Natural Health: Discovering The Benefits Of Herbal Teas

Stressed? Try herbal teas. They work.

A friend recommended a “relaxation” blend of tea when I worked 12-hour days for weeks and developed severe tummy pain. Initially I ignored her suggestion.

A visit to the doctor got me a subscription. Tests revealed nothing. I couldn’t take pills forever, so the next time I doubled over from pain, I took my friend’s advice and tried the relaxation blend.

A day later, my spasms had eased. Moreover, I felt less tense and concentrated more easily. Maybe there was something to herbal teas?

Herbs and herbal teas have powerful natural health benefits

For millennia, herbs and spices formed the human pharmacopeia. You became ill, you ate herbs, or drank tinctures and teas which were developed from them. Since herbs are powerful, myths, legends, and superstitions developed to explain why they worked.

Although they fell out of fashion, herbs are back. From Health-promoting properties of common herbs:

Today we are witnessing a great deal of public interest in the use of herbal remedies. Herbal medicine is based on the premise that plants contain natural substances that can promote health and alleviate illness.

I’ve become a convert to herbal teas; I drink less coffee. I carry an insulated flask of cold herbal tea in summer, and of warm tea in winter. My desk at work has a small jar of my favorite-of-the-moment herbal tea.

Lately, I’ve been adding a teaspoon of honey and one of cider vinegar to my tea.

If you’re thinking of experimenting with herbal teas, here are some tips.

1. On medication? See your doctor first

From How Herbs Can Interact With Medicines:

St. John’s wort can interact with some drugs, including certain types of antidepressants, and can cause harmful side effects.

Ask your doctor about possible interactions between herbs and your medicines.

2. Visit a naturopath, or a specialist in herbal teas, for advice

Many herbal teas are sold in blends: to relieve stress, to increase energy and wellbeing, for colds and flu, and many more. It can be confusing.

Since herbs are powerful, consider visiting a naturopath or a specialist in herbs to get started with herbal teas. You’ll get good advice.

Several years ago I had a hand injury and visited a physiotherapist. I was having trouble sleeping, and noticed that a naturopath practiced in the building.

Within a couple of days, the tincture the naturopath gave me had me sleeping like a baby. She gave me lots of excellent advice, and a list of herbal teas she recommended for different purposes.

3. Try the most popular teas (I like ginger tea)

You’ll find herbal teas everywhere in supermarkets and speciality stores.

Jamie Oliver’s site has a list of popular herbal teas. I can recommend ginger tea:

… which comes from ginger root. It’s an acquired taste, but once you’ve made it you can add things like lemon or honey to soften the taste.

Ginger tea is my cold-and-flu stand-by. My mother drinks it regularly and swears that it eases the pain from her arthritis.

It’s easy to make.

How to make ginger tea

Buy fresh ginger root at the greengrocer.

Break a piece off, and chop it finely; you need around a teaspoon per cup or mug. Add very hot to boiling water to the chopped ginger. Allow it to steep for five to ten minutes.

Add a teaspoon of honey, and drink.

(If you like, you can strain the tea, but I never bother. The ginger settles to the bottom of the mug.)

Have fun trying herbal teas. 🙂

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