Herbal teas are the most popular drink across the globe, after water. Their popularity stems from their crucial role in various cultures and parts of the world.
For some people, they are readily available hot and cold refreshing beverages you can take while you converse with people or at social gatherings. For others, they are a remedy instrumental in reducing inflammation and enhancing the immune system, among other benefits. Let’s look at some different types of Herbal Teas.
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This article delves into the various herbal teas to start drinking today and how they can benefit your body. Read on!
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a daisy family tea and is among the oldest medicinal plants to be documented.
This tea helps you enjoy better sleep, relaxation, and reduced stress. The sedative effects are due to apigenin, a flavonoid that plays a vital role in binding benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
One study found that sleep and depression symptoms improved in postnatal women with sleep disturbances after only two weeks of taking the tea.
Also, the tea has a soothing effect and can reduce menstrual discomfort, pain, and muscle spasms experienced during this time.
Further research suggests that drinking chamomile tea may promote longevity.
For example, a seven-year study performed by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that older (65 years and more) Mexican-American women had a 29 percent reduced mortality risk from all causes. Men did not, however, show the same results as women recorded a higher intake than men.
This is due to the anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties of chamomile tea, which are essential in boosting immunity, treating infections, and preventing free radical damage.
Adverse effects and interaction
Chamomile tea is generally safe for most people. However, it may cause allergies in sensitive individuals, especially those allergic to daisy plants like ragweeds.
Additionally, the use in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers has not been thoroughly studied, so it’s good for the category of people to avoid it.
2. Ginger Tea
Do you experience bouts of nausea and vomiting in the morning? While most women experience morning sickness when pregnant, some people experience that due to digestive stress.
Taking a cup of ginger in the morning reduces this nauseating feeling as it contains a huge amount of gingerols and shogaols. These two enhance digestion and foster the release of hormones that calm the body and reduce the occurrence of nausea.
Besides regular morning sickness, it helps you deal with nausea after chemotherapy sessions.
To enjoy ginger tea, grate the root and steep it for a few minutes to activate the compounds in the root. You can also buy prepackaged tea bags that have dried ginger.
Add some lemon juice to taste and enjoy.
Adverse effects and interaction
Ginger tea doesn’t have serious side effects, but consuming too much can cause mild side effects like heartburn and stomach upset.
Ginger also contains a blood-thinning compound, salicylate, the same compound as aspirin, a blood-thinning medication. So if you’re on aspirin or any blood thinning medication, it’s good to avoid too much ginger.
That said, you need to consume more than 4 grams of ginger daily to experience these side effects.
3. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is a popular herbal tea consumed all over the world. While it’s mostly enjoyed because of its cooling, soothing, and exciting flavor, there are numerous health benefits to experience.
It can help soothe indigestion and prevent nausea and abdominal cramps. The cooling effect of menthol, which is also the active ingredient, can reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and offer pain relief, such as in relieving tension headaches.
Some people have reported headache relief from inhaling the aroma of peppermint tea. However, there are
Nonetheless, one clinical study found that people with migraine headaches that applied peppermint oil on their forehead and temples experienced relief after two hours compared to the control group. Another study even found that peppermint essential oil could be as effective in relieving headaches as lidocaine, a pain medication.
The tea also contains flavonoids, potent antioxidants that protect your body from cell damage and oxidative stress. This lowers the risk of chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular illnesses. What’s more? The tea’s phytochemicals in the form of vitamins and minerals strengthen your body’s immune system and give you glowing skin.
Adverse effects and interaction
Peppermint can safely be enjoyed with anyone. However, sensitive individuals may experience drowsiness, tremors, and digestive issues like diarrhea and cramping.
Peppermint can also interact with some medications, like those used to treat ulcers, and those taken by people receiving a transplant, to help prevent organ rejection.
4. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea, also known as red tea or red bush tea, is a red herbal tea that comes from the fermented leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, which is native to South Africa.
The tea is also available in the unfermented form, but it’s often more expensive.
It’s caffeine-free and a great alternative to green and black tea. In terms of nutrients, this tea is a good source of copper, fluoride, and powerful antioxidants like aspalathin and quercetin.
Antioxidants are plant compounds that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause disease if left to accumulate.
Aspalathin is a flavonoid that can fight vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, both of which may increase your risk of heart disease. This compound also has anti-diabetic effects, which can improve glucose regulation in those that already have the disease or lower the risk in those without it.
Quercetin, on the other hand, is a powerful antioxidant present in many plant foods. It can protect against cancer and heart disease, prevent inflammation, and relieve allergies, among other issues.
Adverse effects and interactions
Taking Rooibos tea together with drugs metabolized in the liver may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.
Also, a study found that too much Rooibos tea can cause liver toxicity, damage kidneys, and cause infertilities.
So always consult your doctor if you are on any medication, have liver or kidney disease, or are dealing with infertility.
5. Echinacea Tea
Echinacea tea is a type of tea made from the Echinacea purpurea plant, native to North America and the U.S.A at large.
It is commonly used to produce herbal supplements, herbal remedies, essential oils, and tea.
The tea comes from infusing the herb’s flowers and leaves in hot water.
According to research, the tea has active antioxidant properties such as cichoric acid, flavonoids, and rosmarinic acid that help you improve your immunity, regulate blood sugars, manage anxiety, reduce inflammation, and enhance your skin health.
In a review of more than ten studies, Echinacea was shown to lower the risk of common colds by 50 % while shortening the duration by one and a half days.
Another study found that compounds in Echinacea activated the PPAR-y receptor, which removes excess fat in the blood. Excess blood fat is a risk factor for insulin resistance, so using Echinacea can improve insulin resistance and promote glucose regulation in diabetes.
Adverse effects an interaction
Echinacea tea is safe when taken in moderation; however, too much of it may cause nausea, dizziness, and upset stomach. In some cases, it may lead to allergic reactions like rash, swelling, and difficulty breathing. It can also worsen asthma symptoms.
6. Eucalyptus Tea
Eucalyptus tea is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the Australian eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) tree.
The tea is rich in flavonoid antioxidants that may lower your risk of certain conditions, including dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
The tea also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can relieve respiratory conditions like bronchitis.
One study found that eucalyptus can help decrease mucus in the lungs which helps them expand and function effectively.
Eucalyptol, an active ingredient in eucalyptus oil, has also been shown to reduce mucus buildup and inflammation in colds, thus relieving symptoms like nasal congestion, headache, and coughing.
One study found that patients with bronchiole asthma that took a eucalyptol supplement required 36 percent less medication to control their symptoms than 7 percent n the placebo group.
Adverse effects and interactions
While eucalyptus tea is considered safe in moderation, eucalyptus oil can be fatal. It can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and even neurological changes. Eucalyptus can easily interact with some medications like diabetes medication and stimulants. So always consult your doctor if you’re on any prescribed medication.
7. Hibiscus tea
Hibiscus is a type of pink-red tea made from the dried parts of the hibiscus plant, especially the leaves.
It has a tart flavor and can be enjoyed warm or cold. According to multiple studies, hibiscus tea can be very beneficial to your health. For example, it can lower blood pressure, which can also increase your risk of heart disease.
One review of 5 studies found that hibiscus tea reduced both diastolic and systolic blood pressure by 3.53 mmHg and 7.58 mmHg, respectively.
That being said, people on blood pressure medication should avoid this tea to prevent any interactions.
Studies have also found that this tea can improve liver health. One study found that hibiscus improved liver steatosis in 19 obese people. Steatosis is a condition characterized by fat accumulation in the liver. If not treated, steatosis may cause liver failure.
Other important benefits include lowering blood fat, promoting weight loss, preventing cancer, and decreasing the risk of bacteria.
8. Sage tea
Sage tea is made by infusing sage leaves with hot water.
It’s a popular aromatic herb commonly known as garden sage or common sage.
Sage is also known for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help fight inflammation in the body and neutralize free radicals that may cause oxidative stress leading to disease development.
For instance, a study found that sage protected against the development of colon cancer by preventing DNA damage and cancer cell proliferation.
Other studies have also found that sage can improve cognitive functions and prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Sage can also cause excessive sweating, prevent nervous exhaustion, and relieve sore throat.
While you can use sage in different ways and still experience these benefits and more, taking it in the form of tea may be the easiest and most beneficial way to do so.
To make it more palatable, add a tablespoon of lemon with or without a natural sweetener of choice.
9. Passionflower tea
Passionflower is a climbing vine with purple and white flowers native to the southeastern United States and Central and South America.
It’s known for its calming effects and has been used traditionally to relieve insomnia, anxiety, and seizures.
These claims have been supported by various studies, both human and lab studies. In fact, one human study found that it can relieve anxiety just as effectively as some anxiety medications.
Another study found that taking the tea for as little as one week improved sleep quality in ten participants with mild sleep disturbances. Although these results may be short-lived, they can provide relief until the real cause of your anxiety or lack of sleep is addressed.
10. Lemon balm tea
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb from the mint family, and like mint, it’s considered calming and can help relieve stress.
The herb is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia but is today grown in various parts of the world.
This herb is a common remedy for cold sores, nausea, and menstrual cramps. But that’s not all.
According to a study, people working in the radiology department, where they are constantly exposed to harmful free radicals, had an increase in their antioxidant enzymes. This prevents the damaging effects of free radicles, such as cell damage that often leads to disease.
Adverse effects ad interactions
Lemon balm is safe for most people, but it affects thyroid activity, which may cause problems for those with thyroid issues. So anyone on thyroid medication with thyroid conditions like an underactive thyroid should avoid it.
Too much intake of lemon balm tea may also cause skin reactions, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and stomach pain in sensitive individuals.
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Herbal teas are a perfect way to enhance your health and well-being.
There are various types of herbal teas in the market, each with unique benefits. Nevertheless, most possess similar properties, such as calming and relaxing, boosting immunity, relieving inflammation, providing better sleep, and protecting the body from oxidative stress.
To enjoy this and a range of other benefits, drink various herbal teas and don’t just focus on one type. Enjoy an assortment of Herbal Teas.
Additionally, if you have a certain health condition or are on any medications, it’s good to seek your doctor’s advice before adding these herbal teas to your regular routine.
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