There is no secret that herbal teas have been used for centuries. There are notes of its use dating back to ancient China and Ancient Egypt. Herbal tea, despite the name, is not made from tea leaves.
The name itself comes from the same tea making process of steeping the leaves, roots or flowers of various plants in water and drinking the mixture. Unlike actual tea leaves, there isn’t any caffeine in herbal tea. You won’t need to add sugar (though you can) if you are trying to watch your sugar intake.
Instead, you can sweeten most herbal teas with honey or other natural sources. While there are literally thousands of sources for herbal teas, from peppermints to fruits to spices, they have just as many suspected health benefits.
We should note that herbal tea drinking is not a replacement for medical care. If you suffer from any of the following issues, drinking tea may help, but isn’t a cure. You should always check with a medical professional when something is wrong.
We present to you a list of six of the many health benefits attributed to these teas. We will explain the benefit, how it helps you and which teas are commonly associated with that particular benefit.
You should note, that this isn’t a magical elixir that will relieve the symptoms instantly. Some of the listed benefits can be felt quickly (stress and fatigue, for example) while others may take a while to show any results.
Unlike medication from your doctor, there isn’t a guide to tell you how much to take, or how often. However, it is warned that too much of anything can be bad for you. You should enjoy a cup of herbal tea once a day, but two or three won’t hurt.
The Benefits of Herbal Teas
One of the easiest benefits to obtain through a simple cup of tea is stress relief. The warm liquid along with the ingredients can have a calming effect on many people who drink it regularly. The tea is often consumed in the evening after the stresses of the day have built up.
If you are drinking tea to reduce stress, you should do so after the stress causing factors of the day are over. Drinking tea won’t prevent stress, but it can help you feel more relaxed and calm, naturally reducing the stress levels you have built up.
The effects of Chamomile help the brain to purge itself of depression and worry. Because of these calming effects, some people report that the tea works well as a type of antidepressant. If you suffer from insomnia, the effects can also help you relax enough to fall asleep.
Rest, relaxation and a happier mood, all from a cup of tea. This is the main reason it is beneficial to drink at night before bed. Allowing for a full, restful night’s sleep also aids in the anti-stress factor.
Reduces Joint Pain
Inflammation in the muscles and joints can cause a great deal of pain. You can reduce inflammation, thereby reducing pain in the joints and muscles, by drinking herbal tea.
The idea is that gingerol found in ginger tea can reduce the swelling in the body. Drinking a cup of ginger tea daily will help the body fight off swelling and stiffness associated with inflammation, reducing its symptoms and giving back some of your freedom of movement.
Gingerol also has antioxidant properties which can help fight off free radicals in the body. These benefits extend to helping your hair and skin fight aging. Making you feel and look younger with fuller, shinier hair and softer and more firm skin.
A cup of ginger tea once per day can have you feeling and looking younger, reducing joint pain and stiffness in the process.
Fights Symptoms of the Common Cold
We all know that the common cold will run its course no matter what we do. Medicated or not, the cold virus will come and go at its own pace. What we can do, though, is relieve the symptoms, shortening the time the cold virus affects us.
Elderflower has known benefits covering a lot of symptoms. These symptoms include:
It also works to help produce urine, sweat and stop bleeding. This isn’t to say that if you cut yourself a cup of elderflower tea will stop the bleeding, but it helps the body maintain levels of vitamin K which aids the blood with clotting.
The cold and flu symptoms are the most notable for the elderflower to aid in reducing, though. At the first sign of a cold or flu, drinking a cup or two per day for a week will greatly reduce the symptoms of the viruses.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Some herbal teas have been known to have curative effects for hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure can cause a myriad of cardiovascular problems. To aid in lowering your high blood pressure your doctor will give you medications and tell you to alter your diet.
While tea alone shouldn’t replace prescription medication, if you are borderline hypertensive adding hibiscus tea to your daily intake can help lower your blood pressure naturally.
If this is the case, you may never experience hypertension and can avoid medications altogether. However, once prescribed you should only stop or lower the dosage as your blood pressure returns to a more normal level, under the care of your doctor.
Hibiscus has been studied for the effects on hypertension, and the results pretty well speak for themselves. While there isn’t a dosage chart, one cup a day has proven to show results in some degree.
While it may not be “cool” to drink tea as a teenager, it has many skin care benefits that teenagers with acne-prone skin may enjoy. This also goes to adults who suffer from acne or irritable skin.
Some medications, specifically over the counter types, can cause skin irritations or adverse effects. Herbal teas don’t have these conditions (unless an allergy is involved) and can be taken as a cup of tea, or brewed and applied directly to the skin.
Spearmint, in particular, has shown signs of reducing acne on the face and shoulders. The antioxidant properties of spearmint tea, along with rooibos and chamomile teas, have proven time and again their antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
A nighttime regimen of drinking these teas or applying the brewed tea bags to the face or shoulders can pull the contaminants from the skin, leaving it fresh, moisturized and less oily.
Digestion issues affect a lot of us. Most of these are due to food staying in our digestive tract too long, or the inability to effectively break down fats. Tea can assist in both of these conditions which, in turn, reduces the complications that come with digestion issues such as vomiting, diarrhea and bloating.
Most herbs have stomach calming effects, and most will also quickly break down fats. There are some that are better than others, though, including:
Having a cup or a mug of these teas per day can aid the digestion of our foods, reducing fat and helping the stomach to empty faster. These effects, in turn, reduce the bowel issues that commonly occur with fat build up and holding food in our bellies for extended periods of time.
The benefits of herbal tea are numerous. While a lot of research is still being carried out on various types of teas, their properties, just like a normal diet rich in vitamins and minerals, will aid our bodies in many ways.
One thing to keep in mind its potency. There isn’t a regulation or a guide saying how long tea should be brewed or steeped for. However, you should avoid bottled teas. These will have added calories and sugars that you will want to avoid.
While there isn’t enough information to even suggest a recommended steep time, it is common for most teas to rest in the boiling water for three to five minutes. Brewing longer doesn’t show any added benefits, and it can affect the flavor or taste, which may cause you to add your own sweeteners and calories.
The best method to follow is one that includes at least one cup of tea per day and brewed over bottled. Even if you are in a hurry or need the convenience of the grab-and-go type of drinks, you should make the time to have one brewed cup of herbal tea per day.