January 11, 2020/
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Tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world. In fact, it has been found that the consumption of this aromatic beverage dates back to the 3rd century AD. In several countries such as India, China, and Japan, it is customary for people to offer tea to their guests. Thus, there is a rich cultural significance associated with consuming tea.

The national drink of Malaysia is a hot tea beverage called Teh Tarik(pulled tea). It is made by pouring the milk, water and tea mixture from a height in order to trap some air bubbles within the drink. This helps to create a frothy layer on top and lends it a creamier taste than a normal milk tea.

There are many types of tea such as Oolong tea, Green tea, Black tea, and Pu-erh tea. However, in recent years, the Masala tea has become the trending drink in Malaysia. Masala tea is a flavored mixed-spice tea. Thus, it is made by brewing black or green tea with a mixture of herbs and several aromatic spices.

Traditionally, masala tea will include spices like cinnamon, black or green cardamom(elaichi),

clove, ginger, and peppercorn(black pepper). However, depending on your preferences you can choose to include additional spices or remove some you don’t like. You can also add Tulsi(Holy Basil).

Do you know why Malaysians prefer to drink Masala tea nowadays instead of Teh Tarik?

Well, it’s because Masala tea not only tastes better but it also has a higher nutritional value. In fact, it can be called a super drink as it is infused with spices which have several health benefits associated with it.

Masala tea has also been revered as a potent concoction in Indian Ayurvedic medicine(holistic healing system) and Chinese traditional medicine.

Let us find out why Malaysians are considering masala tea as a source for a healthy life.

1. It aids in digestion – The spices and condiments in the masala tea have medicinal properties which help to improve digestion. Thus, it can help you to keep a healthy gut. Ginger lowers the acidic nature of tea and helps to create a refreshing taste. It also helps to improve blood circulation in the body.

Cloves and elaichi(cardamom) help to induce peristalsis by increasing the production of saliva in your mouth.

Black pepper(peppercorns) improves the production of digestive enzymes in the pancreases. This helps to break down proteins and fat more easily and avoid diseases such as IBS and liver problems.

2. It improves your immune system –  Masala tea is known for improving nasal congestion and even prevent colds. The main immunity-boosting ingredient of the beverage is cardamom. Cardamoms are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients that help you to build a more robust immune system. In fact, it is very popular in Tibetan medicine.

If you want a more vibrant taste in your drink, you can put green cardamoms in your drink. These help you to detoxify your blood and clean your sinuses. If you want to enjoy a more smoky flavor, you can opt to add some black cardamoms instead. These have expectorant properties and also act as an antiseptic.

If you want a more balanced taste in your drink, you can choose to add both types of cardamoms and reap the benefits of both ingredients.

3. It can boost your energy – Black tea leaves contain a small amount of caffeine which can help you to enjoy the effects associated with stimulants. Thus, a cup of masala tea in the morning can help you to kick start your day off. Alternatively, you can choose to have a cup throughout your day whenever you feel like you need an energy boost.

Caffeine alone can cause some problems for some people. However, the blend of several other spices with medicinal properties negates any negative effects.

In general, the quantity of caffeine in a cup of tea is very low. The quantity, at most, can be about a third of the amount in a regular cup of coffee. So, you don’t have to worry about getting addicted to it.

4. It helps to alleviate nausea and reduce pain – Masala tea contains ginger and clove which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The biological compounds in ginger called gingerol and shogaol has been found to reduce inflammation in the body and soothe an upset stomach. It also helps to reduce bloating or gas in the stomach.  As a result, it, in turn helps to cure ailments like nausea or sea-sickness.

The anti-inflammatory action also helps to reduce pain in bones or joint aches. People with conditions such as arthritis regularly drink masala tea in order to alleviate their pain.

Drinking this beverage can also help you to ease toothaches and mild migraines as it improves blood circulation and provides a healthy supply of oxygen to the areas affected by pain.

5. It helps to improve the health of your heart – Cinnamon, which is a common ingredient in masala tea, is known to reduce bad cholesterol in your body and improve the amount of good cholesterol. Black tea contains ‘tannins’ which helps you to control your blood pressure and steady your heart rate by dilating your blood vessels.

As per the statistical data released on Wednesday 31, October 2018, the highest death rate in Malaysia was caused due to Ischaemic heart diseases(13.9%). This is followed by Pneumonia (12.7%), Cerebrovascular diseases (7.1%) and Transport accidents (4.6%)

Thus, regular drinking of masala tea can help you to improve your cardiovascular health and avoid the number one cause of death in Malaysia.

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