By The Hearty Soul
Tea is like the hipster version of coffee. Why? Because it can have caffeine, it’s hot, and mostly comprised of water. It’s like coffee’s swave, sophisticated cousin.
On top of being a mighty delicious beverage, herbal tea is especially good for you. Actually, it is one of the best, and least expensive natural health remedies. You can buy a box of tea for as little as $3. I mean you could break that out of your childhood piggy-bank no problem.
Fun Fact: Legend has it that Shen Nung, the second emperor of china discovered tea when leaves blew into his pot of boiling water.
Herbal tea has been used for generations as a healing aid. Most people recommend drinking 2-3 cups per day for the best therapeutic results.
Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea is very refreshing, doesn’t need to be sweetened and has a real ‘pick me up’ effect whenever you drink it. It helps relieve bloating, stomach gas, and flatulence. Peppermint itself has relaxant and antispasmodic properties that help relieve cramps and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct and gall bladder. Easing your foods travel. The flow of bile to the liver can also be increased by peppermint tea and a moderate intake of the herb seems to have a detoxifying effect on the liver. One cup of peppermint tea, half an hour to an hour before food really seems to help prevent problems later on.
Fennel tea: Fennel is used to improve digestion, relieve flatulence, treat hypertension, and treat respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. To make fennel tea, lightly crush a teaspoonful of fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle and then steep the seeds in boiling water. Since ancient Roman and Egyptian times, fennel has been regarded as a powerful digestive aid. Studies show that 95% of patients treated with herbal combination (including fennel) eliminated their chronic digestion issues.
Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is probably one of the most famous teas to date. It has a long list of healing properties. Chamomile contains antispasmodic properties that help relax and smooth muscles, such as those in the intestines and stomach. Chamomile has been used to treat digestive conditions such as colic, gas, diarrhea, stomach cramps, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome, etc. Chamomile has also been used to treat menstrual cramps and as a sleep aid due to its calming and relaxing properties. You can drink chamomile tea as a digestive aid up to four times per day between meals, as needed.
Ginger tea: Ginger tea helps stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juices to help with the process of digestion. As delicious as that sounds, it basically means that it makes the pathway through your gastrointestinal tract more smooth and so there are less blockages in your system. Which can lead to prolonged food fermentation and those really smelly farts…
Dandelion tea: Dandelion tea relieves symptoms of bloating, diabetes and liver dysfunction. There are two parts to the dandelion: the root and the leaf, and each has its own use but, both help regulate the digestive system. The root is best for liver problems, while the leaf is best for ailments related to the kidneys.
Sleep and Anxiety
Lemon balm tea: Lemon Balm tea is traditionally used for cases of restlessness, insomnia, and mental stress. How, you ask? Lemon balm contains chemicals that seem to have a sedative calming effect. Some studies show it could be capable of reducing the growth of some viruses, as well.
Valerian: Traditionally used in herbal medicine as a calming sedative and night time sleep aid. Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness (hypochondria), headaches, migraines, and upset stomach. Valerian is often added to bath water to help with restlessness and sleep disorders. Valerian seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous systems. It is recommended for adults to drink 1 cup 3 to 4 times late in the day and 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
Chamomile tea: Chamomile has been used for decades as sleep aid. It’s one of the first responses you hear when you complain about not getting enough sleep. Well, it wasn’t created out of farce. it’s true steeping a cup of chamomile tea will help you sleep. According to researchers, drinking the tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.
Passion flower tea: Passionflower is used for sleep problems like insomnia, anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder, and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal. Passionflower is also used for seizures, hysteria, asthma, symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, excitability, palpitations, irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, fibromalgia, and pain relief. The chemicals in passionflower have calming, sleep inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects.
Hibiscus tea: Come on let’s be honest, we love this blend of hibiscus, blackberry leaf and lemongrass. It’s tart, tangy, and mildly fruity. Used in Herbal Medicine to help maintain and/or support cardiovascular health in adults. Hibiscus is a tropical flower that thrives in hot climates. As a tea it’s often enjoyed with a little sweetener added, sometimes with lime or lemon, and served iced or hot. Studies show that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea every day lowered blood pressure.
Red raspberry leaf tea: This tea is traditionally used in herbal medicine as a uterine tonic to relieve the pain of menstruation, and for use during pregnancy in preparation for childbirth. Red Raspberry Leaf is rich in iron and helps tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Many pregnancy teas contain red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy.
Blessed thistle tea: Blessed thistle is a plant. Believe it or not blessed thistle was commonly used during the Middle Ages to treat the symptoms of the Bubonic plague. Today, blessed thistle is prepared as a tea and used for loss of appetite and indigestion; and to treat colds, cough, fever, bacterial infections, and even diarrhea. Blessed thistle contains tannins which help diarrhea, coughs, and inflammation. However, there it is still relatively unknown how blessed thistle cures the other stated illnesses.
Fenugreek tea: This funky tea is a fantastic at increasing milk production in nursing mothers. In fact, it is the most commonly used herb to increase milk supply.
Cold and Flu
Echinacea + Elderberry tea: Helps relieve cold and flu symptoms. It has been used for generation to help fight off infections, and relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections.
Licorice tea: Licorice tea is a popular herbal treatment for symptoms of the common cold and flu. According to The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, many people use licorice tea to relieve a sore throat. Children with body weights above 50 pounds can drink 1/3 a cup of licorice tea three times a day for sore throat treatment. Licorice tea should never be given to children who weigh less than 50 pounds or to infants.
So what are you waiting for? Curl up by the fire place with a well-worn book and drink up!