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Understanding health benefits of herbal teas

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The name herbal tea is actually a misnomer. Originally, the name tea was reserved for products from the tea plant known as Camellia sinensis. It was therefore a name given to black, white, green and oolong teas. However, over the years, products from other plants, spices, flower, bark of stems and roots etc have become referred to as tea and the name has stuck. These products known as herbal teas have been found to be loaded with several medicinal benefits. Knowledge of these benefits is growing all over the world, even beyond Indian and Chinese traditional and ancient medicines. In this article, I hope to present herbal teas that will ensure good health if they are made regular in our diet and more.

There are various ways of preparing herbal products so that the full potential of these products are realized. Today as we begin with herbal teas, I shall make mention of the way they are gotten from the herbs. Herbal teas are extracted from herbs by the simple process known as INFUSION.

Infusion is the simplest form of herbal preparation. Indeed, if you know how to prepare a cup of tea, then you can carry out the process of infusion. All you have to do is put a teaspoon of the powder of the herb you want to prepare in a teapot. Pour a cup of boiling water into the teapot and cover it up. Let it sit (infuse or brew) for 10 minutes. Drink the tea as soon as it is ready; herbal teas are better drank hot.

Types of herbal teas
Lavender herbal tea: This kind of herbal tea is made from the dried white, purple and pink flower s of the lavender plant. There are several health benefits of this herbal tea and these include reduction of such respiratory problems as bronchitis asthma and cough. It brings about reduction in body temperature and so it is used in the treatment of fever. Lavender tea is also used to treat wounds, cuts and ulcers.

Chamomile tea: This is one of the best known herbal teas that can be found all over the world. It has a calming effect on the body and by this property it can induce sleep in those who have problems of insomnia. Chamomile tea improves sleep quality and fever symptoms in depression. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the liver. Furthermore, it has been discovered that chamomile tea fights diarrhea and stomach ulcer. It reduces symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and improves blood glucose and lipid levels. Chamomile tea is therefore indicated in people with premenstrual syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Hibiscus tea: This is from the flower of the hibiscus plant. The hibiscus flower is colourful and it comes with a unique flavor. Recognizable health benefits of hibiscus tea are reduction of high blood pressure and blood lipid level. Hibiscus tea is also loaded with antioxidants and these have been found to prevent oxidative stress. It also has antivirus effects.

Peppermint tea: This is a popular and commonly used herbal tea all over the world. It has been found to support the health of the digestive tract. Together with other herbs, peppermint tea helps to relieve indigestion, nausea and stomach pain. Researchers have identified peppermint oil as a herb with relaxing effect on spasms of the eosophagus, intestines and colon. Finally, peppermint tea has been shown to possess some antibacterial, antivirus, antioxidant and anticancer effects. However, investigations are ongoing to confirm these health benefits in humans.

Ginger tea: This tea is most popularly known for its effective remedy for nausea, but it is also full of antioxidants. It is effective against nausea from sources such as early pregnancy, motion sickness and cancer treatment. Other uses of ginger tea include relief of indigestion or constipation, prevention of stomach ulcers, dysmenorrhea (period pain) and control of blood sugar and lipid level.

Echinacea tea: This is a popular tea which has been found to be effective against common cold. It is believed that Echinacea tea boosts the immune system which in turn helps the body to attack and fight off infections in the nasal tract. Echinacea tea could shorten the duration of the cold, reduce the severity of the symptoms or prevent the cold out rightly.


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