International Tea Day: 5 herbal teas and their benefits
Herbal tea is not technically tea, as it is not derived from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Made from herbs, roots, flowers, or fruits, herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants and caffeine than other teas. Most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, thus a healthier alternative to tea leaves. Here's a list of five easily available herbal teas in India and their health benefits.
Ashwagandha literally translates to "horse's smell," and is believed that people consumed this medicine to acquire horse-like strength and stamina. This herb is known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic activities. This adaptogenic herb helps the body deal with daily stress and is believed to promote immunity, endurance, and energy. Ashwagandha tea is known to help deal with depression and anxiety by promoting relaxation.
Chamomile tea has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. It is well known for its calming properties which help people sleep well. Chamomile tea also improves sleep quality and lowers symptoms of depression in new mothers. This tea may help relieve menstrual cramps. Chamomile tea contains chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation, and the immune system's reaction to fight infection.
The root of the licorice plant is much sweeter than sugar and boasts numerous medicinal properties. Licorice root tea is one of the sweetest teas you can ever find. It was consumed to help with digestion and treat symptoms like nausea and upset stomach. Licorice root was used by many ancient cultures for treating lung and liver conditions, circulatory problems, and kidney diseases.
Lemongrass tea may treat oral infections with its antimicrobial properties. Two important compounds found in lemongrass--citral and geranial--stop the release of certain inflammation-causing markers in the body. Lemongrass tea can act as a natural diuretic. It will make one urinate more, and drive excess fluid and sodium out of the body. Diuretics are good for those with heart and liver problems.
Hibiscus tea is one of the most popular flower teas in the world. Loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anthocyanin, hibiscus fights off free radicals that damage cells contributing to diseases like diabetes. Research has shown that hibiscus tea may help in lowering one's blood pressure and bad cholesterol level. Studies have shown that hibiscus extract can help in aiding weight loss.