Herbal Tea for Health and Enjoyment
Are you trying to get off the caffeine train that keeps on going around and around? Well your stop is coming up.
Herbal tea is not for grandma and grandpa or the hippy girl anymore.
Herbal tea has experienced a huge interest and people are really starting to discover, more than ever, the seemingly endless rainbow of flavors that can be created. The flavors range from mild mellow ebbing flavors to knock you off your feet bold complex flavors. They are also finding out that herbal teas are healthful and even healing.
Herbal tea is not really tea at all. It is technically an herbal infusion.
Herbal infusions look like tea and are brewed in boiling water like tea – yet they do not come from the Camellia Sinensis bush, the plant from which all real teas are made.
Instead, tisanes are made from carefully planned and measured mixtures of botanicals to get the flavors that are desired.
An herbal infusion or “Tea” may contain dried flowers, leaves, pieces of dried fruit and/or its rind, roots, spices, nuts, barks, seeds or other botanicals that give them their taste as well as many health benefits.
Here are some of the claimed benefits you can experience from drinking herbal teas.
Support of your heart health
Helps reduce cholesterol and weight
Helps with calming stomach and digestive problems
Treats cold and flu symptoms
Provide cleansing properties for the body
Promotes healthy sleep
Relieve the symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating
Curb nausea, vomiting or upset stomach due to motion sickness
Gentle liver cleansers
Sources of vitamin C
A tea that has been touted as having huge health benefits is Rooibos or red bush tea as it is also known by.
Rooibos tea is my favorite of all herbal teas. What I like about it is it tastes very close to Chinese tea but without any acidy finish that you sometimes can have with regular teas, it is a very smooth tea. It is caffeine free and of course I love the health benefits.
Rooibos is an Afrikaans word, that means “red bush” and it only grows in South Africa’s Western Cape Province and is naturally caffeine-free.
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the Aspalathus Linearis bush.
The teas history started in the Cederberg region of South Africa. The indigenous bushman of the area used the leaves of the plant for many centuries. The leaves were used as herbal remedies for many ailments, and was enjoyed for its taste.
The health benefits of rooibos tea are many, but most believe that the biggest health benefits come from the extremely high levels of antioxidants that it contains, antioxidants are powerful substances that fight free radicals in the bloodstream.
Here are some of the benefits of rooibos tea:
- Protection against cancer – The antioxidants in rooibos tea have been shown to increase the productivity of carcinogen-detoxifying enzymes, as well as protecting cell proteins, cell fats, and DNA.
- Improvement of immune system – Rooibos tea’s effective combination of antioxidants and important minerals gives your immune system a boost.
- Reduction of insomnia, tension, headaches and irritability – A tea with no caffeine, rooibos drinkers have found that enjoying a cup before bed has helped to relax them and relieve any tension to allow for a great night of sleep. By helping to normalize tea drinkers’ sleep habits, rooibos often reduces headaches and irritability.
- Stronger bones and teeth – With high levels of antioxidants and minerals like manganese, fluoride and calcium, rooibos tea promotes good bone growth, and helps to keep teeth strong.
- Relief from colic and stomach cramps – Rooibos tea is sometimes called “the mother’s miracle” because its antioxidants makes the tea an anti-spasmodic agent, which relieves stomach cramps and lessens colic in infants. Just mix this natural, decaffeinated beverage with milk and your baby will soon stop suffering from stomach pain and sleep easily.
I drink both loose tea and tea bag teas. A few of my favorite tea bag teas are: Orange Cinnamon Spice (made with Rooibos) by Twinings of London, Safari Spice (made with Rooibos) by Celestial Seasonings and Lemon Ginger by Stash Tea. I also drink Sleepy Time and Tension Tamer by Celestial Seasonings. Also plain Rooibos tea by Freshpak
A few of my favorite loose teas are: Rooibos Mango by Adagio Teas, Rooibos Tropics by Adagio Teas and Rooibos Bangkok Lemongrass by Teavana (I can’t find online. I bought it from their store in the mall.) The Mango and Triopics teas make excellent ice tea.
Note: All Rooibos teas make excellent ice tea as well. I drink them all summer.
To prepare herbal teas you use hot water like most other teas but depending on the type of herbal tea depends on how hot the water should be for optimal infusion. (I use filtered water)
For straight up Rooibos tea, which is a very hardy tea. It can be infused with boiling water and steeped for 5-6 minutes.
For most other herbal teas or Rooibos tea with added herbs for which there are so many different tea blends, there is no way to give any temperature or steeping guidelines with any accuracy. But most can be infused with water at 208 deg. F and then steeped for 5-6 minutes. You will have to experiment to find the perfect temperature and steeping time for each type of herbed tea you have and for your tastes.
Any tea, is most of the time always infused with water between 175 deg. F and Boiling depending on the type.
I challenge you to experiment with herbal teas of all kinds and let me know what you have found and your favorite of the week. I say that because I am sure you will end up having many favorite teas the longer you continue to try new flavors.
“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you” – Author Unknown
Posted on June 23, 2012, in Articles and tagged antioxidant, antioxidants, health, herbal, herbal infusion, herbal tea, red bush, rooibos, steep, steeping, tea, teas. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.