Take a leaf from nature’s book and enjoy the healing benefits of herbal teas.
Editor Jane Garton takes us through the wider variety of teas available and the ailments they can help.
As we all know, regular tea and coffee contain stimulants which can have an energising effect in the short-term, but long term disrupt blood sugar levels which can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
Fortunately, there is an alternative solution — switching to herbal teas. Not only do they taste delicious but they are also free of stimulants and come with many health benefits.
Find out which one’s are right for you: for maximum therapeutic benefit you should aim for three of four cups of herbal tea a day.
If you’re having problems getting to sleep at night, this could help. Made from the small golden buds of the camomile plant, it contains tryptophan, an amino acid renowned for its sedative effects.
COLD AND FLU:
Made from the white blossom of the elderflower tree, this tea is a great remedy for colds. It helps clear catarrh and also induces sweating, which may help the body to eliminate the virus more quickly.
This herb tea contains oils that have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Try Lemon verbena
If you suffer from indigestion or have problems digesting fats, have a cup of lemon verbena tea after your meal. The citrus content helps digestion.
This herb has anti-spasmodic qualities and when used in a tea is especially beneficial for good digestion and alleviating the symptoms of constipation, flatulence and colic. It also has diuretic properties and helps boost kidney function.
An excellent natural digestive aid, this is also good for alleviating nausea.
ACHES AND PAINS:
The aromatic ginger root has warming properties, which can help relieve rheumatic aches and pains. It is also good for stimulating the appetite and aiding digestion.
Infusions of ginseng root have been used in the Far East for thousands of years, for their energising and stimulating properties. Ginseng also aids circulation and some believe it has aphrodisiac properties for men.
Try St John’s Wort
Clinical trials have shown that this herb can alleviate the symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression. Hypericin is one of the active ingredients that has anti-depressant qualities. Before taking any St John’s wort product always check with your GP if you are on any prescribed medication.
This is a great tension reliever and will help to lift flagging spirits.
CLEANSING AND DETOX:
This has gentle cleansing properties and is thought to help maintain the body’s natural fluid balance.
Induces sweating which helps with the process of eliminating toxins
Try Green Tea
Japanese green tea leaves are high in anti-oxidants-compounds which help protect the cells from ageing, breaking down and general disease.
TEN CUPPA CURES:
Herbal teas don’t only provide great health benefits when you drink them – you can also use some herbal teas directly on the body to relieve certain ailments:
- For colds: put an elderflower teabag in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the herbal steam to help ease congestion.
- For tired, puffy eyes: place two cold camomile tea bags on eyes and leave for 10 minutes.
- For aching feet: place peppermint tea bags in warm water and soak your feet.
- For acne: soak rose hip teabags in water and use as a facial rinse.
- For rheumatism: place three or four ginger tea bags in a hot bath and enjoy a long soak to ease aching muscles.
- To alleviate tension headaches: place two camomile teabags on each temple and leave until symptoms start to ease.
- To detox: place ginger and fennel tea bags in a hot bath and have a long, relaxing soak.
- For fungal infections: apply damp marigold tea bags to affected areas.
- For clear, healthy skin: add cold green tea to any facemask.
- To soothe burns: place a cold lavender teabag on affected area. Lavender has anti-bacterial properties and will draw heat away.