Herbal Tea and the Many Benefits of Green Tea
Sipping a nice cup of herbal tea is a long-standing tradition in cultures all around the world, and not just because of the great taste. Green tea, for example, has been consumed in Asia for thousands of years, much to the enjoyment and health benefits of the population. Hundreds of studies have been conducted to determine just how and why green tea (and other herbal tea) seems to make such a difference in health and vitality.
Herbal tea is used medicinally for all types of purposes. An upset stomach may be calmed by a cup of strong peppermint tea. Sleeplessness can often be overcome with a dose of chamomile tea. It is even thought that various herbal teas, green tea among them, have the ability to prevent cancer in the human body. Just the act of brewing and drinking a cup of herbal tea can be calming, as the aromas delight the drinker and the warm liquid soothes the throat.
Some of the most interesting medicinal uses for herbal tea include:
o Burdock to clean the blood, regulate blood sugar, and for anti-inflammatory uses
o Cardamom to improve digestion, reduce gas, and calm stomach cramps
o Cinnamon to calm upset stomachs, relieve menstrual cramps, and regulate blood sugar
o Dandelion as an expectorant or diuretic
o Fennel to soothe coughs, stimulate appetite, and relieve stomach cramps
o Ginger to ease stomach and menstrual cramps, relieve nausea, improve circulation, and alleviate cold and flu symptoms
o Kava Kava to relax muscles, reduce anxiety, promote urinary tract health, and promote sleep
o Lemon balm to reduce anxiety and relieve stomach upset
o Licorice to sooth coughs and sore throats, improve digestion, and ease menstrual cramps
o Nettle to relieve diarrhea and constipation, sooth coughs, and support the liver and kidneys
o Rosehips to relieve headaches and prevent bladder infections
o Rosemary to relieve cold symptoms, ease headaches, improve circulation, and lessen joint pain
o Sage to improve digestion, relieve coughs and lung congestion, and to soothe the nerves
o Skullcap to relieve PMS symptoms and reduce anxiety
o St. John’s Wort to lessen anxiety, improve mood, and promote relaxation
o Valerian root to promote relaxation and sleep, relieve stomach cramps, and calm the nerves
o Yarrow to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, and relieve cold symptoms
Green tea is probably the most well-known and studied of the “herbal teas.” With a wide range of scientific studies to back up the experience of thousands of years, sources ranging from The Journal of the National Cancer Institute to the Mayo Clinic have found exceptional benefits to green tea and its components. In addition to potentially preventing cancer, green tea has also been credited with lowering the risk for heart disease, lessening symptoms of arthritis, preventing tooth decay, and playing a role in healthy weight loss.
Most green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis bush, but herbal tea will include other botanical elements, including leafs, roots, stems, and even the flowers of various plants. It is possible to make “tea” that doesn’t use Camellia sinensis at all, although this would more accurately be referred to as an “herbal infusion” or “tisane” than as an herbal tea.