Herbal tea is not only soothing and enjoyable to drink as you take in the aromas and tastes, but it also has great healing properties. There are a multitude of different teas that will serve for various ailments. It is also useful for an overall health booster because it is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Herbal tea is not actually made from the tea plant. Instead, it is an infusion of medicinal herbs. If fact, if you have an herb garden, you can easily make your own herbal tea! It can be a lot of fun to play with different herbs and combinations to find your own personal favorite blend.
The therapeutic value of medicinal herbs really comes out when you steep or infuse them, and the benefits will be taken in by your body much more than they would by taking an herbal supplement. Steeping or infusing activates the volatile oils in the herbs, which are the components that hold the medicinal value of the plants. You end up taking in all of the energy from the plant.
In addition, herbal tea engages all of the senses, increasing the level of therapy derived from drinking it. There is nothing like collecting your own herbs straight from the medicinal plant and then steeping them to create your own tea. The whole process is therapeutic.
Here is a quick video from Howard Garret, known as The Dirt Doctor, that provides a nice overview of some great ingredients to use and how to make herbal tea from your own herbs. Some of the ingredients he suggests are: hibiscus petals, begonia petals, lemon grass, orange peals, witch hazel, garden sage and bay leaf.
Howard suggests crushing the herbs instead of chopping them to bring out the flavor. He steeps his herbs by pouring boiling water over them and covering for 2-7 minutes. Many people suggest steeping the infusion for 10-15 minutes, however.
There are so many benefits of herbal tea and each herb used will provide different healing and therapeutic properties. In general, herbal tea contains antioxidants, which battle free radicals that cause illness and aging in our bodies.
Herbal teas can also help curb hunger. Reach for a cup of herbal tea when you feel hungry between meals, and you will find that your hunger pains typically go away!
Chamomile – Helps soothe stress and anxiety. Helps you get to sleep. Soothes stomach aches and menstrual cramps.
Ginger – Aids digestion and stomach aches. Reduces pain and inflammation. Prevents and treats the cold and flu. Provides migraine relief.
Ginseng – Boosts mental clarity and alertness. Improves digestion. Reduces fatigue.
Peppermint – Provides relief for colds, headaches and stomach aches. Reduces stress. Boosts alertness.
Lemon balm – Great for insomnia and anxiety. Has anti-viral properties.
Rooibos – Has cardiovascular and respiratory benefits. Full of vitamins and minerals.
Red Clover – Great for hormonal imbalances. Can be used as a blood thinner. Provides calcium.
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