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Chai as Medicine: Drink your way to Health!

Jul 16, 2019

Chai as Medicine: Drink your way to Health!
Chai as Medicine: Drink your way to Health! | Photography: Nutritionfacts

We Indians love our cup of chai and this happiness in a cup has evolved over the decades. From being introduced to us by our Colonial rulers to becoming the beverage of the masses, tea has come a long way and our country has grown into one of the major tea producers in the world.

Today, tea is more than just a refreshing beverage. It is now seen as a healthy beverage as well and people’s preferences have also evolved from sugary chai to other variations of tea.

Here is a look at the different types of teas and its health benefits.

Types of actual teas-

Mentioned below are types of teas that are made from actual tea leaves.

Green tea

Green tea is made with steamed tea leaves and is full of health benefits. EGCG, which is a specific plant compound that is known for its positive effects on health, is present in abundance in green tea and this makes green tea a very healthy beverage. Green tea is also known to reduce risk of certain types of cancers and heart diseases sue to the antioxidants that are present.

Black tea

Black tea is made using fermented tea leaves and this forms the basis for our favourite cup of chai that is made by mixing milk and sugar with it. This contains the maximum amount of caffeine when compared to other types of teas and is known to improve mood. Black tea, without milk and sugar can help in weight loss and may also reduce risk of stroke.

White tea

White tea is the rawest form of tea that is uncured as well as unfermented. This type of tea is known to be the most natural way to consume the benefits that tea leaves offer as processing is minimal in this case. All the benefits of other types of teas are present in this but with more potency due to the lack of processing. The flavour of white tea is very mild and so is its colour.

White tea is the rawest form of tea that is uncured as well as unfermented.
White tea is the rawest form of tea that is uncured as well as unfermented.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea is a semi oxidised tea that is a result of very specific ways of drying and processing the tea leaves. Other than this, it is quite similar to black tea and green tea. But, the special process increases certain properties of the tea leaves, making oolong tea a better beverage for weight-loss as well as giving it a very distinct flavour.  

Types of infusions with great health benefits

Mentioned below are types of teas that do not contain tea leaves. These are more of infusions but have been known as teas by popular usage of the term. Infusions can be made from certain flowers, leaves or spices. Some of the most popular ones are:

Chamomile

Chamomile tea is a brew made from chamomile flower and it is known for its calming effect on the body and mind. It is also known to help in boosting immunity and to prevent stress-related diseases.

Peppermint

Peppermint tea is made with peppermint leaves and has a delicious flavour to it. It is known to reduce bloating of the stomach and aid in digestion problems. This infusion is light, refreshing and is known to fight bad breath as well.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus tea is made using the hibiscus flower and it is found to have a tart-like flavour that makes it suitable as a hot beverage as well as a cold beverage. A few studies have indicated that hibiscus tea might help in preventing high blood pressure.

Ginger lemon

This is the most common infusion that can be made with ingredients available easily in the kitchen. Ginger and lemon infusion is known to help in detoxification of the body and also with digestion issues. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

So, now that you know what teas are best, enjoy your favourite cup of tea in moderation. Do take care to not combine teas with any kind of medication as it may lead to unwanted side-effects.