I’ve highlighted in my previous blogs that drinking and blending herbal teas have been used and practised for many centuries. Now, you’re probably wondering – does herbal tea have any health benefits? ….In short, yes they do.
The practice of this age old custom dates back almost 3000 years ago to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonian times, where it was used for both a refreshing drink and for medicinal purposes. The Greeks, the Romans and ancient Chinese also used it for its obvious health benefits and the trend still continues today.
Herbal teas have been used for a wide range of purposes – from relaxing to revitalising, strengthening to healing – they are a great way of implementing the power of herbs into your everyday diet.
Being natural and drug-free, they are a great alternative to the chemically-charged OTC (over the counter) or prescription drugs (that sadly, many will turn to for quick relief). They also count towards your daily water intake and are caffeine free too – so you can get the highs without the lows!
Each herb has its own unique ‘action’, potency and property and drinking herbal teas are the most practical ways to get the benefits from the herb safely and conveniently.
The use of plants and herbs to treat and cure human diseases has had a long history of success. Herbal knowledge has been gathered through generations by different cultures and thousands of years of practising, observing, trial and error and experience based evidence. Their value is undeniably strong and prominent.
The majority of drugs and supplements we see today are derived and extracted from plants. Until about 50 years ago, most of the entries in pharmacopoeias listing the manufacture of drugs, indicated an herbal origin.
Some of the general health benefits and remedies include:
- stress reducers ( Chamomile; Catnip; Kava Kava)
- allergy relievers (Elder; Gingko; Nettle)
- relieves aches and tensions (Chamomile; Hyssop, Lavender)
- anti-anxiety (Lemon Balm; Hops; Vervain)
- blood nourisher (Dong Quai; Yarrow; Burdock)
- healthy heart (Hawthorn; Astragalus; Dong Quai)
- healthy brain (Gingko: Ginseng; Wood Betony)
- cholesterol regulator (Ginger; Ginseng; Green Tea)
- immune system strengthener (Echinacea; Ginseng; Oatstraw)
- digestive disorders (Peppermint; Fennel; Papaya)
- skin health (Dong Quai; Rose Hips; Cleavers)
- vitality/energy boosters (Dong Quai; Yerba Mate; Ginseng)
- weight control (Guarana; Hoodia Gordonii; Green Tea)
The list is quite extensive yet there is still so much more herbal teas can do in healing and curing most health conditions and ailments we see today. What else could be the reason why people still continue to drink them ever since our ancestors discovered the health benefits of them many centuries ago? I usually drink around 3-4 cups daily to get the full benefits.
Not only can they hydrate you, the power of herbal teas extends to further health benefits – once cooled, they can even be used as skin washes or as compresses to treat wounds and reduce inflammation. Multi-functional uses from simple cup of herbal tea blend!
With the revolution of science and technology, there is now a huge choice in terms of flavors. So, don’t be put off if you didn’t like one that you tried as there’s hundreds to choose from!
Traditionally (and still continues today), herbal teas would have been boiled, then simmered over a long period of time (known as decoction), but with our 21st century busy, fast paced lifestyles, this may seem time-consuming – thus the invention of the ready-to-use tea bags makes it even easier and convenient to consume….So there’s no excuse!
To achieve best results, use non-metallic cups and strainers, as metal can interfere with the purity of the tea. Always cover and steep for at least 10-15 minutes – this helps to retain the volatile constituents.
And don’t forget the honey – if you’re a sweet tooth like me, then honey is the best alternative, as artificial sweeteners and refined sugars can destroy the healing potentials and properties of the herbal tea.
Plus, its loaded with anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal properties which works well with maintaining the health and harmony of your body.
Do you drink herbal teas? Do you drink them to relax you? Or to revitalise you? Or to strengthen you? Or maybe another reason? Have you used any of the herbs mentioned? I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences on this. Peace be with you and happy brewing!