Herbal tea, also called tisane, is a beverage made by infusing a concoction of herbs and spices in hot water. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, unlike black tea and coffee.
Herbal tea can be consumed either hot or cold.
These are available in a wide range of tastes and flavors. Different kinds of herbal teas are available all around the world.
What are the benefits of herbal tea?
Herbal teas are not only delicious but they also come with a wide range of health benefits. There are herbal teas that can help with stress, sleep, digestion, immunity and so on.
Herbal teas have been used as part of natural remedies since ancient times.
Who should avoid herbal tea?
In some cases, it is not safe to consume herbal tea. For example, if you are allergic to pollens or suffer from other allergies, you should avoid chamomile tea. Infants and young children should not consume herbal tea.
If you are on some kind of prescription/medication, then you should avoid ginseng tea. Pregnant women should also be careful when it comes to consuming herbal teas.
To be safe, you should always consult with your doctor before you incorporate an herbal tea into your daily routine. Certain chemicals present in such a tea could interact with your medication, allergies or health condition and make it worse.
Chamomile is one of the most popular herbal teas. It is made from the flower heads of the chamomile plant. It is often consumed to help with sleep.
Chamomile contains apigenin, an antioxidant, which helps in promoting sleep and even lowering inflammation.
Research also suggests that chamomile tea is helpful in promoting better digestion. It is also beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels.
It is a natural blood thinner so you should avoid this tea if you are on blood thinner medication.
How to make: To make chamomile tea you can infuse its dried flowers in hot water or you can get packaged dried flowers from the market for the same.
Peppermint tea offers more benefits than you can count. It can reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
It is also helpful in relieving stress and anxiety, thanks to the presence of menthol which acts as a muscle relaxant. You can also drink it before bed for relaxing sleep.
Menthol present in mint can help in reducing fever by cooling down the body internally.
Peppermint tea can also help with hormonal skin problems such as acne.
How to make: Infuse mint leaves in hot water. Add lemon/honey to taste. You can also prepare an iced version of this tea.
Spearmint is another type of mint, different from peppermint. The concentration of menthol in spearmint is less than that in peppermint.
It can alleviate symptoms of indigestion, headache, and sore throat. Research has shown that drinking spearmint tea every day can help with reducing androgen levels in women with PCOS and hirsutism.
It can also help with fatigue, stress, muscle pain and cramps.
How to make: Infuse mint leaves in hot water. Add lemon/honey to taste. You can also prepare an iced version of this tea.
Thyme is another herb which belongs to the mint family. Thyme tea can provide you with many health benefits. It contains vitamin C, A, iron, copper, potassium and many antioxidant compounds.
It is beneficial in relieving respiratory infections, menstrual cramps, upset stomach, and constipation. It can help soothe problems such as a cough and congestion.
Thyme tea can suppress the appetite which can help in promoting weight loss. It also has a mood-boosting effect.
Pregnant women should not consume thyme.
How to make: Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from flame and add thyme to this water. Cover and let it infuse for 15 minutes. Strain and add honey as per taste.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger root tea has many health benefits, from helping with digestion to balancing stress levels. It is very beneficial in relieving cough and cold.
Ginger can help reduce inflammation and also in relieving painful menstrual cramps.
How to make: Slice fresh ginger root into thin pieces. Add ginger to a cup of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Allow this tea to simmer for 10 minutes. You can add honey for some sweetness.
Turmeric tea is often referred to as ‘liquid gold’ in health circles. It is a revered and popular beverage in Asia.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. It is excellent in fighting inflammation in the body. It can ease arthritis symptoms. It boosts the immune system and can even lower bad cholesterol.
It is rich in antioxidants which can help with preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that curcumin acts as an anticarcinogen which can help prevent cancer.
How to make: Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Then add sliced turmeric root. Let the tea simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and add honey/lemon as per taste.
Dandelion is an excellent herb with numerous health benefits. It is useful in treating indigestion, muscle aches, certain skin conditions and even joint pain.
It is said that dandelion tea can help with diabetes and liver dysfunction.
It acts as a laxative which helps increase bowel movements. Dandelion tea can also help reduce bloating.
Always check with your doctor before you decide to consume dandelion tea.
How to make: You can use flowers, leaves and even root to make tea.
Boil a cup of water in a pan. Add chopped dried dandelion root to it. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy!
Valerian Root Tea
Valerian root tea is known for its benefits for inducing sleep and relieving anxiety. It is also helpful in eliminating headaches and stimulating the mind. This is due to the high concentration of valerenic acid, alkaloids, sesquiterpenes, and Flavonols.
It is also helpful in reducing stress hormones and helping focus the mind.
If you have liver disease, avoid taking this tea.
How to make: Heat the water till it is warm. Do not boil it. Remove water from flame and add valerian root to it. Cover it for 10-30 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey as per taste. Enjoy!
Anise tea can be prepared with the seeds and leaves of the anise plant.
It is helpful in relieving indigestion, stimulating the appetite and soothing inflammation.
Anise tea also helps in boosting the immune system and it is also packed with antioxidants.
This herbal tea also has the ability to maintain hormonal balance.
Research claims that since anise has estrogen-like properties, it should be avoided by those suffering from hormone-sensitive conditions. It is better to consult your doctor first to make sure anise doesn’t interfere with your medication.
How to make: Boil water in a pan. Pour this water over crushed anise seeds in a cup. Allow this mixture to step for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy your cup of anise tea!
Ginseng is useful in maintaining overall health in good condition. This is due to the presence of naturally occurring chemicals called ‘ginsenosides’ in the ginseng root.
Ginseng tea can help boost the immune system, lower stress, stimulate brain function and can even give you relief from menstrual problems.
Ginseng is also said to be useful in keeping your skin healthy and young.
There are 3 different types of ginseng – American ginseng, Asian ginseng, and Siberian ginseng.
Never give ginseng to children and infants.
How to make: Heat water in a pan and add sliced ginseng root to it. Allow this mix to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey/lemon as per taste. Enjoy!
Hibiscus tea is packed with antioxidants which prevent oxidative stress in the body that damages cells. It also contains bioflavonoids that can help reduce depression.
It is helpful in lowering blood pressure and supporting healthy cholesterol levels.
Research has shown that hibiscus tea can increase metabolism in the body which makes it useful for weight loss.
Pregnant women should stay away from hibiscus tea. Consult your doctor before you decide to drink hibiscus tea as it can cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals.
How to make: Boil some water in a pan. Pour this boiling water on dried hibiscus flowers in an empty pan or kettle. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey as desired.
Kava Root Tea
Kava root tea is used to calm stress, anxiety, and restlessness. It is also helpful in fixing sleep problems.
It is also useful in relieving depression and headaches.
There is a risk of developing liver problems even in healthy people with the consumption of kava root tea. It is best to drink this tea cautiously and only on the advice of a doctor.
How to make: Boil some water in a pan. Pour this boiling water on kava root powder in an empty pan or kettle. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey as desired.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice has been recommended for regulating hormone levels associated with stress. It is quite useful in dealing with the leaky gut syndrome.
Licorice root can increase endurance and energy while boosting the immune the system. This adaptogen has proven to be useful in decreasing androgen and testosterone in women.
This tea might affect blood pressure in some cases and you must consult a doctor before consuming it. Also, licorice root should be avoided while you are on any kind of prescription medicines.
How to make: Boil some water in a pan. Pour this boiling water on licorice root in an empty pan or kettle. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey as desired.
Nettle tea is popular for its natural allergy relief remedy.
It is beneficial in treating urinary problems and improving skin and hair health. It is also useful as a detox drink which helps improve digestion and relieves inflammation.
How to make: Boil some nettle leaves in water. Once boiled, let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from flame and pour the tea in a cup. Enjoy!
Osmanthus tea is a delicious herbal tea packed with antioxidants. It can help with preventing oxidative stress and inflammation.
It can prevent allergic reactions, improve skin health and detoxify the body.
How to make: Boil some water in a pan. Pour this boiling water on dried osmanthus flowers in an empty pan or kettle. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey as desired.
Patchouli is a member of the mint family. It helps boost the immune system and also flushes out toxins from the system.
It also helps with improving the digestive system can soothe tired muscles.
How to make: Infuse patchouli leaves in hot water for 10 minutes. Add lemon/honey to taste.
Rosemary tea offers a whole host of health benefits. It can help in improving digestion, treating skin conditions, improving cognitive function and reduce inflammation.
It can also help relieve anxiety.
However, there are certain side effects that you might experience if you drink rosemary tea, such as vomiting, spasms and it can be dangerous for pregnant women.
How to make: Infuse fresh or dried rosemary in hot water for 10 minutes. Add honey to taste.
Spruce tea is a wonderful winter tea. It is a rich source of vitamin C which helps keep the immune system strong and help fight off infections.
If you are picking spruce needles for consumption, be careful not to pick yew. Yew is toxic.
It is useful in respiratory ailments.
Pregnant women should avoid spruce tea.
How to make: Infuse fresh spruce needles in hot water for 10 minutes. Add sweetness to taste.
Sage tea can help in reducing blood sugar levels, lower anxiety and stimulate the immune system.
Sage should not be consumed in large quantities. Moderate consumption is recommended.
You should avoid sage tea if you have liver or kidney conditions.
How to make: Infuse fresh or dried sage leaves in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain in a cup and add sweetness/lemon to taste.
Rooibos or red bush has many health benefits like treating insomnia, eczema headaches and allergies.
It is also useful in curing premature aging.
Rooibos tea can boost the immune system and lower blood pressure.
Those suffering from kidney stones can consume rooibos tea as it does not contain oxalic acid.
It can ease stomach cramps and pains.
Despite all its wonderful health benefits, rooibos tea can interfere with certain medical treatments so it is best to onsult with your doctor before you decide to consume rooibos tea.
How to make: Infuse rooibos in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain in a cup and add sweetness/lemon to taste.
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