We’ve all heard about or tried herbal tea, or ‘Tisanes’ if we want to be official. But what is herbal tea good for? Is it worth starting a herbal tea regime at all?
Well, I’ve written a lot about herbal teas, and I’ve tried just about all of them at some point or another. So here’s what you get with herbal tea.
I’ve also listed plenty of herbal teas here to get you started on that health drive to detox, improve heart health, digestion, and much more!
Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in herbal teas help fight inflammation, infection, and disease. They protect against oxidative stress, lower the risk of chronic disease, ease symptoms, improve heart health, and aid sleep. Teas like Ginger, Chamomile, and Lemon have numerous health benefits.
First though, here’s a quick overview list of benefits herbal teas can bring…
What is herbal tea good for? The Benefits!
Herbal tea can bring numerous health and well-being benefits. Here are the common benefits you can expect from herbal tea.
- Relaxation and destress
- Improved digestion
- Body detoxing
- Weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Skin health
- Heart health
- Immune system boost
- Quality sleep
- Energy and focus
- Reduce menstrual pain
- Reduced risk of cancer
While that’s a general takeaway, you can’t go far wrong drinking just about any herbal tea, they’re all good for at least one added benefit, if not numerous benefits to health and wellbeing.
And let’s not forget, if you’re drinking a cup of herbal tea, that means you’re probably not drinking something else that might be less beneficial – right?
The benefits depend on the herbs
The type of herb used for the herbal tea largely determines what the herbal tea is good for. And there are further nuances to this too.
So it’s important to select the right type of herb for the right situation you want to tackle. And there are lots to choose from!
“That’s all great Michael, but …what is herbal tea good for?”
Ok, more on the herbal types and comparisons later. Let’s get into the benefits of herbal teas.
What herbal tea is good for
I’m going to look at this from two perspectives.
Firstly, if you have a particular health benefit you want to tackle or improve, then below I’ve compiled a list of the main benefits of herbal teas. Along with a few well-known examples that are known to help towards this benefit.
Secondly, I’ll go on to list some popular herbal teas and their benefits, this will provide a more comprehensive list of what other benefits that tea can bring.
One known aspect of herbal tea is the relaxation benefits it can bring. And when I say relaxation I include reducing stress levels in this too. For example, long-term use of Chamomile tea has been shown in studies to reduce anxiety levels significantly.
There are some variations on this theme. For example, Lavender is a known mood stabilizer. Ashwagandha has been known to relieve stress, and Gotu kola has been used to help with depression and fatigue; with one study demonstrating acute and chronic anxiety relief in mice.
Herbal teas to aid relaxation and anxiety include Lavender, Chamomile, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Kava, Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, and Holy Basil.
A number of teas, including herbal teas, have been adopted over thousands of years because they have known benefits for a range of digestive issues.
Expert studies have been carried out monitoring tea on overall gut health and the gut microbiome with positive effects. So it’s official then, tea – including herbal tea, helps a range of digestive areas.
These include combating nausea, indigestion, constipation, bloating, and more. In terms of help with bloating, you can check out my article on the best teas to combat bloating. OR just focus on green tea for boating.
Herbal teas that help digestion include Peppermint, Gentian root, Senna, Dandelion, Fennel, Ginger, Angelica root, and even black tea.
So my recommendations to help detox the body, aside from green tea are Ginger, Senna tea, Dandelion root, and lemon tea too.
I’ve written extensively about a few herbal teas known for their weight-loss ability.
Weight loss teas are known to have some positive impact on weight loss. True teas like green tea are already recommended as part of a weight-loss regime.
When it comes to herbal teas though then results tend to vary between people, so I’d recommend trying a few before settling on one that may work for you.
I’d also recommend some caution too. Often people go mad thinking the more they drink the more weight they will lose. Herbal teas for weight loss have their limit in being able to help. Take a look at my article on when to drink tea as a guide on how many and when.
So take them cautiously, to begin with, and find a dose that suits your own body. Select one of the links below to read more about the ones I’ve personally researched.
Because of their anti-oxidant properties, all true types of tea help in reducing inflammation in the body. This is also what some herbal tea is good for. And inflammation is also linked with the reduction of cancer.
One study on Ginger, in general, found that the risk of inflammation and cancer-producing cells was reduced with the addition of ginger.
Some herbal teas contain properties capable of improving your skin, as well as other beauty-enhancing properties.
Different herbal teas can provide different benefits for the skin. Spearmint, for example, can combat acne. While rose tea provides essential vitamin A to the skin. Matcha can improve circulation and licorice aids collagen production and protects against sun damage.
Green tea and other teas from the camellia Sinensis plant have long been linked with improved heart health.
As always, consult with your health professional before taking herbal teas when suffering from known heart conditions.
Herbal teas that can promote heart health include Ginseng, St John’s wort, and Chamomile.
In general, tea already supports the immune system by combating free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and neurological degeneration.
Herbal tea can fight free radicals. They can be high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). This essentially facilitates your body’s ability to suppress and destroy free radicals in the body that, when not kept in check, can damage your DNA.
Herbal teas that support and boost your immune system include Hibiscus, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Licorice, and Hibiscus tea.
Getting a quality night’s sleep is something that many of us suffer from. There are herbal teas that are known to help with this area, some are renowned such as Chamomile, and some are rarer but have great effects for supporting healthy sleep.
Herbal teas that support a quality night’s sleep include Chamomile, Valerian, Lemon Balm, Passion Fruit, Lavender, and magnolia bark.
Energy and focus
We usually turn to coffee, and even tea to provide us with energy, usually because of the caffeine content in teas – which I’ve written extensively about.
Herbal teas for energy include Peppermint, Ginger, Ginseng, Rooibos, nettle, chamomile, and Ashwagandha Powder Tea
Reduce menstrual cramps
Evidence that herbal teas strongly affect menstrual cramps is not overwhelmingly proven. However, for some, herbal teas may assist in alleviating the pain caused by menstrual cramps.
One tea that stands out for this purpose is chamomile, according to studies, “Chamomile contains Spiroether, a very strong antispasmodic agent that relaxes aching, tense muscles and alleviates premenstrual pain”
Herbal teas that may help reduce menstrual cramps include Chamomile, Ginger, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Tyme, and Red Raspberry leaf.
Reducing the risk of cancer
This is very much linked to reducing inflammation by helping to eradicate free radicals from the body. And according to a study, there is a range of herbs and spices that may help in the prevention and treatment of cancers.
True type teas naturally contain antioxidants, which are the main properties believed to help reduce the risk of cancer. The same properties can be true of other herbal spices and ingredients.
According to studies, herbal teas believed to aid in cancer prevention and treatment usually include ingredients like Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Rosemary, Saffron, and Dill. Chai tea with added herbs and spices is an ideal way to include many of these ingredients.
So to take the list of possible herbal teas and what they are good for, let’s look at a popular list of herbal teas so you can see the range of benefits they may bring for you…
12 Herbal teas and their benefits
As a quick reminder, here’s that quick list again…
Herbal teas are good for relaxation and destress, improved digestion, body detoxing, weight loss, reduced inflammation, skin health, heart health, immune system boost, quality sleep, energy, and focus, reduce menstrual cramps, and may help to reduce the risk of cancer
Here are 12 widely-consumed herbal teas and what each one is good for…
1. Rooibos tea
- Antioxidants that protect cells from damage by free radicals.
- Boost heart health and the cardiovascular system
- Reduces the risk for cancer
- Anti-diabetic effects to benefit those with type 2 diabetes
Check out the pros and cons of Rooibos tea.
2. Peppermint tea
- Eases digestive upsets
- Relieves tension headaches, and migraines
- Freshens your breath
- Relieves clogged sinuses
- Improves energy, and focus
Find out if Peppermint tea has caffeine.
3. Ginger tea
- Helps in easing digestive discomfort
- Anti-inflammatory properties are good for cough and flu
- Reduces blood pressure
- Aids weight loss
- Ease headaches, migraines, and related symptoms
- Shows antiproliferative effects on tumor cells, especially pancreatic and colon cancer.
4. Lemon tea
- Detoxifies the body from toxins
- Boosts digestive functions and eases digestive discomfort
- Fights infectious ailments.
- Promotes a healthy skin
- Promotes heart health
- Treats post-operative edemas
- Heals inflamed gums
5. Chamomile tea
- Reduces menstrual pain and cramps
- Lowers blood sugar levels and helps in regulating diabetic conditions
- Slows or prevents the development of osteoporosis
- Reduces inflammation.
- Can reduce the risk of cancer
- Good for relaxation and promotes a good sleep
Find out if Chamomile tea is a diuretic!
6. Hibiscus tea
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers blood fat levels
- Boosts liver health
- Aids weight loss
- Can prevent and reduce the risk of cancer
- Fights bacteria
Find out if Hibiscus tea will break your fast!
7. Sage tea
- Promotes healthy skin and faster wound healing
- Promotes oral health
- Contains anti-cancer properties
- Regulates and controls blood sugar levels
- Promotes brain health, heart health, and improves overall mood
8. Lemon balm tea
- Relieves and eases stress
- Reduces anxiety and related health conditions
- Boosts cognitive function
- Eases and controls insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Treats and controls cold sores
- Relieves indigestion and boosts digestive functions
Find out more about Lemon balm and bloating.
9. Rosehip tea
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Protects against heart diseases and improves cardiovascular health
- Aids weight loss
- Protects against type 2 diabetes and regulates related conditions
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Good for skin wellness and may fight against aging skin
10. Eucalyptus tea
- A wealth of antioxidants, particularly flavonoids. Protects the body from oxidative stress and free radical damage
- Relieves cold symptoms
- Treats dry and cracked skin
- Reduces pain and acts as a painkiller
- Promotes relaxation and deep sleep
- Reduces symptoms related to stress
11. Dandelion tea
- Supports weight loss and may specifically reduce water weight
- Promotes liver health
- Can be a natural and healthy coffee substitute
- Soothes digestive ailments and helps with indigestion
- Can reduce the risk of cancer
- Can prevent urinary tract infection and ease related symptoms
Here’s how to make dandelion tea.
12. Turmeric tea
- Eases arthritic symptoms
- Helps in preventing Alzheimer’s
- Helps to prevent cancer
- Maintains ulcerative colitis remission
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers cholesterol
- Can treat uveitis
I mentioned earlier that there are differences between different types of herbal teas. This is more apparent when we compare fresh herbs and homemade herbs with store and boxed herbs. So let’s get on to that next…
Fresh herbs vs herbal tea bags
For the most part, fresh-picked herbs are of course going to provide a greater level of benefit than store-bought herbal tea bags.
That doesn’t mean if it’s not fresh then don’t drink it. It just means that – like many things – you can expect a more concentrated benefit from making it from scratch.
Obviously, we can’t all start growing our own hibiscus or chrysanthemums, but we can certainly look at growing some of the basics, like peppermint, or rose. And herbal teas are growing all around us as gifts from nature, like nettle and dandelion!
But factors like the way herbal tea is brewed and the quality levels also make an impact on how well it yields its benefits.
Benefits of homegrown herbal tea vs store herbal tea
There are rewards for growing your own herbal tea vs buying from the store.
So homemade herbal teas provide a greater level of health benefits. But growing your own herbs and making your own herbal tea does have a couple of downsides.
Here’s how the benefits differ between store-bought herbal tea and homemade herbal tea…
- Herbal tea bought from a store usually contains flavoring. This is fine to improve taste – perhaps you like it sweet! And the taste is important, but it’s not going to do that much in terms of improving overall health benefits
- Home-made herbal tea is just so satisfying to drink. In two ways. Firstly, you made this, you grew it, nurtured it, steeped it, and then consumed it. Any gardener will tell you there is something saintly about this process. And it’s all-natural
- Homegrown is fresh, it’s hasn’t been processed nearly as heavily, and retains much of the fresh goodness. This means it also retains more health-giving benefits than packet herbal tea.
- Growing your own can be less convenient, and I’m not sure it’s that much cheaper in terms of cost in your precious time. But it’s worth it.
- Growing your own herbal tea vs buying it is more like a journey to be enjoyed. And for this reason alone your tea will taste so much more satisfying.
- Taste has been almost perfected in a packet of tea bags, you’ll have some trial and error to go through to perfect your recipe.
- You can add additional ingredients that you’ve also grown. Or add honey to make it sweeter. Honey brings its own benefits.
- If you make your own herbal tea, you can create cute packaging and gift it to friends and family.
- Making your own herbal tea and sharing it is a great way to become a better tea drinker.
- Growing some basic herbs is relatively easy for most people without gardening experience.
And what a feeling, making and drinking your own herbal tea. And then you can become the tea expert in your family or circle of friends!
Herbal tea should be drunk in moderation
Even though there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that tells us herbals teas have a variety of positive effects, on the science front, there is more evidence that we ideally need to collect.
Some herbal teas can cause some discomforting side effects, especially when not used in moderation. And there are potential negative interactions with any prescription medications, not to mention the effects they may have on any current medical condition or during pregnancy.
Therefore, I wouldn’t encourage you to use herbal teas, supplements, or herbal remedies as a replacement for prescription drugs, and I’d always recommend consulting with your medical practitioner before proceeding.
That’s not to say you should not drink herbal teas, I would just recommend you do so with caution and take the above factors into account.
More tea help…
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Find out more about the Teahow Tea Sommelier Course!