If anyone’s a morning coffee lover – it’s me! I have my one cup in the morning and I’m set for the entire day. Although recently, I’ve started enjoying a tea-drinking habit as the day unfolds. The aroma of a hot cup of tea seems to soothe my soul and take the chill off the unrelenting cold weather here in Chicago. Tea comes in so many different varieties and has so many health benefits, I could study them indefinitely. Tons of studies have shown that with continual and prolonged tea-drinking, the benefits include promoting a healthy weight, boosting the immune system, building strong bones, improving circulation, as well as contributing to the body’s ability to protect against cancer.
So if you haven’t had a cup of herbal tea lately, or have never tried this super-drink, then today’s the day to start reaping the benefits. It’s good to remember that herbal teas take longer to brew. Also the color of herbal brewed tea is usually lighter than traditional store bought tea (bags).
Here are two of my picks to get you started, plus a “spice” tea:
3 Ayurvedic Teas For Mind Body Health
Rosemary Tea (with Lavender optional)
Benefits: Known by many as the “healing herb”, rosemary contains antioxidants and a phytochemical called carnosic acid which helps prevent and possibly reverse free radical damage. It’s also believed that it strengthens the blood vessels and improves memory. It may also help with relieving a headache, reducing a fever and helping to eliminate digestive problems.
How to Prepare:Steep one teaspoon of crushed rosemary in 8-10 oz. of boiling water. (Crushing or bruising the herb releases the full flavor.) This herbal tea also blends well with a teaspoon of the lavender herb for extra flavor, relaxation and digestive benefits
Nettle/Dandelion Root Tea Blend (with a Raspberry boost)
Benefits of This Combination: Promotes detoxification, immune and digestive system boost, improved circulation, and cold relief by loosening congestion. Some also believe nettle may help improve the effects of seasonal allergies and dandelion root contributes to a healthy urinary tract. I wrote about both nettle and dandelion root before in previous articles if you want to check them out!
Prepare: You can easily go either way with tea bags or loose leaf. Health food stores and speciality tea shops sell both. One teaspoon each: stinging nettle, dandelion root; steep in 8-10 oz. of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes for desired taste. OR one teabag of each; and steep for 3 to 5 minutes for desired taste. For extra flavor and a vitamin C boost, try adding fresh pureed raspberries.
Ginger Tea with Turmeric and Cinnamon
One of the more popular spices, ginger is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. By adding turmeric and cinnamon, you’re getting an extra dose of anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants. Preliminary studies show a host of benefits using these spices, some of which may include pain relief, protection against certain skin diseases and cancers, reducing high cholesterol and blood sugar, and relieving motion sickness (ginger). There’s also exciting research on turmeric’s use in preventing Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease.
Prepare: This combination can be prepared according to individual taste. I buy my spices from specialty spice shops when I’m able. I use a half teaspoon each of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon and steep in 8-10 oz. of boiling water for 5 minutes. Using any type of nut milk in place of water is also delicious for those that want a creamier version.
Disclaimer: Consult with your health practitioner before using herbs and certain spices if you are pregnant, taking prescription medications or have the possibility of an allergic reaction to herbal plants. This post is for informational use and should not be used to self-treat any condition.