The highly aromatic herbal teas have been in the news lately, with every health column featuring them. In reality, these beverages have been around since ancient civilization, used for their healing and therapeutic benefits. New research has proved that ancient wisdom was right and that these teas, with their herbs and spices can help a number of ailments.
Herbal Tea versus General Tea
General tea is made from the processed leaves of the tea plant. This tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and unhealthy for the human body in large doses. Since, we tend to add milk and sugar to general tea; it is high in calories and can add weight. The lactose content in the milk also, disagrees with many people, causing acidity and heartburn.
Herbal teas are simply titled “teas” because they are also made by boiling the ingredients. However, these do not use tealeaves or milk and sugar, making them an excellent healthy option for those wanting to lose weight.
Herbal tea does not contain any caffeine and in many cases are sedative, rather than stimulating in nature, depending upon the herbs used.
Most herbal teas are made from herbs and spices, such as ginger, chamomile, cinnamon, basil, pepper, lavender and many other such natural ingredients.
Health-Boosting Properties of Herbal Teas
The herbs used in these teas contain plant-based molecules, called terpenoids and flavonoids. These molecules play the role of antioxidants and fight free radicals, which are the main cause of disease and pre-mature ageing. Antioxidants are also responsible for detoxifying the body.
Antioxidants are available in abundance in nature, but the body does not always easily digest them.
When antioxidants are available in a concentrated liquid form, such as herbal teas, the body is able to digest them easily and absorb their nutrients completely. Thus, herbal teas are a power-packed drink for boosting the body’s natural defence against illnesses.
Herbal teas are known to boost cellular activity, energizing and revitalizing normal body functioning. They reduce stress; alleviate health problems, such as cold, headaches, menstrual cramps and body pain.
Herbal teas are also considered the ideal drink for those wanting to reduce high BP and cholesterol levels.
Herbs that make great Health Boosting Teas
Cinnamon – This spice is excellent for colds, inflammation, digestion and diabetes.
Fennel – relaxes stomach muscles, relieving colic, flatulence and constipation.
Lemon Peel – reduces bad cholesterol and increases immunity.
Ginseng –fights chronic fatigue and improves mental clarity and digestion.
Mint – This herb is soothing for stomach problems. Alleviates heartburn, dispels bad breath, as well as chest congestion.
Nettle –perfect for allergies, urinary problems and skin problems.
Adverse Effects of Herbal Teas
There have been no adverse claims to drinking herbal teas.
However, some herbal ingredients, such as chamomile, anise and passionflower contain coumarin, which is a blood-thinning agent. Coumarin is known to interfere with warfarin therapy, which is given to heart patients and asthmatics.
It is therefore advisable to consult your doctor, before taking any herbal tea.