Did you know that tea is the world’s most popular beverage? Walking past your local coffee shop in the morning might lead you to believe otherwise but it’s true. Of course, the statistics are based on the consumption of camellia sinensis which is the plant that provides us with black tea, green tea and oolong tea depending on how the leaves are treated once they are harvested.
Many of the plants that are used today in Herbal medicine in liquid or tablet form have a long history of use as teas and the benefits are both physical and mental.
The ritual of tea-making crosses most cultures as a way of bringing people together, bringing calmness and comfort into our lives as well as supporting our physical health.
The act of stopping what you are doing to take the time to make a pot of tea and waiting for it to steep has a calming effect on our nervous systems which is something most of us greatly benefit from.
Here’s some familiar herbs which you might like to try in your next brew:
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Most of us know this herb well for it’s calming effects. Did you know it’s beneficial for adults and for children? It has a calming effect on the nervous system as well as the gastrointestinal tract meaning that it’s excellent for people who experience tummy upsets when they are anxious. It’s also great for babies when they are teething. It can be combined with other herbs such as peppermint or lavender if you want to create a blend.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate): This is a herb traditionally used in herbal medicine to treat anxiety and insomnia with its origins in South America. There is also more recent evidence of its benefit for sleep with a 2011 study reporting improved sleep quality in those who drank passionflower tea. Try adding some of this herb to your night time tea blend to improve your quality of sleep or during the day to help balance your nervous system.
Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Known for its sweet flavour, liquorice can be added to your tea blend to give it a lovely flavour and is especially beneficial for sore throats. Traditionally used by the Egyptians to make sweet drinks, it is now known to contain antiviral properties topically which explains why it is so beneficial for viral sore throats and tickly coughs. Liquorice is also useful for improving fatigue as it supports adrenal function. Add it to your uplifting tea blend with ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to improve your energy during the day.
As with all herbal medicine, even teas, it is always best to obtain individualised treatment for medical conditions. If you would like more information about what tea would be beneficial for you please contact Larissa Gilroy at Larissa Jane Naturopathy on 0407 489 363.