of herbal tea - “In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill,” says herbalist Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Peterborough, Ont. "You’re getting the benefits of hydration. There’s the social element: Tea is something that you can share with people. And when you’re drinking herbal tea, you get aromatherapy at the same time—and that’s something you don’t get from a tablet!”
How to choose a herbal tea - When it comes to choosing a herbal tea, it’s important to look for a well-sourced product made from high-quality ingredients. If you’re drinking tea for the medicinal benefits, then definitely steer clear of products that add things like essential oils or flavours. And to really get the full benefits from drinking herbal tea, make sure you steep your loose tea or tea bags long enough—in some cases, as long as 10 to 15 minutes—to really bring out all the
If you drink tea every day, you can make all sorts of significant changes to
your mood, your skin, your sense of well-being and energy. There are so many wonderful herbal teas to choose from. Here are a few of the most common.
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Peppermint tea Halifax naturopath Colin Huska recommends drinking peppermint tea to relieve the symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating, and to relieve muscle spasms. It’s also good for nausea (without vomiting) and for heating up the body and making it sweat. If indigestion or heartburn are problems, however, then Dixon recommends avoiding peppermint altogether. Peppermint tea can also be made using fresh herbs from the garden—and it's one of the easiest
herbs to grow.
Ginger tea - Another great digestive aid, ginger can be used to curb nausea, vomiting or upset stomach due to motion sickness. Make fresh ginger tea by simmering a piece of ginger root on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes—add fresh lemon juice and honey when you have a cold for a powerful germ-fighting combination. Beacon also suggests making tea from powdered ginger to ward off a chill.
Chamomile tea - A gentle calming and sedative tea made from flowers, chamomile tea can be
helpful for insomnia. It can also be helpful with digestion after a meal. Huska recommends chamomile in cases of cough and bronchitis, when you have a cold or fever, or as a gargle for inflammation of the mouth. Be sure to steep it well to get all the medicinal benefits.
Rooibos tea - High in vitamin C as well as other minerals, rooibos has all sorts of health benefits. An easy drinking tea, it’s largely grown in South Africa and has been touted for
its antioxidant properties—which may in turn help ward off disease and the signs of aging. It has also been shown to help with common skin concerns, such as eczema.
Lemon balm tea - An easy-to-grow plant, lemon balm is helpful for lifting the spirits. “It’s good for the winter blahs,” says Deacon,
“and it can help improve concentration.” She adds that lemon balm is safe for children and may help prevent nightmares when consumed before bed. This herb also makes a refreshing iced tea, and can be flavoured with lemon or maple syrup.
Milk thistle and dandelion tea - when consumed as a tea, milk thistle or dandelion are gentle liver cleansers. “They help the liver to regenerate and function at a higher capacity,” says Huska. “They can also assist in the production of bile, which can help with our digestive process.”
Rosehip tea - Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best plant sources of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system, skin and tissue health and adrenal function. Consider reaching for rosehip tea next time you need a health boost.
Some Common Herbal Tea Ingredients - There are many different herbs that can be found in a herbal tea, each with a different use. Some common ones include:
* Allspice – helps to soothe the common cold and relieves upset stomachs
* Anise seed – aids digestion and freshens the breath. It can also soothe a cough and improve bronchitis.
* Chamomile – is renowned for its calming properties and is also said to be anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic
* Chrysanthemum – is sweet-tasting and is able to reduce body heat resulting from fever. It also helps protect against liver damage and neutralises
* Cinnamon – is calming and helps to support healthy circulation and digestion.
* Ginseng –
stimulates vitality and helps the body stay healthy.
* Ginger root – is excellent for improving circulation, and is one of the best herbs for improving digestion, nausea, lung congestion, and arthritis.
* Hawthorne – strengthens the heart and increases blood flow.
* Lemongrass – is frequently used due to its calming properties.
* Parsley – is a diuretic and helps with kidney function.
* Peppermint – is good for stress relief. It also helps with stomachs and
digestive issues and helps to freshen the breath.
* Red Clover - use as a medicine for menopausal symptoms, cancer, mastitis, joint disorders, asthma, bronchitis, psoriasis and eczema. It is not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
* Rose hips – are a natural source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are a liver, kidney, and blood tonic, and are a good remedy for fatigue, colds, and cough.
* Sarsaparilla – promotes energy and healthy skin.
* Slippery elm – helps to relieve stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal problems.
Teas that have sedative properties
Teas that have sedative properties are often used to help overcome sleep problems or to assist in gaining more beneficial sleep.
Teas that can help with the digestive system
* Peppermint *
* Ginger – good for settling nausea
* Pure tea – see under teas with other properties
Teas that are good for detoxing
Teas that work as a stimulant
* Lemon grass
* Gotu Kola
Teas with other properties
There are some herbal teas that are particularly popular and are of great benefit for specific conditions. These do not necessarily fall into the
categories listed above so I have included them here.
Rooibos – all the antioxidant benefits of green tea but minus the caffeine
Echinacea – very effective for cold and flu prevention
Marigold – has anti-fungal, antibiotic and anti-viral properties
Some of the herbs and plants used in herbal teas can have certain side-effects and do produce an allergic reaction in some people.
As with many of the natural remedies or those that have health benefits some people seem to suit certain types more than others. Experiment with the different types of herbal tea to find out which is most beneficial for you.