Tea time with a twist. A guide to 5 popular herbal teas

Sinéad Byrne

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Pass the bickies, it’s tea time.

Do you feel like you drink too much caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee? Do you feel reliant on coffee for energy? How about trying an alternative hot drink?

Tea in new tea cups. Photo Credit - kate hiscock
Tea in new tea cups. Photo Credit – kate hiscock

Here’s a quick guide to 5 commonly used herbal teas and some of their health benefits.

First up – Green Tea

Many people understand green tea as a weight-loss aid. Those people are correct. Green tea can increase fat burning when drank on a continuous basis and along-side a healthy diet and exercise routine. It has many other impressive properties too though. It is loaded with antioxidants which flush toxins from the body and it can kill certain bacteria leading to good dental hygiene. It does contain caffeine, although not as much as coffee, meaning that it can contribute to brain function and alertness, without the jitters coffee can give.

Next up a favorite of mine – Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is a well known digestive aid. It can improve digestive discomfort like bloating, cramping and nausea and it can help with the digestion of food. Thus making it a great post-meal beverage. It also has a large amount of antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties, much like Green tea it can contribute to overall well-being. It also can help with bad breath because the antibacterial properties kill bacteria in the mouth. And if none of that is a concern of yours at least it tastes great!

Mentha x piperita (Peppermint). Photo Credit - Forest and Kim Starr
Mentha x piperita (Peppermint). Photo Credit – Forest and Kim Starr

Ginger Tea

Ginger can be used to treat nausea and vomiting. While I don’t recommend eating it raw, a slice can be added to water and sipped, it can be bought in as a capsule and it can be found in the form of a tea. Aside from treating nausea and vomiting it can also ease menstrual cramps, relieve stress (provides a calming effect) and strengthen the immune system (think back to last weeks blog, add it to your honey and lemon concoction when a cold or flu hits).

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile. Photo Credit - Jevgenijs Slihto
Chamomile. Photo Credit – Jevgenijs Slihto

Chamomile tea is widely recommended to help with insomnia. It is recommended to drink a cup 30 minutes before going to bed to help with sleeplessness. It also has other benefits too. It can help with stomach cramping, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, menstrual cramps and anxiety. It contains powerful antioxidants like many other teas but it also has anti-inflammatory properties to relax and sooth the tummy.

Finally – Echinacea Tea

Last week I mentioned Echinacea as a preventative and alternative treatment for colds and flu. It also provides immune support to fight off those germs.

It can be found in a tea either on its own or in a mixture, some of my favorites are Echinacea and Cranberry tea (think back to that time a Urinary Tract Infection struck and resulted in many trips to the loo) and Echinacea and Honey/Lemon (hint hint, cold or flu). If taking tablets isn’t your thing check out Echinacea tea and drink it everyday to prevent a future cold or flu.

There are hundreds of herbal teas out there. There are single ingredient teas or mixtures and they all have amazing benefits. Check out your local health food store or local supermarket to try some out. If you’re feeling brave here’s how to make your own home-made herbal tea. Enjoy.

 

YouTube / Laura Forde – via Iframely

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Sinéad Byrne