Tea has been around for centuries. Most people tend to think of tea as being from Britain, but they’ve only had tea a few hundred years. Originally, tea was from China. Legend goes that the Chinese emperor Shen Nung, who was a renowned herbalist, was sitting beneath a tree one day while his servant boiled his drinking water. It happened to be windy that day and some leaves blew into the water. Nung decided he wanted to try the infusion that had been created; the tree was a Camellia sinesis, which is shrub that gives us tea, and thus, tea was born, according to tea.co.uk.
There are standard types of tea, like black and white. But there are also herbal teas, which generally don’t have as much, or any, caffeine as the standard teas do. These herbal teas also usually provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, depending on which plants and herbs you use, according to organicfacts.net.
Besides just providing your body with needed nutrients, herbal teas are also good for relaxing the body and mind, helping you sleep, reducing inflammation and pain, boosting your immune system and digestive health and stimulating your brain, according to organicfacts.net.
Personally, I love herbal teas. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a really long day, which is what most of my days have become this semester. Since there are so many different types of herbal teas, I wanted to narrow it down to my top four: ginger, chamomile, turmeric and green.
Ginger is great for lots of different things, including seasoning. But ginger tea is especially great. The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study in 2005 that noted ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties, strong enough to compete with prescription pain relievers. Ginger is also wonderful for reducing fevers, as is gentle enough to use on children and the elderly, according to livestrong.com. I love ginger tea when I’m sick because it doesn’t just reduce my fever, it also helps any nausea that I have. Ginger tea is absolutely perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather, which you’re bound to be soon because flu season is upon us.
Chamomile contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is known for its “tranquilizing” effect, according to an article in the Daily Mail. Chamomile is often a component in “sleepytime” tea blends because it’s great for treating mild insomnia, which is why I love it. At night, it’s often difficult for me to turn my brain off long enough to go to sleep. So when I have that problem, I brew some chamomile green tea and it knocks me right out. Chamomile tea also helps soothe the stomach and helps with back pain, inflammation, arthritis and sun burn, according to organicfacts.com.
Turmeric is definitely my least favorite tea because the flavor is so rich. Raw turmeric is extremely bitter, so you have to blend it with other things to cut the bitterness, but it’s still really rich. However, it’s probably one of the more important tea blends I drink because it has been shown to prevent gastric and colon cancers in a study published by Anticancer Research in 2002. Now this was only in rodents, but the research does still stand. Turmeric, according to livestrong.com, can also help regulate menstrual cycles, relieve cramps, help with digestion and promote live function.
Green tea is by far my favorite. I blend green tea leaves with all the aforementioned ones. Green tea is really high in antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage. Meaning green tea is great at protecting the body from ageing and damage from pollutants, according to an article in Daily Mail.
You can blend your own herbal teas at home. There are several recipes on Pinterest, but it can get sort of complicated. I would recommend just buying herbal teas from Walmart or Amazon. It’s cheaper and easier. My favorite brands are Celestial Seasonings (their Sleepytime tea blend is the absolute best; I swear by it.) and Tazo, which is also served at Starbucks.
Herbal teas offer amazing health benefits, plus it’s wonderfully relaxing to sip hot tea. Drinking herbal teas is an excellent way to improve your mental and physical health without having to exert too much time or effort.