Mar 19, 2016

5 Herbal Tea Heroes

Not only are herbal teas a great alternative to coffee or caffeinated teas, but they’re infused with healthy properties that can support our health and wellbeing. 
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water1. However, herbal teas aren’t actually made from tea, which is a specific kind of plant. A more accurate description is the French word ‘tisane’, that describes the herbal infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark extracted in hot water.
The tangy citron flavour that comes from lemongrass is often used in cooking, particularly in curries and stir-fries. The active ingredient—citral—is also found in lemon peel and can be traditionally used to aid digestion and help support liver function.
Green tea is a potent source of antioxidants which can help protect the body from cell damage caused by ageing. According to research, it may also help to reduce the level of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chai tea is a powerful blend of tea, herbs and spices that has been used in India for centuries to maintain health and wellbeing. It contains a range of ingredients such as black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, clove and black pepper.
The antioxidants and phytochemicals found in chai may support our immune system and help to improve digestion, while also providing a large amount of antioxidants. 
If you’re ordering out, ask if they are preparing your drink with the traditional tea blend, as it’s common to use flavored powder or syrup versions, which can be high in sugar.
A study assessing the benefits of peppermint tea found that it can help aid digestion as well as soothe nausea and other stomach-related ailments by calming the abdominal muscles and improving the flow of bile.
The small golden buds of chamomile contain an amino acid that acts as a relaxant to help promote sleep.
Do you enjoy herbal teas? What are your favourite blends?
[1] McKay DL, Blumberg JB. The role of tea in human health: an update. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2002; 21(1): 1-13.