November 22, 2022

Herbal Teas: Healing, Beneficial and Soothing

The benefits of herbal teas are vast and range from physical healing to mental and emotional support and well-being.

Herbal teas have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The earliest verbal record of herbal teas dates back to 2737 BC in China. In written history, we can find records of herbal tea that go as far back as the third century AD. These teas spread from China to Egypt to Japan, and then to Europe and beyond. For example, traditionally, hibiscus tea was regarded by the Egyptian pharaohs to be royalty’s most important beverage as it was known to improve health and vitality.

The right combination of herbs used in the form of a warm cup of tea can help address everything from inflammation, stress reduction, digestive disorders, sleep disorders, hypertension, weight loss, depression, headaches, chronic pain, and even have anti-viral properties. A cup of herbal tea is a gentle way to treat a variety of ailments that can be used every day.

I reach for a cup of tea made with organic fresh or dried herbs a few times a day. Here are my 5 top choices for incorporating healing teas in your life:

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm tea has been called the “Elixir of Life” due to its amazing antiviral, anti-bacterial, digestive, and sedative properties. Lemon balm contains a compound called terpene which can help with anxiety, stress, depression, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, tension headaches, circulation issues, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s. Lemon balm is wonderful for aiding indigestion, colitis, and acid reflux and has the capacity to promote a healthy and balanced immune system. This can be extremely beneficial for autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and vertigo.

Turn to lemon balm for support with insomnia, sleep disturbances, and jittery nerves.

Prep: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried lemon balm to 16oz of hot water and steep for at least 10 min. Add raw honey or a squeeze of fresh lemon to taste.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf has been used for centuries as a “reproductive tonic” due to its ability to support both men’s and women’s reproductive health. Raspberry leaf contains a compound called ferulic acid which has been found to provide relief for women experiencing PMS, cramps, and heavy menstrual bleeding. It’s been used to ease the symptoms of morning sickness and nausea. Following birth, raspberry leaf is often recommended to help stimulate milk flow for breastfeeding. Raspberry leaf is a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants. Other conditions that raspberry leaf is good for include sore throats, canker sores, cold sores, anemia, colds and fevers, diarrhea, leg cramps, menopausal symptoms, adrenal fatigue, stomach ulcers, and as a mouthwash for gingivitis.

Prep: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried raspberry leaf to 16 oz of hot water and allow to steep for 10 min, add lemon and raw honey to taste

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is made from deep red calyxes of the hibiscus flower that is rich in anthocyanins, fruit acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and bioflavonoids. Hibiscus is excellent for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections. Traditionally hibiscus was regarded by the Egyptian pharaohs to be royalty’s most important beverage because it was well known to improve health and vitality. The antioxidants found here contain powerful anti-cancer properties. Hibiscus tea is known to be helpful for weight loss, depression, sleep disorders, high blood pressure and mood swings. It is also helpful for preventing bladder infections and for relieving constipation. Another important benefit where hibiscus has been used for centuries is to support liver function and aid in the case of fatty liver syndrome and jaundice.

Prep: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried hibiscus to 16oz of hot water and steep for 10 min. Stir in some raw honey for a powerful immune-boosting drink.

Hibiscus also makes for a refreshing and healthy and really pretty iced tea. Let the hot tea cool and enjoy over ice. I actually make pitchers of this in the summer and keep it in the fridge.

Elderflower Tea

Elderflower is another anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory herb to consider for its immune-boosting properties. Elderflower is particularly helpful with respiratory ailments like bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, asthma, chronic cough, sore throat, cold/flu, and fever. This herb is a natural decongestant clearing up mucus and congestion in the lungs, sinuses, and nasal passages. Elderflower has the power to purify the body and cleanse the lymphatic system of toxins and debris. It works as a natural diuretic, helping to eliminate water retention, bloating, and edema. Elderflower is particularly useful for liver disorders, fungal infections, urinary tract infections, toothaches, gout, headaches, arthritis, and hay fever. Elderflower can also be applied topically for the healing of cuts, wounds, and burns.

Prep: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried elderflower to 16 oz of hot water and steep for 10 min. Add raw honey and lemon to taste.

Chaga Tea

Chaga is an incredibly powerful medicinal mushroom with very high levels of antioxidants and healing properties. Chaga is rich in vitamins A, C, B, D, E and minerals such as manganese, iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Chaga is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-candida, and anti-parasitical. Chaga is one of the best sources of betulinic acid which is known to kill cancer cells on contact.

Research has shown Chaga to be particularly beneficial for colon, stomach, endometrial, lung, breast, and prostate cancer. Chaga is rich in beta-glucans which can dramatically strengthen and reinforce the immune system making it a perfect choice for those struggling with autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, RA, lupus, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, lymphoma, bursitis, Shingles and PCOS. Chaga contains the highest level of Superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the world, which is an enzyme that promotes the breakdown of free radicals and shown to be highly effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, gout, scleroderma, osteoarthritis, colitis, cystitis, tendonitis, edema, asthma, celiac disease, and acne.

Prep: Add 1 teaspoon of Chaga extract powder to 8oz of hot water and stir. Chaga has a rich earthy flavor. If you want to sweeten it, add raw honey or coconut sugar.

A note about Chaga: many of my patients have substituted their morning cup of coffee for a cup of Chaga and don’t miss the coffee anymore.

In addition to the medicinal properties, herbal teas offer, taking an extra few minutes to make a cup of fresh herbal tea and enjoy at least the first few sips is a great way to take a mindful pause and reset during your day, which will also boost your well being.