Do you love tea?
This one’s for you then! Coffee lovers keep an ear turned this way as well, as herbal teas are a fantastic addition to your routine!
Tea or Tisane?
While researching loose leaf vs bag teas and the benefits of herbal beverages, we learned that herbal teas are referred to as ‘teas’ but actually classified as ‘tisanes.’ Tisanes include the whole plant- stem, roots, and leaves. In loose leaf form, one can reap the full benefits that tisanes offer because they contain the whole plant. Bag teas may taste yummy(and offer cute sayings on the tag… who could resist) but they only contain crushed leaves and dust. Hashtag letdown. And kind of gross if you think about the dust part too long.
Luckily loose leaf teas are not hard to find! Here at Undergrounds, we are proud to be your one-stop loose leaf shop! That stomach-soothing cup of chamomile is calling your name! Or perhaps you’re searching for a natural way to treat insomnia and anxiety around exam time? Lavender is your go-to! Herbal teas vary slightly in mineral content but the anti-inflammatory properties are the same. A few herbal teas we recommend? Rooibos, chamomile, lavender, and hibiscus. These teas all promote healing, lessen swelling, and promote digestive health.
Rooibos is All the Rage
Rooibos tea(pronounced ‘roy-BUS’) is a powerhouse tea. This caffeine-free choice is low in tannins, which can leave a bitter or astringent-like aftertaste. Polyphenols fight free radicals(unstable cells in your body that attack healthy ones) and protect against Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s. Rooibos also contains high levels of magnesium(essential for the nervous system and aids in calming anxiety), calcium(for strong teeth and bones, holla!), zinc(important for a healthy metabolism), and iron(no anemia over here!). It improves circulation, lowers blood pressure & cholesterol, and the high levels of flavonoids relieve muscle cramps & indigestion. I also read that rooibos is a safe option for soothing colicky babies. For those with skin problems, rooibos baths are suggested as natural alternatives to soothing eczema and psoriasis.
Chamomile(which is delicious when mixed with rooibos, just sayin’) also has anti-inflammatory properties, promoting healing and lessening swelling. It soothes the nervous system while it’s antimicrobial properties protect your body from the bacteria that infections such as strep throat. This tea soothes and relaxes the muscles and lining of the intestines, which lowers the risk of developing certain stomach cancers. Chamomile also promotes healthy skin- soothing eczema, allergies, and acne! You can find skincare products with chamomile extract, but be wary of how other ingredients may interact. A fun option is to steep some to add to a bath or to rinse the skin with, similar to the rooibos bath idea.
Worriers and insomniacs look over here! Lavender is the ultimate soother, whether you’re drinking it or using it for aromatherapy! While calming your nerves, it may also ease headaches. This tea has high antiseptic qualities, it was used to treat wounds in wartimes. Like rooibos and chamomile, this means it is great for treating irritated skin. This tea is safe to drink during pregnancy- most herbal teas are, with the exception of hibiscus tea.
Hiibiscus is Hip
Hibiscus is a natural diuretic, preventing bloating and regulating your body’s water levels(and it looks real nice in a mason jar). Like other herbal teas, the polyphenols have anti-inflammatory effects and stimulate the digestive system(which deters the growth of stomach cancers). However, this tea interacts with acetaminophen, rendering it less effective and causing it to leave the body faster. Hibiscus lowers cholesterol and may aid in maintaining good blood pressure. However, it is not recommended to drink during pregnancy, check with your doctor before giving it a try if you’re a mama-to-be!
You may find these in bag form at the grocery store, but we recommend loose leaf teas for full benefits. Because loose leaf teas contain the whole plant rather than leaves and dust, they still contain all the essential oils.
You’ve Picked Your Tea, Now What?
As with everything, there is a right and wrong way to do tea. Use too much tea and you end up with a warm cup of bitterness, use too little and your cup will be wimpy. The golden ratio is 2 grams of tea(or a teaspoon) to every 6 ounces of water. Fresh water is better than water that’s been boiled a few times, but your ratio of water to tea is more important.
So- you’ve picked your tea, you have the correct ratio of leaves and water, now just let it steep for 4 minutes then enjoy
We carry all these teas and more, so stop in for a chat and sniff around the tea display!
Photos courtesy of Action Shot Media