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Herbal Teas...The Brews That Renews
I am what is called in some circles, a "health nut." As such, I'm constantly on the hunt for natural cures, or, natural food, for any reason. Let me clarify, I have yet to go all the way with my obsession. But look out, I just saw a video on a man that was, as of 2010, 109 years old. His routine is to walk a mile and a half every morning before breakfast, and his breakfast was all natural. Check out the video on Youtube about this remarkable gentleman, Bernardo LaPallo; 109 years old and raw.
On my quest to stay healthy I've been drinking one of my favorite beverages, herbal teas. It's safe to say that I love herbal teas. Actually, I've been drinking herbal teas for years, but not to the extent I am now. I visit to my neighborhood Natural Food store and purchase my teas, I usually use the loose teas leaves. Some of the teas that I have on hand at all times are, green tea, dandelion leaves, hyssop, lemon grass, parsley, peppermint, pau de arco, spearmint, fennel, turmeric, oregano, echinacea, just to name a few of the loose tea leaves. I also use prepackaged tea bags, such as: chamomile, chai, ginger, and various exotic teas such as Organic African Nectar, by Mighty Leaf.
Of course, these are not all the teas that I have on hand, but you get the picture, when I say that I love herbal teas. Actually my beverages of choice are in this order, water, tea, juice, and coffee, besides these beverages I hardly drink anything else.
Herbal teas are said to have curative properties, and that's a primary reason they're so popular. Although, I love the taste of the teas, I mostly use them for their supposed curative, or health maintenance properties. It's with that in mind I'm writing this article.
I'm listing10 of my favorites, and their "supposed" benefits. I use the word "supposed," because I'm not a health professional, and I am not recommending any of these teas or their benefits.
My 10 Favorite
- Peppermint, tops my list. Peppermint is said to be the world's oldest medicine. It is used for various ailments, including stomach problems, and those related to digestive health. However, peppermint is not just for those ailments, it can be used topically for various skin irritations, itching being one. In addition to the usages on the skin, it is also used as a remedy for tension headaches.
- Pau d'Arco, is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. It's often used for candidiasis, herpes simplex virus, influenza, parasitic diseases, ( like schistosomiasis), and certain bacterial infections.
- Green Tea, there are so many accolades for green tea, that I don't have space, and time to list them all, however I'll list a few. To begin with, green tea is recognized worldwide for its therapeutic properties. It contains (EGCG), which is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, fat burning, and other beneficial properties. A little side note, to prepare green tea so that it's not bitter, instead of brewing for 3 to 5 minutes, brew only for one minute.
- Dandelion Leaf, is a natural diuretic, and is commonly used to aid in the removal of excess fluid, and toxins from the body, via the liver, and gallbladder. Other benefits attributed to dandelion leaf is, it's ability to relieve mild constipation, is said to be a blood purifier, and can flush antibiotics from your system. In addition, dandelion leaf contains various vitamins, and minerals, such as A, B, C, D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.
- Chamomile, is commonly used as a calming herb, at least that's what I usually use it for, however I've found several other uses. First, it can be used in conjunction with other antimicrobials, such as goldenseal, thyme, echinacea as a remedy for internal infections. Also as a topical treatment for infections and inflammations. Then there's the uses related to the bowels, like spastic pain, relieving excessive gas and bloating, not to be missed, it can also be used to relieve IBS,(irritable bowel syndrome), nausea, and more. Oh, but there's more, much more, so take a look at this website about chamomile.
- Oolong, is considered to be a weight loss tea since it helps boost metabolism, block carbohydrates, and aids in the digestion of body fat.
- Parsley, is used as a diuretic, and is also said to increase blood flow to the kidneys and aids in the excretion of toxins. Other suggested uses for parsley are, itch relief for insect bites, in addition to the treatment of arthritis, and rheumatism
- Ginger, is commonly used to help quell a queasy stomach, however I just learned of a few other uses. One, it's said about an 8th of a teaspoon, (4 grams) of powder daily is effective for long standing arthritis. Another use, since I have Atrial Fibrillation , this is a very encouraging one, it helps prevent blood clots, as well as, or better than aspirin. This one is probably welcomed by the high cholesterol community, ginger helps reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Wondering where to get ginger, well go to your pantry, or spice section of your grocery store, for the powder, or the produce section for fresh ginger.
- Echinacea, is said to have antiviral, and antioxidant properties. It's commonly used to treat the common cold, it does that by stimulating the body's immune system. Other suggested uses, various infections, such as urinary tract, ear, and vaginal yeast (candida) infections. Also, athlete's foot, sinusitis, hay fever, and many, many more. I usually use echinacea at the first sign of a cold, and even if it doesn't prevent it, I get relief sooner than I would if I hadn't used it.
- Turmeric, is considered a wonder spice with a plethora of health benefits, some of which I'll list here. Beginning with, ailments such as, abdominal bloating, flatulence, (gas), headaches, colds. Also it's said to be useful in disinfecting cuts and burns, due to it being a natural antiseptic, and antibacterial agent. Aside from the immediate benefits, there are also long term suggested uses, like, being a natural liver detoxifier, a treatment for bruises, eczema, and ringworm. It's also said to aid in healing, and, or preventing certain forms of cancer.
As with any medical treatments, natural or otherwise, it is always advised to do your own investigation. But most of all, before using any of these herbs, especially, if there is a medical need, the recommendation is that you seek advice from your personal physician. During my research on the herbs that I listed, I found most, if not all, had precautions. For instance, one was not to be used by pregnant or lactating women, another is, not recommended for persons with multiple sclerosis. So you can see why the advice to do your own investigation is added here.
I'd like to add this Disclaimer I found on the Internet, "The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care practitioner."
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