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Herbal Tea & Health

Let's set the record straight, shall we? A herbal tea is NOT, repeat NOT, a true tea. A "true tea" is a tea that uses leaves from the plant carnellia sinensis, or the tea plant. This tea plant is found throughout Asia. See What Is Tea for more information about what is, and what is not, a true tea.

Tea Leaves Before Harvesting. Image from Wikipedia

Now, with that out of the way, let's talk about herbal teas. Herbal teas can be basically anything that does NOT involve using actual tea plants! While technically they aren't true teas...everyone calls them teas since brewing them involves pouring hot water over whatever leaves are used.

Tea purists tend to look down on herbal teas, simply because, well, they aren't tea! And that is too bad, because there are far, far more varieties of herbal teas available than other types of teas - allowing people to almost certainly find at least a few different types of tea that they will like.

Plus, while herbal teas do NOT contain the anti-oxidants found in a "true tea" unless the anti-oxidants have been "added in," herbal teas have many, many health benefits all their own. This section of Tea Discussion shall explore these health benefits in more detail.

But first, let's go over why herbal teas are becoming so popular here in the United States as well as the rest of the world.

Reasons for Herbal Tea Popularity

  1. Tasty : There are, quite literally, 1000's if not 10,000's of herbal teas available, in every conceiveable shape, form, color and flavor. It is almost guaranteed that even the most finicky of taste-buds will find a herbal tea that perfectly hits the spot. Tastes can run from sweet licorice teas, to wild orange teas, to peppermint teas, to whole fruit teas, to more subdued teas like chamomile teas....and the list is endless. By not sampling a wide variety of herbal teas...a person is truly missing out on a world of unique tastes, aromas and flavors!
  2. Availability : Here in the US, herbal teas dominate popular places to buy tea, such as in grocery stores. And even fancy online places like Adagio Teas, Culinary Teas, The Dragonwater Tea Company and other online tea shops tend to have far more herbal teas than other "true types" of teas. The reason for this is due to their popularity as well as the ability to, quite literally, create a herbal tea for EVERY taste-bud.
  3. Health Benefits : Even though a herbal tea most likely will lack the anti-oxidant properties found in a true tea (such as a green tea or a black tea), virtually all herbal teas have unique health benefits all their own. Peppermint is widely known for curing upset stomachs. Eleuthero is known for being a wonderful immune boost against stress. And chamomile is an absolutely wonderful sleep aid. And the list is, quite simply, endless.

Herbal Teas : Health Benefits

Listed below are articles on this site that cover the health benefits of specific herbs, particularly when those herbs are used in teas.

  • Cinnamon : A tasty flavoring that also has a few health benefits, too.
  • Eleuthero : A popular herb that helps provide protection against stress, among other things.
  • Jasmine : A very aromatic flower that is frequently used in aromtheraphy and which does contain some antioxidants, too.
  • Peppermint : A most effective and natural relief for stomach pain and upset stomach.

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