In the search for healthier lives and fitter bodies, people have been reaching more and more for herbal teas. Despite their recent popularity, herbal teas have been used in healthcare for centuries and involve steeping herbs, fruits, and roots to release their nutrients and benefits. By incorporating herbal teas into your life, you create a wealth of gains not just for your physical body but also for your mental health.
Benefits of herbal tea
Despite simply being delicious, herbs are literally oozing with goodness and the best part is, when it comes to herbal tea, you can start reaping the rewards straight away! It is like the gift that keeps on giving with both short-term and long-term benefits. Now, it might surprise you to know this, but I wasn’t always a herbal tea person, I know shocking right!! It wasn’t until I started studying nutrition and plant nutrition that I realised just how amazing and beneficial plants really are and one of the easiest ways to garner those benefits is to drink herbal infusions. I became my own guinea pig and started steeping my garden herbs, and the effects were so astounding I decided to give up my job and start a business! (warning – herbal tea might change your life too)
Reasons to start drinking herbal tea
If you are like I was and in need of a little more convincing, here are 7 of the best reasons & perhaps surprising benefits of drinking herbal tea:
#1 immune Boosting: Herbal teas are quite literally Mother Natures supplements. The extra doses of vitamins and minerals can help fill any nutritional gaps left by a lacklustre diet. Herbs contain many constituents that are immune boosting. Herbs such as red clover, lemongrass, Nettle, marigold, and dandelion are wonderful for detoxifying your body and replenishing at the same time. Quite literally putting back in what life takes out. Drinking just one herbal tea daily is an excellent start to removing the bad and doubling down on the good – plus your body will be thanking you come cold and flu season!
#2 Better Sleep: A warm cup of tea can be a welcome addition to your night-time routine as it signals to your brain to wind down. Additionally, studies have shown that herbal teas that contain ingredients such as chamomile, lavender, passionflower, and lemon balm promote longer and higher quality sleep. The chemicals that make up these herbs interact with your neurotransmitters and have a powerful anti-anxiety, calming effect. (for more on herbs and sleep, click here)
#3 Anti-inflammatory: Some inflammation in our body is good. Inflammation alerts our immune system to kick into action. However, too much, or chronic inflammation can lead to detrimental and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Herbs and spices are some of the best weapons to combat inflammation! A top quality, organic Herbal Tea should be loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, thus preventing leukotrienes, inflammation-inducing molecules, from ever forming in the first place. Isn’t it mad to think that just a simple cup of herbal tea can battle oxidative stress and even prevent disease!!??
#4 Fat Loss: If you are looking to shed a few extra pounds, herbal tea can be your secret weapon. Certain herbs and spices commonly found in herbal tea can help with weight loss by curbing your appetite, helping shed water weight, and boosting thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the bodily process responsible for burning fat. The additional antioxidants from herbal tea help fuel thermogenesis. Oolong tea has been shown to boost your metabolism by up to 10%! Other popular teas for weight management include rose, dandelion, nettle and green tea.
#5 Improve digestion: Gastrointestinal issues are becoming more and more common. (Myself included) Between gas, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome, most of us will experience digestion problems at one point in our lives. FYI You can customise your herb choice to your specific problem; peppermint calms the stomach, Calendula soothes, ginger promotes the production of bile and gastric juice, and chamomile tea is a bit of an all rounder that gently cures indigestion and nausea. The days of suffering through painful stomach issues can all be behind you with the right blend.
#6 Cancer prevention: oxidative stress and the resulting oxidative damage are important contributors to the formation and progression of cancer. Our cells can be damaged by a range of perpetrators from malnutrition to infection and free radicals. Free radicals can include air pollution, cigarette smoke, and even sunlight. Damaged cells lead to illness and eventually cancer. Antioxidants can prevent and delay this cell damage by counteracting the oxidative stress brought on by these free radicals. Herbs are jam-packed with these life prolonging antioxidants. Even everyday plants such as; Nettle, peppermint, lemon balm, and rosemary.
#7 Powerful anti-aging: Chances are your bathroom cabinet is bursting with every cream, serum, lotion & potion used to fight the signs of aging. Well what if I told you that the most powerful potion for defying time lies not in your vanity press but in your kitchen cupboard!? – Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t either but I’m telling you, specific herbs in the right combinations can be your new retinol! (check out Herbs for Natural Beauty, for more on this topic) Aging is something we all must do, I believe it should be a positive experience and we should aim to age with grace and ease. Not shame and embarrassment. When it comes to aging what we put in our body matters just as much, if not more than what we put on it!! We see signs of heavy aging when our skin cells get damaged. Damaged skin cells cause sagging, deep wrinkles, and loss of luminosity. The antioxidants, vitamins & minerals in herbal teas such as our Health Tea blends can reduce scarring, wrinkles, clear and brighten skin, remove free radicals from your system and prevent further premature aging due to cell damage. We might even replace syringes with steeping!
#8 Mental Health: Remember when I said plants were the gift that keeps on giving? Well, as a bonus effect from all of the above, drinking herbal teas have been proven to boost mood, increase cognitive function, clear brain fog, decrease stress & anxiety and have a positive impact on your nervous system overall. When you feed your body what it needs to function you will notice so many common, unexplainable ailments & conditions just disappear. You will honestly wonder how you ever functioned before. Besides the over all benefit, there are also nervine specific plants such as St. John’s Wort that are known to have a direct impact on the nervous system and improve conditions such as despression, SAD, and general melancholy but that deserves its very own post and one I am currently researching as you read this, so watch this space if you are interested in treating mental health conditions naturally!
Now, If those reasons above are not enough to get you running to put on the kettle, nothing will!
Picking Your Herbal Tea
Now that you know all the benefits of herbal tea, it’s time to pick one (or three). There are two important things to consider when it comes to choosing your herbal tea. First and foremost is tea quality. It goes without saying that not all herbal teas are created equally, and the quality of the herbs is paramount as this determines how much of the nutrients are left intact after harvesting, drying and processing. Try to choose organic, loose leaf teas from trustworthy sources, such as our HealthTea blends to get the very most out of your herbs. Second consideration comes down to individual tastes. Several herbal teas have similar benefits, so you have the freedom to try a few and find your own favourite flavours. In fact, you can drink a different tea each night to make sure you are reaping all the rewards herbal tea has to offer! The best place to start is to think of what ailments you are looking to resolve or health goals you are hoping to achieve and then find a tea to match. Below, I have listed some of the most popular and their main benefits. Choose a few to pick up on your next shopping trip or check out our HealthTea Blends here and get sipping.
- Chamomile: fights inflammation, packed with antioxidants, improves skin appearance, fights indigestion, reduces bloating, cures nausea, promotes calm, improves sleep quality
- Peppermint: calms the stomach, improves digestion, reduces gas and bloating, can alleviate cold symptoms, alleviates nausea
- Ginger: treats heartburn, aids digestion, helps heartburn, reduces inflammation, eases menstrual cramps
- Rosehip: great source of vitamin C, boosts your immune system, boosts hydration, improves the appearance of skin, good for heart health, aids in weight loss
- Hibiscus: improves skin elasticity, reduces the appearance of spots, lower blood pressure, aids in weight loss, promotes liver health
- Lemon Balm: serves as an antibacterial and antiviral, reduces sleeplessness and insomnia, promotes calm, improves sleep, reduces anxiety, aids digestion
- Oolong: boosts metabolism, reduces stress, improves blood sugar, improves heart health, promotes fat burning, improves brain function
Baek, Y., Kim, H., Mun, S., & Lee, S. (2018). Three-Component Herbal Tea Alleviates Prolonged Fatigue and Improves Sleep Quality: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Explore (New York, N.Y.), 14(6), 420–423. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2018.05.001
Digestion & Gut Health. The Whistling Kettle. (n.d.). Available at: https://www.thewhistlingkettle.com/a/info/wellness/digestion.
Drinking the Right Tea Can Help You Sleep. Sleep Foundation. (2021, May 20). Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-tea-for-sleep.
Silveira, B. (2020, November 17). 8 Great Health Benefits of Herbal Tea. GROSCHE. Available at: https://grosche.ca/health-benefits-of-herbal-tea/
Timesofindia.com. (2020, June 3). Drink These Teas Daily to Slow Down Aging. The Times of India. Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/drink-these-teas-daily-to-slow-down-ageing/photostory/76179106.cms?picid=76179410
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