If you're looking for a flavorful beverage with tons of health benefits, you don't need to look any further than herbal tea. Herbal teas have been enjoyed for thousands of years and are valued as both a tasty and healthy drink.
While green and black teas come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, herbal teas do not. They are made up of unique blends of leaves, roots, flowers, berries, and seeds of a wide variety of plants.
You can choose an herbal blend for flavor or for the specific health benefits the herbs have. Depending on how strongly the herbs are brewed, you'll end up with a healthy tea or a stronger, medicinal infusion.
Here's more about the specific benefits of herbal tea, plus some blends you might want to try.
Because herbal teas are made with herbs and spices instead of tea leaves, they are typically free of caffeine.
Although caffeine isn't necessarily bad in itself, our coffee-loving culture tends to consume too much of it. Overdoing it on caffeine can make you jittery or give you a bad energy crash a few hours later.
If you want to cut back on caffeine or have something caffeine-free to drink in the evening hours, herbal tea is a perfect choice.
Variety of Flavor
There are hundreds of flavor combinations possible with herbal teas. You can drink a cup of tea with a single herb, like chamomile, or a blend of several herbs.
There are floral options like lavender and rose, mints, berries, herbaceous flavors like sage and basil, spicy options, and even citrus notes like lemon balm and orange peel.
You can also combine green or black tea with herbs to create your own flavored teas.
Safe Way to Benefit from Herbs
Herbal remedies have been used safely for thousands of years. Extracting the properties of herbs with hot water is one of the oldest and safest methods.
By making an herbal tea (also known as an infusion), you get the benefits of herbs in a way you wouldn't by just consuming them. This is because the hot water extracts nutrients and compounds that would normally pass through your digestive system if taken whole or powdered.
You've probably heard that tea, especially green tea, is full of antioxidants that are great for your health. This is because antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress and free radical damage that can cause chronic diseases and premature aging. (1)
Herbal teas are also a great source of antioxidants. Many herbs contain polyphenols and other powerful antioxidants that have been proven to help protect your body against diseases like cancer and osteoporosis. (2)
Vitamin C is a key antioxidant that protects your skin health and fights signs of aging like wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging skin. (3) Different herbs have different levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, but a few good ones are rosehips, cloves (one of the highest in antioxidants), orange peel, and nettle.
Another of the benefits of drinking herbal tea is that you naturally give your immune system a boost.
The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in most herbs help to strengthen your body and fortify immune health. Some herbs like echinacea, elderberry, and astragalus contain plant compounds that specifically stimulate or support your immune system. (4)(5)
This is one of the reasons hot cups of herbal tea are great during the fall and winter (cold and flu season). For a great immune support blend, try this herbal Immuni Tea.
Tea lovers know that there's nothing like a good cup of tea after a hard and stressful day. Herbal tea has added benefits because there are many herbs that can specifically relax your body and mind.
Chamomile is one of the most well-known herbal teas for stress-relief. Other herbs with a calming effect include lemon balm, lavender, catnip, and passionflower.
Stress relief also means a better night's sleep, so for a relaxing evening herbal tea try this Sweet Slumber blend.
Aid for Digestion
A cup of tea made out of the right herbs can be one of the best remedies for an upset stomach and other digestive issues.
Herbal tea has a lot to offer your digestion. Teas that have bitter herbs help your liver and stomach so that your body digests food better. Other herbs have a calming and antispasmodic effect on your digestive tract to help with pain and spasms.
Two of the best overall herbs for nausea, indigestion, and pain are ginger and peppermint.
Soothing for Headaches
Herbal tea can help ease a headache in several different ways. If you struggle with a lot of headaches from stress and tension, calming herbs will help your body and muscles to relax. Many herbs also have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Peppermint has specifically shown an ability to help with migraines and other types of headaches. (6) Feverfew is another herb that is frequently recommended for headaches, including migraines.
The next time you feel a headache coming on, try a cup of peppermint tea or a blend like this Headache Releaf tea.
Because herbal tea supports your digestion and other important organs that rid your body of toxins (like your liver and kidneys), drinking it is a natural way to detoxify. Our bodies have systems to naturally do this, but sometimes they need help because of toxin overload, stress, sickness, etc.
Bitter herbs are typically the best cleansers and can be combined with other pleasant tasting herbs so that they aren't overwhelming. Try an herbal tea with dandelion root, burdock root, or milk thistle to aid your body in getting rid of toxins.
Herbal tea may not be your first thought when it comes to hormones, but its one of the oldest ways to support hormone health. There are many old blends that help with menstrual and menopausal symptoms by bringing hormones back into balance.
Here are some herbal blends for different needs:
- Menstrual Melody- for irregular cycles and PMS symptoms
- Fertili-Tea- balances hormones and enhances fertility
- Menopause Melody- supports your body through menopause
Have You Found the Benefits of Herbal Tea?
While all types of tea provide you with health benefits, herbal tea is especially great for your body and mind. You can enjoy it for the flavor, to relax, and to keep yourself healthy.
So find your favorite blend (or blends) and drink up!