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  • Melanie Hoy

Herbal Tea Benefits | The Daily Secret to Health and Vitality



Herbal teas and their benefits are celebrated by healthy lifestyle blogs everywhere.


We’ve seen the photos. A beautiful cup held by a vibrant, healthy woman on a summer porch with sunlight kissing her hair. Or a thermos in the hands of a rugged outdoorsman wearing hiking boots and surrounded by trees.


We know herbal teas are healthy, but what do those teas actually do?


How herbal teas increase our health and vitality


Medical Daily reports that approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. And while severe dehydration usually requires a trip to the ER, we largely ignore the daily signs of mild dehydration like headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and muscle weakness.


Of course, you can just top off your water bottle to help with dehydration, but cold water contracts the digestive system which interferes with absorption. Drinking warm water significantly improves how well your body absorbs the water.


The problem is that warm water by itself doesn’t taste good.


Tea solves that problem.


And herbal tea not only gives you a boost of flavor, but herbs have other healing benefits.


Here’s a deep dive on herbal teas and what they are good for so you can choose the ones that are right for you.


What is the healthiest herbal tea for you?

Think about herbal teas differently than you would taking supplements or other pills.


With herbal teas you are taking in herbs to support and nourish the body long term.


If you happen to be aware which systems in your body feel deficient or need support, you can select teas that have traditionally been recommended by herbalists to support those systems. Note: if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to consult your doctor or an herbalist before adding daily herbal teas to your routine.


This is a comprehensive article. Use the links below to jump to the section that most interests you:


Herbal teas for sleep and relaxation

For centuries, herbal teas have been used to promote relaxation and sleep. The act of sipping a cup of warm tea is calming in itself, but there are also herbs that have properties to help you.


Here are some of the most popular herbs in Ayurveda and traditional folk medicine for sipping before bedtime or whenever you need a break.


Chamomile

Chamomile is a popular herb for soothing the body and has clinically proven benefits for reducing anxiety, calming inflammation, and acting as a mild sedative. It is an herb that is listed in European herbal literature and Egyptian traditions as a muscle relaxant and other problems related to stress.


The dried yellow flowers have a light scent and can be brewed as a tea by themselves or used as a base with other herbs added to change the flavor profile.


Lavender

Lavender is traditionally used to promote relaxation and clinically proven to reduce depression and anxiety. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians used it for its antiseptic properties and 16th century European herbalists sewed it into pillows to promote sleep.


A member of the mint family, lavender has a very strong flavor when brewed as a tea and is often used in a blend with other relaxing herbs.

Lemon Balm

This herb is a folk remedy popular grown all over the world and present in herbal literature from the orient to the US. Herbalists prescribe it to relieve upset stomach, nervous tension, and insomnia. Modern studies indicate improvements in mood and cognitive function.


A member of the mint family, lemon balm has a pleasant, lemony scent and makes a lovely tea by itself or added to other herbs to create a blend. BoHo Life Tea’s Stop the Noise contains organic lemon balm in the blend.


Rose teas

Historically, rose has been used to comfort and calm the heart, and traditional Chinese medicine uses it to regulate life energy, help with digestive issues, menstrual cramps, improve sleep, and relieve irritability.


The fragrant petals and buds of rose flowers can be brewed to make an aromatic herbal tea. BoHo Life Tea’s Stop the Noise contains organic rose petals and buds in the blend.


Golden Moon Milk

In the Indian tradition, one of the most popular teas for sleep is Golden Moon Milk to gently calm and prepare the body for sleep. Cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger are warmed in coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter) before mixing them into heated milk.(Plant-based milk also works great).


The ritual of making the tea is comforting, and can become a part of your daily routine. BoHo Life Teas’s Golden Moon Milk Tea is popular for promoting restorative sleep.


Herbal teas to boost immunity


Green tea

Green tea has been studied to provide health benefits for people with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory diseases. Many of these beneficial effects of green tea are related to its polyphenol content and high catechin levels.


Two keys to using green tea for its health benefits. 1) Quality matters. Low quality green tea doesn’t have the components needed to make a difference. 2) Don't add green tea to boiling water. Not only is it bad for those healthy catechins, but it also makes the tea taste bitter.


Rosehip

Rosehip is the round portion of the rose flower just below the petals. Rosehips contain the seeds of the rose plant and are valued for being rich in Vitamin C. According to Mother Earth News, every teaspoon of rose hips you include in your teapot can provide you as much vitamin C as at least 5 large oranges.


Dried rosehips make a flavorful tea and are a popular addition to many tea blends and is a key ingredient in BoHo Life Tea’s Find Your Center and Summer Splash.


Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a large colorful flower that grows in tropical environments. It is rich in antioxidants and has been studied to reduce the harmful effects of free radicals. WebMD notes that it may also lower blood sugar and reduce cholesterol levels.


While hibiscus makes a nice red tea on its own, it is more popular in blends. Hibiscus is a key ingredient in BoHo Life Tea’s Sunrise on the Beach and Summer Splash.


Cloves

Clove oil is highly antiseptic, antiviral, and antimicrobial and is frequently used to reduce the pain of a toothache. Cloves are popular in winter teas for both their warming taste and immune-boosting antioxidants.


You can steep whole cloves in boiling water then strain out and drink with honey and lemon, or you can purchase tea blends that include cloves.


Turmeric

Turmeric has been used medicinally for over 4,500 years. Modern research reveals it contains curcumin which contains antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It has long been popular in Indian folk medicine to help combat flu, cold, or any malady that includes chest congestion.


Turmeric can be consumed as a tea mixing the spice with boiling water, but it has a very strong taste. Honey is often added to make it more palatable. BoHo Life Teas’s Golden Moon Milk Tea has organic turmeric as a key ingredient.


Herbal teas for indigestion and stomach upset

Stomach upset is the worst! But a warm cup of herbal tea with the right mix of herbs can calm your stomach quickly.

Peppermint

Peppermint is an antispasmodic and one of the oldest remedies for indigestion. (True story: Introduced in 1780, Altoids was originally marketed as a remedy for stomach discomfort.)


To brew peppermint tea, just pour water over fresh or dried leaves in your teapot and let steep for 3 minutes. BoHo Life Tea’s Stop the Noise contains organic peppermint in the blend.


Ginger

Ginger contains antimicrobial properties and is antiinflammatory and analgesic. Ginger has long been used by herbalists in China, India, the Middle East, Native America and Europe as a popular remedy for stomach upset and digestion.


To make ginger tea, you can peel and cut the root into small pieces then place into boiling water for 5 minutes. This tea is delicious served with lemon and honey. Ginger is also included in Boho Life Tea’s Golden Moon Milk.


Fennel

Fennel seed is an effective aid to digestion. It can help with stomach muscle spasms and reduce gas and bloating.


Steep fennel seeds in boiling water for up to 10 minutes, depending on desired strength. Strain and serve. Fennel is also commonly blended with cumin and coriander to make CCF tea to aid the body in digestion. You can purchase BoHo Life Tea’s blend with fennel called Let that S#!t Go


Herbal teas for women’s health

From the discomfort of PMS to fertility to menopause, herbalists have been helping women for centuries with teas to balance the body.


Raspberry Leaves

Historically raspberry leaf tea was taken after childbirth to help the uterus return to normal. It is also recommended for menstrual cramps. Rich in vitamins and minerals, raspberry leaves are a restorative tea.


Raspberry leaf tea has a light, leafy flavor and is often used in tea blends. Steep leaves in water just under boiling for 3-4 minutes and strain.


Red Clover

Red clover is a dark-pink flowering plant that grows in North Africa, Europe, Asia, and the northeastern US. Historically, herbalists have used red clover for symptoms caused by menstruation and menopause. It has also been used for respiratory ailments and osteoporosis, though there is little research to back it up.


As a tea, it has a light earthy taste. Steep leaves in water just under boiling for 3-4 minutes and strain.


Nettle

Nettle is considered by herbalists to nourish the blood. Rich in iron and vitamin C, nettle is reported by some herbalists to help with anemia. It is also reported to increase milk production in nursing mothers.


Nettle can be steeped in boiling water, then strained and served warm.


Chasteberry tree

Chasteberry tree is highly popular in Europe where it is used to treat PMS and the side effects of menopause. For centuries, the herb has been recommended as a hormone balancer, and continues to be used for everything from improving fertility to healing hormone-related acne. The tea reportedly got its name for being used to quell the libido in men.


Chasteberry tea has a peppery flavor and is often mixed with mint and honey to make the peppery taste milder.


Herbal teas for detox and weight loss

Herbal tea alone isn’t enough to promote weight loss, but it can be a great support strategy to help your body shed toxins like excess weight when combined with other methodologies.


Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea is well known for reducing water weight and is historically prescribed by herbalists to support the cleansing of the liver. It’s high mineral content makes it a nutritive supplement and it is used to support digestion too.


Tea can be made from the leafy greens or the roots--which are frequently roasted and used as a coffee substitute.


Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is also used to detoxify the liver. It contains silymarin which has been shown to have a direct effect on liver cells. Because of the liver’s role in breaking down fats and cleansing the blood, herbs that support the liver are important in maintaining a healthy weight.


Milk thistle has a milder taste than dandelion tea and is frequently served with milk and honey.


Cilantro / Coriander

Cilantro (often called Coriander when referring to the seeds) is rich in antioxidants. Not only is it nutritive, but it is also cooling and cleansing to the body. The taste is reminiscent of Mediterranean or Mexican dishes, but a percentage of the population has a genetic variant that makes cilantro taste like soap. (If you have the variant, you’ll know!)


When taken as a tea, steep fresh cilantro leaves for 2-3 minutes or boil the seeds for 4-5 minutes.


Herbal tea to boost brain function

In our world of information overload, everyone can use a little support for our brains. Here are some herbs that have historically been recommended by herbalists for just that!


Rosemary

Famous herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote that rosemary was good for “diseases of the head and brain.” While rosemary has long been used to treat dizziness and to sharpen memory, one of the most popular modern uses is to treat migraine and tension headaches.


Rosemary has a strong piney scent. Make the tea by pouring hot water over the dried herb.


Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola has been used for thousands of years in Indian and Chinese herbalism. Recent studies show that gotu kola has a positive effect on the circulatory system, and in the West is frequently recommended to improve memory.


You can make the tea from dried or fresh leaves. Let steep for 10-15 minutes to draw all the benefits from the herbs into the tea. A member of the parsley family, gotu kola has a grassy taste that is slightly sweet and a little bitter.


Ginkgo Biloba

Several studies have shown that Ginko biloba can help with memory problems and it is believed it does this by improving blood circulation in the brain.


The tea has an earthy flavor with a mild, bitter aftertaste. You can make the tea from dried or fresh leaves. Let steep for 10-15 minutes to draw all the benefits from the herbs into the tea.


Turmeric

Medical News Today reports that turmeric is being studied for use with stroke victims and Alzheimer’s patients.


Turmeric can be consumed as a tea mixing the spice with boiling water, but it has a very strong taste. Honey is often added to make it more palatable. BoHo Life Teas’s Golden Moon Milk Tea has organic turmeric as a key ingredient.


How to make herbal tea?


When brewing tea, herbalists usually talk in terms of infusions and decoctions.


An infusion is where you pour hot water over an herb to steep it, and a decoction is where you simmer an herb in boiling water.


To decide how to brew herbal tea, you want to pay attention to which parts of the herb are used. If you are using the root or a thick woody stem, you will want to brew longer than if you are brewing delicate flowers or leaves.


As a general rule, the longer you steep the herbal tea, the more you draw the benefits of the herb into the tea. This will also affect the taste of the tea, so you may need to experiment a bit to determine your personal preference.


The best way to add herbal teas to your lifestyle? Just try them.

At BoHo Life teas, we recommend starting your herbal tea journey with blends because much of the thinking (and flavor profiling) is already done for you.


So pick up a bag of tea that interests you, get a strainer, and enjoy what the ritual of herbal tea can do for your life.



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