As winter approaches I can’t think of anything more warming and soul reviving than a cup of hot chai. And I’m not talking about the chai you get at Starbucks, I’m talking about an amazing cup of homemade chai. I’ve been making my own chai for years and even though I drink it nearly everyday, it always seems like an indulgent treat, yet when done right, chai has incredible health benefits. To start, the herbs and spices in chai. . . cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn, ginger, licorice and clove. These are all warming and carminative spices, meaning they aid in digestion and can really ease a gassy or bloated tummy. In addition, cinnamon is said to have amazing results in regulating blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Ginger, aside from being terrifically spicy and warm, has the potential to kick out a cold that’s trying to sneak it’s way into the body. Licorice is a great soother in both the stomach and the throat. Cardamom is one of my favorite flavors, plus it’s a digestive kick-starter and a metabolism regulator. Cloves are known to reduce inflammation and they are anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Peppercorns have an outer layer that is said to gobble fat cells. And these are just a few of the health benefits of chai’s ingredients! Together in one tea, I’m convinced these ingredients become a powerhouse of love for the body. And let’s not forget about black tea. Where to begin. . . antioxidant, anti-cancer, cholesterol lowering, anti-viral, immunity booster and on and on. Finally, no chai is complete without the addition of a little honey. Honey is a powerful medicine in it’s own right. First, honey is antibacterial. It counters infections on the skin, in the intestines, in the respiratory system and throughout the body. Second, honey is hydroscopic, a long word meaning "water loving". Honey holds moisture in the place where it is put; it can even draw moisture out of the air. These two qualities -- anti-bacterial and hydroscopic, make honey an ideal healer of wounds of all kinds, including burns, bruises and decubita (skin ulcers), an amazing soother for sore throats, a powerful ally against bacterial diarrhea, and a counter to asthma. Third, honey may be as high as 35 percent protein. This, along with the readily available carbohydrate (sugar) content, provides a substantial surge of energy and a counter to depression. Some sources claim that honey is equal, or superior to ginseng in restoring vitality. Honey's proteins also promote healing, both internally and externally. And honey is a source of vitamins B, C, D and E, as well as some minerals. It appears to strengthen the immune system and help prevent (some authors claim cure) cancer. Just writing this makes me want to sneak away to the kitchen to prepare another cup of this hot herbal wonder! I love chai and I make the best chai ever. Get it at www.featherheartflower.etsy.com. xo fh
herbal and wellness musings are merely food for thought. please do your own research and/or consult with a professional before trying herbs or herbal remedies.
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