Whether you start your day with an invigorating cup of tea, or wind down with a soothing cup at bedtime, herbal teas are an easy and delicious way to add beneficial herbs to your diet.
Many are naturally caffeine free, providing a healthy alternative to traditional black tea and coffee for those looking to limit their intake of caffeine.
Documents have been recovered dating back to as early as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China that discuss the enjoyment and uses of herbal tea.
Have you visited the Herbal tea section of your local supermarket lately?
If so, you will have seen the amazing array of herbal tea blends, brands and flavours. Many tea lovers purchase them for their aroma and taste. Others see herbal teas as a healthier choice from other caffeine-containing drinks. Some buy them strictly for the medicinal benefits or effects on the packets. These claimed medical effects can include calming, soothing, relaxing and slimming down.
Herbal teas can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The tea is then strained and served.
If you are interested in starting a tea or herbal beverage regime for medicinal purposes, first familiarize yourself with the composition of your herbs and note other prescription drugs and supplements you are taking. While most herbal remedies are safe, always check with your doctor to ensure that what you are consuming complements your medication and is appropriate for your health.
Here are some suggestions and information on a few well known and a couple of not so well known herbal teas that are on the market today:
- Chamomile – Relaxes and aids sleep
- Fennel – Reduces symptoms of colds, flu and sore throats and is also a natural diuretic
- Green Tea – Contains EGCG which inhibits cancer cells and lowers cholesterol (contains a small amount of caffeine)
- Lemon Balm – Helps digestion and is anti-viral
- Nettle – Releases chest congestion, builds blood cells and aids digestion
- Peppermint – Calms digestion issues, fights bacteria and decongests
- Thyme – Helps digestion and reduces bloating.