Herbal teas have been used for centuries to help people deal with common illnesses, digestive issues, poor sleep, and more. But what’s interesting is that herbal teas are not what some might call “true teas.”
True teas are varieties that come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green, black, and oolong teas all come from this species. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are made from the dried fruits, flowers, spices, or, as the name suggests, herbs of other plants.
These teas are often used to help drinkers meet a specific goal. Many of them are associated with certain health benefits like immune strength, digestion, better sleep, and anti-bacterial properties. They can also provide a little more variety and flavor than traditional “true teas.”
Let’s take a look at herbal teas that may offer some unique health benefits.
The Top 7 Healing Herbal Teas
1. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is known for its spicy taste and antioxidant profile. It might help with immune strength, but it may be most effective for people dealing with nausea.
There is a variety of research to suggest that ginger (Zingiber officinale) can relieve nausea. There is evidence showing it can be effective for motion sickness, pregnancy-related nausea, and even nausea resulting from cancer treatment.
Moving beyond its potential benefits for nausea, there is also some evidence to suggest ginger can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
You can purchase ginger tea at the store or make it yourself with fresh gingerroot.
2. Chamomile Tea
Known for its calming effects, chamomile is typically characterized as a tea for sleep. Studies have shown that chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), when consumed as an extract or tea, can improve sleep.
Chamomile tea is caffeine-free and has a slightly sweet, flowery taste.
It has long been used as a sedative in folk and traditional medicine, and more recent research shows it may help postnatal and elderly adults get better shuteye. It might help by improving sleep quality and duration, thereby improving daytime functionality.
There is still ongoing research to determine any other potential health benefits associated with chamomile.
3. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is one of the most popular and commonly used herbal teas. It may have a number of benefits including antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, but it is best known as the tea for digestion.
Various studies have supported the idea that peppermint (Mentha × piperita) can relieve indigestion, nausea, and stomach pain. There is even evidence showing it can relax spasms in the digestive system and potentially relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
It should be noted that much of the research pertaining to the benefits of peppermint have used peppermint oil. Drinking peppermint tea might offer the same benefits, but it is unconfirmed.
4. Echinacea Tea
Echinacea tea has no shortage of lovers and skeptics when it comes to its effect on health. Generally thought of as the tea for colds, there is some evidence it can help boost the immune system to do battle with common illness.
Some studies have found that echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) may shorten the duration of the common cold, ease its symptoms, or potentially prevent them altogether.
Because studies have conflicting results and questions surround those that have noted its antiviral/immune-boosting powers, it is difficult to say for sure that echinacea will help you. Drinking echinacea tea, however, is unlikely to cause any harm. At the very least, it’s warmth might help to soothe a sore throat or ease congestion.
5. Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus is another popular herbal tea that may offer health benefits. Made from the colorful flowers of hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) plants, it has a pinkish-red color and refreshing flavor. Its flavor profile can be described as fruity and sweet, with sour and astringent notes as well.
The benefits of hibiscus, both as a tea or extract, are disputed. There is research showing that it can offer both antiviral and cholesterol-lowering benefits; however, there is also research to suggest it has no effect on health.
If you’d like to try hibiscus tea to help prevent illness or reduce blood pressure, it could be worth a try. Its refreshing flavor, however, can serve as a standalone reason for consumption.
But do not take it with aspirin or certain diuretics.
6. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea may be one of the most antioxidant-rich herbal teas around. According to some, its antioxidant benefits might be comparable to green tea.
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) tea is made from the leaves of South African red bushes. It has a smooth, naturally sweet taste.
Test-tube and animal tests have shown it may help protect the liver from oxidative stress, support bone health, and lower blood pressure. Human studies, however, are needed to see if people experience any benefits.
At this point, it can’t be said if drinking rooibos will render any health benefits, but it is unlikely to cause harm. It is not, however, a “healing tea.”
7. Sage Tea
Sage tea is used for a number of potential benefits, ranging from physical to mental health. A growing body of research suggests that sage (Salvia officinalis) may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and promote improvements in cognition.
Two studies using sage drops found that it could improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s, while others have found it can help with mood, mental function, and memory in healthy adults.
Healing Teas May Help You Towards Better Health
You can use any hot tea for a sore throator to ease congestion. But sometimes you want a little more. Selecting the right herbal teas might help you sleep better, silence indigestion, and treat nausea in a quick, inexpensive, and non-invasive fashion. Although there might not be rock-solid evidence these teas can help, they are definitely worth a try!
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