By: Violet Hirman
In the past, tea was a reason to get-together daily, and was a huge part of so many cultures. Today, it still is for some. But a lot of knowledge and practice has faded into the background, obscuring the countless medicinal and mood-boosting benefits of tea.
Studies have shown that the majority of Americans don’t own a teapot or kettle, and that those who do don’t use them daily. Caffeinated coffee has taken the country by storm and replaced tea as the staple energy drink. There are several replacements for coffee in the tea industry that offer a natural energizing alternative.
One word. Matcha.
Matcha can be found on its own for making smoothies and drinks, even baked into pastries. It’s also a common ingredient in generic green tea, which you can find cheap at any grocery store.
Now, most people don’t like it because of the bitter aftertaste, but it’s easily sweetened with a little bit of honey.
Some other teas containing caffeine are chai tea (my favorite), black tea (also known as English Breakfast tea), white tea, purple tea, and oolong tea.
Natural energy isn’t the only benefit of tea, however. Chamomile, for example, is great for a restful sleep, and you can drink a cup before bed to help with sleep quality. Peppermint tea is helpful in easing stomach aches and digestion, and the Echinacea flower can be made into tea to shield against colds and fevers.
Tea ingredients can—and often are—combined with others possessing similar qualities to make an herbal mix, which can help to amplify their uses and benefits. For example, an herbal tea mixture of sarsaparilla, burdock, stinging nettle, and dandelion can help to clear up acne from the inside out. Topical mixtures and compresses can also be made from these ingredients and applied externally for the same use.
Certain herbal mixtures shouldn’t be taken too often or for too long, and by no means should they replace the presence of any medicine provided by a doctor, but they have their benefits and can certainly be used to ease the nerves.
It’s possible to grow and harvest many ingredients in your backyard to make your own herbal teas. But keep in mind that it’s a delicate practice, and it’s greatly recommended to talk to a local botanist or herbologist to get helpful tips and advice.
The benefits of tea are endless, and their medicinal qualities are bountiful. Next time you see a kettle in a store, consider making a simple cup of tea.