A comforting cup of spiced tea warms you from the inside and gives you an overall health boost. Spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, are packed with nutritional elements and have numerous health benefits.
This article explores the origins of spiced tea, its different variations, and the many health benefits of including it in your daily life.
Adding Spices to Tea - The History
Tea and spices share a long history. They have been blended together from the earliest times in China, India, Laos, and Tibet. In some areas, it's common to add herbs and other ingredients like milk, sugar, or lemon juice to the brew. Other areas stick to brewing tea with boiling water and spice blends.
One of the most popular types of spiced tea is Masala Chai from India. Although there are many stories about the origins of this exotic beverage, all of them agree that it dates back at least 5,000 years. One legend claims it originated in Thailand. Of course, Indian tea lovers will disagree! Another says that yogis in India created it as an Ayurvedic drink that cleanses and purifies those who drink it - the perfect post-asana beverage!
Chai tea became wildly popular in India in the 1960s when black tea production was mechanized, making it more affordable for tea drinkers in the country. They added milk, sugar, and a range of healthy spices to fill the brews with flavor while ensuring they pack a nutritional punch.
The Health Benefits of Spiced Tea
Initially, the flavorsome ingredients chosen for Chai tea included a blend of spices like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger. Some recipes suggested other spices like coriander, pepper, turmeric, fennel, and nutmeg. Whoever invented and perfected this aromatic blend not only chose the ingredients for their flavor but also for medicinal properties, which still applies!
Green and black teas contain antioxidants, and the spices add even more essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B, and more. Let's take a closer look at some of the many health benefits of spiced tea blends.
Whether you make your spiced tea from black or green, it contains antioxidants that can help strengthen your immune system. Spices like cloves and cinnamon are exceptionally high in antioxidants.
Reduces inflammation and can relieve pain
Turmeric, black pepper, and ginger are known for their excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in green tea and other teas can have an anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effect. Additionally, lowering inflammation in the body can help reduce pain.
Cloves are an excellent remedy for toothache, gum pain, and sore throats. It's also high in magnesium and contains vitamin C and vitamin K.
Ginger tea and other teas that contain spices like star anise can assist the digestive system. They can help reduce nausea, aid digestion, and ease gastric distress, especially when consumed after meals.
Enhances your mood
Traditional Chai tea contains spice blends designed for health - and this includes mental and emotional health. Spiced tea blends with cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper help the body to relax and the mind to be calmer and more peaceful.
Teas from the Camellia sinensis plant also contain L-Theanine, which can drastically elevate your mood and help combat the symptoms of depression.
Can promote weight loss
Spiced teas are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them an ideal beverage for people who want to lose weight. Spices like cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg can help increase metabolism, which promotes weight loss. Having a satisfying, warm cup of tea also improves your mood and makes you feel full and comforted. It makes it easier to resist snacking or comfort eating!
Improved blood circulation
Spices commonly used in tea are great for your blood! Cinnamon not only improves blood circulation but also helps control blood sugar levels. Cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg can help to lower blood pressure.
Boosts energy levels
Green and black tea contain caffeine which is a natural stimulant. Consuming it in moderation is an excellent way to boost energy levels without compromising health.
In moderation, caffeine can even help improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart failure.
Boosts the immune system
Drinking a hot cup of tea spiced with ginger and turmeric can help fight a winter cold while also soothing a sore throat and easing a cough. At the same time, tea contains catechins, which have been proven to boost the body's immune system naturally.
Spiced Teas You Should Explore
Spiced tea not only provides several health benefits for the body, but it's also a delicious beverage, and there are different types with various flavors. Whether you enjoy a crack of black pepper in your tea or a cinnamon infusion, there's a spiced tea blend for everyone!
Like herbal tea, the options for spiced teas are endless. You can make your spiced tea with green, white, or black tea, add as much spice as you like, or even combine it with herbal tea. Here are some of the most popular spiced teas and a few variations you could try.
Masala Chai tea
Originally from India, where tea lovers first enjoyed it centuries ago, Masala Chai tea is now a popular spiced beverage consumed worldwide. Many coffeehouses in the U.S. and Europe make a version of it with a syrup concentrate. Sadly, this type of Chai tea is often less healthy than the original version and may contain added sugar and other unhealthy processed ingredients.
You can make it at home by adding cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, to green or black tea leaves for a delicious (and much healthier!) homemade version. Feel free to use any other spice combination according to your taste preferences.
You can add ground nutmeg, cardamom, or whatever spices you enjoy and flavor it with vanilla extract. Add a splash of milk or your favorite plant milk once you've brewed it for a creamy and decadent Chai tea. We think that coconut or oat milk are the creamiest options!
Tip: If you make your Chai with black tea and add cinnamon and ginger, it can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels.
Even though cardamom tea is one of the simplest types of spiced tea you can make, it's extremely beneficial. It helps to reduce blood pressure, can help protect your liver, and may combat anxiety. Drinking cardamom tea can also help with bad breath and is an excellent diuretic.
Tip: If you like drinking exotic beverages, brew crushed cardamom seeds with tea leaves and add a splash of rose water and almond extract.
From easing sore throats and nausea to combating anxiety and digestive problems, ginger is truly a wonder ingredient. Two to four grams of ginger root per day can act as a natural calcium channel blocker and help dilate the blood vessels, drastically improving blood circulation.
Tip: Ginger tea is an excellent after-dinner beverage because the gingerol in it helps your body with digestion so that the food won't linger in the gut all night long.
Lemon spiced tea
Making lemon spiced tea will give you added health benefits like vitamin C while also helping to reduce your appetite and aiding digestion. So, for those who want to lose weight, adding lemon juice to spiced tea is an excellent idea.
Tip: If you don't like the taste of lemon, or it's too tangy for you, but you want to reap the benefits of it, you can sweeten your spiced tea. It's best to add honey or another natural sweetener, like maple syrup.
Cinnamon is yet another spice with several compounds that are extremely beneficial for your body. It can reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss, and improve heart health which will help prevent the risk of heart failure or stroke. Making cinnamon tea is as simple as boiling cinnamon sticks with tea leaves. It is one of Chai tea's most popular and beneficial typical ingredients.
Tip: Cinnamon tea has a natural sweetness that's deliciously balanced with citrus fruits, like one or two slices of orange or grapefruit, which will also give you the added goodness of vitamin C!
Green or Black Tea?
You can enjoy spiced teas with green or black tea or a combination of the two. If you're wondering which option is best for your overall health, both are good for your body! Both types of tea are made from the same plant; they're just processed differently and have slightly different health benefits.
Green tea is arguably the healthiest beverage on earth. It has many bioactive ingredients that promote general health, not to mention antioxidants. Brewing as little as two grams of high-quality green tea and drinking it three times a day can provide tremendous general health benefits.
Black tea contains theaflavins, which makes it great for controlling blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol levels, and reducing the risk of obesity.
Both teas contain caffeine, so they're good for improving energy levels naturally. The teas also contain L-Thianine, which can help elevate your mood. Drinking either one of these beverages regularly can improve blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, improve dental health, increase energy levels naturally, and even help with weight loss.
What's Your Favorite Spiced Tea?
Spice teas taste great and are highly effective in relieving different health conditions. Whether you enjoy the zesty zing of spiced lemon tea or the comforting kick of spicy Chai tea, there's a spiced tea for everyone - and all of them will make you feel great!
There are many overall health benefits of brewing tea leaves and a spice mix in a cup of hot water, from relieving digestive problems to reducing inflammation, boosting metabolism, and improving blood sugar levels. Some spiced teas can even help with insulin resistance! Give your body the health benefits (and the delicious flavor!) of homemade spiced tea with premium-quality loose-leaf tea from the Firebelly Tea selection.