10 teas to soothe what ails you

Providence Health Team

Nothing sounds cozier than sitting down with a nice cup of tea. It’s a social ritual, a way to wind down, not to mention a pick-me-up with nearly hundreds of flavors and varieties to choose from. According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. What you may not know is that tea can also help with certain health conditions. Tea leaves contain flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Certain teas may also promote milk production for breastfeeding. If you think you have a condition that may be assisted by drinking tea, check with your doctor. Then enjoy incorporating it into your daily routine. You could even invest in a beautiful tea set to make it that much more pleasurable!

True tea vs. Herbal tea

True tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is responsible for black, green, white, and oolong tea. The difference between each lies in the way the leaves and buds are processed after harvesting. Studies have revealed that the polyphenols, catechins, and theaflavins of teas are loaded with health benefits—one of the most common uses of tea is to help with weight loss. All of these teas have varying degrees of caffeine, with white having the least and black the most.

Herbal teas, sometimes referred to as tisanes, do not come from Camellia sinensis. They are an infusion of leaves, root, bark, seeds, or flowers from other plants and include the health benefits of those plants. They do not contain caffeine.

The best tea to buy

You can find tea everywhere, but be aware that the prepackaged tea bags you find in the grocery store are going to be the lowest quality. They are made mostly of the dust and broken tea leaves that come out of the tea-making process, and may not have the rich flavor and benefits of higher quality tea. The best tea comes from specialty teashops that offer fresh, loose leaf teas.

The benefits of tea and herbal drinks

Drinking tea gives you the benefits of the various plants that teas are made from, the delicious aromatherapy of the scent, and hydration, as you are likely to drink more water when it tastes good.

10 teas to help with what ails you

True teas, in order of the most caffeine to the least, the least antioxidants to the most:

  1. Black – May lower your risk of diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, and kidney stones.
  2. Oolong – Helps lower bad cholesterol levels and alleviate skin conditions.
  3. Green –Have been associated with a reduced risk of various types of cancers, including skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancer.
  4. White – Can improve bone density and may stop enzymes that contribute to skin damage. Less processed than other teas.

Herbal teas:

  1. Peppermint – Relieves stomach bloating, muscle spasms, and nausea.
  2. Ginger – Aids digestion and motion sickness.
  3. Chamomile – Calming tea that helps with insomnia, post-meal digestion, and complications from diabetes.
  4. Rosehip – Boosts the immune system and adrenal function.
  5. Hibiscus – Can help lower blood pressure.
  6. Rooibos – A powerhouse of antioxidant benefits. May prevent DNA damage and inflammation.

So sit back, enjoy a cup of tea, and do your body some good!

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