We are sneaking up on colder weather and the cold and flu season. One of your best options, if you're feeling off or run down, is medicinal teas. There are so many teas to choose from that cover various wellness aspects, it makes tea one of the very best alternative health drinks.
Many people are not aware that tea has so many different health benefits. It can be one of the healthiest beverages we can drink. In fact, many cultures considered medicinal tea with curative properties the first line of defense when illness occurs.
Let's look at the different types of teas:
There are many varieties of Chinese and Indian black teas with the most popular being Darjeeling, Yunnan, Assam, and Keemun.
Almost all green tea is produced in Asia with very distinct differences depending on the growing region and country. Green teas, in general, has fantastic health benefits.
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea. Depending on the plant variety and oxidation process, Oolong can be very mild with subtle flavors or very bold and vibrant.
White teas are carefully hand-plucked once a year in the spring as the tea plants start their annual growth. As a result, White Teas offer a mild, flavorful tea.
Red tea is made up of Rooibos (ROY-boss) a South African herb. Although Rooibos does not come from an actual tea plant, it is processed in the same way as traditional teas.
Many of the medicinal teas fall into the herbal tea category. Herbal teas are made using botanical ingredients that are not actually from a tea plant. Herbal teas are also called tisane. These various teas have the most common medicinal uses.
1. Chamomile Tea, reduces anxiety, nausea, and acid reflux.
2. Cinnamon Tea, helps with blood sugar, circulation, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Lemongrass Tea, reduces indigestion, headaches, and can lessen anxiety.
4. Hibiscus Tea, soothes a sore throat, helps with circulation and is a powerful antioxidant.
5. Ginger Tea, very good at calming an upset stomach, cramping, and diarrhea.
6. Juniper Berry Tea, a diuretic and is often used to ease urinary tract issues.
7. Rose Hips Tea, an excellent antioxidant and supports your immune system.
8. Peppermint Tea, excellent for relieving cold and congestion symptoms. Peppermint is also good for clearing brain fog and mild headaches.
9. Holy Basil Tea, a good antibacterial and reducing stress-related anxiety.
10. Passionflower Tea, useful as a sleep aid and can be calming when consumed before you go to bed.
If you are going to drink tea often, green tea gives you the best overall benefit since it has the highest levels of polyphenolic compounds. Green tea originated in China around 2,000 years ago, and over the centuries, green tea has become the world's most widely consumed beverage after water.
What makes certain teas and specifically green tea so healthy is the chemical substances called "flavonoids," which are natural, plant-based polyphenolic compounds. These polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that protect you from oxidative (free-radical) damage in your body. Polyphenols are found in numerous plants, but some of the most potent polyphenols are only found in green tea leaves and are called "tea catechins."
To be considered a tea in it's many varieties including green, white or black tea, the beverage must be derived from the "Camellia Sinensis" plant. It is essential to be sure you're buying good quality tea for best flavor and health benefits.
Regular use of tea over time can significantly increase the blood levels of polyphenols which have proven health benefits. Research on the effect of increased blood levels of polyphenols has shown to help with immune response, cellular repair, and circulation.
Before you get carried away with a daily gallon of tea, it has also been found that too much tea can present health problems. Many varieties of tea have caffeine so over-consumption can be a problem for some. Too much tea on a daily basis can also affect iron absorption and even have drug interaction issues if you're on prescription medication. All things in moderation are your best course with all herbal and actual tea consumption. Sticking to two or three cups per day would be a good guideline. Always check with your doctor if you're on medications and wonder if they are safe with tea consumption.
A recognized health and wellness presenter, fitness trainer and now primal health coach in the Inland Northwest. Now in his eighth year of bringing health and wellness through his writing, teaching and coaching, Judd delivers his well-rounded message of mindfulness, nutrition and fitness to readers and clients alike.