With every dawn, starts a new day. Some of us head to school, others to work, whereas some stay at home. Regardless of your occupation, we all need something to kick start the day in full swing. The only thing that comes to mind is caffeine. We all love to sip on coffee and tea for that perfect morning fix. Although a tried and tested way to get you up, awake and running, what we fail to realize is that caffeine in copious amounts is not much beneficial to health. Thus we switch to looking for alternatives. One excellent alternative to the usual morning fix is herbal tea.
What is herbal tea?
Do not let the name fool you because herbal tea is not really made from tea. Herbal tea is just an infusion of dried plants, roots, bark, and seeds in hot water. The important thing to keep in mind with herbal teas, however, is to ingest them after letting them steep for a fair amount of time to ensure that all of its health benefiting properties are out.
Benefits of Herbal Tea
Refreshingly simple yet deliciously potent, herbal teas are the perfect alternative to the usual picks. But what does herbal tea bring to the table that deems it the better choice? Herbal tea is the perfect option for anyone looking to improve their health as herbal teas, unlike the traditional tea and coffee, are not loaded with caffeine but, in fact, offer an extensive variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. These unique concoctions bring with them delicious flavors and countless benefits which are excellent for the body. Each herbal tea comes with its own exclusive set of benefits.
Here are some common ways in which herbal teas benefit the human body.
Certain components in herbal teas such as ginger, licorice root, and elderberry, possess the ability to stimulate the immune system with the help of antioxidants and vitamins. These protect the body from oxidative stress, reduce the occurrence of infections and help lower the risk of chronic disease development.
Aiding Sleep Disorders:
Sleep disorders primarily result from stress and neurotransmitter imbalance. Some herbal teas such as lavender and chamomile possess remarkable anxiolytic properties that help correct this neurotransmitter imbalance and calm the person down, thus inducing sleep via its sedative effects.
Chronic pain is an unfortunate outcome for those living with chronic illnesses and recovering from them as well as those in the healing phase following a surgery or an injury. Teas like eucalyptus, kava root and chamomile are known to have analgesic properties that can ease chronic discomfort if not relieve it completely.
Inflammation is one of the body’s most common responses to stress. Reducing inflammation, therefore, can help reduce a variety of ailments, including arthritis, gastrointestinal distress, injuries, headaches, and more. Once the inflammation mechanism is in control, there is an automatically reduced chance of severe outcomes. Herbal teas known for their anti-inflammatory properties include peppermint, ginger, and eucalyptus.
Stress and Anxiety Relief:
Reduced stress leads to reduced levels of depression paired with a subsequent boost in energy, along with a reduced incidence of chronic disease and inflammation in the body. St John’s Wort, chamomile, and hibiscus tea are said to have potent stress and anxiety alleviating properties.
Chronic Disease Prevention:
Oxidative stress and free radical damage have been proved to contribute to chronic illnesses. The antioxidants present in a range of herbal teas enable them to combat free radicals from the body and thus reduce oxidative stress in the body, which subsequently prevent the risk of chronic disease development.
Digestive issues are widespread. From bloating to nausea to diarrhea to constipation to cramps, digestion problems can be soothed using dandelion, ginger, and peppermint tea.
Stimulates Cognitive Function:
Oxidative stress, in addition to affecting chronic illness, also has a part to play in damaging brain health. Certain herbal teas help prevent oxidative stress and free radical-induced brain damage because of their antioxidant components. Free radical-induced damage has been known to contribute to multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, drinking herbal tea helps nurture brain health.
Herbal teas are perhaps most commonly known for their detoxifying properties. They are capable of eliminating harmful toxins from the body, thereby providing relief to the internal systems, including the liver, kidneys, and gut. Their diuretic properties help cleanse the body and help one feel healthier. The best teas for detoxification are green tea, hibiscus, dandelion, and juniper.
Best Herbal Teas For Your Body
Now that you know the benefits of herbal tea, here is a list of 7 of the herbal teas you can drink to help your body.
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is widely known for its calming effect, which is why it is often employed as a sleep aid by those struggling with disturbed and irregular sleep. Research backs up this claim about chamomile tea being an effective sleeping aid. One study focused on women postpartum struggling with sleep disorders. After two weeks of regular consumption, results exhibited improved sleep quality, more extended periods of uninterrupted sleep, as well as reduced signs and symptoms of depression.
A second research study investigated insomniacs. After regular consumption of chamomile tea, the test subjects revealed significant improvement in sleep quality as they recorded fewer instances of waking up in waking up during the night with prolonged time intervals and enhanced their daytime functioning as well.
Gentle, calming, and sedating, chamomile tea also possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and liver-protecting properties. It helps soothe your stomach if you are experiencing symptoms of cramps, gas, or indigestion. Often recommended for cough and bronchitis, chamomile tea helps reduce inflammation resulting from infection. Loaded with vitamin A, anti-oxidants, calcium and fluoride, its other benefits include improving glucose and insulin levels in the blood, reducing premenstrual cramps, and lowering blood lipid levels.
2. Ginger Tea
Spicy and potent, ginger tea is packed with flavor and a load of antioxidants that fight disease. An excellent digestive aid, ginger tea is an excellent remedy for digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and indigestion. Ginger contains shogaol and gingerol: phenols that stimulate digestive juices to help digest food better. A common problem pregnant women have to face is morning sickness. Ginger tea is particularly helpful in that capacity as it helps alleviate those symptoms. Similarly, it works just as well for nausea induced by motion sickness or chemotherapy. Ginger tea is often served following meals, especially in East Asia as it helps prevent stomach ulcers, helps gut motility, and relieves constipation.
An excellent tool for fighting inflammation, ginger contains specific components that boost immunity. It helps monitor blood sugar levels and keeps the blood lipid profile within limits. Additionally, it helps with period pain. Dysmenorrhea or period pain can be excruciating for many. Research suggests that ginger capsules can help alleviate some of those symptoms by working as effectively as a painkiller like ibuprofen.
3. Hibiscus Tea
A stunning deep ruby red color and a refreshingly pronounced and tart flavor, hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. The rich and refreshing color of hibiscus tea can be attributed to the presence of polyphenols. These polyphenols have been studied to reduce LDL cholesterol and prevent heart disease. When it comes to health benefits, hibiscus tea possesses unique anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonoids present in the hibiscus plant are useful in reducing swelling and treating colds specifically.
Additionally, hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure. However, the quality that makes it particularly significant is its unique ability to reduce oxidative stress, especially in athletes. It is uncommon to come across cases of athletes experiencing oxidative stress due to extreme exertion. A research study concluded that hibiscus tea is said to significantly decrease oxidative stress in male football players justifying the assumption.
4. Ginseng Tea
Ginseng is a popular ingredient in East Asia. Known to harbor countless benefits, Ginseng has been used since centuries in the form of medication, potions, and tea. Ginseng tea has been studied to be incredibly beneficial for brain health. People with a history of Ginseng tea consumption revealed enhanced focus and memory as compared to others with no ginseng consumption. It may also help in reducing the blood pressure, which in turn contributes to improved heart health. Packed with micronutrients and antioxidants, Ginseng helps reduce oxidative stress in the body and helps prevent free radical-induced damage, specifically in the brain.
An excellent way to help sharpen one’s memory, Ginseng tea also boosts immunity by supporting the reproduction of white blood cells that help fight disease and infection. People are often advised to take Ginseng tea if they have the flu. It prevents virus replication, thereby making common infections like the flu last for a much shorter duration.
5. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is delicious and flavorful. It contains menthol, which is a natural muscle relaxant that helps the body relax after a stressful day. Menthol is also a potent decongestant that is beneficial for colds and other sinus issues. However, its most popular use is to solve gastrointestinal problems. Peppermint stimulates the gallbladder and liver. It suppresses the appetite and therefore, is an excellent tool to aid weight loss. Additionally, peppermint tea helps reduce bloating, alleviate symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and nausea.
A potent source of vitamins A and C, copper, calcium, iron, and manganese, peppermint tea is more than just a tasty minty beverage. These components also help it with strengthening the immune system.
6. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea hails from South Africa. Made from the leaves of the red bush or rooibos plant, this particular tea has been used for medicinal purposes since decades. Known to be effective against allergies and kidney stones primarily, research suggests that this tea might also benefit bone health as rooibos tea might stimulate the cells responsible for bone growth. The same study also discovered that rooibos tea lowers cell toxicity and reduces the markers of inflammation. Evidence also suggests that rooibos tea may prevent heart disease as it inhibits an enzyme that causes the blood vessels to constrict. This mode of action is comparable to that of blood pressure medication that works to inhibit the same enzyme mechanism.
A potent source of vitamin C and other micronutrients, rooibos is associated with disease prevention and anti-aging benefits. It has a rich supply of antioxidants; fifty percent more than the antioxidants found in green tea. This plant also contains alpha hydroxyl acid and minerals such as potassium, manganese, and calcium. One such antioxidant found in rooibos is aspalathin, which plays an integral role in preventing blood sugar spikes making rooibos tea a good choice of beverage for people living with diabetes.
7. Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea has a refreshing, light, and lemony flavor. Known to harbor multiple health benefits, lemon balm tea serves a dual purpose of a tasty alternative to regular drinks and a concoction with medicinal uses. Some studies suggest that lemon balm tea can reduce cortisol levels in the body. Research suggests that lemon balm tea may have a role to play in preventing heart disease as it helps improve the elasticity of arterial blood vessels. Arterial stiffness is a significant risk factor that promotes the incidence of heart disease, stroke, and subsequent mental decline.
In addition to arterial elasticity, lemon balm tea improves skin elasticity and possesses anti-aging benefits. Lemon balm tea also protects the body from oxidative damage owing to its abundant source of antioxidants. Stress reduction, elevated mood, and better cognition have also been suggested to be some benefits of lemon balm tea, but more research needs to be done on the topic to solidify the claim.
Herbals are an excellent alternative to regular drinks as they bring more to the table than just a temporary fix. Find ways to incorporate more herbal tea consumption in your day-to-day life and switch to healthier living.