Long before capsules, dermal patches and injections existed. Poultices, powders, and tinctures derived from plants were used in much the same way. Although the curative power of such natural extracts has long been regarded by the medical profession as marginal or fringe science, a variety of herbal teas are now receiving increasing attention.
Among their advantages, they are much cheaper than other forms of medication and cause few bad reactions. You can drink them every day over a long period without ill effect. They are also thought to be helpful in preventing obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Some teas appear to have anti-microbial properties and can help in strengthening the immune system while also containing a number of essential nutrients. Although their benefits are less obvious than that of prescription medications, there doesn’t seem to be any downside in drinking tea regularly.
Green, Black and Oolong Teas
All of these are variants of the same plant, processed in different ways including fermentation and special growing techniques. All of them have antioxidant properties that can be beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Caffeine and a related chemical, called theanine, improve mental alertness without the jittery feeling coffee produces.
Green tea is considered to be the healthiest option. It is known to help at improving brain health and reducing the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It is also linked to weight loss and a reduction in cholesterol levels.
Millions of people use chamomile tea to reduce anxiety, relieve insomnia and help calm upset stomachs. It is also effective in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as inflammation and skin irritation. Therefore, having a fragrant chamomile bath is not only very relaxing but is also good for the skin. Chamomile can be grown easily in most gardens. Both the flowers and the rest of the plant have medicinal properties. Although, the flower petals have a better aroma and are considered more potent medicinally.
Although related species such as spearmint don’t contain all of the beneficial organic compounds ordinary mint does, all can be used to add fresh flavor to anything from blended teas to smoothies. Mint, however, is very effective at relieving indigestion, intestinal gas buildup and nausea due to the menthol it contains.
One of the effects rosemary has is that it keeps blood vessels from constricting, which among other things makes it a cure for certain kinds of headaches. It is also regarded as a traditional medicine for improved memory, better skin and better vision. Like many other plants used in herbal teas, rosemary contains numerous essential oils and nutrients that would be difficult to encounter otherwise.
Making Herbal Tea
Either fresh or dried herb can be used to make herbal teas. There are also pre-packaged bags that can be found at the supermarket. Herbal aromas can easily be combined in various ways, or enhanced by adding lemon juice or honey.
If they won’t be used within a week, fresh herbs can either be frozen or dried. There’s little difference between the benefits of dried and fresh herbs. Actually, steeping the tea is simplicity itself. Simply, take a teaspoon of dried or a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs and pour a cup of water over them. These proportions can be altered according to taste.
To extract the largest amount of medicinal value from the herbs, it’s recommended to let it steep for around ten minutes while keeping the temperature high without allowing it to boil. If you are making the tea in a ceramic mug, covering it with a saucer can help to keep it warm. Although, serious tea drinkers will insist on brewing with a pot. On the other hand, metal pots don’t keep the heat very well, and may taint the tea with metallic flavors.