Herbal Teas with Health Benefits
By Serina Marshall
Every now and then, it is nice to sit down and relax with a good book and a hot cup of tea. By using specific teas for this activity, you can actually boost your immune system in the process. For nearly 5000 years, tea has been a part of various civilizations throughout the world. Dating back to China c. 2732 BC, it is said Emperor Shen Nung made the discovery of tea when a wild tree blew leaves into his boiling pot of water. The scent given off by the newly formed concoction enticed the Emperor, and he took a drink. At that moment, tea was introduced.
Herbal teas are made from dried fruits, spices, herbs, and flowers. Due to this, herbal teas can come in a variety of tastes and flavors. In addition to their delicious flavors, some herbal teas have health-benefits along with them. For hundreds of years, herbal teas have been used as natural remedies for a multitude of ailments.
The different aspects of each herbal tea present a property that can assist in immunity and other effects offering a range of benefits to the health of the person drinking it.
Chamomile tea is most often used for its calming properties and commonly used as a sleep aid. Studies have shown that chamomile tea or extract have an effect on sleep problems in humans. However, chamomile tea is not just effective as a sleep aid. It is also reported to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protecting effects. Preliminary effects in mice and rats show that chamomile may also help with diarrhea and stomach ulcers. One study also found that chamomile tea reduced symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and another study in people with type 2 diabetes saw improvements in insulin, blood glucose levels, and blood lipid levels. The effects studied on chamomile show that is does in fact have a variety of health benefits.
One of the most commonly used herbal teas in the world is peppermint tea. Peppermint tea is used to help with digestive health, but also contains antioxidants, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Several studies have proven the healing properties on the digestive tract. Those studies also show that the use of peppermint oil can help relieve nausea, indigestion, and stomach pain. Evidence also reports peppermint oil assists in relieving symptoms of intestine, colon, and esophagus spasms. Peppermint oil is also said to be effective at relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. When it comes to digestive discomfort involving cramping, nausea, or indigestion, peppermint tea is an effective natural remedy.
Ginger tea is one of the most efficient and effective herbal remedies to fight nausea. Filled with antioxidants, ginger helps stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation. Studies consistently are finding that ginger is one of the best ways to combat nausea and motion sickness. Ginger may also help prevent stomach ulcers and relieve indigestion or constipation. Other symptoms that can be relieved with ginger are dysmenorrhea, and reduction of pain caused by menstruation. Persons with diabetes also benefit from ginger.
Made from the colorful flowers of the hibiscus plant, hibiscus tea is pink-red in color and has a tart, but refreshing, flavor. Hibiscus tea offers a variety of health benefits. Hibiscus tea offers antiviral properties and its extract is effective against bird flu. Several studies have reported that hibiscus tea also helps in reducing high blood pressure. Despite these reports, please be sure to avoid ingesting hibiscus tea if you’re taking hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic medicine, as the two may have a reaction against each other. Taking aspirin with hibiscus may also shorten the effects of the aspirin, so be sure to take them at least 3-4 hours apart.
Known as a very effective way to prevent and shorten the common cold, echinacea tea shows evidence of boosting the immune system, which helps the body fight off viruses and infections. Echinacea tea can help to relieve a sore throat or cough associated with a cold, and perhaps even prevent one from coming on in full force. The effects of echinacea on the immune system show that it assists in the overall healing of such ailments as the cold.
Hailing from South Africa, the rooibos plant provides the leaves for a refreshing herbal tea. South Africans commonly used this plant for medicinal purposes. One study has shown that rooibos tea has benefits on bone health, stimulating the cells for bone growth and density. This same study found this tea lowered inflammation and cell toxicity. Preliminary evidence also shows that rooibos tea can help in preventing heart disease. Another study showed that rooibos tea inhibited an enzyme that causes blood vessels to constrict, just as a blood pressure medicine would do. Ultimately, this herb tea helps to reduce heart issues and increase bone health.
Sage tea is known for its medicinal purposes, especially when it comes to brain health. Studies have shown that sage is beneficial for cognitive function, as well as having an effect against the plaques that come along with Alzheimer’s disease. Two separate studies on sage oil saw an improvement in cognitive function in those with Alzheimer’s. Improvements also showed in mood, mental function, and memory in healthy adults. It is also reported that sage tea improved blood lipid levels, and protected against development of colon cancer. Sage tea is an effective remedy in brain and colon health.
If you are searching for a lemon flavor in your tea, while also benefiting your health, lemon balm tea helps improve the elasticity of arteries, which helps fight against heart disease, stroke, and mental decline.
This same study shows that lemon balm tea also helps with skin elasticity. Blood lipid levels are also said to be improved by lemon balm tea, as well as mood and mental performance. This herb tea also has shown reduction in the frequency of heart palpitations and anxiety. The effects of lemon balm tea tend to show improvement in various health issues.
Made from the fruit of the rose plant, rose hip tea is high in vitamin C and other beneficial plant compounds. These compounds help with anti-inflammatory properties by reducing inflammation in persons with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rose hips have also been shown to help with weight management. The anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects may also help to fight skin aging.
Passionflower tea is made from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the passionflower plant. This tea is used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. Two studies found that passionflower was effective in reducing anxiety, and one of those studies reports it was effective as an anxiety-reducing medicine. A separate study showed that passionflower also helped mental symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as anxiety, irritability, and agitation. When looking for calmness within a tea, passionflower is a definite option.
All of the above herbal teas have their own healing properties. Each brings a natural remedy to promote effective health benefits in various areas and ailments.