12 Teas to Brew Up Better
By Joe Wilkes
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
Herbal teas have
been used for centuries in almost every culture in the world, both as a social
beverage and as a medicinal treatment. We don't recommend tea as a substitute
for prescribed medication or the advice of a doctor, but some teas have been
anecdotally, and in some cases, scientifically proven to have some excellent
health benefits. And with zero calories, and in most cases, zero side effects,
it might be worth checking out some of these herbal wonders. Again, though,
some teas have scientific evidence to support their claims, and some have only
old wives' tales. You should consult with your doctor or a medical professional
before treating any illness or symptom with anything, including tea.
Its Greek root and Spanish name, manzanilla, both
mean "little apple." And a cup or two of chamomile a day might keep the doctor
away as well. Regarded as cure-all for centuries, chamomile has antibacterial,
anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties, and is also a mild sedative.
Herbalists recommend it for treating symptoms of everything from colds, cramps,
and digestive, liver, and gallbladder problems to depression, anxiety, and
A tasty vegetable in salads and sautés, fennel also
makes a great tea for an upset stomach. It helps protect the liver from toxins
and also helps reduce discomfort from cramps, bloating, and irritable bowel
syndrome. It can also provide upper respiratory relief for bronchitis and
asthma. And, it is gentle enough to be given in small amounts to colicky
infants (although, as always, consult your doctor first).
- Ginger. How many times have you been shopping with your spouse and one
of you has athlete's foot, the other one has menstrual cramps, and there's only
room in the cart for one more item? Don't call the divorce lawyerget
ginger tea! It is effective for both of those maladies (although you have to
soak your athlete's feet in it for its antifungal properties) and it also can
alleviate symptoms of nausea, morning and motion sickness, headaches, and
inflammation from arthritis.
Ginkgo biloba has been famously associated with increasing
blood flow to the brain, helping memory. It also increases blood flow to other
parts of the body, which can give both partners a little boost in the bedroom.
Not only a beautiful plant to look at, it can also be good
for your heart. Hawthorn has been used for years in Germany to regulate blood
pressure, aid in recovery from heart attacks, and as a treatment from
everything from anxiety to hemorrhoids.
The herb that gives Celestial Seasonings' Zinger teas
their zing. This tart herb is rich in vitamin C and is thought to help lower
blood pressure and cholesterol.
It freshens your breath, and it can also freshen your
gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint can be used to ease symptoms related to
irritable bowel syndrome, may help dissolve gallstones, and help with
congestion, allergies, and stress.
- Rosehip. Another tangy tea like hibiscus, and like hibiscus, it's high in
vitamin C. It also is believed to help bladder ailments and may have
- Senna. This is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter drugs
used to aid constipation. It stimulates the colon and as a tea has a gentle
- Slippery Elm.
The thick mucilage from the inner bark of the slippery elm
tree has been used by Native Americans for centuries to help soothe the
digestive tract. Opera singers have also found its coating properties useful in
alleviating sore throat symptoms.
- St. John's Wort.
In Germany, this herb is prescribed 20 times as often as
Prozac to aid mild depression, insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Its effectiveness
is debated among medical circles, but some people swear by it, and it appears
to have few, if any, side effects.
Referred to by some as herbal Valium, valerian tea can be
drunk to aid insomnia, nervousness, menopausal symptoms, and menstrual
discomfort. A word of warning, though. Some drinkers say that too much valerian
tea can actually make you more nervous, so use sparingly until you
know how it affects you.