Herbal teas -also known as tisanes-are teas made from the decoction or infusion of various plant materials, spices, herbs or other natural ingredient in boiling water. The word “herbal tea” is typically used in opposition to true herbal teas, which by definition are prepared from only the dried leaves of the original tea plant. Herbal tea leaves can be eaten, but the majority of herbal teas are drank as a refreshing beverage. There are many different varieties and forms of herbal tea. Tea can come in many varieties, including: black tea, green tea, oolong tea, decaffeinated tea, herbal teas enriched with vitamins and other nutrients, and herbal teas prepared in capsule form. Some common varieties of herbal tea are: chamomile tea, lemon balm tea, chamomile tea with milk, cinnamon tea, dandelion tea, ginger tea, jasmine tea, lemon balm teas, and lemon balm tea with cream.
Rooibos is an herbal tea that is native to North Africa and the Middle East. It has been used for medicinal purposes by the people of these areas for centuries. In fact, the word “rooibos” means “wild rose” in Arabic and it is the source of the word “rooibos oil,” which is used to flavor many herbal tea blends. Native American tribes and Spanish settlers brought the plant to America, where it was used to suppress nausea, induce sleep, and treat indigestion and colic.
Several studies have shown the medicinal benefits of this tea. It is beneficial for heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease and blood clots, because it is a vasodilator. Studies also suggest that it may help to protect cardiovascular health and may lower cholesterol. Peppermint and spearmint are believed to have some antioxidant activity, as well, although the evidence is unclear about whether these teas have any effect on high blood pressure and heart rate.
The benefits don’t stop there, however. Some studies suggest that drinking herbal tea daily can provide many positive mental health benefits, including a reduction in the number of migraines people get during their lifetimes. The herb is also believed to be good for anxiety and depression, and people with stress-related problems like irritability and mood disorders might benefit from regular dosages. Spearmint and peppermint are often recommended to help ease depression.
Because the tea’s natural flavors add a pleasant flavor to many beverages, it is sometimes included as an ingredient in nutritional products like teas and energy drinks. These products sometimes contain only extracts of the plant, without any of the plant’s parts. Although this isn’t considered a true herbal tea, because there is no growing, harvesting, or curing of the plant, it still has the same health benefits. The products made from extracts of this plant are considered “passive” nutrients.
To get the most from your herbal tea, it’s a good idea to research the ingredients used to create each blend and determine what those ingredients have in common. That will give you a better sense of whether a particular blend will have the same health benefits and flavor profile as another. For example, if there are two teams that have similar herb content but vary in color (how they’re processed), the differences in flavor may be slight. This difference in flavor profile can make a difference in how your body responds to an herb, making it important to understand the full flavor profile of any tea you drink.