Steaming, delicious herbal teas have become a favorite beverage for many people. In fact, people have been drinking herbal teas for centuries for their great taste and incredible medicinal properties.
Along with being an easy way to up your fluid intake, herbal teas are packed with extra nutrients. Unlike coffee, they do not contain caffeine, which is linked to different health problems.
Herbal teas are made from different parts of the plants, such as the flowers, roots, seeds or bark.
Making herbal tea is easy. You just need the herb in fresh or dried form, some hot water and less than 10 to 15 minutes to prepare a cup of tea.
Here are the top 10 herbal teas for good health.
1. Green Tea to Aid Weight Loss
Any list of healthy herbal teas will definitely start with green tea. One of the main benefits of green tea is that it supports weight loss and fights obesity. Obesity is the leading cause of many diseases, from heart problems to diabetes.
Green tea is rich in a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which builds metabolism to burn calories and promote weight loss.
A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found green tea to have a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.
A 2014 study conducted at Penn State showed that EGCG in green tea helps slow down weight gain by limiting fat absorption and increasing the body’s ability to use fat.
Being high in antioxidants, green tea also strengthens tissue cells to help protect the body from premature aging (and age-related diseases). It also prevents cell damage caused by pollutants. Green tea can also fight cancer, prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of diabetes, boost immunity and lots more.
To make the tea:
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of good quality green tea leaves in a cup.
- Pour hot water over them.
- Cover and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain, add a little raw honey and drink it.
- You can drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea daily.
2. Ginger Tea to Ease Arthritis Pain
This pungent herb is an all-time favorite for people dealing with any kind of inflammation. For those suffering from arthritis, ginger tea’s anti-inflammatory properties are very effective at reducing pain and inflammation.
In addition, it helps boost circulation, which also helps combat pain.
According to a 2001 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, ginger extract was found to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Another study published in 2005 in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level. This makes it an effective treatment for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Apart from its anti-inflammatory benefits, ginger has antioxidant, antiviral, antibiotic, anticancer, antinausea, antispasmodic, antifungal and antitussive (cough suppressant) properties.
Drinking ginger tea can also ease an upset stomach, curb nausea, reduce stress, fight a cold, reduce menstrual cramps, boost immunity, normalize blood sugar levels, regulate appetite, and relieve heartburn and bloating.
To make the tea:
- Put 1 tablespoon of ginger slices and 2 cups of water in a small pot.
- Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain out the ginger slices.
- Add honey and a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Drink 2 or 3 cups of ginger tea daily.
3. Chamomile Tea to Fight Insomnia
When it comes to herbal teas for health, the list will remain incomplete without mentioning chamomile tea. It is one of the best herbal teas to fight insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Its sedative and calming effects may be due to the presence of the flavonoid apigenin, which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
Chamomile also has antioxidant, anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antianxiety, antispasmodic, antidiarrheal and anticancer properties.
Drinking chamomile tea regularly can relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, keep stress under control, relieve menstrual cramps, treat stomach problems, support weight loss and boost immunity, to name a few.
Both the fresh and dried chamomile flowers can be used to make tea.
To make the tea:
- Put 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chamomile flowers) in a cup of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain it.
- Add a little raw honey and drink it while it is still warm.
Note: Avoid this herb if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
4. Peppermint Tea to Fight Indigestion
The refreshing and minty flavor of peppermint is all that you need to improve your digestive system when suffering from indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems.
It soothes stomach muscles and the intestines. It also helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, such as stomach cramps and bloating.
In addition, it helps food pass through the stomach easily and helps relieve nausea.
Being rich in menthol, peppermint has a cooling and calming effect on the body and mind. It also has antioxidant, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and carminative properties. This herb also contains a good amount of manganese, copper and vitamin C.
Peppermint can also help treat muscle spasms, aid weight loss, combat stress, eliminate bad breath, alleviate headaches, treat migraines, support oral health, and prevent allergies and asthma, to name a few.
To make the tea:
- Steep 1 tablespoon of fresh peppermint leaves in a pot of hot water for 10 minutes.
- Strain out the leaves.
- Allow it to cool and drink it.
- You can drink 3 to 4 cups of peppermint tea per day.
This herb, however, is not suitable for people suffering from acid reflux disease as it relaxes the sphincter muscle, which increases the chances of the regurgitation of stomach acid back into the esophagus.
5. Basil Tea to Combat Bad Breath
The beautiful fragrance of the herb basil is perfect for fighting bad breath, also called halitosis.
Basil is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help fight odor-causing bacteria inside the mouth. This in turn can also ward off pyorrhea and various other periodontal diseases.
A 2015 article by Oral Health and Dental Management evaluated the effects of chewing basil leaves on reducing the microbial count to control halitosis. Along with chewing the leaves, the aqueous solution of these herbal leaves was found effective at fighting bad breath.
Also, basil is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, plus a good source of vitamin C and manganese. Drinking basil tea regularly can help reduce stress, uplift your mood, relieve indigestion, cure headaches, treat flatulence, improve appetite, boost immunity and lots more.
To make the tea:
- Put 2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves in a cup.
- Pour boiling water over the leaves.
- Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and sweeten with raw honey, if desired.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of basil tea a day.
6. Sage Tea to Soothe a Sore Throat
When you suffer from a sore throat, you can sip warm sage tea for instant relief. Also, it relieves irritation and inflammation in the throat.
Its antimicrobial properties help fight off colds as well as soothe a sore and irritated throat by slowing the growth of harmful bacteria in the throat.
A 2009 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research reports that an echinacea/sage preparation is as efficacious and well tolerated as a chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray in treating acute sore throats.
Also, drinking sage tea regularly can boost your mood, reduce anxiety, maintain oral health, enhance memory, reduce menopausal symptoms, boost heart health, improve digestion and lots more.
To make the tea:
- Put 1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon of dried sage) in a cup.
- Pour in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain out the leaves.
- Add some lemon juice and raw honey to enhance its taste and effectiveness, then drink it.
Note: Sage is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as those suffering from epilepsy.