Natural Herbal Teas And Their Many Health Benefits

Herbal tea is a common terminology given for tea made from various herbs other than the common tea plant (Camellia sinensis). Herbal tea is also termed as “tisane,” which denotes that the herbal tea is not prepared from the common tea leaves. Almost all available herbs are used in the preparation of herbal tea. The plant parts used to prepare herbal teas are fresh or dried leaves, flowers, roots and seeds. Some herbs are wholly used with all parts.

Popular herbs that are commonly used in the preparation of herbal tea are Anise Hyssop, Arabian Jasmine, Common Sage, False Roselle, German Chamomile, Jamaican Tea Hibiscus, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Mints, and Roman Chamomile. Each herbal tea has different properties and it is specifically used for different ailments.

Blackberry tea is prepared from the blackberry bushes (Rubus from the family Rosaceae). This tea is used for various health benefits, especially to get rid of diarrhea.

Blueberry tea is made from the dried leaves of the blueberry plant (Vaccinium from the family Ericaceae). This tea is consumed to get rid of kidney inflammation and to ameliorate the flow of urine.

Dandelion tea is prepared from the leaves of the dandelion herb (Taraxacum from the family Asteraceae). The tea is believed to be very effective for improving the functions of the liver, getting rid of gallstones and in improving skin ailments.

Essiac tea is made from four important herbs which are Burdock (Arctium from the family Asteraceae), Indian Rhubarb (Darmera peltata from the family Saxifragaceae), Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra from the family Ulmaceae) and Sorrel (Rumex acetosa from the family Polygonaceae). The tea is renowned as an herbal cancer treatment. It is believed that the tea prevents the growth of new carcinogenic cells.

Ginseng tea is prepared from the aromatic tuberous roots of the ginseng plant (Panax from the family Araliaceae). It is believed that the tea greatly improves the resistance power of our body against stress.

Kombucha is a sweetened tea prepared from a group of microorganisms, known as kombucha colony, by using a fermentation process. The kombucha colony microbes consist of bacteria and yeasts; they are Acetobacter, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Candida stellata, and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. A chemical compound present in this tea seems to help the liver for detoxifying the body.

Persimmon tea is prepared from the dried and crushed leaves of the tree (Diospyros from the family Ebenaceae). The tea is believed to be rich in Vitamin C, and it seems to prevent scurvy.

As you can see there are many Natural Herbal remedies available to keep your body in optimal health without the side effects. This is just a small sample of herbal teas. There are literally thousands of varieties available. Don’t be afraid to sample different kinds. You just might find that special taste and wonderful aroma that you just can’t live without.

Herbal Teas Tasty Or Toxic

Have you visited the tea section of your local grocery store lately? If so, you’ve seen the dizzying array of herbal tea blends, brands and flavors. There’s no doubt that herbal teas are a huge commercial success, and they’ve been enjoyed for centuries. Many tea lovers buy them for their smell and taste. Others expect herbal teas to be a healthier alternative for other caffeine-containing beverages. Some buy them strictly for the medicinal benefits or effects on the packages.

These claimed medical effects can include calming, soothing, and relaxing. On the other hand, other high-caffeine tea blends may promise increased energy and concentration. Green tea remains a top-seller for its legendary health effects. Is there a dark side to the booming herbal tea business?

Reading The Tea Leaves

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the responsibility to evaluate foodstuffs and medications sold to the public. Herbal teas receive very little regulation. Generally, herbal teas fall into a gray area between foods and drugs. Traditionally, the FDA has considered herbal teas taken only for taste and aroma to be classified as foods. Another FDA “rule of thumb” has been that any herb that is safe for consumption in food is therefore assumed to be safe when taken as a tea. However, the FDA has been taking a closer look at herbal teas and their effects.

Are Herbal Teas Toxic?

That’s a difficult question to answer, as the FDA is learning. The large majority of commercial herbal tea blends contain multiple ingredients in relatively small concentrations. These teas are quite safe to drink when used according to the product instructions. Problems arise, however, when people prepare their own herbal teas, deliberately concentrate commercial blends, have an allergic reaction to the tea ingredients, or the tea is incompatible with prescription medications.

What’s The Problem?

The problem is one of consumer awareness. Many plants and herbs used in teas have specific and measurable medical properties. Caffeine is one of the best examples. It is a naturally occurring ingredient in both tea and coffee plants. Problems are possible when uninformed persons attempt to medicate themselves with teas.

Some Examples

* Chamomile is reported by some to be both a relaxant and a digestive aid. The chamomile plant is a member of the same plant family as ragweed, asters and chrysanthemums. People allergic to those plants should be cautious of chamomile tea.

* Comfrey tea has been associated with two reported cases of liver disease in the U.S. In one case, the patient abused the herb by drinking nearly a dozen cups of comfrey tea daily as well as consuming many comfrey pills. This extreme herbal dosage continued for over a year, resulting in the liver ailment.

* Lobelia tea can cause vomiting, breathing problems, convulsions, and lead to coma and death when used in large amounts.

* Aromatic sassafras tea in large amounts has caused cancer in lab rats. Oil of sassafras and safrole are the major chemical components of the sassafras oil. These components were banned from root beer decades ago. Although sassafras bark is banned from all food use, extract that contains no safrole is allowed.

Should You Be Scared?

Commercial herbal tea vendors would never willingly endanger you, their customer. Commercially available herbal tea blends are expected to be very safe to drink when prepared according to their directions. Similar to drugs, problems with herbs arise when they are abused or taken in extreme concentrations.

These herbs, even those in commercial herbal teas, can have medicinal effects. Therefore you should always talk to your doctor before using herbal preparations, especially if you use prescription medication. Even if you are not on medication, stop any herb use immediately if you experience unusual symptoms. The symptoms may be an allergy to the herb, or something totally unrelated to the herb. Only your doctor can tell you for sure