, 2-3 Cloves, Cinnamon, green cardamoms, milk (can add condensed milk for better taste), Sugar, Powdered tea 

  • Step 1: First, crush the ginger, grind the cloves, cinnamon and green cardamoms. Do not crush too vigorously, and try to use mortar & pestle rather than a mixer grinder.
  • Step 2: Pour 2-3 cups of water in a pot and start boiling 
  • Step 3: Add sugar and tea powder after the boiling starts
  • Step 4: Add the mixed spice and then leave the mixture for a few minutes 
  • Step 5: Filter out the tea in cups 
  • Step 6: Add milk of your choice, stir well, and serve 

This is one of the basic methods of making masala tea. However, depending on your taste, you can add more spices like peppercorn, fennel, etc. The same recipe can be followed with black or green tea. Instead of sugar, you can add honey or jaggery if you have diabetes. Many people also add tulsi or basil leaves to increase the immunity-boosting power of the tea.

With the given recipe, you can enjoy the best part of the Masala tea at home and enjoy the benefits of chai any time of the year.  

Masala Chai Calories 

One cup of masala chai is estimated to give approximately 72 KCalories. 105 mg calories consist of potassium, 54 mg of phosphorus, 2.1 g calories of protein and 32.4 mg sodium calories. Each drink is considered to be cover-up 5% of the daily calorie needs. 

Side effects of Masala Tea

While masala tea has various health benefits, it must be consumed in proportion, just like any other food. Because it is made with black tea, it contains caffeine, which can be harmful to the body if eaten in enormous amounts. It can make you feel nauseous and restless.

You can always cut down on caffeine by drinking decaffeinated masala chai. Masala tea has a lot of spices. Therefore it's better to avoid it if you're pregnant. When ingested in large amounts, the components can cause a hormonal imbalance in the body.

On the bottom line,

If you're looking for a low-calorie, non-sweetened beverage with less caffeine than coffee or energy drinks, black tea is a fantastic choice.

It has a strong, distinct flavour and is high in antioxidants, which have various health advantages. Improved cholesterol, gastrointestinal health, and blood pressure are just a few of the benefits.

Best of all, it's easy to create and can be found at various stores or online.

Consider trying black tea if you haven't already done so to appreciate its myriad health advantages.

Nevertheless, reminding about the ayurvedic benefit of the masala chai and its medical benefits, you can surely indulge in the habit of drinking masala chai to boost your immunity, especially in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Regular drinking of masala chai can boost your immunity and ensure you have a better chance of fighting the coronavirus if you get any infection. So stay healthy and make yourself a cup of masala chai regularly to keep fit. 

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