7 Health Benefits of Herbal Tea

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Nothing takes away the chill of Winter better than a nice hot cup of tea.  In cultures around the world people have been brewing leaves, fruits flowers, roots, bark and berries for centuries.  Here's why: 

  • Research suggests the antioxidants in tea help protect against cancer
  • Tea is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), which means it helps destroy free radicals that can damage DNA
  • Tea is primarily water and therefore naturally hydrating

Herbal teas can be soothing when you're suffering from minor symptoms, but they are primarily formulated for taste enjoyment and general health enhancement.

There are 7 different types of herbal teas, each boasting their own unique health benefits:

1.  Immune Stimulating Blend Teas

These contain tonic herbs known as Apatogens that help strengthen or enhance the immune system, nervous system and/or glandular system while they help the body cope with stress. 

Look for: Siberian ginseng, Panax ginseng, Astragalus, Schisandra, Echinacea, Aswagandha, Reishi mushrooms and licorice.

2. Digestive Aid Blend Teas: 

Many herbs have digestion-stimulating properties.  They can help relieve gas and heartburn, stimulate the flow of gastric juices, relax spasms and cramps and dispel nausea or queasiness.

Look for: Ginger, anise seeds, thyme, chamomile, hyssop, peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, fennel, coriander, chicory, catnip and cardamom.

3. Calming and Sedative Blend Teas: 

After a tough day filled with stress (and usually caffeine), Americans have a tough time settling down enough to fall asleep.  Sedative teas are great for helping the body relax, and mild in action, due to dose.

Look for: Chamomile, hops, linden flowers, lavender, passionflower, skullcap, valerian, till buds and white sapote.

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4. Stress-Relief Blend Teas:

These teas differ from sedative teas because they are designed to help you cope with stress but not become sleepy.  Two herbs stand out in this arena but have completely different actions: 

Siberian Ginseng helps the body cope with stress.  Kava, a muscle relaxant with a long tradition of use in the South Pacific, can actually help relieve tensed-up muscles.

You may drink Siberian Ginseng tea frequently but Kava should be saved for those times when you really need help relaxing and letting go.

Look for: Siberian Ginseng or Kava

5. Stimulating Spice Blend Teas: 

Spicy teas will warm you internally and stimulate your digestion and elimination.  They need a longer brewing time and are best simmered for ten minutes to bring out their spicy flavor.

Look for: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Chai Spice

6. Cold-Fighting Vitamin C Fruit Blend Teas:

These teas can contribute significant amounts of Vitamin C to your diet, and are delicious iced.  Because they have a strong citrus accent, they re refreshing and thirst quenching and can keep you hydrated just as well as water.

Look for: Orange, Lemon, Berry

7. Antioxidant-Rich Rooibos Teas:

This caffeine-free tea is unique in the herbal tea world.  Rooibos (which means "red bush" and is pronounced "roy-boss") is grown only in the tip of South Africa in Cape Town.

It is the only herbal tea that is fermented like black tea, producing a deep red color and body similar to black tea but without black tea's astringency.

Rooibos is rich in Vitamin C, minerals, Quercetin, Luteolin, Rutin and numerous other flavonoids that contribute to antispasmodic, hypoallergenic and antioxidant properties.

Give these healthy--and yummy!-- herbal alternatives to your regular cup of Joe a try.  

Even if you are addicted to your caffeine, try adding a cup of herbal tea to your day for an extra boost of healthy goodness :)

 

In Health and Happiness,

Alicia