When it comes to proper nutrition, herbal teas are often overlooked. Packed with many wonderful antioxidants and preventative benefits, drinking certain herbal teas may serve to effectively treat what ails you.
Besides the great taste and warmth provided, the following four teas may help in healing a variety of physical problems – from common colds and flus to hypertension, acne and motion sickness.
Green tea has been the most lauded recipient of the healthy tea marketing campaigns that began to appear a couple of decades ago. Usually the same tea as brown or orange pekoe tea, green tea is picked at an earlier stage in its growth. As a result, it retains its green color and offers quite a different taste.
The most widely recognized beneficial antioxidant found in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallete (EGCG). This catechin polyphenol (organic chemical that acts as an antioxidant) is known for its many therapeutic and healing benefits.
Some of the healing benefits of green tea include:
Anti-inflammatory – Green tea may be helpful in reducing inflammation associated with chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. The anti-inflammatory effect works by slowing the inflammation response. Arthritis and other joint pain is also improved by slowing the breakdown of cartilage.
Cold and flu remedy – Green tea has immunity-boosting qualities. It also provides antioxidants and other ways of fighting free radicals. Free radicals are toxic molecules that can disrupt your body at the cellular level, and set off a domino effect thereby increasing the risk of disease or cancer.
Mental health – Because it contains Theanine, a helpful amino acid, green tea offers a soothing, tranquility-producing effect. Theanine is known to reduce stress, improve sleep and help with many of the mental symptoms surrounding depression.
Cholesterol – Green tea improves the good (HDL) cholesterol in your body, helping to convert the bad (LDL) kind to the good kind.
Food poisoning – Green tea may aid in reducing the toxins and harmful bacteria levels that cause food poisoning.
Bone health – Not only can green tea prevent bone loss, but it may also help enable the growth of bone-building cells.
When it comes to green tea (and all teas in general), it’s important to obtain your tea from a valid source and consider factors such as tea bag material and additives. For a high level of EGCG, I recommend a USDA organic grade Japanese tea called Matcha. This stone ground green tea powder by Jade Leaf Organics is sold on Amazon and comes from a trusted source.
Also known as red tea or bush tea, rooibos is a fermented medicinal drink made by brewing the rooibos herb native to South Africa. Red in color with a deep, delicious taste, rooibos tea naturally contains no caffeine, so you may find that it helps you de-stress and fall asleep at night. Rooibos tea has the benefits of being anti-inflammatory and antiviral because it contains polyphenols.
Skin problems like acne and eczema – Rooibos tea is filled with zinc and alpha-hydroxy acid, which makes it great for healing your skin. Rooibos powders are also available, which can be applied topically.
Bone weakness – Rooibos tea contains calcium and manganese, which help make bones and teeth stronger. The manganese may also stimulate enzymes that help grow new bone and repair damage.
Hypertension and asthma – Rooibos is a bronchodilator, which relieves respiratory problems like asthma and can also lower your blood pressure.
Allergies – Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, rooibos helps with asthma and topical allergic reactions throughout the body.
Rooibos tea has become quite popular over the last decade, with many local grocers stocking the tea in their organic aisles. If you’re looking to try rooibos, I recommend Numi Organic Rooibos tea. Numi stands by their promise of being non-GMO, 100% USDA organic, Fair Trade Certified and not using any types of pesticides or herbicides.
The pesky little yellow flowers that many homeowners battle to the death each spring are actually jam-packed with benefits!
Liver cleansing – Tea made from dandelion plants supports good liver function and helps cleanse the liver.
Diabetes – Dandelion tea helps stimulate the production of insulin, which helps improve patients with diabetes.
Skin Infections – A non-tea tip: The milky white liquid found in dandelion stems can be used to treat common skin conditions. It fights germs, pests and fungus, and it can also help with itching from eczema, ringworm and psoriasis.
Another great brand of bagged tea is Traditional Medicinals. I enjoy their Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Tea, for the delightful, earthy taste and commitment to being non-GMO. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of dandelion root tea, here’s one of my other articles which goes more in-depth on the topic!
Boiling ginger in water will produce a tea that is chock-full of medicinal benefits. Ginger helps with a very long list of ailments, and here just a few:
Upset stomach and motion sickness – Ginger relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles, and also relieves gas and bloating. Plus it can help reduce nausea and motion sickness.
Menstrual Pain – Its anti-inflammatory effects help relieve menstrual pain.
MIgraine headaches – Ginger has been known to relieve the pain of migraines and the nausea and dizziness that can accompany them.
Beware: Some Tea Bags May Leach Toxic Chemicals
No matter which tea you choose, if you’re opting for a bagged tea, you will also want to factor in what materials make up the tea bag itself. Here’s a quick list of the hazardous chemicals to avoid, which are often added to popular brands of tea bags:
- Plastic polymers – Including PVC, “food-grade” nylon, or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These ‘plastic’ types of tea bags should be avoided at all costs! Although you need not worry much about the melting point of these materials, the chemicals may leach at a lower temperature.
- Paper materials – Paper tea bags are often treated with epichlorohydrin which keeps the tea bag from disintegrating. This chemical is a known toxin and sometimes used as a pesticide!
All of the teas addressed here have many other benefits as well – for instance, most of the teas in the list above also serve to improve brain function in different ways.
I suggest always searching for certified non-GMO, 100% USDA organic teas, which never use toxic chemicals in their tea bags or other packaging. Be sure to read up on each tea before you decide to rely on it, and as always, talk to your doctor if you have any questions!
Lastly, to promote a healthy immune system, I recommend taking Diamond Nutritionals Immune Cell Support Formula. This specialized formula contains high doses of larch arabinogalactin, olive leaf extract, and aloe vera extract. These are all proven to stimulate immune cell activity to help keep you healthy.
Photo credit: Ed Gregory / stokpic.com