Chai tea consists of robust flavours and powerful ingredients making it a perfect drink for any time of day. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and fennel smell and taste delicious while possessing nutrients that further our health and wellness. Active phytonutrients within each spice act as powerful antioxidants that disable free radicals, reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage and fight many infections, diseases and harmful conditions.

So, whether you’re looking for new exciting drink, alternative to coffee, a functional beverage or simply time to yourself—we have the chai tea for you!

In many countries around the world “chai” is simply a word for tea. However, in the West, Chai (aka Chai Tea) has become associated with a fragrant, flavourful and milky Indian style masala chai. There are numerous types of chai on the market with even more homemade recipes utilizing various combinations of different teas, spices and herbs. Each one producing unique flavours and aromas which distinguish such drinks from standard teas.

In addition, chai tea carries numerous benefits like heart health, digestion, stabilizing hormones, lowering blood sugar, strengthening immunity and many more.

What is Chai Tea?

Chai is often thought as a quintessentially Indian drink that gained world status and dates back thousands of years. Some chai legends go back as far as 9,000 years describing tales of the ancient Indian king who ordered a cleansing and vivifying beverage to be created in Ayurvedic traditional medicine. The original “chai” contained no tea but only mixture of spices and herbs steeped as an elixir.

Ayurvedic medicine went on to produce various recipes of chai which initially used as healing remedies, but later grew into traditional practices of local populations. In the 1900s, the British colonization of India increased consumption of tea and introduced mandatory “tea time” to the general population. The tea, combined with spices and later milk gave birth to the modern day “masala chai” aka “chai tea” we know today.

Most popular recipes include black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and black pepper brewed using both water and milk and sweetened to personal preference. Since chai’s original purpose was always health, many other masala chai recipes have been evolving using combination of different spices (ginger, nutmeg, star anise, turmeric) and herbs (tulsi) along with tea varieties (black, oolong, green and white).

Together, these spiced mixtures hold numerous active ingredients and have been linked to variety of health benefits.

Top 13 reasons to drink Chai Tea

SHOP Classic Chai Tea—Arise—Black Tea + 7 SpicesArise Chai Tea Health Benefits

1. Load up on Antioxidants

Spices, herbs and teas contain numerous phytonutrients, many of which have been identified as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are important as they control ever-growing populations of unstable molecules called free radicals which are the byproducts of millions of metabolic reactions within the body. Free radicals react suddenly with cell materials and tissues causing damage known as oxidation. [1] The body maintains internal balance (homeostasis) by controlling free radical levels with antioxidants.

Poor air quality, anxiety, smoking and bad diet also contribute to ever increasing free radical levels. Greater free radical concentrations produce on-going oxidative damage referred to as oxidative stress, a phenomenon that’s been linked to various chronic diseases, neurodegeneration, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and premature aging. [1]

Many plant foods contain nutrients which have been tested and quantified in form of antioxidant levels. The results have been quantified as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) values and tabulated based on their nutrient density—with highest antioxidant levels often called superfoods. The mightiest superfoods with highest ORAC values are all spices and herbs. [2] This is no accident, as spices have a long history of being used as healing agents by ancient medicines.

Take cloves as an example of the popular ingredient in most chai tea recipes. Cloves pack an immense ORAC value of 290,283 that is loaded with many flavonoids like (vitamin A, C and E) along with its main ingredient eugenol. Eugenol is a mighty antioxidant which shown to be 5 times more effective in destroying free radicals than vitamin E (another powerful antioxidant). [3] Cloves possess numerous reactive polyphenols like eugenol, each one contributing to a multitude of health benefits.

Cinnamon is another antioxidant superstar boosting ORAC value of 131,420. [2] And, black pepper’s piperine is not only a strong antioxidant but an ingredient that improves bioavailability—absorption of other health benefactor compounds into the blood stream. Piperine shown to increase curcumin’s (turmeric) absorption by whooping 2000%. [4] And yes, it’s a human study.

2. Combat Neurological Disease

Dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have been linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Chai tea is a rich source of antioxidants that are able to pass through highly selective blood-brain barrier (BBB), access brain cells and protect them against free radical attacks and neuroinflammation. [53]

Ginger poses great promise in brain research as its potent antioxidants improve cognition [10] and protect neural cells against damage associated with dementia and Alzheimers’ disease. [11,12]

Other chai spices like fennel, turmeric and cinnamon showcase their brain health powers. Anethole (of fennel) enhances neural communication and improves memory [13] while cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon) and curcumin (turmeric) inhibit inflammation of brain tissue and reduce hallmark symptoms of Alzheimers [14] and Parkinson’s diseases. [15]

3. Improve Cognition and Mental Health

Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress have been linked in development of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Antioxidants within chai tea can help relieve some of the factors associated with mental health. For instance, smelling cardamom shown to improve anxiety and depression symptoms. [16]

Spices are great for the brain as their antioxidants scavenge free radicals, protect nerve cells and signalling neurotransmitters raising function; keeping brain tissue active and healthy. Cinnamon enhances memory, cognition while decreasing anxiety through anti-inflammatory mechanisms by refining insulin sensitivity and reducing oxidative stress. [17,18]

Star anise is another spice that is loaded with potent antioxidants like anethole containing multitude of wellness benefits including antidepressant qualities. These phytonutrients increase key neurotransmitters in the brain (norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine) which stabilize mood and decrease depression and anxiety symptoms. [19]

4. Improve Skin Health

Skin is the largest organ of the body. UV radiation from sun exposure damages skin cells and is one of the oxidative stress elements. Chai tea’s spices and herbs contain various antioxidants that protect skin against sun damage. They enhance production of structural proteins like collagen and elastin, boost immune cytokines (TGF-beta) while reducing inflammation causing factors. [29]

Coriander is one of such spices shown to improve skin conditions such as eczema, irritations, rashes, pimples and acne. [30] Coriander protects skin cells from free radicals, removes toxic metals and increases antioxidant levels in blood. [30]

Star anise and fennel are other big skin rejuvenators. Both are rich with vitamins A, C and anethole which fights inflammation and oxidation, while replenishing damages within skin cells. [31]

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5. Enhance Digestion

Spices within chai tea contain numerous digestive benefits and traditionally a sweet and fragrant spice tray is served after meals. But, beyond just after meal sweet spices many others like black pepper improves digestion in multiple ways. First, active ingredient piperine in black pepper raises gastric acids (hydrochloric—HCl) inside the stomach speeding up digestion and absorption of nutrients reducing indigestion, heartburn and bloating symptoms. [5]

Using black pepper along with coriander or turmeric increase digestive enzymes and secrete more bile acid further improving digestive process. [6] Black pepper known to relieve flatulence, constipation and diarrhea, providing on par relief with medication used in treating gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). [7]

Ginger is another digestive superpower treating things like dyspepsia through faster emptying of the stomach contents by 25 to 50 percent. [8] Indigestion can also be a cause of stomach ulcers, which are inflated lining of the stomach. Ginger’s antioxidants 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol can reduce ulcer formation and discomforts through anti-inflammatory pathways. [9]

6. Detoxify the Body

Chai tea contains spices which not only reduce inflammation, improve metabolism but reduce toxins and improve organ function. Fennel is a great example of a detox powerhouse with 14 active ingredients that fight oxidative stress and protect vital filtering organs such as liver and kidneys against damage. [62-63] Fennel can also slow down CYP3A4 enzyme and raise bioavailability of medications or active compounds. This results in smaller drug doses or fewer treatments which come with less side effects. [64]

Coriander in chai tea is a highly effective body cleanser and a chelating agent. Coriander’s water soluble antioxidants bind to and remove toxic metals (lead) from important organs like the liver, testes, blood vessels and the brain, while improving body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes and organ function. [65-66]

The other important detox-powered spice is nutmeg. Its active ingredients protect liver from damage and disease by raising fat burning. The process extends lipid metabolism through PRAR-alpha receptors reducing overall inflammation at expense of burning fat stores. [67-68]

7. Fight Fungi, Bacteria and Viruses

The bioactive compounds of chai tea carry many wellness benefits including anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

For 30 plus years, shikimic acid in star anise has been used to produce antiviral vaccine Oseltamivir (also known as the Tamilflu), a successful treatment against bird flu. [32] The star shaped spice shown effective against 67 antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains [33] as well as most common infectious fungal strains like Candida albicans (C. albicans). [34]

Cloves are another antioxidant monster holding numerous antimicrobial properties which fight dangerous strains like Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori – stomach ulcer causing bacteria) and C. albicans (fungi). Cloves also inhibit replication in some DNA-based viruses like herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). [35]

Ginger’s prowess spans wide including stopping fungal and bacterial infections. Ginger destroys variety of mouth fungi as well as athlete’s foot. Ginger shown to be most effective fungus killing agent out of 29 anti-fungi plant varieties. [36] This microbial wrecking ball can stop drug-resistant bacteria [37], gum disease infections (gingivitis and periodontitis) [38] and viral causing respiratory tract infections (bronchiolitis and pneumonia). [39]

8. Improve Heart Health

Research into chai tea ingredients phytonutrient profile shows extensive benefits including healthier heart and cardiovascular system.

Black pepper’s impressive antioxidant profile lowers blood pressure and overall cholesterol levels through vasomodulation (neural regulation of blood flow) and vasodilatation (relaxation of blood vessels) methods. Piperine in black pepper reduces several hypertension markers in same manner as common high-blood pressure medications [40], while boosting bioavailability of many other powerful antioxidants (like curcumin). [41]

To this day cloves are used in Ayurvedic and traditional medicines to increase blood circulation. Eugenol in cloves oil is a known natural blood thinner that reduces formation of blood clots (platelet aggregation) and shown to be 29 times more effective than aspirin. [42] Other active ingredients in chai tea spices (cinnamon, fennel and turmeric, black pepper) have also shown better cardiovascular health and decrease in blot clots. [42]

9. Anti-Diabetic—Lowers Blood Sugar

Diabetes is one of the metabolic diseases linked to hormone insulin and sudden changes in blood sugar. Drinking chai tea spices like ginger can help with improving blood sugar levels long term including in diabetic patients. [43] 6-gingerol of ginger plays part in improving insulin sensitivity using less of this hormone to move more sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells. [43] Ginger also appears to reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and overall fat while maintaining good cholesterol (HDL) levels. [44]

Cinnamon’s numerous powerful antioxidants affect carbohydrate metabolism which reduces insulin spike through slower digestion of some sugars and their release into bloodstream. [45] Also cinnamtannin B1 mimics insulin and lowers its levels while moving sugar into cells. [46] Cinnamon holds great potential to diabetes-2 treatments by reducing insulin resistance, blood sugar and total cholesterol levels. [45,46]

SHOP Green Chai Tea—Fortify—Green Tea + Tulsi + 5 Spices

shop fortify chai tea

10. Weight Loss Benefits

Enjoying a cup of delicious chai tea can also help with weight loss goals as numerous spices enhance metabolism and calorie burning.

For example, fennel has a long history as weight-loss agent used during religious lent and fasts to extend satiety. Fennel’s fiber content is one of the reasons as the body attempts to brake it down using own energy but unable to do so. Digestion process also signals the brain to reduce hunger further while increasing caloric deficit. [47] Thus, drinking fennel or coriander tea improves weight loss through raised metabolism, lower appetite and diuretic effect of excess water and waste removal. [48,51]

Black pepper is another popular weight loss spice as it’s widely used as a natural treatment for obesity and metabolic syndrome. Main antioxidant piperine can stop production of fat cells (adipogenesis) as well as storing fat inside liver tissue without damaging any genetic machinery. [49,50]

11. Lower Risk of Cancer

Numerous spices and herbs of chai tea possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic and cancer fighting properties. [52-55 ] There are multitude of pathway in how tumor cells grow, communicate and get nourishment. Cinnamon is a great spice shown to reduce tumors in different types of cancers. Cinnamon’s cinnamaldehyde slows down cancer growth by decreasing tumor blood vessels, activating body’s own detoxifying enzymes and activating self destruct mechanisms (apoptosis) inside cancer cells. [56]

Nutmeg’s myristicin is another anti-cancer titan which bolsters body’s own antioxidant producing enzymes (glutathione s-transferase [GST] and quinone oxidoreductase [QR]) within vital organs  reducing regional cancers. [57] Eugenol and safrole are other active tumor fighting compounds in nutmeg. Together all three protect our genes from mutation, fight free radicals, reduce key inflammation-cancer growing factors and activate cell-death sequence of cancer cells. Nutmeg shown to slow down tumors in lung, nerve tissue (neuroblastoma), breast, skin (melanoma), blood (leukaemia), colon, stomach, cervical, prostate, tongue (oral squamous), mouth (gingival), liver (hepatoma) and various human gland carcinomas. [57,58]

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress have been linked to various cancers. As already mentioned, turmeric’s curcumin is the most powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient to date. [25] Curcumin distinguishes between healthy and mutated cells, attacking cancer’s signalling and inflammation pathways, reducing blood flow to, and activating self-destruct proteins within tumors. [59-61] Research reveals curcumin’s ability to inhibit replication and growth of numerous cancer cells in wide range of tissues including blood, brain, breast, gastrointestinal system, head and neck, liver, pancreas, colon, prostate, ovary and skin cancers. [59-61]

12. Stronger Bones

Black and green teas within chai tea blends nurture healthy bones. Both types of teas are bolstered with antioxidants that protect bone tissue from damage and raise mineral density. [69-70] Tea shown to improve bone health in elderly and patients suffering from bone related diseases. [69-70]

Star anise’s mighty antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can also improve organ function including bones. It contains important minerals like calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), manganese (Mn2+), phosphorus (common ion form: H2PO3- or P3-) and vitamin K, which all partake in bone rejuvenation process. [71]

Another bone strengthening chai tea spice is fennel. Low estrogen is a hallmark of bone loss as hormonal therapy is a common treatment. [72] Fennel’s active ingredient anethole improves bone metabolism by mimicking estrogen hormone and reversing symptoms in conditions like osteoporosis. [73]

13. Pain and Inflammation Relief

Inflammation is the body’s main weapon against infection, disease and injury. This process repairs damaged compounds and replaces infected cells. Immune system identifies problems and initiates an inflammatory response through series of signalling pathways like Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK or MAP kinase). [20]

Acute or short-term inflammation is a good thing however, it can become problematic when the issue is ongoing or chronic. Oxidative stress induces chronic inflammation which begins attack and damage to body’s healthy tissues.

The antioxidants in (chai) tea, spices and herbs possess immense anti-inflammatory effects attributed to wide range of health benefits. Take nutmeg for instance, which has 38 active anti-inflammatory compounds identified thus far, including its main ingredient myristicin. [21] Together nutmeg’s phytonutrients inhibit key inflammatory causing proteins reducing swelling, pain as well as inflammation of muscles, joints and skin. [22]

Tulsi is a popular Ayurvedic herb for fighting inflammatory disorders. Filled with potent antioxidants that raise immune (T-helper and Natural Killer cells) response while lowering several chronic disease markers. [23] Tulsi’s bioactive compounds affect cell messaging pathways lessening physical pain of muscles and joints of autoimmune diseases like rheumatism arthritis. Tulsi’s anti-arthritic effect was comparable to an aspirin dose. [24]

When it comes to curbing inflammation, no-one does it better than turmeric. The main active ingredient curcumin inhibits inflammatory gate keepers such NF-kB and TNF-alpha like no other antioxidant. Curcumin’s effectiveness matches or exceeds common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, naproxen, indomethacin, phenylbutazone, etc) in reducing inflammation without any side effects. [25] By directly inhibiting main inflammation regulators, curcumin reduces all types of pain, swelling and discomfort in osteoarthritis (degenerative disease) and rheumatoid arthritis patients. [26,27] Even Arthritis Foundation has been citing studies of turmeric’s profound anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. [28]

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Final Thoughts

Chai tea consists of robust flavours and powerful ingredients making it a perfect drink for any time of day. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and fennel smell and taste delicious while possessing nutrients that further our health and wellness. Active phytonutrients within each spice act as powerful antioxidants that disable free radicals, reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage and fight many infections, diseases and harmful conditions.

Dupi’s Chai Difference:

  • 3x more superfood spices than anyone else!
  • No Flavours (not even “natural” ones)
  • No Sugar (none what so ever)

We exclusively specialize in Chai Teas and most importantly the ingredients used. We formulate our blends with diet flexibility in mind. Whether you are keto, timed-eating, low calorie, plant-based, or whole foods focused individual we thought of you.

Our chai teas are flavourful and can be enjoyed simply steeped in water to extend you fast. Add some mct oil or coconut milk for the keto diet and/or a moment to yourself with a luxurious chai latte.

So, whether you’re looking for new exciting drink, alternative to coffee, a functional beverage or simply time to yourself—we have the chai tea for you!

***

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