Black tea, which is the tea us Brits drink for every occasion, is one of few teas which are fermented, and thus is full of health boosting benefits. Black tea is full of antioxidants, which help to encourage a strong immune system, improve cardiovascular health and fight inflammation. Black tea also contains tannin, which is great for the digestive system and can help fight viruses. Tannin is brilliant for eye care; if you have sore or puffy eyes put a cooled damp black tea bag on and rest for 15 minutes. I also keep my used teabags to clean my pets eyes every day!
Green tea has soared in popularity in recent years, mainly due to its help towards weight loss. However, there’s a lot more things green tea is beneficial for. Like black tea it’s a great antiviral, and doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, so can help you stay alert without feeling wired. Green tea of course helps to raise the metabolism, which can aid with weight loss, but it can also slow down the rise of blood sugars after eating, which regulates glucose levels. Green tea is anti-inflammatory, and is used in skin care for its anti-aging properties, plus studies have shown that applying green tea to the skin is good for sun damage.
Pronounced ‘roy-boss’ and also known as ‘Redbush’, this is a dark, red tea that’s naturally caffeine-free, if you’re sensitive to caffeine like me, but want to avoid chemically decaffeinated teas then this is a great substitute, you can add milk, honey or lemon if you like. Rooibos benefits include lots of antioxidants, great for digestion and allergies. Rooibos contains a wide array of minerals, and is great for boosting calcium levels.
A cooling, refreshing herbal tea, peppermint is excellent for digestive problems, due to its anti-spasmodic qualities. For IBS sufferers, it can calm the gut, helping to deal with cramping, bloating and gas. Peppermint can be used to help with nausea and sickness, and even relax the muscles in the throat and chest if you’re suffering with a cough. The menthol scent of peppermint is very relaxing, and is also great for freshening your breath.
Nettle tea has an abundance of health benefits. It helps to stimulate the lymph system and supports the adrenals. It is a perfect tea to drink if you are experiencing menstrual or menopausal problems, due to its detoxifying properties. It can help relieve arthritic symptoms and promotes a release of uric acid from the joints, making it a brilliant post-workout drink.
Echinacea is well known for its prevention against colds in the winter, but there are other benefits to this tea as well. It boosts the immune system, and is an antiviral so is helpful for fungal infections too. Although caffeine-free, Echinacea can help you to feel alert, so is good for people with chronic sleep problems.
It may be a pesky weed to most of us, but tea from the dandelion has so many healing properties, it might make you think twice about killing it off! Dandelion tea is great for weight loss as its a diuretic. It’s also good for cleansing the liver, and a healthy liver helps to ensure hormonal balance. It’s also a great detoxifier, and can help improve the appearance of your skin when drank regularly.
Chamomile tea is best known for its relaxing benefits, with many people drinking this tea before bedtime to help them sleep, or during the day to ease stress and anxiety. But chamomile is also good for soothing stomach problems, and easing the tension of stress related headaches. Its antibacterial properties mean that it can help fight infection, and can even be gargled to help heal gums and sooth a toothache. The antiseptic benefits mean that chamomile can be used on the skin and scalp to calm sore, dry and itchy skin.
Of course, blends of these teas, and others all have just as many health benefits. My favourite brands for tea are Pukka, Clipper and Dragonfly, all of which are readily available from supermarkets or online, I like to pick mine up from my local Health Store who have a huge selection.