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Long prized in Eastern Medicine as the key to health, happiness and longevity, tea is one of the oldest drinks in the world.
With so many varieties on the market now, it can be hard to know which ones to choose. While fruity teas like apple and orange taste delicious and are a great alternative to unhealthy sodas, they don’t tend to offer the healing properties that the herbal varieties do.
Keep reading for the lowdown on some of the best herbal teas out there, and their associated therapeutic and health benefits.
This herbal tea is probably the most well-known of all the ‘calming’ teas, particularly when it comes to relieving stress and helping us get a good night’s sleep.
A lesser known benefit of chamomile tea is that it may lower blood sugar levels which means it might just control, or even prevent, diabetes.
Taken with each meal, the tea can cause blood glucose levels to fall, while also protecting against hyperglycemia, a potentially fatal condition caused by very high blood sugar levels, say researchers from Aberystwyth University in Wales and the University of Toyama in Japan.
What’s more, chamomile might help you live longer…but only if you’re a woman! In a study of over 1,600 people, regular consumption of chamomile tea lowered the risk of death from all causes amongst women by 29%.
Long revered for its immune boosting properties, Echinacea is most commonly used as a tonic or tea.
A study of 95 people with early symptoms of cold and flu (runny nose, scratchy throat etc) found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for five days recovered sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea.
Furthermore, a review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.
The tea can also help relieve the pain of UTIs, swollen joints and sore muscles.
To treat any of these conditions, the University of Maryland recommends 1 to 2g of dried herb as a tea, three times daily until you feel better, but for no longer than 10 days.
Try this Organic Echinacea Tea by Alvita. You can also find Echinacea tea at most natural health stores.
Elder flowers have a long history of use in traditional German medicine because of their antioxidant and antiviral effects.
Elderflower is extremely effective in treating influenza. In fact, when participants in a study were treated with elder extract, 90% of them were completely cured within 2 to 3 days compared to at least 6 days in the placebo group.
Traditionally used to detox the body, this tea may strengthen the immune system by clearing the lymph nodes. It can also relieve allergies and asthma, treat fungal infections, toothaches and urinary tract infections.
Brew up a pot of this licorice-tasting tea for a whole host of health benefits. From antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory to expectorant and diuretic properties, fennel has it all.
Perhaps one of the most well-known medicinal uses of fennel tea is to relieve painful bloating and gas. This natural remedy has been used for thousands of years, especially in India. A cup or two should be all you need to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
Thanks to its antispasmodic effects, it has been found to be an effective herbal remedy for menstrual pain.
It’s also thought to cure bad breath and reduce water retention.
Try this Organic Fennel Seed Tea by Heather’s Tummy Teas.
Hibiscus tea is said to have been the beverage of choice for Pharaohs in the ancient Nile Valley, perhaps because this versatile tea has been used for treating everything from a loss of appetite to colds and upper respiratory tract pain. It’s also a gentle laxative and diuretic.
A study at Tufts University in Boston looked at the effect of hibiscus tea on high blood pressure. They found that regular consumption of hibiscus tea resulted in significantly lower blood pressure levels than those in the placebo group.
Hibiscus can also keep your cholesterol levels within their normal range and help you control your weight. Finally, because it’s rich in vitamin C, this tea is a light and refreshing way to boost your immune system.
Hibiscus also pairs beautifully with dried rosehips. Read more about making Rosehip Tea plus fifteen other great uses for this amazing fruit in the 16 Wonderful Ways To Use Rosehips For Beauty, Health & Happiness!
Lavender is one of the most beautiful herbs around – from its appearance to its fragrance, it’s a must in any garden.
Given that lavender is known for its relaxing qualities, it should come as no surprise that the tea is used primarily for stress relief. Try a calming cup before bedtime, especially if you feel anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. It’s also a great plant to help you sleep better.
To experience lavender tea at its finest, try this 100% Organic Lavender Flower Tea by the Tao of Tea.
Lemon Balm Tea
A member of the mint family, the leaves of the lemon balm herb have a mild lemony aroma. The plant is rich in antioxidants, and contains a powerful compound called eugenol, a natural anti-inflammatory to sooth aches and pains.
It’s also believed to have a calming effect, much like lavender, so can be used to combat stress, anxiety and insomnia.
According to Mexican folk medicine, lemongrass aids digestion, calms the nerves and lowers high blood pressure.
Try a cup before bedtime if you are suffering from insomnia as it will help relax the mind and body. Or if you’ve overindulged at dinner time, some lemongrass tea will help the digestive process and relieve nausea.
Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, lemongrass has been shown to prevent acne, promote healthy skin and relieve symptoms of colds and flu.
Try this Organic Fair-Trade Lemongrass Tea by Traditional Medicinals.
Matcha Green Tea
While all green tea boasts some incredible health benefits, the majority of the world’s green tea consumed today comes from China, Pakistan and India.
The green tea you want to drink is Matcha, a Japanese green tea which puts all the others to shame.
This Japanese blend boasts a huge antioxidant content which Dr Mercola claims is 17 times that of wild blueberries and 7 times that of dark chocolate!
Check out this article on the 10 Amazing Benefits of Matcha Green Tea to discover its healing properties – from boosting memory to detoxifying the body.
Nettles – one of the 18 amazing backyard ‘weeds’ you should be eating – provide a ton of health benefits. Pick a few from your backyard and allow to dry in the sun before brewing.
Nettle tea has been enjoyed for centuries for its healing and nutritional properties. It is a natural diuretic – a report in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy found that nettle tea can flush out toxins from the urinary tract while supporting medications used to treat UTIs.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties it acts as a painkiller and is said to promote healthy skin and fight allergies.
The rich mineral load of nettles, with their high levels of iron, mean nettle tea is a good tonic for women as it helps fight anemia. Let’s not forget it contains a rich variety of minerals like vitamins A, B2, C, D, and K, calcium, potassium, iodine and manganese!
You can order Organic Nettle Leaf Tea from this page on Amazon.
This fragrant, fruity tea has been imbibed for centuries in China. Oolong is actually made from the same plant as both green and black teas. However, it is aged longer than green but not as long as black tea.
Several studies have confirmed that oolong can help with weight loss. In a 2009 study of 102 overweight people who drank 8g of oolong tea a day for 6 weeks, 70% of the severely obese people lost over 1kg in body weight, while 22% lost over 3kg. 64% of obese participants lost over 1kg and 66% of the overweight individuals lost over 1kg.
Oolong also helps prevent heart disease and inflammatory conditions while promoting healthy skin, teeth and gums.
For excellent flavor and consistent quality, try this Organic Oolong Tea by Prince of Peace.
Peppermint is one of nature’s most valuable herbal remedies.
According to the University of Maryland, peppermint is great for soothing an upset stomach or helping digestion. They recommend steeping one teaspoon of peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water and drinking four or five times a day, between meals.
If you’re looking for a weight loss aid, look no further. In a 2007 study, participants reported feeling significantly less hungry and that they ate 1,800 fewer calories than normal when inhaling the scent of peppermint every two hours.
Plus, the menthol naturally present in the mint acts as a muscle relaxant, reducing your stress and anxiety levels.
While there are many peppermint teas available to choose from, we recommend this Organic Non-GMO Tea by Traditional Medicinals.
Made from fermented and aged leaves, pu-erh tea is the most oxidized form of tea. It’s also the only tea which can mellow and improve with age, causing some rare versions to sell for thousands of dollars!
In animal studies, pu-erh (pronounced ‘poo-air’) was shown to reduce both visceral fat and blood fat levels in obese rats.
It may also reduce bad cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease, although these results have yet to be validated in humans. Nevertheless, this tea has been prized in China for over 2,000 years so it must be doing something right!
Try this Organic Emperor’s Pu-erh Tea by Numi.
This attractive red tea is popular, not just for its color, but for its abundant healing benefits.
Try rooibos as a cure for headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, allergies and high blood pressure.
You can also enjoy rooibos tea as part of your beauty regimen! Because the tea is rich in alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, it can alleviate acne, pimples, uneven skin tone and fine lines. The zinc, calcium, copper and potassium in rooibos may help grow and strengthen hair.
Experience the healing power of Rooibos with this Organic Fair Trade Tea by Choice Organics.
Sip a cup of rosemary tea while doing your morning crossword puzzle – you might surprise yourself! Researchers believe that the aroma of rosemary can boost cognitive performance. This healing herb may also significantly prevent the aging of your brain, keeping you sharp right into old age.
You can purchase Organic Rosemary Tea from this page.
Rich in antioxidants, thyme tea offers more than just a pleasant flavor. It’s rich in antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamins A, C and K, folate, calcium, iron and manganese.
Brew this tea if you need an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion. Thyme tea will also settle the stomach, soothe a sore throat and relieve aches and pains.
Studies have shown that thyme is an excellent herb for pain relief, and that it works better than ibruprofen, especially when it comes to relieving menstrual pain.
Try this Organic Thyme Leaf Tea by Buddha Teas.
Yerba Mate Tea
This South American drink is reminiscent of green tea, although it’s made from a totally different plant. Like green tea it contains caffeine, and boasts a high antioxidant content along with vitamins B and C, manganese, potassium and zinc.
In lab tests, yerba mate has been shown to reduce oxidative stress on heart and liver cells, protect DNA from damage and kill human liver cancer cells.
In rats, the tea has been shown to improve the flow of blood and reduce fat accumulation.
You can purchase Traditional Organic Yerba Mate Tea from this page on Amazon.
Disclaimer: Many herbal supplements are known to have negative or potentially dangerous interactions with certain prescription medications. Always consult with a licensed medical professional before beginning any new herbal supplements. Please note that not all herbal supplements are considered safe for use by pregnant or nursing women. If you are pregnant or nursing, it is always recommended to consult with a licensed Obstetrician before using herbal supplements or any other natural remedies.
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