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The Health Benefits of Herbal Tea

The Health Benefits of Herbal Tea

Do herbal teas work? Herbal teas have been around for a long time, and for good reason. Other than having vibrant and unique flavors, herbal tea has risen in popularity lately for the vast benefits that it can offer drinkers. Here is a quick rundown on what you need to know about herbal tea.

The Types of Herbal Tea

By definition, herbal tea is not considered a true tea because it does not come from the plant called Camellia sinensis, which makes white, green, oolong, and black teas. Herbal tea is a blend or infusion of different kinds of flowers, roots, bark, fruits, or leaves from any non-tea edible plant.

It would be nearly impossible to list down all the types of herbal tea available in the world. That is because you can make herbal tea out of any mix of natural ingredients. Each type of herbal tea comes with its own benefits and delicious flavor.

Very common examples of herbal tea include peppermint tea, hibiscus tea, and chamomile tea. Other popular herbal teas that are enjoyed around the world also include ginger tea, turmeric tea, and yerba mate, among others.

The most common way to drink herbal tea is hot. However, many people like to drink herbal tea chilled or over ice. A lot of people enjoy incorporating herbal tea into other beverages as well to add a unique flavor.

Do Herbal Teas Work and Have Caffeine?

If you do not want to drink too much caffeine, then you are in luck. Most kinds of herbal tea are free of caffeine. This makes it an excellent drink to enjoy right before bed without worrying about getting any jitters.

However, it is important to note that the caffeine content in your herbal tea will depend on what ingredients are used. One example is yerba mate because it naturally has caffeine. Some people enjoy the gentle energy burst that some herbal teas offer and drink it instead of their morning coffee.

What Are the Benefits of Herbal Tea?

As we mentioned earlier, herbal tea is made from many different ingredients. So each herbal tea will have different benefits for the drinker.

So do herbal teas work in boosting wellbeing? Herbal tea can help people by offering physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. You can focus on choosing what benefits you want.

It has antioxidants

The first thing you should know about most herbal teas is that they contain lots of antioxidants. They are great for people who want to detox. Antioxidants can help your body lessen damage from free radicals and can potentially reduce your risk of getting diseases.

Antioxidants can also be beneficial when it comes to slowing down the aging process. While there is no way to turn back the hands of time, the antioxidants found in tea can slow down the process and reduce signs of aging by fighting against free radicals brought about by daily stressors.

It aids in digestion

Additionally, enjoying herbal tea after a meal can help aid digestion, particularly if you are drinking herbal tea with spearmint. This herb has anti-nausea effects. It can also help suppress your appetite and reduce your chances of overeating. To maximize its health benefits, you should drink your herbal teas hot as warm drinks help activate and soothe the digestive tract.

It soothes inflammation

Another benefit that herbal teas can give you come from their anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help relieve hemorrhoids, headaches, arthritis, gastrointestinal distress like inflammatory bowel disease, and much more.

It boosts your immune system

Herbal tea is not only full of antioxidants; it is chock loaded with vitamins, too. These vitamins can help boost your immune system to help prevent infections and diseases. Some good choices for immune-boosting herbal tea are licorice root, ginger, and elderberry.

It can aid in weight loss

Herbal tea can potentially help you lose weight as well. Ingredients like lemongrass and fennel can help boost your metabolism and burn more fat.

It helps you to relax

Do herbal teas work? As for the mental benefits, people often feel calmer and less stressed when they drink herbal teas like lavender. Herbal tea, such as chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower, can also help treat insomnia.

do herbal teas work

How Do I Steep Herbal Tea?

It is very easy to prepare herbal tea. Put fresh and filtered water on a rolling boil and pour the boiling water over the tea. (Note: not heating water to boiling may not release as much of the flavor and benefits of the ingredients). The amount of tea to water ratio will depend on the kind of tea that you get.

The steeping time varies for each kind of herbal tea. But typically, it would be ideal to steep it for 5-7 minutes. Afterward, you can remove the tea from the water and enjoy your drink.

Are There Side Effects from Drinking Herbal Tea?

While drinking herbal tea can have many benefits, it is important to note that you can have too much of a good thing. Moderate tea consumption can be healthy and beneficial for most people. However, you should limit yourself to about 3-4 cups a day.

One possible side effect is that it can potentially make you iron deficient. Tea is rich in tannins, which can reduce how much iron your body absorbs from plant-based sources when you drink too much tea. It can make it difficult for people who follow vegetarian and vegan diets to get enough iron.

Additionally, not all herbal tea will be caffeine-free. Some teas will have caffeine and if you drink more than what is recommended, it could increase your levels of stress and anxiety.

Key Takeaways

Many may ask, “Do herbal teas work?” In conclusion, yes. Herbal teas have numerous health benefits, from aiding digestion to weight loss, and in reducing inflammation. And it is safe to be consumed every day. As herbal teas can be made from different ingredients for different purposes, you can seek and even concoct your own tea. While you can try different teas to address certain health concerns, these should not be used to replace medication. Always consult your doctor.

Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Camellia sinensis, https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506801#null, Accessed June 30, 2020

Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/, Accessed June 30, 2020

Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685276/, Accessed June 30, 2020

Hemorrhoids, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/symptoms-causes/syc-20360268, Accessed June 30, 2020

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353315, Accessed June 30, 2020

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Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos on Jun 30, 2020
Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera, RPh, PharmD
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