Committed tea drinkers now have some strong artillery for the age-old coffee vs. tea debate. Not only is a hot cup of tea the perfect addition to a cozy evening spent reading a good book, it can also be a very effective complementary therapy when you need a pick-me-up.
Chamomile tea’s benefits are almost as sweet as its taste. Unlike some teas, chamomile has no caffeine—eliminating the risk of jitters or anxiety. In fact, chamomile has the opposite effect. Studies find that chamomile is an effective calming agent, partly due to the presence of the compound apigenin. This natural compound found in fruits and vegetables is also used as a sleep aid and may help decrease inflammation.
For centuries, ginger has been used to ease gastrointestinal trouble. Its active components, gingerol and shogaol, have proven safe and effective in the treatment of nausea and vomiting. This is especially useful for people with an intolerance to anti-nausea medications, pregnant women, or patients undergoing chemo-therapy. Studies also findginger effective in reducing chronic inflammation, which can be the root of heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening ailments.
If the taste of ginger tea doesn’t sound appealing, peppermint also helps relax the digestive system. In a study of 926 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the use of peppermint oil significantly reduced their IBS symptoms over a two-week period. Additionally, peppermint oil has been found to reduce the severity of nausea and vomiting. The menthol found in peppermint is also a muscle relaxant, allowing a person to minimize the physical manifestations of stress and anxiety. This menthol also boosts alertness and concentration, seen in a study conducted by the University of Cincinnati. Just the smell of peppermint diffused in a room of test takers improved focus due to menthol’s stimulation of the brain’s hippocampus.
Turmeric, the yellow spice that gives curry its distinct sunflower color, has been regarded by some as “the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.” Its active ingredient, curcumin, drastically reduces inflammation in the body. In fact, it’s sometimes favoredover pharmaceutical alternatives. One study found that 500mg of curcumin per day better treated the symptoms of arthritis, compared to a popular anti-inflammatory drug.
Ginseng root has a sweet liquorice flavor and earthy undertone, making it a popular flavor addition to teas and cocktails. Its benefits go beyond flavor complexity. Ginsenosides, the chemical components found in ginseng, have been associated withincreased energy, sharper cognitive function, and the protection of brain cells. One studyof Korean red ginseng also found that the powerful root also helps reduce inflammation and improve antioxidant activity in the skin cells of people with eczema.
Whether it’s an intolerance to pharmaceuticals or a desire to live a more natural lifestyle, there are plenty of reasons for people to seek herbal remedies in their quest for awellness-driven lifestyle. Teas are a great conduit for reaping the health benefits associated with chamomile, ginger, peppermint, turmeric, ginseng, and more. Just make sure to always buy herbal teas from a trusted and organic source.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider on any matters relating to your health.