Herbal teas are known for their soothing and comforting qualities, as well as their potential healing properties. Nutritional Therapist Cara Shaw shares her guide to healing with herbal tea
Herbal teas have been used for centuries for their potential healing properties and therapeutic benefits.
They can be an important part of a holistic approach to health and wellbeing and the benefits they offer are dependent on the specific phytonutrients within the blend.
Many herbal teas are known for their soothing and comforting qualities, providing digestive relief from bloating, or indigestion.
An additional bonus is that many can also be used to help reduce stress and anxiety; and promote relaxation and deep sleep.
many can also be used to help reduce stress and anxiety
There are even herbal teas which contain wonderful antioxidants, to help support your immunity, particularly useful for the up-and-coming winter months.
When it comes to healing with herbal tea, the options are endless, but here are some of my top picks…
Herbal teas can support digestion through various mechanisms. Certain herbs contain specific compounds which can soothe digestive discomfort and support the health of the digestive tract.
Herbs like peppermint and chamomile, contain compounds that can relax the gastrointestinal tract, helping to ease digestive discomfort and bloating, which can be commonly seen in cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS has a strong link with the gut-brain axis and can often be triggered by stressful times, so I always recommend using combined herbs within a tea blend to support gut function.
Herbs like peppermint and chamomile, contain compounds that can relax the gastrointestinal trac
I highly recommend Soul Soother (£26.99) from artisan tea brand, JP’s Originals. Part of their CBD Trinity, this refreshing cleansing tea contains spearmint to help ease digestive function and support anxiety and stress by helping to retain a neurotransmitter known as GABA; plus contains green tea, rose petals and CBD to help reduce inflammation.
Herbal teas can also offer relief from constipation. Teas containing ginger can help with peristalsis (the wave-like movement of substances within the digestive system), which can increase bowel motility and help to regulate conditions like constipation.
If you’re feeling stressed, many herbal teas can help to make you feel calmer and more centred – even the physical act of brewing tea can be relaxing.
Many herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm, have calming properties that can help relax the mind and body. These herbs contain compounds that interact with the nervous system to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Chamomile in particular has anxiolytic properties and is particularly useful for anxiety and disrupted sleep.
Many of the herbs used in herbal teas, such as green tea, echinacea, and elderberry, are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and supporting overall health, including the immune system.
Antioxidants can help to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body
In addition, some herbs (i.e. echinacea, elderberry, and liquorice root) have antiviral and antimicrobial properties which can aid the body in an immune response.
It is important to note that while herbal teas can contribute to immune health, they should not be relied upon as the sole method of immune support.
READ MORE: Can echinacea really prevent a cold?
Some of the herbs frequently used in herbal teas, such as green tea, rooibos, and hibiscus, are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help combat free radicals in the body, which can cause oxidative stress and damage to skin cells.
By reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants may promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin. In addition, herbs like nettle act as a diuretic and can help support the urinary excretion of toxins, which is a key part of detoxification in the body.
antioxidants may promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin
Nettle is also a natural antihistamine, and its uses can support conditions like acne, calming irritation and reducing redness.
It’s also essential to maintain a skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection to complement the effects of herbal teas.
Herbal teas can have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the presence of bioactive compounds found in certain herbs.
Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body fight off infections and heal injuries, but chronic inflammation is associated with various health problems and chronic diseases.
Green tea is a great anti-inflammatory tea, due to rich amounts of polyphenolic compounds, especially catechins. Catechins are powerful antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, which can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can vary among individuals and may depend on factors such as the amount of green tea consumed, the quality, its preparation method, and an individual’s overall diet and lifestyle.
Green tea is a great anti-inflammatory tea, due to rich amounts of polyphenolic compounds
To maximise the potential anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea, it’s advisable to choose high-quality green tea leaves or bags, brew it properly to extract the catechins, and consume it regularly as part of a balanced diet.
For a superior quality green tea, I recommend Glorious Green (£16.99) from JP’s Originals. It is made from the highest quality natural ingredients and comes in plastic-free biodegradable pyramid bags. Brew it in a tea pot for 5-7 minutes to preserve the volatile oils.
Please note that some herbs are contraindicated with medications. Please always consult with a nutritional therapist for advice.
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