Best Teas to Drink For Your Health
By Sarah Axtell, ND • May 21, 2017
The ritual of drinking a hot cup of tea can be a form of meditation, a ritual and a way of life for many cultures around the world. Next to water, tea is the second most consumed beverage around the world. As I write this in the early morning, I am sipping on my matcha green tea. I prefer this over coffee because it has just the right amount of caffeine for me- energizing me in the morning just enough but at the same time keeping me calm and focused (thanks to the L-theanine in green tea). After my morning cup of green tea, I switch to one of the teas below.
With all of the different teas and variations readily available, I am inspired to share with you my favorites:
- Green tea!
- Tulsi– also known as “the Queen of Herbs” in India or “Holy Basil.” Tulsi is an adaptogen, helping our bodies adapt to everyday stress by supporting your adrenal glands. Tulsi helps to maintain normal levels of cortisol, our stress hormone.
- Rooibos– an antioxidant powerhouse, containing polyphenols that scavenge free radicals. Free radicals left unchecked can contribute to heart disease, cancer and an overall inflammatory state. Several animal model studies indicate rooibos possesses potent antioxidant, immune-modulating and chemopreventive actions.
- Ginger– a tummy-tamer! Ginger tea is my go-to for nausea and indigestion. Ginger has a positive effect on gastric and intestinal motility, making it beneficial as a “prokinetic” agent in cases of SIBO. I like to use the fresh ginger root by placing chopped ginger in a mug and pouring hot water over it- voila ginger tea!
- Peppermint– another digestive aid. Peppermint is a “carminative,” breaking up gas and reducing bloating. Drink a cup of peppermint tea after a large, heavy meal to prevent stomach upset. Caution: peppermint can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and is therefore NOT indicated for individuals with GERD or acid reflux.
- Chamomile– a night-time favorite. I drink this nightly (with chopped ginger) as a relaxing tonic before bed. It is considered a “nervine” in herbal medicine, calming the nervous system and soothing those frazzled nerves after a long day.
- Nettles– anti-histamine, making it an ideal remedy for allergies. Drink 2-3 cups per day during peak allergy season. It does have a diuretic effect so you may notice more frequent urination. In addition to it’s anti-allergy effects, it is also full of minerals, most notably calcium, iron, potassium and silica.
- Hibiscus– a natural remedy for high blood pressure. Hibisicus acts as an ACE inhibitor, similar to the anti-hypertensive drug, lisinopril. In fact, a study published in 2015 concluded hibiscus had equal efficacy as lisinopril in reducing blood pressure. Hibiscus supplies iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. It is a very pleasant taste and a beautiful red color. I like to brew a big batch of iced hibiscus tea, sweeten it with stevia and call it ” berry juice” in our house. My kids love the taste!
- Turmeric– the most potent anti-inflamamtory! Great for musculoskeletal pain and new research shows curcumin, the active constituent of turmeric, even acts as an antidepressant. Here are my favorite ways to enjoy turmeric as a tea:
I know many of you likely look forward to coffee as your morning beverage, but I encourage you to consider tea in the morning and throughout the day. Coffee can be quick fix to your morning sluggishness, surging your adrenaline for 15 minutes but then you can easily crash…and you’re back to square one craving more. For steady energy throughout the day, try tea!
See this post on the Hidden Dangers of Coffee.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.