Today we have a Guest post about herbal tea for health. I am a big fan of not only tea but also looking for natural alteranatives for health so these post is really interesting to me. I hope you find it interesting too!
Herbal Tea for Wellness
Herbal tea might sound like merely a “lite” version of the beloved cuppa, but it’s really anything but. It’s not even technically tea, since proper tea comes only from the Camellia Sinensis plant. But whatever, it’s a plant + hot water, and it equals a steaming mug of health.
Note: some make the distinction between herbal “tea” and herbal “infusion”, the latter being steeped for longer. I vote that technically tea is the tea plant and water over herbs are infusions (or decoctions). But again, whatever! Just check out an herbal remedies book at the library and see if you’re interested in learning about and incorporating this wonderful, time-tested, usually delicious science and alchemy into your wellness routine. It can be a lovely ritual.
Plants have been used as medicines since before recorded history, and by now experts have it all down pretty well pat. The Chinese are especially renowned for their healing concoctions, but there’s also an abundance of well-trained western herbalists carrying on long healing traditions.
Today at least 75% of the world’s population still use plants for healing purposes and as you may know, many of our modern pharmaceuticals are derived from plants: aspirin from willow bark, morphine from opium poppy, the heart medicine digoxin from foxglove, a leukemia drug from rosy periwinkle, and more.
But those are just the heavy hitters. One of the neat things about herbs is that they work on your system gently over time, which it tends to appreciate and incorporate longer-term. Many herbs can be used regularly and with near-certain success to treat minor but cumulative health concerns like digestive issues, sleep troubles, liver and kidney problems, hormonal imbalances (I can attest, it was miraculous!) – well pretty much anything, actually.
Also nice with herbs is that once they’ve worked their magic you can generally ease off and enjoy the balance they’ve brought without having to keep taking them, unless you feel like you need a tune-up.
As with anything you put in your body, always consult with your doctor before embarking on an herbal-health adventure. Some herbs should not be used if you’re on certain medications, and herbs like Ma Huang and Kava Kava have caused problems for a few people, though that’s been generally in their supplement, not natural, forms. And if you’ve got the time and money, go and see an herbalist/naturopath and let them suss you out and recommend some plants for you to try. And if they work for you, you can grow many of them in your backyard or planter pots. What a deal!
One more tip: if you know someone who is fighting cancer, look into Essiac tea, a combination of mild herbs that when put together, can pack a real fighting punch. Some studies debunk it, but there are no serious side effects, and verified stories abound about its potential success.
So put on a pot of water and steep yourself some of nature’s miraculous, bountiful healing herbs. There are of course plenty of herbal teas available at your local supermarket or grocery store as well, for those who can’t be bothered buying actual herbs to soak in water and would rather just boil the kettle!
Image: Herbal tea by Khairil Zhafri under creative commons license
Author Bio: Janine Peterson is a health geek who likes nothing better than trying out new recipes, getting some exercise in the great outdoors, and brewing up herbal Concoctions.