Herbal Tea for Health and for Happiness
Health, wellness and longevity is on the minds of many right now, as the media reveals more about the way the foods we eat and toxins we take in can impact our overall health and well-being. In the wake of this nutritional awakening, tea is becoming very popular not only as an enjoyable beverage, but also as a healing substance and as a weight loss aid.
Tea is the world’s second most popular drink, second only to water. Chinese teas are especially revered for their high amounts of polyphenol antioxidants they contain which provide the body with a fierce artillery against free radicals, or cell-destroying compounds. ORAC scores, which measure antioxidant aptitude of plant-based foods, are often higher for teas than they are for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Herbal teas, also referred to as tisanes, are actually not teas at all, but instead are the result of any fruit, flower, herb or spice that is steeped in boiling water. Herbal infusions can literally be made out of any plant or root in existence. The only true “teas” are those that are derived from the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant, such as black tea, green tea or white tea.
Herbal teas, as well as traditional teas, are renowned for their soothing and healing abilities. For centuries, humans have used tea and herbal tisanes to heal by cleansing the colon, detoxifying the bloodstream, calming anxiety, preventing dental problems, helping clear the mind and promoting overall wellness.
As holistic medicine and natural and organic foods have gained in popularity with the public, vitamins and supplements have become a common part of weight loss and nutrition planning. Herbal teas are vastly considered to be one of the most productive brands of herbal supplementation.
Herbal tea has a history almost as long as the human race itself. It’s impossible to know exactly when humans began making and drinking herbal infusions, but it’s been documented that there is evidence that the Ancient Egyptians enjoyed the taste and health benefits of herbal teas long before even than the earliest appearances of the Chinese teas.
Most herbal teas are known to have at least some medicinal properties. For instance, blackberry tea is a used as a treatment for diarrhea. Dandelion tea is known to improve liver function or reduce the severity of gallstones. Essiac tea is a commonly used holistic cancer fighter. Gingseng root tea is famed for stabling the body’s abilities to cope with stress. Kombucha tea, made from mushrooms, is another cancer fighter and is said to be packed full of antioxidants. Poppy tea, a natural relaxant and pain reliever, has been used for thousands of years by healers all over the world. Ginger tea is famous for soothing upset stomach and improving circulation. Rooibos tea, hailing from a remote part of South Africa, is said to be wonderful for acne and other skin conditions.
There are, of course, nearly endless numbers of herbal teas, each with their own unique flavor and medicinal qualities, with new possibilities of combinations to discover every day.