Steeped in tradition and medicinal history, teas offer not just health benefits but also a time-out ritual amid the craziness of life. Sipped throughout the day, tea is a delicious way to flood our bodies with a continuous stream of nourishment to ease every ache, pain, or worry the day can throw at us. Drinking tea, as opposed to fancy coffee drinks like cappuccino, is not only healthier but will lower your carbon footprint.
Yerba Mate (from the South American holly tree) contains caffeine and other stimulants found in coffee and chocolate—so you won’t miss out on your morning jolt. In fact, it has been approved in France to treat asthenia (weakness or lack of energy). Yerba Mate also aids nutrient absorption, making it the perfect complement to a healthy breakfast.
Green Tea boasts many familiar healthful properties, including cancer prevention—but it can also protect against the common cold. Cold-steeping your green tea is a great idea. You’ll get less caffeine, less tannin (bitterness), and more active antioxidants than steeping in hot water. Avoid if you suffer from anemia, osteoporosis, or have a heart condition.
Hibiscus Tea makes for the perfect floral iced tea to cool off during the hot summers months, and a recent study on the antioxidant content of thousands of foods and beverages ranked hibiscus tea the number one antioxidant drink. Drink no more than a quart of hibiscus tea per day, and avoid if you’re pregnant or have renal failure.
Rooibos Tea (meaning red bush) is an intriguing herbal tea that only grows in a specific region of South Africa. It has no caffeine and is loaded with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that are good for cardiovascular health and reducing hypertension.
Feverfew Tea is a perennial belonging to the daisy family that has been shown to be helpful in preventing migraine headaches and the symptoms that go along with them. It can be bitter, so you may prefer capsules. Avoid if you’re pregnant, are going into surgery, or are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae or Compositae family.
Peppermint Tea is the perfect digestive aid because it has the ability to speed up the early stages of digestion, and is helpful for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Avoid if you suffer from heartburn.
Hawthorne Tea has a calming and nourishing affect on the cardiovascular system and has traditionally been used for heart health. One way it does this is by reducing lipid absorption and oxidation, thereby having a positive affect on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cat’s Claw Tea is a potent herbal remedy for inflammatory joint disease, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for inflammation in general. Studies have shown this herb to be beneficial in protecting cartilage by reducing inflammation. Steep it as a tea with some fresh vanilla beans for a soothing and calming drink.
Avoid if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or have an immune system disorder.
Yohimbe Tea has been used traditionally in Africa as an aphrodisiac, as well as for erectile dysfunction and sexual problems. Modern science has shown yohimbe to be beneficial in reversing the anti-aphrodisiac properties of drugs such as antidepressants. Avoid if you have kidney problems, psychiatric conditions, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not take large doses or continue use over a long period
Lemon Balm Tea (Melissa officinalis) has been used throughout history for a myriad of health problems, including sleeplessness. Recent studies have shown this herb to be beneficial in reducing anxiety-related insomnia and, when taken with valerian, it has been shown to reduce sleeping issues in children and menopausal women. Brew it as an iced tea flavored with a hint of maple syrup for a refreshing and relaxing summer drink.
Dandelion Tea is one of the most detoxifying herbs known, and is a very powerful liver cleanser. It’s a bitter tea however, so sweeten it with some honey to take the edge off. Avoid if you’re allergic to plants in the Asteraceae or Compositae family, such as daisies, ragweed, and chrysanthemums—or if you have an inflamed or infected gallbladder or blocked bile ducts.