It’s no secret that I love tea. I drink several cups a day and firmly believe in the healing powers of all teas: herbal, green, black, red, white, pu-erh. All of it.
Let’s take a closer look at the healing properties of tea, and how it optimizes health.
Camellia sinensis is the plant whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce most tea (not herbal). White tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh tea, kukicha and black tea are all harvested from this plant but are processed differently and contain different amounts of caffeine. Tea contains the amino acid theanine that promotes relaxation. So, step away from the coffee and drink more tea for calm, clarity, and alertness. Tea actually has rejuvenative and healing properties versus coffee, which drains the body of minerals and taxes the adrenals.
My personal fave is green tea. It has so many benefits, from anti-aging to cavity prevention to fat burning properties. Click here to read my post about green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and minerals. A great way to start your day with a boost. Use for metabolism boosting, energy, and to enhance digestion. There are so many varieties; choose matcha or china green tips or genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice) or gunpowder green or sencha or bancha (to name a few) and always organic.
Black tea is oxidized longer than the oolong, green, and white, so it contains more caffeine. There are tons of black tea varieties out there, like Earl Gray (contains bergamot oil), Chai (blended with spices like cinnamon and cardamom), Assam teas (often sold as English or Irish breakfast), said to have the highest antioxidants of the black teas. I recommend green over black because it has more beneficial properties and less caffeine. Oolong is oxidized somewhere between green & black but tastes more like green.
White tea is very delicate and has high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which could potentially reduce the risks of developing some cancers and heart disease. White tea apparently contains more theanine than green tea and less caffeine, so this is a good choice for all-day sipping. I generally do not recommend drinking green tea or any caffeine-based tea or beverage after noon if you have trouble sleeping. This is my favorite white tea– delicate and floral.
Pu-erh tea is another favorite of mine. It is so healthful–fermented and “alive” when consumed, it comes in a brick and contains beneficial microorganisms and enzymes. I often compare the taste to a barnyard or saddle leather. Somewhat of an acquired taste but so healthful. Said to improve digestion and reduce cholesterol. This is my favorite Pu-erh.
The above teas are great for an antioxidant, mineral-rich boost. Let’s switch gears and discuss caffeine-free herbal teas. Herbal tea is tea made with an infusion of herbs, seeds, roots, or even flowers or buds and can be used medicinally to correct imbalances or support health. There are so many different herbal tea combinations that it would be impossible to discuss them all, but I want to talk about the most common ones I use.
Relaxation blend: perfect for nighttime or anxiety–chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, skullcap, lavender. I like Yogi bedtime tea.
Allergies: nettles, rosehips
Liver detox blend: Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Licorice Root, Fenugreek, Yellow Dock Root, Burdock Root, Oregon Grape Root. I like yogi detox.
Digest tea: fennel, ginger, mint, cinnamon bark, licorice root. Traditional Medicinals makes a good one, or just make your own with fresh mint leaves or grated ginger root.
Immune booster: Echinacea, Pau D’Arco, Astragalus, Schizandra Berries, elderberries, turmeric, Nettles, Rosehips, Ginger
For regular menstrual cycles: choose teas with red raspberry, wild yam, and vitex berries. Fertili-tea is great for regulating hormones and promoting fertility. There are great PMS tonic teas to ease premenstrual tension, too.
The quick and easy herbal teas I keep on hand are peppermint & ginger for digestion; chamomile for relaxation; red raspberry for uterine toning; dandelion root for liver & gallbladder support; red tea (rooibos) for minerals; occasionally turmeric tea to combat inflammation. I like the detox and bedtime blends.
Tulsi tea is excellent for hormone balance (stress hormones particularly), and I try to drink 2 cups daily.
I typically buy bagged tea (Numi uses chemical and toxin-free tea bags), but this handy tea infuser is wonderful for steeping loose leaf teas if you don’t have a pot.
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