What Is Herbal Tea? 2023

what is herbal tea

What herbal tea is and why you should drink it

What is herbal tea? A very good question.

Herbal teas are making a comeback and getting a lot of buzz in recent years. 

Drinking herbal teas has been considered a health-promoting habit for centuries. 

The health benefits of herbal teas are often more anecdotally supported than scientifically proven. 

However, modern medical studies are providing a scientific basis for these benefits. 

Encouraging data shows that herbal teas can boost your immune system, reduce pain, alleviate soreness and even prevent chronic diseases like diabetes.

Unlike true teas, which are made from the Camellia sinensis tea leaves, herbal teas are made from dried seeds, flowers, roots, and fruits of other plants or herbs. 

This means that there is a wide variety of herbal teas on the market with varying tastes, flavors, and benefits. 

Hence, you can choose a suitable herbal tea as a natural remedy for whatever ailment you want to alleviate.

Here is a closer look at what is herbal tea, herbal tea benefits, and healthy herbal teas to try.

What Is Herbal Tea?

Herbal teas must not be confused with true teas. 

All types of true teas are made from the leaves of a single tea plant species known as Camellia sinensis plant. 

These include; green tea, white tea, oolong tea, black tea, and pu’erh tea. 

On the other hand, herbal teas, sometimes referred to as herbal infusions or tisanes, are made from infusions of herbs, spices, or other plant materials in hot water. 

Herbal teas come from plants that don’t have a caffeine content. 

Hence, a vast majority of herbal teas are caffeine-free with low or even zero calories. 

This makes them one of the healthiest types of tea to drink, renowned for their unique flavor and medicinal properties

Besides being a refreshing and a great alternative to sugary beverages and water, herbal teas are also packed with beneficial minerals, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. 

Evidence is accumulating that herbal teas have been used by humans since ancient times to sustain life.

Traditionally, herbal teas were widely exploited as medicines by various cultures thanks to their antidiabetic, anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties

In fact, the word tisane, which is thought to have been borrowed from Middle English or Old French, was used to mean a ‘medicine drink.’ 

Ancient China and Ancient Greek may have the earliest records of herbal tea drinking as a medicine for many ailments in their documented history. 

Whether you drink it hot or cold, herbal tea is a delicious beverage that can be enjoyed year-round and at any time of the day or night because it does not contain caffeine.

5 Best Herbal Teas to Try in 2023

1. Chamomile Tea

This classic herbal tea is a favorite for many herbal tea drinkers

It is well known for its calming effects that can promote quality sleep and boost brain function.

According to one human study examining chamomile extract’s effects on sleep, drinking chamomile tea for 14 days seemed to improve sleep quality and lower depression symptoms in postpartum women who experienced sleep issues.

Herbal teas are packed with numerous health-promoting properties, and modern scientific studies are providing a basis for some of their traditional medicinal uses.

Another study involving 34 patients found that drinking chamomile extract two times a day provided marginal improvements in sleep function.

Besides safely improving sleep quality, chamomile tea is also thought to possess potent antibacterial and liver-protecting benefits. 

Multiple animal studies have found that chamomile may help with stomach ulcers and upset stomach like diarrhea. 

There is also preliminary evidence that chamomile tea can help reduce premenstrual syndrome and improve blood glucose, lipid, and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

2. Hibiscus Tea

Made by steeping the colorful hibiscus flowers in boiling water, hibiscus tea has a unique fruity flavor that can be enjoyed hot or iced. 

This refreshing tea is naturally caffeine-free and low in calories with potent health benefits.

According to test-tube studies, hibiscus extracts possess potent antiviral properties that may be highly effective against the bird flu.

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What is Herbal Tea?

Some studies that looked at the effects of hibiscus tea on high lipid levels in the blood found that it may be helpful. 

While a review of many studies concluded that hibiscus tea did not offer significant effects on lipid levels in the blood, there is some evidence that a cup of tea may have positive effects on high blood pressure.

3. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is one of the best herbal teas for nausea. 

This spicy beverage is made by infusing fresh ginger in hot water

Sometimes called ginger water, this flavorful drink has been used for a long time as a medicine in ancient China and is known to have powerful medicinal properties. 

It possesses disease-fighting antioxidants and can help alleviate inflammation while boosting your immune system.

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What is Herbal Tea?

Perhaps the most well-known and proven health benefit of ginger tea is its unique ability to remedy nausea. 

Rigorous studies show that ginger tea extract can effectively relieve nausea, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Data also shows that it may help alleviate nausea caused by cancer therapy and motion sickness.

4. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is made using the leaves of a plant native to South Africa known as Aspalathus linearis. 

This tea is a classic favorite among many tea drinkers. 

Also known as red rooibos tea, this drink contains no caffeine or tannins.

It has a long history of use for medicinal purposes in South Africa.

Rooibos tea’s incredible health benefits lie in its abundant antioxidants and unique polyphenols such as aspalathin. 

A few animal and human studies have shown that these protective plant compounds can potentially protect against free radical damage that causes ailments like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases

Other studies also suggest that rooibos tea extract can improve bone health and density while preventing inflammation and cell toxicity.

5. Lemmon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a tea made from dried leaves of the lemon balm plant. 

This popular herbal tea is commonly used to treat conditions like stress, insomnia, anxiety disorder, and cognitive decline. 

During a study, some of the 28 volunteers drank barley tea while others drank lemon balm tea for many days.

Those who drank lemon balm tea showed a significant improvement in artery elasticity. 

Arterial stiffness is linked to heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, and mental decline.

Though this was not a high-quality study, it also found that lemon balm tea helped increase skin elasticity, which usually decline with age.

5 Proven Health Benefits of Herbal Teas

1. Enhances The Digestive System

Herbal teas are well known for improving digestive health, reducing bloating, and encouraging a fully functioning digestive flow. 

For instance, peppermint essential oil is commonly used to ease stomach cramps, relax the digestive tract, reduce flatulence, and even aid in weight loss.

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What is Herbal Tea?

Studies also show that dandelion may be the best tea for the stomach as it can potentially lower ulcer risk by reducing stomach acid.

2. Can Help Fight Colds

Some herbal teas like peppermint oil, chamomile, ginger, and lemongrass can help relieve the symptoms of a cold or flu and have you feeling better in no time. 

Depending on the type of herbal tea, you’ll reap plenty of vitamin C, antioxidants, polyphenols, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties that can help protect against the cold and flu.

Ginger tea has powerful medicinal properties, including fighting germs and prohibiting the microorganisms that cause infections. 

Mint teas containing menthol, for instance, peppermint tea, are common herbal remedies for relief from a stuffy nose and sore throat.

3. May Help Prevent Chronic Diseases

Herbal tea blends have been used for decades as a natural medicine to fight diseases and treat ailments. 

These organic teas have been studied extensively for their beneficial effects in preventing chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

Some herbal teas are packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help balance blood sugar levels and improve heart health. 

For instance, hibiscus tea has been found to help lower bad cholesterol levels, which has been linked to heart diseases.

4. May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Lifestyle, age, food, medicine, genetics, and stress can cause high blood pressure

High blood pressure increases the risk of severe health problems like heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.

herbal tea recipe
What is Herbal Tea?

Comparably, lower blood pressure can help you live longer without the risk of stroke or heart disease. 

Luckily, specific herbs, for instance, hibiscus tea, can help lower blood pressure. 

A recent study found that adults who drank three cups of hibiscus tea per day were at a much lower risk of hypertension. 

5. Can Help Slow Down the Aging Process

The most effective way to slow down aging is to maintain a healthy diet. 

Herbal teas can be a part of a healthy diet and can help flush out toxins while promoting good health. 

Some herbal teas like hibiscus tea contain powerful antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress, fight off free radicals and help reduce the physical signs of aging.

Free radicals can be harmful to the body as they cause cell damages which have been linked to a host of diseases and aging like wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity. 

Hibiscus tea is a good choice, containing essential fats (omega 3 fatty acids) and vitamins that can promote youthful, glowing skin.

Are There Side Effects Associated with Herbal Teas?

Herbal teas have safely been used as potent natural remedies for centuries. 

They are mainly thought to be safe for consumption by everyone with no known side effects.

However, dieticians recommend that these herbal blends should be consumed in moderation with approval from a medical expert.

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What is Herbal Tea?

This is because they can pose risks to people with certain health conditions, including individuals who have allergies and sensitiveness. 

Some medicinal herbs, spices, and plant parts may lead to side effects like nausea, dizziness, heartburn, and skin rash.

What is herbal tea? - The bottom line

What is herbal tea? 

Any drink made by steeping fresh herbs, spices, or medicinal plant parts in hot water is known as herbal tea or tisane. 

There are many types of herbal teas on the market today including yerba mate, rosehip tea, lemon verbena tea, and Echinacea tea. 

These sugar-free teas come with delicious flavors, low calories, and no caffeine content.

Herbal teas are packed with numerous health-promoting properties, and modern scientific studies are providing a basis for some of their traditional medicinal uses. 

The good news is that you can experience the therapeutic magic of herbal teas with negligible or no risk of any side effects.

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