Herbal Teas 101: Your Guide from Chamomile to Peppermint
Do you love cozying up with a good book and a hot cup of herbal tea? You’ll be happy to know that this relaxing practice offers some serious perks for your mind and body. At Integrative Nutrition, students learn that herbal tea can be a great substitute for clients looking to cut back on caffeine, curb their sugar cravings, and find healthier ways to unwind. Depending on which type you enjoy, sipping tea can quell everything from nausea to anxiety.
Here’s a summary of popular herbal teas and their health benefits...
The soothing taste of mint can ease stomach woes, boost immunity and relieve stress. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint aids digestion by calming the stomach muscles and helping bile flow so food can pass through the stomach more quickly. So if you suffer from bloat, gas, nausea and diarrhea, reach for a cup of peppermint tea—unless you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People with acid reflux may find that mint worsens the issue.
Like peppermint, chamomile is an excellent tummy soother. Whether you have gas, nausea or motion sickness, it’s been used for centuries to treat stomach issues. In addition, studies have found that chamomile can boost the immune system and decrease blood pressure. Also, chamomile tea is also a great calming aid right before bed. Bonus: It tastes delicious!
If you’re suffering from menstrual cramps, pour a cup of ginger tea. A study of women experiencing painful cramping found that adding ginger to their diets for five days significantly decreased the intensity and duration of pain. Ginger tea also has something in common with many other herbal teas—it improves digestion and helps with nausea.
Lavender is known for helping with sleep and lowering anxiety levels. Just the aroma of this tea alone can help you relax, and the taste is pretty amazing, too. Lavender tea works well as a hot or iced drink, so you can enjoy it year round and mix it with refreshing flavors including mint, lemon or honey.
Rosehips are the fruit of a rose plant, which is high in vitamin C. That’s why the antioxidant-rich rosehips tea has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and even arthritis. In a study of the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties, patients using rosehip powder reported less pain than those using a placebo.
Have a sweet craving? Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches recommend adding in healthy alternatives like sweet vegetables and spices to help alleviate sugar cravings - cinnamon tea does the trick. This sweet and spicy tea is not only super flavorful, but it can also have mega heart benefits including lowering bad cholesterol and boosting blood circulation. Like ginger tea, it may help alleviate pain during menstruation. A study by Columbia University Medical Center suggests that cinnamon can regulate cycles in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome.
So go ahead, make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy all the benefits this natural medicine has to offer!
What’s your favorite type of herbal tea? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.