What is Herbal Tea and How Can It Make You Healthier?

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tea

Image Credit: congerdesign via Pixabay / Edited with Photoshop

If you've read my previous blogs about tea, then you are already familiar with what it is and where it comes from. Herbal tea is another kind of tea, but it does not come from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Rather, it is made from different plants or even flowers. It's also caffeine-free which makes it a good option for those with caffeine sensitivities.

What is Herbal Tea?

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Despite its name, herbal tea is not made from the traditional tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Instead, it is an herbal infusion made from boiling or steeping herbs, seeds, roots, flowers, or barks. The fact that it is not made from the tea bush, it cannot be categorized as true tea. To help distinguish it from true teas, such as green, black, oolong, pu'er, yellow, and white tea, it is often referred to as tisane, botanical, and herbal infusion. Herbal teas include mint, chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, and more. It is quite easy to grow herbal plants in a garden, even in small spaces. 

Health Benefits of Herbal Tea

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In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill.

- Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Petersborough, Ont

Herbal teas may not come from the tea plant, but, just like true teas, they are packed with beneficial effects on the body. Some of these health benefits of herbal tea are the following.

  • Fights cold symptoms
  • Reduce symptoms of asthma
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts immune system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents premature aging
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves skin health

Another benefits herbal teas have that may make it a better option than a true tea is that it doesn't contain any caffeine. 

Choosing the Best Herbal Tea

When choosing an herbal tea, it is important that you look for products that are well-sourced and made from high-quality ingredients. As much possible, avoid herbal teas with unnecessary added ingredients like flavorings and essential oils as these do not benefit your health in any way, at all. And if you're really in for the medicinal properties of this drink, make sure to steep your tea--whether loose leaf tea or it's in a tea bag--long enough to bring out its beneficial properties. In some cases, you need to steep your tea for as long as 10 to 15 minutes. 

Toronto-based herbalist Marcia Dixon reminds us that herbal tea should be steeped in a covered cup or vessel to help contain its beneficial effects. Otherwise, your room will smell nice but you will hardly get any of the health benefits of the tea--which defeats the purpose of drinking it.

If you drink tea, everyday, you can make all sorts of significant changes to your mood, skin, your sense of well-being, and energy.

- Marcia Dixon

Types of Herbal Teas that Can Make You Healthier

There are various different kinds of herbal teas with varying taste, smell, and medicinal properties. Some of the most popular ones are listed below.

Peppermint tea

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Drinking peppermint tea helps alleviate symptoms of bloating and abdominal gas. It also helps relieve muscle spasms and nausea. Additionally, it can be used to heat up the body to make it sweat. However, if you suffer from any indigestion problems or heartburn, then peppermint tea is not for you. This type of tea is so easy to make and so accessible as you can use fresh herbs from your garden. Peppermint is also very easy to grow.

Ginger tea

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Ginger is a wonderful root crop that has lots of health benefits, so you can expect a lot when you drink it as a tea. It is a very good digestive aid as it helps relieve an upset stomach. It also helps ease nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness. You can make fresh ginger tea by simmering a piece of ginger root on the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can add honey and fresh lemon juice if you have a cold to make its medicinal properties even more potent. Aside from fresh ginger, you can also make tea using powdered ginger.

Chamomile tea

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Chamomile tea is known for its calming and sedative-like effect on the body. This is the reason why this type of herbal tea is quite popular among those who suffer from sleeping problems. Chamomile tea is made from the flowers of the chamomile plant. Aside from being a sleeping aid, it is also good for the digestion, especially after a full meal. Did you know that chamomile can also help treat cough and bronchitis when you have a cold or fever? You can also use it as a gargle to help ease inflammation of the mouth. Just make sure to steep it well in order to get all of its medicinal properties. 

Rooibos tea

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The rooibos plant is largely grown in South Africa and is chock full of health benefits. For starters, it is a rich source of vitamin C and other minerals. It also has antioxidants that help prevent all sorts of diseases and even help keep you look younger. It has also been proven that it helps with common skin conditions, such as eczema.

Lemon balm tea

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Lemon balm is a very easy plant to grow. It is also known for its ability to lift the spirits. It is also one of the few teas safe for children. In fact, consuming a glass of lemon balm tea can help prevent children from having nightmares. If you want a refreshing drink on a hot summer day, you can turn this herbal tea into an iced tea. To make it extra yummy, you can add lemon or maple syrup to it. 

Rosehip tea

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Rosehips are the fruit of rose plants. Wait. What? Rose plants have a fruit? Anyway, rosehips contain the seeds of the rose plant. It is considered one of the best plant sources of vitamin C--a very important vitamin for the immune system, as well as tissue health, skin, and adrenal function. Dried rosehip and its seed are often used to make medicine and tea. So, the next time you need a health boost, do not hesitate to drink a cup of rosehip tea. 

Final Thoughts

Herbal teas may not be considered as true teas, but they are certainly not left behind in terms of their health benefits. In fact, it may even be a better option as they don't contain caffeine. There are many different kinds of herbal tea and each one of them have their own medicinal properties. It's up to you to choose the best one for your needs. 

Here is a video of how you can make your own infusion of herbal tea using different kinds of herbs and fruits. 

Video Credit: Laura Forde's Videos via YouTube

 

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Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day ahead of you and keep smiling. :)

Written by Chineyes for bitLanders

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About the author

Chineyes

A software tester by profession, a mother by heart, and a writer by passion.

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