Tea, the second most consumed beverage worldwide after water, is commonly made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant.
There are four main types of true teas: black, oolong, green, and white tea. However, when we talk about herbal tea or herbal beverages, we're referring to infusions made with fruits, herbs, or other plants that don't contain Camellia sinensis.
What is herbal tea?
These beverages go by various names like tisanes, herbal infusions, or botanical infusions to avoid confusion with true teas.
Herbal teas can be created by steeping or boiling fresh or dried flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds, or roots of different plants. It's a delightful way to enjoy the flavors and potential health benefits of various herbs and plants.
Herbal teas come in a wide range of varieties, each with its own specific therapeutic or medicinal benefits.
Common Benefits of Herbal Tea:
Herbal teas offer several common benefits that can be obtained from most varieties. Here are a few examples:
- Achieving a more tranquil and at ease state of mind.
- Supporting heart health.
- Helping with stomach and digestive issues.
- Offering cleansing properties for the body.
- Promoting energy and wellness.
- Nourishing the nervous system.
- Strengthening the immune system.
- Providing antioxidants to the body.
- Relieving stress; preventing colds.
- Stimulating the internal organs
Herbal Tea Benefits
Herbal teas and other beverages include bioactive substances, often known as phytochemicals, that have been shown to be effective in wholesome health benefits.
What are those phytochemicals, and how do they benefit you?
polyphenols, such as flavonoids and catechins, are powerful antioxidants that help protect our cells from oxidative damage.
They have anti-inflammatory properties, support cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and may even have anti-cancer effects. Examples of herbs rich in polyphenols include green tea, chamomile, hibiscus, and elderberry.
How does it boost the immune system?
Many herbs rich in flavonoids possess immune-modulating properties. Certain herbs contain polysaccharides that have immunomodulatory effects. Berberine is a compound that exhibits antimicrobial and immune-supporting properties.
Ginger is an herb that contains gingerols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can support the immune system by reducing inflammation and combating oxidative stress.
How does it care for the skin?
Flavonoids in herbs have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the skin from free radicals and potentially reducing inflammation in skin conditions.
Tannins found in herbs can have astringent properties, which can help tone and tighten the skin. They can also soothe irritation and reduce oiliness.
Certain terpenes found in herbs have skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Phenolic acids in herbs like rosemary and thyme have antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from oxidative stress and reducing redness and irritation with their anti-inflammatory effects.
How does it reduces the weight naturally?
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is the chemical compound found in Garcinia cambogia that is believed to inhibit fat synthesis and suppress appetite.
Dandelion does not contain specific weight-reducing chemical compounds, but it is a diuretic herb that can help reduce water retention and alleviate bloating.
Ginger has thermogenic properties, increasing calorie expenditure and potentially reducing hunger and appetite.
Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels, reducing cravings and supporting healthy eating habits for potential weight management.
How does it help for cold and cough?
Marshmallow root and slippery elm bark contain mucilage that soothes irritated mucous membranes and relieves cough.
Herbs like ginger, rosehip, and echinacea contain polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, potentially relieving cold and cough.
How does herbal tea helps in gut health?
Polyphenols, including flavonoids and tannins, found in herbs used for tisanes contribute to gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, protecting the gut lining, reducing inflammation, and soothing the gastrointestinal tract.
Additionally, mucilage in certain herbs acts as a demulcent, forming a protective barrier in the gut. Gingerols, found in ginger, also support digestion and gut motility.
Herbs that is rich for gut health chamomile, lavender, and hibiscus.
How does herbal tea help in blood pressure?
Flavonoids have been studied for their ability to promote blood vessel relaxation and reduce inflammation. Some herbs rich in flavonoids used in tisanes include hibiscus, hawthorn, olive leaf.
Hibiscus tea has been researched for its potential to lower blood pressure, and this effect is believed to be partly due to the presence of flavonoids, specifically anthocyanins.
Olive leaf tea contains a phenolic compound called oleuropein, which has potential cardiovascular benefits, including potential effects on blood pressure regulation.
How does herbal tea help in Sleep?
Chamomile is a popular herb known for its calming effects. It contains an antioxidant flavonoid called apigenin, which acts as a mild sedative and can promote relaxation and sleep.
Valerian root contains valerenic acid and isovaleric acid, which promote sleep and improve sleep quality.
Lemon balm, with its lemony scent, has calming effects. It contains rosmarinic acid, which can improve sleep and have sedative properties.
How does herbal tea help in Anxiety?
Passionflower contains flavonoids and alkaloids that have been shown to have calming effects. It is used as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia.
Lavender in aromatherapy promotes sleep. Linalool, a terpene in lavender, has a calming effect on the nervous system.
The Bottom line
Herbal tea can be a healthy and hydrating beverage choice that offers various potential benefits.
It contains antioxidants, promotes relaxation, aids digestion, and specific herbs may provide additional health benefits.
However, individual reactions and interactions with medications can vary, so it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
Herbal teas should not replace necessary medical treatment.