The true benefits of herbal teas are stunning. According to those who specialize in the study of wild and domestic plants. they soothe and calm our spirits as we traverse our daily routines and enable us to sleep peacefully and comfortably.
Herbal teas are made from plants, seeds, flowers, roots, and fruits of all plants except Camellia sinensis. They have been used as natural home remedies for thousands of years.
Before the invention of modern medicine, herbs and seeds were used for treating anything from infections to rashes and fevers.
However, one thing is for sure—herbal teas have been deeply rooted in our lives, and often are much more than just herbal remedies.
However, some cause no side effects, while others should be taken only under professional supervision. Teas that may be completely safe to some people may cause serious side effects to others
While fruit flavored teas—such as rosehip, apple, and orange—tend to be delicious, they are developed for their flavoring more than anything else.
Herbal teas, on the other hand, such as thyme, peppermint, and ginger have greater therapeutic virtues.
Gardens, supermarkets, and health-food stores are filled with edible flowers, herbs, bushes, trees, even some weeds that when steeped make delicious and healthful hot brews.
Drinking tea brewed from freshly gathered herbs is an easy way to get nature’s healing force into your body, according to Dakota Elaine Sherwood of Lewisburg.
“It’s something we all need,” explained the herbal enthusiast who spends much of her time tending wild plants. Whether we are healthy or fighting an illness, fresh plants help strengthen the immune system and help detoxify.”
Sherwood said herbs from the garden or wild plants from the forest are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, essential oils, soluble fiber, minerals (including calcium), enzymes, chlorophyll, and numerous compounds to boost our health.
“Black tea is the most popular tea in Britain and has the most all-round health benefits,” Sherwood said. “Most people who try herbal teas for the first time are simply amazed at their benefits.”
Meanwhile, herbal teas are purely one flavor, whereas herbal blends offer two or more flavors combined. They also feature a variety of benefits. Chamomile herbal tea promotes sleep, while pure peppermint herbal tea can keep you more alert, and hibiscus has been reported to lower blood pressure.
At the same time, some herbal teas offer health-promoting properties and have been used as natural remedies for centuries. Dietitians recommend herbal teas in moderation with medical approval, as they can pose some risks to individuals with certain health conditions.
“Herbal tea also has the benefit of providing your body with nutrients, antioxidants and particular plant benefits, like drinking mint to ease nausea or rosehips as a vitamin C boost,” Sherwood pointed out.
Herbs are plants that are valued for their medicinal, aromatic, or savory qualities.
Many are tasty too.
And a fresh tea made from fresh herbs captures the therapeutic ingredients of the plant, noted Sherwood, who explained:
“Much of what we can use in our tea may already be growing in our gardens, and what is not there we can easily plant or purchase.”
Tea enthusiasts drink with their eyes and nose as well as their palate, according to Sherwood.
“When boiling water is poured over herbs, the plants’ soluble organic compounds are broken down. The resulting fragrance excites the senses. The bitter taste associated with many herbs is an indication of the herbs’ inherent therapeutic qualities.”
Teas may consist of leaves, blossoms and/or roots, Sherwood explained. “Those who already like herbal tea will be pleased with the smooth, rich flavor of their own garden tea.”
On the other hand, the herbalist warned, “Teas made from your garden are a surprising departure from those brewed with ready-made tea bags. Patrons just starting out should be prepared for a fresh, vibrant, unfamiliar mix of tastes.”
Herbal teas can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They can be used to relax the soul, heal the body, or just as a refreshing beverage.
Steeping your herbal tea might include the following steps:
Put one to two teaspoons of the plants you gathered per cup of water in a big pot or sparkling clean coffee press free of oils, and pour boiling water over them, then cover and steep for 15 minutes.
Sherwood suggests using a glass pot. “This allows you to see the beauty of your herbs.”
Try a cup of catnip or lemon balm tea before bedtime to relieve anxiety for a good night’s sleep, the herbalist offered.
Try a cup of peppermint tea for a headache or rosemary tea to relieve a migraine.
Sage tea can relieve a sore throat and aid in digestion. There are many teas made from edible kitchen herbs, including basil, chives, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint and other mints, rosemary, sage, thyme, and verbena.
For a noble fragrance in the kitchen, Sherwood suggests using a potpourri of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, verbena, oregano, and mint with flowers such as lemon blossoms and lilac.
However, people should avoid harvesting herbs from roadsides, under power lines, or other areas that might have been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. Avoid poisonous greens, such as the leaves of tomato or potato plants.
Proper identification is a must when dealing with wild herbs, according to Sherwood, who is quick to point out that there are many dangerous plants that resemble safe ones.
Here is a list of some of the most popular herbal teas around the world:
Chamomile tea is an all-time favorite around the world. It has been around for thousands of years and used mostly for its calming effect. It may help reduce inflammation, treat stomach pain, and sleep and promote calmness and muscle relaxation;
Peppermint tea is used world-wide for its refreshing and calming properties;
Rosehip tea is a great source of vitamin C and may help achieve weight loss goals;
Ginger tea’s main use is to help with stomach pain and nausea and from protecting the brain and heart, lowering blood sugar, and offering anti-cancer properties;
Cinnamon, one of the most popular spices around the world, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help with lowering blood pressure and protecting the heart;
Rosemary, useful in cooking, provides several benefits, including help with Alzheimer’s disease and reducing anxiety.
Sherwood advises that herbs used for their therapeutic value are medicines and should be used as such. In today’s world, she said, it is imperative that users research all herbs they are using to avoid experiencing adverse reactions with prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
“Everyone should check with a qualified physician before they embark on a mission to explore herbs for their healthful benefits,” Sherwood said.