Herbal Tea's - A Complete Guide
Table Of Content
If I had a secret weapon to staying healthy and lean, it would be the inclusion of herbal tea's to my diet. They are not only hydrating and appetite suppressing, they actually have medicinal properties.
Unlike regular teas, herbal teas are made from dried leaves, flowers, spices, fruits, or herbs.
I look forward to pouring myself a hot cup of herbal tea a few times a day and cherish sipping onto the same while I sit to work.
Apart from being an excellent alternative to sugary drinks, herbal teas have health-benefiting properties. Although herbal teas have been around for a long time, modern-day science and medicine are discovering and finding various ways to include them in everyday routines.
Let us explore some of these health-promoting properties
Benefits of herbal teas.
Teas have been proven to provide extreme health benefits to the body. Herbal teas, for example, are rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that keep your body and mind refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Health benefits that come with drinking herbal teas.
- Anti-aging properties - Herbal teas have anti-aging properties that allow your body to resist oxidation and protect against radical damage. The antioxidants in herbal teas illuminate your skin and make you look young.
- Digestive properties - Spearmint, ginger, etc are some types of herbal teas that can help you improve digestion. Due to their digestive properties, these teas can also help you prevent ulcers, constipation, and indigestion.
- Detoxification - Herbal teas are rich sources of polyphenols which are a type of antioxidant molecule that aids your skin to repair damaged cells, improving dullness, preventing blemishes, and overall nourishment. Detoxification is not just limited to skin it involves your liver functions as well.
- Anti-inflammatory properties - People who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis, IBS, hemorrhoids, etc are advised to drink herbal teas because they contain chemical compounds that can reduce inflammation and pain in the body.
- Excessive weight loss - Certain superfoods and herbs are well- known to promote satiety and reduce appetite. These then help you lose weight and stay in an optimal weight range.
- Immunity enhancement - Plant compounds, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in herbal teas are known to combat chronic diseases and infections in the body, and reduce the chances of developing diseases. Hence, it increases the overall immunity in the human body.
Use of Herbs For Their Medicinal Properties.
Derived from the Latin word ‘herba’, herbs are referred to any part of the plant like the stem, bark, fruit, seed, leaves, flowers, etc., and are consumed in various forms - teas, essential oils, whole herbs, capsules, powder, etc.
Plants have been used as medicines since decades. For 4000 years Ancient healers from Europe, India, Egypt, Africa, the Mediterranean, etc have used herbs and herbal therapies as a means of treating people. There are even manuscripts and cultural evidence to prove the same.
As per the WHO, 80% of people in the world are dependent on plants for primary healthcare needs and around 21,000 plants can potentially be used as medicines.
Despite the advancement in medical technologies and science, people still rely on plant medicine due to various reasons, including,
- the prohibitive cost of modern medicine and treatments,
- the restricted supply of drugs,
- the short supply of drugs to lower socio- economic parts of the world, and
- several side effects caused by synthetic medicines,
Traditional systems of treatment using herbs as medicines, are still widely popular.
In Africa and China, traditional herbs were continuously and successfully used as a treatment for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs).
In Africa alone, the African flower has been used for decades to treat the symptoms of HIV, in fact, a lot of pharmacies across Europe and India sell herbal medicines/supplements/teas, etc along with conventional medications.
The popularity of Ayurveda and TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) surpasses allopathic approach in India and China.
Top 10 Commonly Used Herbal Teas in India.
Several studies suggest that certain teas are known to boost the immune system, fight inflammation, aid cardiovascular health, and even prevent certain types of cancers in the body.
Now it is important to note here, every time I mention the word 'tea' through this article, I am not necessarily mentioning to 'tea leaves'.
Tea here could be dried flowers, herbs or even twigs of plants. Herbal tea's could be parts of plants combined with traditional 'tea's', like a chamomile- green tea, or simply the herb by itself, like a chamomile tea.
Let us explore the 10 most commonly found herbal 'tea's' in India.
- Jasmine Tea
Known for its antioxidant properties, dried jasmine flower is an elixir for youth. It gives your skin a youthful glow and is very often brewed along with green tea to improve fragrance and color.
- Ginger Tea
Ginger has been proven to be excellent herbal medicine as per a lot of studies, ginger tea on the other hand has similar benefits. It consists of the antioxidant gingerol which is bioactive and is found in the ancient ginger root. Gingerol has been shown to help with blood glucose stabilisation and even digestion.
- Chamomile Tea
Replace those harsh sleeping pills with a soothing cup of Chamomile flower tea. Chamomile is drawn from the flowers of the Asteraceae plant and is very well known for its sleep- inducing properties. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and flavonoids, this tea floods your body with serotonin to help relieve anxiety.
- Green Tea
The most common tea of all, it is rich in natural caffeine and catechin, a nutrient with anti- oxidant properties. From heart health to improved brain function, green tea has been widely cited as being on the top for a herbal tea blend.
- White Tea
Less popular than Green Tea, but a slightly milder option for non- tea lovers. This tea has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which can help you combat flu, cold and common infections. It is always best when you brew loose white tea leaves instead of using tea bags.
- Hibiscus tea
This tea contains the antioxidant - anthocyanins, which have antiviral properties and are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Studies show that hibiscus tea helps in lowering blood pressure naturally. It is a popular choice among my clients who suffer from high blood- pressure.
- Peppermint Tea
The tea provides freshness and makes you feel good. Peppermint tea has antispasmodic properties which allow your muscles to relax and also aids in stomach cramps. If you are PMSing, this tea is your new best friend. Also a popular choice among my PCOS clients as this tea has anti- anderogenic effects.
- Moringa tea
Moringa tea has similar flavor profiles to green tea and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Moringa contains compounds that can help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, potentially improving heart health.
- Ginseng Tea
This tea was earlier popular only in Korea but is now widely available in India and around the world. Made out of ginseng roots this tea has a strong smell and taste, relaxing compounds, and anti-inflammatory properties. For women, this tea specifically helps battle fatigue and improve hormonal balance.
- Oolong tea
Oolong tea is often blended with ginger and even ginseng. Oolong is referred to as food for the brain. Oolong enhances your mental endurance and also aids in the release of endorphins in the body.
Top Three Herbal Teas to Help You With Better Sleep.
According to a survey, approximately 40% of people who drink herbal tea do so for its sleep-promoting benefits. However, the quality and quantity of sleep you get an night often depends on your daily lifestyle.
Things like your wake up and sleep time, sunlight exposure int he morning, food groups you choose to eat through the day, beathwork you practice etc all play a crucial role.
Now herbal tea's do play a role, but your overall lifestyle is the real game changer. If you are confused as to what the word 'lifestyle changes' means, watch this video to understand more:
While choosing a herbal tea to help with better sleep, be sure to get the dried herbs/ flower/ twigs alone and NOT mixed with green tea. Green tea, and other tea's do contain mild amounts of caffeine and can keep you awake.
That being said, let's explore tea's that could help you sleep better:
- Rose Tea
They say, Rani Padhmini, one of the most beautiful queen's of India used to take rose petal baths.
For centuries, people have savoured rose tea for its subtle flavour and aroma. The potential benefits of rose tea for promoting sleep, however, have recently come to light.
Rose tea is a fantastic option for anyone looking to improve their sleep because of its long history, from its ancient origins to its modern uses, and its many health advantages.
Rose petals were used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various health issues, including insomnia. The practice of brewing rose petals into a tea spread to other parts of the world, including the Middle East and Europe, where it became a popular drink. Indian's adopted gulkand- doodh as a popular night time drink in ancient times.
If you are struggling with bad sleep, I suggest a rose tea before bed. I would skip the milk, sugar and other sweeteners though!
- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has been used to naturally induce sleep for centuries. It is widely known for its mild sedative effect and natural, sweet, and flowery flavour. This tea also helps in improving sleep quality without making you feel groggy in the morning.
Chamomile is also widely studied for its naturally sedative effects. Lets look at to popular studies that show the benefits of this herbal tea with sleep.
One randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the gold standard when it comes to scientific research, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that taking a chamomile supplement for 8 weeks significantly improved sleep quality and decreased symptoms of anxiety in people with mild to moderate anxiety disorders.
Another study was published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. This study was specifically to understand the sleep pattern of postpartum women and the effect of chamomile to improve them. The researchers found that drinking chamomile tea for two weeks improved sleep quality and duration in postpartum women with insomnia.
- Lavender Tea
Lavender is a versatile ingredient and the tea made by brewing its buds in water is one of the most soothing bedtime beverages. This is my personal favourite bed- time tea's for day's that seem endlessly spent in front of a laptop.
The subtle purple color and the distinct aroma of the tea itself are enough to relax your mood. Lavender tea is well-known to promote good quality sleep as well as reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The use of lavender dates back in time to the Roman empire, where naturalist, Pliny the Elder, wrote about its calming and soothing properties, recommending it as a remedy for insomnia.
Did you know that in the 19th century, Queen Victoria of England used lavender oil to help her relax and fall asleep. So the next time you pick up a cup of lavender tea, be sure to feel like a royalty.
Top three Herbal Teas to Help Boost Libido and Sex Drive.
- Ashwagandha Tea
Ashwagandha is often referred to as the Indian Ginseng, owing to its fertility boosting properties. This root is an adaptogenic herb. Meaning, it helps you better adapt to physical, mental and emotional stress.
A study in which the subjects were given KSM-66 ashwagandha, the extract of the root ashwagandha, for 60 days, showed that their stress hormone levels were reduced by 27%.
Although the reduction in stress does not directly mean a boost in sexual desires; however lower stress levels can result in more focus and enjoyment in sex.
Ashwagandha is also known to increase testosterone levels in men leading to an increased libido. Ashwagandha tea further relaxes the body and increases our energy levels and stamina, all essential qualities for a better libido.
- Ginseng Tea
The roots of ginseng have been known to have medicinal properties for thousands of years. Ginseng contains a lot of active compounds which help to increase blood flow and reduce oxidative stress, thereby increasing sexual performance in men.
For women, it enhances their libido thereby increasing sexual desires, arousal, and satisfaction.
Ginseng can be traced back to ancient China, where this adaptogenic herb was popularly used to treat erectile dysfunction. There are even two popular studies showing the benefits of Ginseng roots:
In one study, supplementing with ginseng proved beneficial to help manage erectile dysfunction in men.
Another study found that taking a ginseng supplement improved sexual satisfaction, arousal, and overall sexual function in postmenopausal women.
- Maca Tea
Maca tea also known as Peruvian ginseng is widely popular to boost libido and sex drives.
It has similar effects in both men and women and is used to uplift mood, energy levels, and enjoyment of sex. Maca is an ancient ingredient that has been used by generations of indigenous people of the Andes.
Maca is actually not a herb, but a root vegetable used commonly in South American cooking. I personally love to just mix a tsp of maca powder with plant- mylk and ice to make myself a glass of iced maca tea.
Besides aiding in better libido, this root is also praised for its effects on improved fertility. But, like with most herbs and spices, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of maca on sexual function and libido, and to determine the optimal dose and duration of consumption.
Top Three Herbal Teas Used For Diabetes Management.
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease to a large extent. Thus, making sustainable lifestyle changes to help with diabetes management should be your number one approach. Watch this to understand more:
There are certain superfoods too that help with diabetes management, I cover them all in my 12- week diabetes reversal protocol.
But when it comes to herbal tea's, here is my list of top three.
- Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon not only reminds us of Christmas but also promises our bodies good health. Apart from carrying multiple health benefits, cinnamon is popular for manage diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity as well as blunting the glucose spike post a meal.
As per research submitted by the University of Maryland on the ‘Health Benefits of Cinnamon’, the spice consists of medicinal properties that could improve symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, incorporating a pinch of cinnamon to your regular black tea or even just boiling a stick of cinnamon and apples for a warm cup of herbal cinnamon tea is a good option.
- Giloy and Neem Tea
This is a combination of two superfoods, both very essential for diabetes management. Giloy, also promoted by Ayurveda, is said to be so potential, that regular consumption along with insulin medication can drop your sugar to a state of hypoglycaemia.
Giloy and Neem trees grow in abundance in India, and you are sure to find one in every other street. Try and make your own herbal tea blend, by plucking fresh leaves and twigs and drying them, instead of getting a store bought blend.
If you are looking for more superfoods for diabetes management, check this article I wrote:
Neem helps manage symptoms of insulin sensitivity and has been widely researched for its role in diabetes reversal. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2002 found that neem leaf extract reduced fasting blood sugar levels by up to 32% in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Fenugreek Tea
It is well known the famous NBA player Kobe Bryant often referred to fenugreek tea as his elixir for diabetes management.
As per the principles of Ayurveda, fenugreek is cited to help balance our three dosha's and help in overall wellness. If you grew in an Indian household, fenugreek was also the go- to remedy for digestive issues.
In terms of diabetes management specifically, fenugreek seeds help with glucose metabolism and even inflammation management. Fenugreek tea, native to the Mediterranean and South East Asian population has also been studied for its cholesterol lowering property.
I suggest soaking a tbsp of fenugreek seeds overnight and making an iced tea with the water int he morning.
Top Three Herbal Teas Used For Thyroid Management.
There are various types of thyroid disorders. Looking at a holistic approach from lifestyle, fitness and nutritional changes is often the best solution for thyroid management.
If you are struggling from thyroid hormone disfunction, the below detailed articles I wrote will provide you with additional tips:
Regardless of the type of thyroid disorder you are struggling with, the following tea's will benefit you.
- Ashwagandha Tea
We have discussed the benefits of Ashwaganda tea before as being an adaptogenic. Thyroid hormone disfunction often leads to lowered metabolism. Including an adaptogenic tea like Ashwaganda can be beneficial.
The other way Ashwagandha can be beneficial for thyroid hormone function is by aiding in improving immunity. Maintaining good immune function is necessary for a well functioning thyroid gland. Those taking Ashwagandha tea or supplement consistently also show improved markers for immune health.
While Ashwagandha is certainly not the only solution to thyroid management, it definitely is worth exploring along with other lifestyle changes and superfoods.
- Bugleweed Tea
This particular tea is more beneficial for hyperthyroid VS hypothyroid. Bugleweed is native to Europe and often cited to also help with managing PMS symptoms besides thyroid hormone regulation.
This herb acts by lowering thyroid hormone function and instigating cellular repair. Folk herbalist rave about the benefits of this tea for managing metabolic diseases like thyroid.
It is worth noting though that excess consumption of Bulgeweed can lead to symptoms of gastric distress, including vomiting and diarrhoea. If you are taking any other medications such as pain killers, it is also wise to consult your doctor before adding this tea to your daily routine.
- Kelp and Ginger Tea
Ginger possesses many health benefits like anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial, antioxidant as well as thyroid management. Kelp on the other hand is rich in iodine, one of the essential minerals for thyroid hormone function.
In fact, most cases of hypothyroidism can be resolved by just adding enough iodine to your diet.
In addition to its iodine content, kelp tea is also rich in other nutrients that support thyroid function, including iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients can help to improve overall health and alleviate symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Ginger is an elixer for longevity and immune health. Drinking ginger tea may also help improve metabolism, which can be beneficial for people with thyroid problems.
The simple combination of ginger and kelp is a unique herbal mix for thyroid management.
Top Three Herbal Teas Used For PCOS Management.
PCOS symptoms can very well be managed if not completely reversed by making sustainable lifestyle and nutritional changes. A whole- food plant- based diet is often the first step in your journey to reversal.
I have written multiple blogs on the topic of PCOS management and have also successfully worked with hundreds of women across the globe to help reverse the disease. To read more on this topic, see this blog below:
When it comes to herbal tea's for PCOS management, here are my top recommendations.
- Spearmint Tea
If you are struggling to get your periods regular, have excessive facial hair, or acne, chances are you also have elevated testosterone levels.
Spearmint tea is one of the most beneficial additions to your daily routine, because of its anti-androgenic properties. This means, that consuming spearmint tea can help you lower excess male sex hormones that are causing your symptoms.
Spearmint has been widely studied for its benefits in women struggling with PCOS. Here are two examples:
- One study published in the "Phytotherapy Research" journal found that drinking spearmint tea twice daily for 30 days reduced levels of free testosterone in women with PCOS.
- Another study published in the "Journal of Dietary Supplements" found that spearmint tea reduced levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
This earthy and comforting tea is also delicious to sip upon and as easy addition to your daily diet.
- Chasteberry Tea
Also referred to as Vitex, you will see this ingredient pop up in any herbal mix for hormonal balance. This flavour filled tea has been said to help women get their cycles regularly, reduce male pattern hair growth and even improve insulin sensitivity.
If you are looking for superfoods to help with PCOS management, this video I made might interest you:
When it comes to research on chasteberry, one study published in the "Journal of Endocrinological Investigation" found that taking a chasteberry supplement for three months reduced symptoms of PCOS, including irregular menstrual cycles and elevated levels of androgens.
- Green Tea
Among many other consequences of PCOS, weight gain remains a concern. Excess body weight puts you at the risk of heart diseases and even reduces your chances at fertility.
However, green tea is a great addition to your dietary routine when it comes to metabolic improvement. Green tea improves insulin sensitivity, a common struggle among women with PCOS, and thus, aids in your weight loss journey.
The antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties of green tea can also be helpful while you are ont he journey of healing your body. This simple solution can atleast be a start point in a series of lifestyle changes that are essential for PCOS reversal.
Top Three Herbal Teas Used For Hypertension Management.
Hypertension is often a by- product of bad nutritional habits and a stressful lifestyle. With a little bit of dedication and the right guidance, you can very well manage hypertension and may even be able to reverse it without the need to take any medication.
It is worthy of note though that hypertension medication often can come with the side effects of kidney damage and increased uric acid level's in the body. Thus, your first line of approach must be lifestyle changes. Here is a detailed article I wrote that you might find helpful:
Let's explore the role of herbal tea's for hypertension management.
- Valerian Root Tea
Hypertension management is a two- fold approach. Number one, is improving blood flow through rigid and constrained arteries that make blood flow difficult. Including foods to make the arteries more flexible would be the way to tackle this. Number two, is to include activities to reduce stress levels.
Valerian Root tea acts through reducing the second point. Used as an Ayurveda medicine to control blood pressure and other anxiety-related issues, this tea actually makes you feel calm.
Valerian root was used in the past to help promote restful sleep. The root of this plant is believed to to increase serotonine levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite and is often referred to as the "feel-good" hormone.
- Hibiscus Tea
My favourite go- to tea for hypertension management. Every client on my hypertension management program can vouch by the benefits of adding hibiscus tea to their diet.
The Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research, which observed the effects of different herbal teas to manage hypertension suggested that Hibiscus tea can have strong effects in lowering blood pressure over time.
Their study was divided into two groups, one who drank Hibiscus tea every day for one month and the other who did not. The case group which received two cups of hibiscus tea every morning saw a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure by the end of one month.
The anti-oxidant compound present in hibiscus tea can help you battle hypertension effectively along with other lifestyle and dietary changes.
- Olive Leaf Tea
Much like the willow bark, olive leaves can also be brewed to make a tea that benefits your body and helps you manage hypertension.
This tea has a mild and interesting flavour and can be paired with lemon. The exact mechanism of how Olive Leaf can help with hypertension is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to the presence of compounds such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol in olive leaves may be the reason.
These are highly anti- inflammatory and anti- oxidant compounds that can help improve blood vessel flexibility and blood flow through the body.
Top three Herbal Teas Used for Acidity Management.
Acidity, or any other symptom of gastric distress should not be taken lightly. Your gut is the gateway to your immune health and chronic diseases.
Prolonged gastric distress is often associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and even some types of cancer.
Read this article to understand the role of gut health and disease management better:
There are herbs and spices though that can provide instant relief for acidity.
- Fennel Tea
Growing up in an Indian household, chewing on fennel seeds after each meal was a norm. We have been taught about the benefits of fennel plant and its effects on digestion from very young.
Fennel tea is popular for its carminative effects, meaning, it helps with constipation management.
There has been some data also supporting the use of fennal tea for gastric distress, such as, one study found that fennel essential oil was effective in reducing symptoms of acid reflux in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Now while fennel tea is no substitute for a healthy diet, it is worth sipping upon on days you had a big cheat meal.
- Ginger tea
Ginger pop's up as a herbal solution for so many conditions. Persoanlly, I like to use ginger extract or even crushed ginger as a base for most of my tea's.
A quick search on PubMed reveals that over 15,000 articles have been published on the benefits of ginger only as of 2021!
One among this was a 2019 review of the Food Science and Nutrition report, which was deduced based on clinical trials to observe the effects of ginger consumption on gastrointestinal diseases. The paper concluded that Ginger tea can help in relaxing nausea and acidity. If you are not a tea fan, here is another fun way to include ginger to your daily diet:
Considering that it is widely available, you can easily brew ginger tea at home by boiling it in water. You can also add lemon and white tea leaves to enhance its flavours and health benefits.
- Marshmallow Root Tea
A natural and safe remedy to treat acidity, this tea has come into light again in recent times. Many celebrities have jumped on the marshmallow root tea bandwagon, including Gwyneth Paltrow, who has praised its digestive benefits.
A growing body of research supports the use of marshmallow root tea for acidity management.
- One study found that marshmallow root extract can reduce the secretion of gastric acid and improve symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
- Another study showed that marshmallow root can help soothe the lining of the digestive tract, reducing inflammation and discomfort.
It is worthy of note that these are small scale studies and still in the initial phases. While there are little to no side effects to include herbal tea's like this, they should not be your only treatment for acidity management.
Top Three Herbal Teas to Help Manage Bloating.
Bloating can simply be a symptom of food sensitivity or something as series as a bacterial overgrowth. Chronic bloating requires medical intervention and must be looked at by an endocrinologist.
Our team has both doctors and nutrition coaches on board, making it easy for the client to making lifestyle and nutritional changes as their priority, while also having a doctor nearby incase of emergencies.
But if we look at specific herbs alone that can help with bloating management, here is my list of two three.
- Lemon Balm Tea
A tea that comes from the mint family, lemon balm is noted to relieve mild gas and bloating when consumed regularly.
The European Medicines Agency is testimony to the same. Although deeper research is still needed to confirm the proper benefits of Lemon balm as a solo ingredient, lemon balm could definitely be a home remedy for bloating.
The lemon balm plant grows in different parts of the world and is commonly used in cooking too for its citric flavour. This tea also helps promote restful sleep as it if naturally caffeine free. Thus, making it a good night time beverage.
- Dandelion Root Tea
Bloating could sometimes be a sig of excess toxic accumulation in the body. Liver is the bodies natural detox organ. Thus, it would make sense to include herbs that help the liver function to its optimal performance. Dandelion root's do just that.
Dandelion acts by helping the liver stimulate bile production, thus aiding in digestion and detox. This root is also linked with reducing the oxidative damage on liver health.
Dandelion root tea also has a diuretic properties that help you reduce water weight in the body naturally thereby reducing excessive bloating. Dandelion root is also used to reduce inflammation, anxiety, etc.
- Matcha tea
Bloating can make you uncomfortable and even be painful. Sometimes, simple tricks like simply drinking enough water and eating more fiber can be the solution.
But if there were one tasty way to reduce bloating, I would suggest Matcha. Matcha tea, unlike regular green tea is higher in l- theanine and anti- oxidants. These brain function boosting anti- oxidants also work to reduce bloating by helping flush out excess water from the body.
Within just a few weeks of drinking Matcha, you will see a reduction in facial puffiness and even a boost in energy levels. Make sure to get organic ceremonial grade matcha only though!
Top three Herbal Teas used for Boosting Immunity.
Here, I suggest using a combination of herbs VS just one to make your herbal tea.
While there are many herbs that help boost immunity, my top pick would include the above.
Turmeric works as well as allopathy drugs when it comes to managing certain diseases. Lemon is a natural source of vitamin C, the most important vitamin when it comes to preventing infections, and cumin seeds are a rich source of certain minerals like iron to help with bodily function.
Jeera or cumin can easily be boiled in hot water along with haldi and a few drops of lemon in the end, to make a soothing yet refreshing beverage that is packed with antioxidant properties. The three super ingredients are also beneficial for digestion and remarkably enhance your immune system.
- Ginger + Liquorice Tea
We come back to our old friend ginger again. This versatile ingredient is part of multiple cuisines across the globe. Be it Indian cuisine or Thai, you will see Ginger extensively used as part of many cultures.
If you are looking for a colourful immune boosting recipe, find my personal favourite here:
Liquorice on the other hand protects adrenal functions, boosts respiratory health and even promotes immunity.
If you have a bad cold and a sore throat, consider this blend as the number one reliever. Filled with health benefits, one cup of this herbal tea will automatically treat your cold, reduce nasal congestion and boost your immunity to fight diseases.
- Lemongrass Tea
Studies have shown that lemongrass has therapeutic efficacy and show antibacterial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants which not only help you lower inflammation in the body but also help you fight chronic diseases by boosting your immunity.
Dried lemongrass is a staple at my home and we enjoy this tea a few times every week. The naturally sweet, yet citric flavour of lemongrass is a great addition even to the traditional Indian Chai.
The citrous and fragrant flavor of lemongrass is extremely soothing both for your body and mind. Try adding a few twigs of lemongrass to your next batch for herbal tea for an instant mood- lifter.
Top 3 Herbal Tea's to Help With Morning Sickness.
Morning sickness can be crippling. Be this due to pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations in the body, certain herbs can make the symptoms of morning sickness easier to deal with.
If you are pregnant, here is an article I wrote that you might find beneficial:
Let's now talk about herbs and spices that might be helpful.
- Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea is well known as being a soothing elixar for an upset gut. Apart from its delicious taste, peppermint tea actually triggers bile acid production to help with digestion as ease symptoms of nausea.
In some patients, peppermint tea is used to treat low blood sugar, especially those ladies who suffer from excessive vomiting and find it difficult to sustain food in their stomachs.
There have been a few studies on the use of peppermint for nausea, here are some interesting once:
A study conducted in 2006 found that peppermint oil capsules may help reduce nausea and vomiting in women with morning sickness.
A 2018 study found that peppermint essential oil, when inhaled, may be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Extensive research and studies are still needed to confirm whether or not Red Raspberry Leaf is safe throughout the pregnancy or just in the first trimesters, but this blend is extremely rich in iron and can help you tone your uterus, enhance milk production, help in labor pain and decrease morning sickness or nausea.
It would be wise to consult your doctor before introducing this tea, especially while pregnant, as research is really mixed on this subject. However, some cultures highly talk about its benefits.
A lot of herbal tea blends which are sold as pregnancy tea contains red raspberry leaves as a major ingredient.
- Ginger and Lemon Tea.
Need I give you more reasons to drink ginger tea? As discussed above a few times, ginger is a natural remedy to multiple ailments including nausea.
Adding lemon to this blend, cuts through the spicy and slightly bitter flavour of the ginger and makes this drink even more soothing to enjoy. Nausea is very common in the first trimester of pregnancy, but often settles down by the second and third trimester.
Though herbal tea's are a great addition, I suggest making your own blend at home VS store bough blend. Keep reading this article to understand the side effects of store bought herbal tea blends.
Top 3 Herbal Tea's for Acne Management.
There could be various different kinds of acne and due to various causes such as hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, bad gut health etc.
The type of food you eat could also lead to inflammation in the skin and cause acne and bad skin health. I have a detailed article on nutritional changes you could adopt to permanently get rid of acne:
If you are looking for a herbal tea remedy, here are my top suggestions:
- Lemongrass and Turmeric Tea
Turmeric contains curcumin which is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compound. Curcumin has been widely studied for its anti- inflammatory properties. Haldi (turmeric) is the main ingredient in multiple skin care products too for its skin brightening effects.
Lemongrass is an astringent, meaning it can help tighten and firm the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This herb is also often a part of anti- ageing beauty products.
In fact, the blend of these two essential ingredients is also proven to be effective for PCOD-related acne.
I personally like to boil a few slices of fresh turmeric and dried lemongrass twigs for my own blend of this herbal mix.
- Rooibos tea
This South African plant has once again been popular as a potent herb in native communities. Rooibos has been used as a remedy for many things from strong immunity to inflammation management.
When it comes to acne management, one animal study found that rooibos extract has antimicrobial properties. These properties inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria that is associated with acne.
It is important to note though, that this was an animal study. While there are no side effects of a delicious cup of rooibos tea, it certainly cannot be an only solution for acne management.
One more reason to include herbs like rooibos is the presence of essential plant chemicals called flavonoids. Rooibos tea contains Aspalatin and Nothofagin which are anti-inflammatory flavonoids that allow your body to reduce its oxidative stress.
- Parsley Tea
The beauty about herbal tea's is that you do not have to buy exotic brands to make a blend. Sometimes, like in the case of parsley tea, the solution is right in your kitchen garden.
This Mediterranean herb is rich in many vitamins that repair your skin, such as Vitamin A and C. Vitamin A promotes cell regeneration and turnover and plays a big role in treating acne. Parsley tea is packed with Vitamin A and other essential nutrients like minerals, magnesium, calcium, potassium, chlorophyll, and folic acid. All of these are essential micronutrients for skin health.
Parsley tea is like the antidote for skin acne and is also proven to have beneficial properties for your health due to its high nutritional content.
Dangers of Consuming Too Many Herbal Teas.
Herbal tea market has seen a significant growth in the past few years. According to recent market research, the global herbal tea market is expected to reach approximately USD 20 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of around 7% from 2021 to 2026.
With our ever stressful lifestyle, more and more people are looking for quick- fix solutions and even switching to healthier alternatives. Go to any social media cite and you will see countless ads on herbal tea's for weight loss, bloating and what not.
Herbal tea's do have benefits, such as:
- Lowering the risk of heart disease,
- Appetite suppressing
- Managing hormonal fluctuations
- Boosting immunity,
- Improving metabolism, and so on.
But it is important to shed light on the side- effects of herbal tea consumption too.
While I always suggest my clients to make their own tea blend at home, the same might not always be possible. Most people resort to packaged herbal tea's.
Considering the number of toxic chemicals that are absorbed during cultivation, harvesting, storage, or brewing; drinking excessive amounts of herbal tea's can also cause danger to your body.
Let us explore how.
Heavy Metals in Herbal Blends:
An interesting article published in the Journal of Toxicology in 2013, which tested over 30 varieties of teas, found that upto 83% of them that were brewed for at least five minutes had an excessive amount of lead.
Another study published by Food Research International suggested that economical varieties of tea had higher levels of Fluoride as compared to the expensive ones.
Long term lead exposure can cause various symptoms, including:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Lowered rates of Fertility etc.
Now imagine drinking three cups of herbal tea's every single day for months together. It is thus wide to make your own tea blends at home.
Interference With Medication:
Herbal teas are often included in diets with mindless consideration. Some herbal teas for example the Valerian tea root which is usually marketed as the sleep elixir is strong and should only be consumed with proper advice from a medical practitioner.
A lot of herbs might also interact with the current medications you are consuming for other health reasons. Here are a few examples:
- St. John's Wort: This herb can interact with a variety of medications, including antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners.
- Dandelion: Dandelion can interact with certain medications, including diuretics, lithium, and some antibiotics.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba can interact with anticoagulant and anti-platelet medications, increasing the risk of bleeding.
Now it is important to note that the herbs will only interact with medications when taken in excessive amounts. For instance, you will have to consume 5-6 cups of Dandelion tea every day for weeks together to see an interaction, but it would be wise to work with a medical practitioner to select a herbal blend right for you.
Toxic Ingredients and Flavours:
Scenting and flavouring of teas is very common, but it also involves the addition of chemical substances in the herbal teas that can otherwise turn out to be extremely toxic for the body.
I saw a Kashmiri Khawa blend once and was shocked to see sugar as the first ingredient listed on the label! No wonder their blend was addictive and 'naturally' sweet to taste.
A report submitted by the Mayo clinic that studied the side effects of HDS (Herbal Dietary Supplements ), concluded that 1 in 5 deaths caused due to liver injury correlates with the increasing popularity of herbal teas and other supplements.
They suggested that several common and potential hepatoxic ingredients have been found in HDS consumed by understudy patients.
It would thus be wise to select tea's only from ethically sourced and clean companies that do not add additional flavours to their tea blend.
Most people do not realise that tea leave also have caffeine. Granted the caffeine content in tea is less that caffeine, but still enough to get you addicted. Caffeine exposure in pregnant women can effect the healthy growth of the fetus.
It is still unclear; what is the exact amount of caffeine that is safe or unsafe for pregnant women however, some research tells us that the risk of having complications during pregnancy should remain low.
While not all herbal tea's are caffeinated, some herbal teas like Yerba Mate and Kola Nut can contain small amounts of caffeine or naturally occurring caffeine-like compounds, such as theobromine and theophylline.
Risk of Low Iron Absorption.
Tannis is a compound that can be present in teas. Tannins usually bind with iron in some foods making it unavailable for absorption in the bloodstream.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiency. If you are a person who sufferers from iron deficiency but still enjoys their daily brew of herbal tea, it is suggested to reduce your consumption to 2-3 cups a day only. I would also suggest a blend without green tea or really any tea, but rather only herbs.
It is also wise to ensure your herbal drink consumption is not too close to your meal timings. Aim to drink your herbal tea's 2-3 hours after the consumption of foods.
Herbal teas are made out of different types of fruits, herbs, spices, and flowers and can trigger allergies in the body for some people.
A lot of the packeted herbal teas in the market pose as 100% natural but may still contain chemical compounds that can also act as allergens. Hence, you must be aware of what gives you an allergy and read the ingredients before consumption.
I also suggest my clients to only choose cloth tea bags VS plastic bags. Plastic, when in contact with hot water can release carcinogenic substances that can cause chronic diseases.
Herbal teas are famous because of their image to aid in weight loss, promotion of good quality sleep, relaxation, and protection against chronic diseases. While there are studies to support the cause, the herbal tea market is by- far unregulated.
Thus, you must understand the nature and compositions of the same before you decide to add them to your diet. Even though they are natural health benefactors, you must consult a doctor before trying any specific type of herbal tea.
If you want to work with me to understand the right blend for your health goals, sign up for a free consultation today.
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