Health Benefits of Various Herbal Teas
Tea Is the Most Popular Drink in the World
Aside from water, tea rivals only coffee as the beverage most consumed by people throughout the world. The popularity of tea goes back thousands of years and stems not only from its ability to relax and soothe but also from its widespread health benefits. Thanks to the flavonoid content that acts as powerful antioxidants, tea greatly reduces the risk of heart disease and some studies even show evidence that it can prevent some cancers and slow cognitive decline.
Below, I highlight some of my favorite herbal teas and their reported health benefits. Keep in mind that some benefits are well-supported (antioxidant activity), while others may only have suggestive or anecdotal evidence.
How Various Teas Boost Your Health
Lowers blood sugar and protects vision
Black, Green, and Oolong Teas
Reduces risk of heart disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer; also helps with weight loss
Improve blood flow and helps burn fat.
Regulates blood sugar and protects against infections
Antioxidant and antimicrobial
Stimulates milk production in nursing mothers
Aids in digestion and nausea
Boosts energy and brain function and has antimicrobial properties
Antiseptic and aids in digestion and detox
Aids in childbirth and may boost fertility in men and women
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Natural diuretic: may be helpful for gout, edema, and high blood pressure
Potent anti-inflammatory properties
1. Bilberry Tea
- Bilberry has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries.
- Like the closely related blueberry, bilberry contains anthocyanosides, the chemical that gives the berries their blue color.
- Anthocyanosides give the berries their potent antioxidant properties.
- Bilberry may help you manage blood sugar by diminishing the body's reaction to eating a lot of sugar.
- It may also reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by improving blood flow and decreasing cholesterol buildup, although more studies are needed.
- It is suggested to prevent cataracts and slow down macular degeneration.
How to Make Bilberry Tea
- Place a tablespoon of bilberry fruit and leaves into a cup.
- Add hot water to the tea and cover.
- Steep for five minutes.
2. Black Tea
- Black tea has been used as a tonic and herbal remedy in China and India for centuries and is debatably the most popular variety of tea.
- It also has powerful antioxidant properties that can be attributed to the polyphenol content.
- Black tea—along with green, white, and oolong tea—have the widest range of health benefits among other herbal teas.
- Studies show that black tea can protect against heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and liver disease.
- It also boosts the metabolism, helping you burn fat and lose weight.
3. Cayenne Pepper Tea
- Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, opens up the arteries to restore normal blood flow, regulate blood pressure, and helps protect against tissue damage during heart attacks.
- Cayenne pepper and lemon tea can also boost your metabolism, helping you burn fat and lose weight.
- It is also reported to have immunity-boosting properties.
How to Make Cayenne Pepper Tea With Lemon Juice
- Place a teaspoon of dried cayenne pepper into a cup of hot water.
- Add the juice of half a lemon.
- Cover and let stand for at least three minutes.
4. Cinnamon Tea
- Cinnamon has both antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help protect against infections and degenerative diseases, respectively.
- It can also improve circulation and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Cinnamon is often taken as a natural supplement to help regulate blood glucose levels.
- To a lesser extent, cinnamon has been reported to aid in digestion, slow aging, and reduce symptoms of menopause.
- Because of cinnamon contains coumarin, an anticoagulant, pregnant women and people taking blood thinners should not consume high amounts of cinnamon.
How to Make Cinnamon Tea
- Break one cinnamon stick into 2 cups of water in a pot.
- Slowly bring water to a boil.
- Once the water starts to boil, remove from the heat.
- Let steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add sugar and milk if desired.
- Reheat and drink.
You can also steep with any other tea of your choice.
Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea
brews up a very strong, warm, and spicy tea with no sweetener needed. When I filled my cup with boiling water, the rich aroma of cinnamon filled my kitchen. I love this blend of tea, and I drink it daily! Harney and Son's Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea Capsules
I bought the tea bags first, but I prefer the sachets to the tea bags—the sachets brew up stronger tea. With such a delicious aroma and flavor and so many health benefits, who can resist it.
5. Clove Tea
- Cloves are packed with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that harm our cells.
- The clove essential oil has antimicrobial activity and can also be used to relieve pain—most often in the case of toothaches.
- This tea contains folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron, zinc, and selenium.
- It has been used as an aphrodisiac in old folk remedies.
How to Make Clove Tea
- Grind one tablespoon of whole cloves for one cup of tea.
- Boil one cup of water and add to the cloves.
- Cover and let it stand for 10-20 minutes.
- Strain and add honey or another sweetener if desired.
6. Fenugreek Tea
- This herbal tea is a cleanser and detoxifier.
- Fenugreek is most commonly used increase milk production in nursing mothers.
- It is also reported to help with digestive problems, heal wounds or skin irritations, regulate blood sugar, and induce labor, although the evidence for these uses is not strong.
How to Make Fenugreek Tea
- Place a teaspoon of crushed seeds in a cup.
- Add hot water, cover, and steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
7. Ginger Tea
- Ginger is known to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat and prevent degenerative disorders, digestive problems, heart diseases, type II diabetes, and even cancer.
- It has the potential to help treat infectious diseases, although more studies are needed.
- Ginger is also good for nausea, stomach aches, flu, indigestion, headaches, fever, and muscle aches.
How to Make Ginger Tea
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add 2 teaspoons grated ginger. Remove from heat.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the water to remove the ginger.
- Add lemon juice and honey if desired.
8. Ginseng Tea
- You can use either American, Asia, or Korean ginseng because they all have similar active ingredients (i.e. they have similar health benefits).
- The root can be chewed or brewed as a tea.
- It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen the immune system and slow aging.
- It helps regulate the metabolism, increases energy levels, and improves concentration and memory.
- A few studies show that ginseng may help with athletic performance (increased endurance and agility) and sexual performance in men (increased libido and decreased erectile dysfunctions), although more studies are needed to confirm these claims.
- Talk to your healthcare provider before taking ginseng (or any natural remedies) because there are many possible interactions and contraindications.
How to Make Ginseng Tea
- Place about 6 slices of ginseng in a cup and add hot water.
- Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
9. Green Tea
- As mentioned in the section on black tea, green tea shares many of the same health benefits that black tea and oolong tea have—with a higher potency.
- The antioxidants in green tea can protect you from some cancers, neurodegeneration, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Green tea can also help boost your immune system to fight against bacterial and viral infections, give you more energy, and help you burn fat.
- There is even a link between drinking green tea and living longer.
10. Lemon Tea
- Lemon has antiseptic qualities that help prevent infections.
- It is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that scavenges the free radicals in your body.
- It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, and potassium.
- People generally drink lemon tea as a natural way to detox and aid in digestion. Many also believe it boosts vitality and mental clarity and can improve the appearance of skin.
How to Make Lemon Tea
- Grate the lemon peel to obtain one teaspoon of lemon zest.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon.
- Boil 2 cups of water.
- Add tea leaves, cover, and let stand for 3 minutes.
- Add one teaspoon of the lemon zest and one teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Cover and let stand for another 2 minutes.
- Add honey or another sweetener if desired.
11. Mulberry Tea
- Mulberry leaf tea has been used medicinally for thousands of years in China and India.
- Extracts from the mulberry leaves have anti-diabetic properties: the gallic acid content lowers blood sugar levels and the 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) content prevents the digestion of glucose.
- The antioxidants in mulberry leaves also protect against heart diseases and reduce inflammation.
- It keeps the liver and kidneys healthy and also strengthens blood vessels.
How to Make Mulberry Leaf Tea
- Pick mature mulberry leaves that are free of diseases and dry in sun for two days.
- Tear the leaves in half.
- Place 2 teaspoons of dried mulberry leaves in a cup.
- Add boiling water, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.
12. Oolong Tea
- Because it is made from the same leaves as black tea and green tea, oolong tea has many of the same benefits.
- It is a semi-fermented tea that has a slightly fruity flavor.
- It promotes fat burning, which will help you to lose weight.
- It is rich in antioxidants, carotene and vitamins such as vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It also contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, and selenium.
13. Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Raspberry leaf is high in potassium, making it useful for lowering blood pressure.
- It may also help with digestive problems.
- Raspberry leaf is most often used by women during pregnancy to aid in childbirth. It is also claimed to boost fertility in both men and women by regulating hormone levels.
How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Place one teaspoon of dried, chopped raspberry leaves in a cup of boiling water.
- Cover and steep for 5 minutes
- Strain and drink.
14. Rooibos Tea
- Rooibos tea is popular in South Africa and has similar health benefits to black tea and green tea. However, unlike those teas, rooibos is naturally caffeine-free.
- The antioxidant properties may help slow aging and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- It may also help with eczema due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
15. Stinging Nettle Tea
- Stinging nettle tea is a natural diuretic with antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.
- It is used to remove uric acid and increase the frequency and urgency of urination, aiding in the treatment of various kidney problems, gout, edema, and arthritis.
- As a diuretic, it may also help lower blood pressure.
- It may also reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
How to Make Stinging Nettle Tea
- Place a few dried stinging nettle leaves in a cup. Add boiling water.
- Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
16. Turmeric Tea
- Turmeric tea has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that is mostly attributed to curcumin, the main active ingredient. It also has antioxidant properties.
- The anti-inflammatory properties make it very effective in treating arthritis and can ease symptoms of asthma.
- Tumeric has been reported to benefits brain function as well.
- It lowers blood cholesterol, is anti-bacterial, and helps in treating eczema and fungal infection.
How to Drink Turmeric
- Stir one teaspoon of turmeric into one cup of hot water or milk.
Ehrlich, Steven D., NMD. (June 22, 2015). Bilberry. University of Maryland Medical Center.
National Institute of Health. (September 2016). Fenugreek. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Mashhadi, N.S., et al. (2013). Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Int. J Prev Med, 4(Suppl 1): S36-S42.
Ehrlich, Steven D., NMD. (June 22, 2015). Asian ginseng. University of Maryland Medical Center.
Brown, MJ, PhD, RD. (July 28, 2016). Rooibos Tea—5 Health Benefits, Side Effects and More. healthline.com
Shetler, E. (August 14, 2017). Nettle Tea Benefits and Warnings. Livestrong.com
© 2016 Anita Hasch