Spicing Up Your Chai

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Have you ever wondered how our everyday chai tends to taste different in each home, restaurant or roadside stall? Along with the difference in the tea leaves that are used, there are many things that contribute to making a cup of chai the elixir that it is. The technique of making tea, amount of sweetener, and the herbs and spices that are used to enhance the flavour of tea all contribute to its tastes.

Popular method of making chai in India includes tea leaves, boiling water, sugar or natural sweetenerand milk. In addition to these basic ingredients, everyone has a preference when it comes to chai. There are many spices and herbs which add taste and boost the health benefits of tea. In fact, chai is not only a refreshing beverage but it can also be beneficial to health if made using certain ingredients and proper technique.

Spices and herbs have many benefits beyond adding taste to our food and beverages. Here are some additions to your everyday ghar ka chai which will make it better in every way.


Eat Breakfast

This common ingredient in tea is known to reduce nausea, improve digestion and help reduce congestion caused by the common cold.Ginger also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.It can also help manage blood glucose levels in diabetics and relieve stress. Fact that it tastes amazing is another reason to never skip it while making chai.

Black Pepper

This spice is known to help manage the common cold and cough. It can also help reduce the discomfort caused by a sore throat. Black pepper is rich in a potent antioxidant called piperine, which may help prevent free radical damage to your cells. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well. Just add a pinch of pepper while making tea.


This is one spice which is used in many home remedies. Its sharp taste adds a punch to our everyday hot tea while adding benefits such as helping with digestion and reducing the symptoms of sinus infections. Cloves are also a rich source of manganese, an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones.

Green Cardamom

This well-known spice is a part of many savoury and sweet dishes. It enhances the sweetness of chai. Cardamom can help tackle bad breath and irritable bowel syndrome. It may also add dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals which can help boost the immune system.Cardamom may also help lower blood pressure, most likely due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties.


A small piece of cinnamon can add many benefits to your tea along with a unique, distinctive taste. It can help improve immunity, provide anti-oxidant and it may even help lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon may also boosts metabolism.

Tulsi(Holy Basil)

Another popular addition to tea that amps up the health benefits is tulsi. A few leaves of tulsi, added while brewing tea, can help you manage symptoms of colds, reduce stress, and improve digestion. It can help reduce discomfort caused by a sore throat as well. Tulsi can also help protect against infection, lower your blood sugar, lower your cholesterol and ease joint pain.

Lemon Grass

A refreshing addition to tea are lemon grass leaves. It contains an antioxidants, which can help scavenge free radicals in your body that may cause disease. As it has antimicrobial properties, it may also help treat oral infections and cavities.

Want to try something more adventurous? You can try adding spices such as nutmeg and fennels seeds to your chai. While these aren’t used regularly in making tea, they do add a different taste and spice up your chai. There are also many tea masalas available in the market which can help you add the right amount of these spices in your everyday chai. Masala tea is an extremely refreshing beverage which can help you start your day with renewed energy. Add these spices to make it healthier and swap the sugar with natural sweetener such as stevia to make the chai even better


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