Britain is a nation of tea drinkers, but do you know just how beneficial your morning cuppa could be? We look at some of the health benefits behind tea, for IBS, period pain, immunity and more…
Tea has always been what people turn to in times of stress. Its soothing properties are well-known, but less known are its healing benefits. From aiding sleep and acting as a pain relief to calming digestive issues and even helping with osteoarthritis, the many benefits of tea are numerous.
Do teas really have healing properties?
‘In Chinese and Indian cultures, teas are considered as powerful as other herbal preparations and can be used for many complaints,’ says Jenya DiPierro, herbal medicine practitioner and founder of wellness and lifestyle club, Cloud Twelve.
‘Most herbs have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are vital for health. Having them in a tea form has an added benefit of hydrating your body and enjoying a nice destressing ritual,’ she adds.
Can a tea offer multiple health benefits?
Herbal tea will always have more than one benefit. ‘For example, chamomile tea is not only relaxing, but will support digestion, enhance immunity and calm inflammation.
‘In fact, all aromatic herbs used in teas and culinary spices have one common phytochemical – volatile oils, which are responsible for their lovely smell, as well as digestive and immune-boosting properties,’ says Jenya.
Another example is ginger tea, which humans have used for various purposes for centuries. Now research is showing ginger could help with recovery after exercise. Scientists in a recent study asked participants to perform high-intensity arm exercises.
Prior to the exercise, half of the participants had taken a ginger supplement for five days and five had taken a placebo. In the group who had taken the ginger, strength improved 48 hours after exercise. In the placebo group, however, it didn’t improve until 72 hours after exercise.
How to correctly prepare your tea to reap the health benefits
And be sure to infuse the tea leaves or bags in hot water for 10 minutes, recommends Jenya. ‘The dose is one tablespoon of dry tea leaves or two tablespoons for fresh tea leaves per pot.
In the case of roots, it’s beneficial to boil them for more than 10 minutes. This will ensure you properly extract the phytochemicals into the water.’
Here’s our round-up of six of the best healing teas, depending on the ailment you want to address…
Best healing teas and their health benefits
Burdock root tea for knee injuries and osteoarthritis
Research has shown that burdock root tea contains antioxidants that could help with knee pain. One study investigated the tea and the effects it had on inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The study found that levels of certain chemicals in the body, which act as indicators of inflammation, had reduced significantly in study participants drinking the tea, compared with the levels found in the control group drinking boiled water.
Try Natur Boutique Burdock Root Tea (£3.99 for a box of 20 sachets). This tea contains 100 per cent burdock root, which is grown on organic farms.
Click here to discover the best foods for joint pain!
Matcha green tea for helping combat cancer…
Try OMGTea Organic Matcha AAA Grade Single Serve 10-Pack (£8.95 for 10 sachets). Founded by Katherine Swift, OMGTea was launched through Amazon and was inspired by Katherine’s own story of discovering the benefits of matcha when looking for ways to help her mother battle breast cancer.
Indeed, a recent study that OMGTea was involved in found that matcha could have significant anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the propagation of breast cancer stem cells specifically.
Other key pathways were also affected, including the antioxidant response and cell cycle regulation, indicating that matcha could have therapeutic potential by mediating the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells.
These single-serve sachets are a convenient way of measuring out your matcha and is made with only the finest leaves from the top of the plant and ground using a traditional granite stone mill – a process that takes more than an hour to grind 30 grams.
Peppermint tea for soothing IBS symptoms
Try Meera’s Made From Scratch Happy Tummy Tea (from £6.99). This refreshing, calming tea helps with bloating and spasms, thanks to a blend of organic fennel seeds, ginger, cardamom seeds, organic cinnamon, peppermint, organic moringa and vanilla.
Meera Bhogal, the woman behind the tea, says that most of the ingredients found in this tea are recognisable, but it is the way they are combined that gives the extra love your digestion sometimes needs.
This tea helps soothe IBS symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal spasms, and can be drunk at any time of the day – in the morning with a slice of fresh lemon, or in the evening to replace the traditional tea or hot milk.
Green tea for curbing sugar cravings
Try Wellfinitea Organic Green Tea (£16.99 for a box of 10 sachets). This tea acts as a sugar blocker, helping control sugar cravings and the absorption of sugar in the intestines and body, thanks to some key ingredients:
- Gymnema, which helps improve blood sugar levels and increases the effectiveness of insulin;
- Pandan leaves, which have long been used in ayurvedic treatments and regulates blood sugar
- Stevia, which is a natural alternative to sugar.
The tea is also rich in antioxidants, is 100 per cent organic and free from caffeine. It’s also worth noting that you can make up to five to eight cups from one teabag, over the course of one day. You can also enjoy it hot or cold.
Echinacea tea for boosting your immunity
Try Cloud Twelve Immuni-tea (from £8 for 50g). This mix includes antimicrobial and antiviral herbs that are rich invitamin C and help increase your defences against pathogens.
The tea contains echinacea, lemon balm, hibiscus, dry raspberry, dry strawberry, rosehip and cornsilk. The ingredients work together to prevent and fight colds, flu and a wide range of other infections.
Ginger tea for period pain relief
In a recent study, scientists compared the effect of ginger, zinc sulphate and a placebo on the severity of period pains in women. Of the 150 women who took part, those taking either the zinc capsules or the ginger had significantly less pain during their periods than those on the placebo.
Ginger and zinc had a similar positive effect. However, ginger offers a tasty, effective and natural way to help soothe period pain.
Try Natur Boutique’s Organic Ginger Tea (£2.99 for a box of 20 sachets). The ginger in this tea is 100 per cent organic and has a sweet, non-bitter taste.
It comes from plants grown without artificial fertilisers and pesticides in Vietnam. The conditions and the fact that the roots are allowed to grow slowly gives them a sweeter flavour than normal.