What is herbal tea?
Even though the name suggests, herbal tea isn’t really tea. True teas are oolong, white, green and black as their leaves come from the actual tea plant camellia sinensis. In contrast, herbal tea is made up of any other ingredient sans the leaves from the tea plant.
So why is it still called tea? Teas have been in tradition for centuries and initially, anything that was added to boiling water was called “Tea” hence the name.
Herbal teas are made from dried flowers, fruits, herbs or spices and are naturally free of sugar and calories. A large variety of flavours and options are available in the market to suit one’s taste and providing health benefits.
Health Benefits of Herbal Tea
1. Fighting common cold
It is a great way of treating the common cold. Also, it helps in reducing symptoms of asthma.
2. Improves digestion
It helps in breaking down fat, helps to empty the stomach faster and reduce indigestion, bloating, and vomiting.
3. Reduces inflammation
The ingredients in some herbal teas help reduce joint pains, swelling and inflammation. It is quite beneficial for people suffering from arthritis.
Herbal tea reduces cell ageing hence making the skin healthier and look visibly younger.
5. Relieving stress and anxiety
They have a calming effect and can help reduce anxiety. It is even used as a sleeping aid.
Herbal tea is a safe way of consuming six to eight cups of tea in a day as they are caffeine-free as compared to other teas which are caffeinated and shouldn’t be consumed more than five cups in a day.
Recommended flavours and their advantages
1. Chamomile Tea
This tea is commonly known for its calming effect and used mainly as a sleep aid.
2. Peppermint Tea
This tea is predominantly used to relieve the discomfort of the digestive tract. It helps relieve nausea, convulsions, stomach cramps and pain.
3. Ginger Tea
It is mostly known as a remedy for nausea and also helps in relieving menstrual pains. It is also safe for diabetic patients.
4. Echinacea Tea
It is mostly known to be used for preventing and shortening the effects of the common cold.
5. Lemon Balm Tea
This tea has a lemony flavour, and it aids in relieving anxiety.
When choosing a herbal tea
There are so many herbal teas in the market that one might get confused about where to get started. Also, there are so many manufacturers and it is difficult to identify which one is selling good quality tea.
Herbal teas naturally don’t contain antioxidants. It is the exotic ingredients added to the tea which has antioxidant properties. For antioxidant properties, one would select the natural tea leaves from the tea plant.
On the flip side, herbal tea has many benefits, as listed above which aren’t found in the traditional teas.