While you may think herbal tea is similar to standard green or black tea, it actually has quite a few differences, including the fact that most don’t contain caffeine. It’s made by steeping the roots, stems, flowers, petals, leaves, seeds, roots and stems of all types of plants and flowers, and is available in hundreds of different varieties. Some herbal teas are quite common, such as chamomile, while others are more obscure. Depending on the area in which you live in the world, different types are easier to find than others.
The health benefits of herbal tea can vary greatly, depending on the composition. A single ingredient or a combination of various herbs and flowers may be used. Drinking herbal tea is often recommended for those who want to naturally improve their health, or simply relax while sipping a tasty, refreshing brew.
Most herbal teas contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, but the specifics will depend on this exact herbs and plants that used in the tea. Some of the more common health benefits include a feeling of calm and relaxation, helping one to fall asleep easier, lowering inflammation, protecting against disease, relieving pain, boosting the immune system, supporting the digestive system, serving as a detox for the body and even enhancing cognitive function.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of herbal tea and the top teas that you should drink for your health.
Many herbal teas are loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as quercetin, which I long been known to help protect against a wide range of illness and disease including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition to this potent compound, it also contains a high concentration of two lesser known antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin. These polyphenol antioxidants work to battle free radicals which can help slow the aging process, reverse visible signs of aging and protect against disease. Those substances also provide nerve relaxing properties that may even help to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cleansing and Detox
Spices have been made into teas and used medicinally for thousands of years. Many offer anti-inflammatory, antiulcer and antioxidant activities and can even be used as an analgesic. Ginger is considered one of the best detoxifying herbs, frequently recommended in cleansing programs and detox diets. The healing portion of the plant is referred to as the rhizome which is the thick underground stem. The stem can be steeped in water used as a tea as part of a cleansing program as it’s believed to cleanse the body by stimulating the digestion process, circulation, and sweating. Its digestive actions may serve to cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver and other organs too.
Detoxification enhances the body’s natural cleansing process, allowing it to build better defenses against illness and disease in addition to boosting blood circulation and preventing clotting.
Supporting Better Digestion
The health of your digestive system is essential for your overall health. There are multiple teas that can support better digestion and soothe the intestinal system, including treating ailments like gas and nausea.
Ginger, for example, offers healing and detoxifying properties that are likely due to its high concentration of gingerol and shoga which provide anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects on the gastrointestinal system. These properties help to sustain digestive enzymes which neutralize acids, supporting the entire digestive process. As a result, stomach discomforts such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation can be relieved.
Certain teas are also considered to be a safe and effective insomnia remedy. Herbal teas lack caffeine but may contain a high mineral content, including magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, and iron, which are all known to encourage calm and relaxation in addition to reducing sleep disturbances. Some herbal teas are believed to indirectly help one to sleep better by inducing a feeling of calm, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.
More Beautiful Skin
Some teas like red bush tea even contain hydroxy acid which is commonly found in those expensive skin products for promoting healthier skin. It’s been shown to minimize acne when applied directly to the skin twice a day, but drinking this herbal tea may also help from the inside out, sipping to improve eczema, psoriasis, and even the pain and itch of sunburns. Just apply a freshly brewed and cooled tea bag to affected areas to soothe and heal inflammation and drink a cup too.
Supports a Healthier Heart
Many herbal teas contain powerful flavonoids that can aid in regulating blood pressure and enhance the stability of capillary arteries. This results in a reduction of cholesterol buildup and blood clots, lessening the chances of heart attack and heart-related disease. It also contains a potent antioxidant known as chrysoeriol, which can improve circulation by preventing the activity of an enzyme known to trigger cardiovascular disease.
Certain herbal teas can support brain health too. For example, turmeric tea. A study conducted in 2014 suggested that a compound known as aromatic-turmerone can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain by as much as 80 percent when taken in specific concentrations. The experts concluded that this compound could help those who suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s, as well as stroke victims to recover brain function.
The top herbal teas to drink for your health include:
Chamomile. Chamomile is rich in antioxidants such as apigenin, caffeic acid, chamazulene, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, gentisic acid, hyperoside, isoferulic acid, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, luteolin, malic acid, p-coumaric acid, quercetin, rutin, salicylic acid and sinapic acid. That’s a whole lot of antioxidants, and they have a key role when it comes to lowering inflammation that can lead to illness, disease and cell damage. Chamomile is best-known for its calming properties and great to drink for better sleep.
Roobios. Roobios or Redbush tea also contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, which is known to help protect against all sorts of illness and disease including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It also contains a high concentration of two lesser known antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin which are polyphenol antioxidants that help fight free radicals which can help slow the aging process, reverse visible signs of aging and protect against disease. It’s also known to relieve insomnia and improve digestion.
Lemon balm. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and its leaves have an especially pleasant but mild lemony aroma. It’s filled antioxidants and contains a powerful compound called eugenol, a natural anti-inflammatory that’s known to soothe aches and pains.
Ginger. Ginger is famous for its ability to relieve digestive woes like nausea and stomach upset. Israelis researchers have found that it offers dramatic effects for heart health, including reducing cholesterol levels, preventing the oxidation of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and lowering the risk of atherosclerosis.
Turmeric. Heart Disease is the world’s No. 1 killer and something that’s been extensively studied for years. There are also many different things, including turmeric, which can help reverse its progress before it’s too late. Curcumin, a powerful compound found in turmeric, helps to improve the functioning of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
Other super healthy herbal teas include:
- Rose Hip