Stay healthy this winter with herbal tea, nature's own gentle medicine.
There is a herbal tea for every ailment
When it's cold out there and the wind is a-blowing, there is nothing like a good old cup of tea to warm the cockles of the heart. But by adding milk or sugar we lose much of the health quality of warm drinks, which makes herbal tea a great alternative to keep us hydrated during winter. Plus, the healing properties of herbs is a wisdom that dates far back into our history, and still holds true today.
Herbal teas can help address certain minor health issues, but of course in more severe cases other medications would probably be best. Below are some of the more widely available teas that can help aid our bodies.
This Chinese tea has many health benefits, some more controversial than others. As well as being said to lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, green tea can help to boost the metabolic rate. Please note that this tea still contains caffeine, so use in moderation. Its bitter taste takes some getting used to - some like to add honey.
Made from flowers with relaxing properties, this tea is often recommended to help with insomnia or general anxiety. Can also help soothe the stomach as it is an anti-inflammatory, but not a good one for pregnant and nursing mothers. Enjoy before bed or on mellow Sundays.
An aromatic Indian tea created from a large variety of spices like cinnamon, cardamon, clove and black pepper. Although traditionally brewed with milk, sugar and black tea, it can also be enjoyed without. Depending on what spices are added, chai is a great digestive aid and can help boost the immune system. This tea can be fun to make at home.
Ingredients for chai tea (taken from www.chaipilgrimage.com)
A wonderful local brew, rooibos is full of antioxidants. It is also high in vitamin C and can help combat nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems. Otherwise known as Honeybush, this tea has been said to possess anti-fungal properties. Can be enjoyed with honey and milk as a healthy alternative to normal tea.
Best picked fresh from the garden, peppermint's menthol properties can assist with abdominal issues. Working as a muscle relaxer, some claim peppermint tea can ease nausea and headaches as well. Drink with other herbs like lemon balm for a delicious medley of tastes.
An indigenous herb specifically good for urinary tract problems, the antiseptic properties of buchu make it good too for indigestion. Back in the day the Khoisan would chew the leaves to relieve stomach aches, but more recent findings add that buchu can help regulate the blood as well as reduce the swelling of joints. A great one to have growing in your garden.
Add a slice of lemon and ginger to your herb tea for added health benefits, especially against flus and colds.