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Guide to Herbal Teas and how to use them

Updated on June 21, 2012

The benefits of Herbal Teas.

Not feeling well? Looking for something different? Perhaps something refreshing? Herbal tea could be the answer.

I enjoy my Herbal Tea. It always amazes me how many different types of herbal teas there are. I want to share some of the things I have learned and found out, about herbal tea and the benefits it can bring. It is meant as a guide to herbal teas and how to use them.

As I learn more about herbal teas and where you can use them , I'll expand this lens with more information.

Interesting Fact:Tea is the most commonly consumed drink in the world after water.

herbfarm
herbfarm

Varieties of teas

Not all teas are herbal teas

There is a large varieties of teas: Black, Green, White, Oolong, Red, Herbal. Within these broader groups, there are a number of varieties found as well.

In tea we find a thing called antioxidant, which is good for our body.

Black, green, white, and oolong teas are made from leaves which come from a warm-weather evergreen tree known as Camellia sinensis.( I'm not that smart done a bit of reading) The leaves from this tree contain polyphenols, which is a chemical made by the sunlight in the leave if i understand that right.. The more processing tea leaves have to go through, the darker the leaves becomes and therefore the name and taste changes.

You see them as either Tea bags or loose leaf in various containers, when you buy tea.

Interesting Fact:Most herbal teas in the market are NOT tea at all, because they are only infusions made with herbs, flowers, roots, spices or other parts of some plants. The proper term for this type of beverage is "tisane"

You see i didn't know this either.

Why do you drink tea?

Why do you drink herbal tea?

See results
herbal mixture
herbal mixture

What does this mean:

You heard the saying Oils aren't Oils, Teas aren't Teas

It means that you can make your own herbal teas, providing you can grow them yourself. Make your own blends of herbal teas

It can be drunk hot or cold.

Make your tea with a teabag or leaves and let your tea sit in your cup for at least 3 - 5 minutes to bring out the beneficial polyphenols.

Enjoy the aroma of tea while you wait!

If you like a cool and refreshing drink in the summer month. then put the tea in the fridge to cool down. This works best with peppermint tea, but you can try others.

Tea is a healthy drink which has many health benefits (if you skip the cream and sugar) and I'll explore some of them next.

Video Series on Basics of Tea - Here is series of short video clips on Tea Basics

Video clip 1:Basics of Tea : What Is Herbal Tea?

Herbal teas are not made from tea plants. Learn more about herbal teas with tips from a tea lounge owner in this free video.

Video clip 2:Basics of Tea : Tea Health Benefits

As mentioned before teas are full of anti oxidants.

Video clip 3:Basics of Tea : Types of Tea

Kim explains that there are 6 types of tea

Video clip 4:Basics of Tea : Identify Tea Quality

In this clip Kim explain what to look for in tea when you buy and when you brew it,

Expert: Kim Pham The Tea Lounge

Wikipedia

Definition of herbal tea

Here is what Wikipedia says about herbal tea.The link is at the bottom for further reading. There is a long list of herbal tea and i like to go through a few of them and explain a little about them.

Etymology

The English word "tisane" originated from the Greek word ( it wont show up with the greek letters), a drink made from pearl barley. Strictly speaking, the name 'herbal teas' is a misnomer, as they are not made with real tea (Camellia sinensis), but by infusing other plants.

Composition

Herbal teas can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The tisane is then strained, sweetened if so desired, and served. Many companies produce herbal tea bags for such infusions.

On the other hand, flavoured teas are prepared by adding other plants to an actual tea (black, oolong, green, yellow, or white tea); for example, the popular Earl Grey tea is black tea with bergamot, jasmine tea is Chinese tea with jasmine flowers, and genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with toasted rice.

Herbal teas can also have different effects from person to person, and this is further compounded by the problem of potential misidentification. The deadly foxglove, for example, can be mistaken for the much more benign (but still relatively hepatotoxic) comfrey.

The UK does not require herb teas to have any evidence concerning their efficacy, but does treat them technically as food stuff and require that they are safe for consumption.

More of Wikipedia

herbs
herbs

Reasons for people to consider drinking herbal tea

There are many reasons why people look for a more natural solution when it comes to simple ailments. One of the important ones for me is not having to run to the doctor all the time ( I'm not keen on doctors or hospital ) for every little thing wrong with me such as a stomach upset. Most of the times it is just a virus and it just has to run it's course.

The herbal tea can help sometimes lessen the symptoms. By no means think that I think you should give the doctor a miss, far from it. If you need to see a doctor you go and see one, but for people like myself I like to have a look at alternatives.

Please feel free to leave comments on this lens as I'm not an expert

Using herbal tea as a stress relief is not that uncommon and I may be corrected on this.

Boost your immune system with vitamin C rich herbal tea is another just simple way to enjoy the pleasures of herbal teas.

Improve and help with what you eat, to go through your body and possibly lose some weight. I'm not saying use it as a weight loss program, but it could be part of it.

Herbal teas can help you relax and help you to sleep better.

Try a few different herbal teas and see if you you like them to start with. I keep adding more info to this lens and if you can't find here what your are looking for, you can leave a comment or google the world

Herbal tea before bed

Some people consider drinking herbal tea before they go to bed.

Why?

Herbal teas can help you relax and therefore makes it easier to fall asleep. If you are more relaxed there is less tension in your muscles. This applies also when you have had a stressful day at work or at home. Being a mum is never easy.

It also can help your digestive system after a big meal perhaps and we all have eaten to much of a good thing. Heartburn or indigestion come to mind.

You may not feel to well with an upset stomach and a cup of herbal tea could be doing the trick in getting a good night sleep.

We all know how important a good night sleep is.

Herbal tea as a cold remedy

What did people do before modern medicine?

What did people do? It has long being recognized that herbs have medicinal properties.

In cases of cold's and flu's the herbs are helping in stimulating the immune system. It also soothes sore throats, settles upset stomachs and allows easier breathing.

Herbs infused in hot water are also more palatable ( easier to take) for most people. Some herbs are rich in vitamin C, while other are rich in other minerals our bodies need.

Some People will come up with a cocktail of herbs to make up a mixture to achieve the best results for their ailments, while other add just simple ingredients to it such as honey. Garlic is also used and Cayenne powder being one of the more unusual items used.

I guess some like it hot.

Herbal Tea remedies videos

This may help and could be easier to follow then reading blocks of text.

still working on what to do with the first clip.

The second clip "Herbal Plant Remedies : Herbs: Rosemary for Stress" shows and explains a little about the uses of Rosemary other then just tea. Not very long but I think very useful

The third clip " Herbal Tea as Medicine" explains a little about pills vs herbal teas. It is brilliant in the way this lady makes the point of the

difference when taking a pill and making you own herbal tea. I think when you doing things yourself you get better results.

"Herb Tea for Immunity " is another brilliant clip as it explains not only how to make it but also what the purpose is for using it.

Herbal tea remedy for headaches

Feverfew

I'm not that familiar with herb, but i'll look into it further and add more info about it.

Peppermint

Peppermint is very versatile when it comes to herbal teas. Here is just another use for it. Just be aware that if you have got heartburn or other troubles with your stomach, peppermint may not be the best option.

Passionflower

Another herb i'm not that familiar with and i do some more research on it too. People say it is great for migranes.

Ginko

Ginko is a very popular herb when it comesto headaches. No one really knows why it works and it is thought to increase the blood flow.

Note: Can have side effects when taken with medication.

Cayenne

Here is a hot one for you. You can also get it as a nasal spry. It bring a tear to your eye.

Willow

This is an interesting one. I will look into this a bit further as well.

Where can herbal teas help

Just remember Herbal Teas don't replace a doctor

Chamomile:

Chamomile is known for its calming attributes. Also it is said to have a number of anti-inflammatory benefits. I enjoy drinking it with a bit of honey in it. It also seem to help when you have a bit of a stomach upset. I use for the reason that I just mentioned before which is for an upset stomach or sometimes before I go to bed to calm me down a little.

Fennel:

Fennel has been used for centuries as a digestive aid and to help with blocked noses or nasal problems. The seeds also help if you have trouble with bad breath. All you have to do is chew them.They taste a little like aniseed. I have tried this one and quite like it, but iI found it harder to get. The other option is to grow the fennel myself.

Peppermint:

Peppermint is thought to have greater stress-relieving attributes than chamomile tea and help with stomach and digestive issues. It also helps freshen breath. It really comes down to taste and i like both. In summer i like peppermint tea cold out of the fridge. It is very refreshing. This is the one I drink the most myself.

Ginseng:

Ginseng stimulates your body and helps the body stay healthy. I'm not quite sure if the is some preventative properties against colds and lesser body ache and pains. Not sure if I have tried this one, but I will. Just need to remember to buy it.

Rose hips:

Rose hips are a good natural source of vitamin C. They are a liver, kidney, and blood tonic (which i didn't know), and are a good help for fatigue, colds, and cough. It just comes down to what you like better as there are other herbal teas, which help with the same problem. Another one tea I like and have in winter to help minimize colds.

Hawthorn Berry:

This is another herbal tea which i have heard of but haven't tried. From what i have read the Hawthorn Tea is a traditional heart tonic. It is an antioxidant that strengthens blood vessel walls and heart function and has a beneficial effect on cholesterol. Haven't tried this, but will see if i can find it.

Hibiscus tea:

Hibiscus tea is said to be very tasty tea and is known to lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels in some individuals. Can't say I have tried this one either. I like to know a bit more about this one, so i can write more extensive about it.

Chamomile

The herb

People drink a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime to help them sleep, because it seem to have a charming effect on your body. (Some herbal experts suggest that the tea can even help ward off cases of insomnia and nightmares.) I'm not sure about that, but if you have any knowledge about it, please tell me and i add your story to it.

The herbal tea is made by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried flower tops of the Chamomile plant in a teapot, which is grown in many part of the world including Eastern Europe, Egypt, Germany and Argentina. Our neighbor was growing herbs as well. I'll try to get some pictures of his garden. I mainly use teabags to drink most of my herbal teas.

Brewing time is around five minutes and chamomile tea is commonly taken with honey (the way i like it), also know for its soothing properties. In addition to drinking it as a sleep aid, here are some other uses i have found of the net:

* Use cooled tea bags to make a compress to treat skin irritations, burns and inflammation

* Relieve mouth and gum pain by gargling the brew

* Add several cups to bathwater for relaxation

* Place cooled teabags over the eyes to reduce puffiness and eye strain

* Calm nerves by inhaling the aroma of dried or fresh chamomile flower tops

* Soothe stomach cramps and digestive issues by drinking a cup

* Blend the tea with powdered milk as an exfoliating paste for sensitive skin.

* Apply a dab of the liquor to fungal infections to reduce symptoms

Just remember herbs can help, but they don't replace a good doctor

Chamomile teas are readily available in grocery stores, specialty food shops and health food retailers.

Interesting Fact:Approximately one million cups are consumed annually, indicative of the long-term popularity of the tes for pleasure as well as therapy.

Peppermint

Peppermint tea is a fragrant and distinctive herbal tea. I really like the smell of peppermint. It is so refreshing, that it can be enjoyed hot or over ice. The tea is made from the leaves of the peppermint plant, which originated in Europe and Asia. Varieties of the peppermint plant now grow around the world.

You just got to be careful as it grow wild very quickly, if you grow it in your own garden.

Interesting Fact:Peppermint tea in addition to its pleasing aroma and appetizing flavor, the mint tea has been used for more than 3,000 years as a medicinal remedy, according to historical Greek, Egyptian and Roman records.

The plant’s primary, active property is menthol, which is what ascribes the tea’s many therapeutic properties.

Quote about peppermint:

"Peppermint herbal tea is thought to help soothe upset stomachs, aid digestion, calm irritable bowel syndrome, reduce flatulence, relieve menstrual cramps and treat minor headaches".

In addition, peppermint can also help with the symptoms of coughs and colds, sore throats and allergies. I have with honey just like the chamomile tea.

Fennel

I myself haven tried fennel tea, but i use the seed to chew on when i have a bad taste in my mouth.

This is what i found on the internet about it. There is just a little of what is on fennel here. for more info go to the link at the bottom of the paragraph.

Fennel has been called the pearl of aphrodisiacs, and more recently, a popular British concoction of fennel seeds, licorice root and water was named the tonic for happy lovers. Fennel has featured for benefits to the lungs, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, and to help dissolve stones. The herb increases gastric secretions, which has a beneficial action on digestion, and helps to regulate intestinal flora. It was traditionally used for: indigestion, gas, hiccups, colic, cramps, nausea, vomiting, excessive stomach acidity, sweetening the breath, gum disorders, diarrhea, increase peristalsis of the stomach and intestines, constipation, colon disorders, blood disorders and anemia, fatigue, lethargy and depression, giddiness of the head, frenzy, epilepsy, earache and toothache, kidney and bladder infections, bedwetting, difficult or burning urination, gout, rheumatism, aching joints, hoarseness, sinus, congestion, expel mucus, coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, shortness of breath, emphysema, recovery from strokes, convulsion, nervous disorders, headaches and migraines, sciatica, relieve period pain and morning sickness, hernia, pain in testes, intestinal worms, and to make the taste of yucky medicines more palatable.

More about Fennel

Alfalfa Tea

Alfalfa is something I considered more of eating rather then drinking

I always thought of Alfalfa as a sprout not as a tea. As I keep learning more about herbal tea tea the more fascinating it all becomes.

Alfalfa Tea has got a number of uses as a medicinal tea such as:

- weight loss

- high blood pressure

- intestinal / digestive system

- lower cholesterol

- arthritis and joined discomforts

- prostate and bladder problems

- body detox

Alfalfa is full of vitamin K. Many of our foods contain vitamin K, gets broken down when we consume alcohol or are on some medication. A cup of Alfalfa Tea can replenish our need of vitamin K.

Alfalfa is also full of other vitamins and can help in all the above mentioned ailment. Like with so many things in life there is most likely someone who can't drink Alfalfa Tea because they are being allergic to it.

Where to buy herbal teas

A question from my daughter

It is funny how you think about so many different thing on a subject that sometimes you miss the most important one.

The other day my daughter had another look on what I had written and she ask me

" Dad, where can you buy some of these more unusual herbal teas, if you can't grow them yourself?"

What a good question. I will add some links here on where to find them online.

The more common herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint and rosehip, you find in the supermarkets. Some organic shops will also have them and some of those less common herbal teas.

I keep searching for more and add as I find them

Herbal Tea Forums and Blogs

Here are some links to some forums and blogs to answer or expand on things from this site.

What do you want me to add or what do i need to correct

Tell me what you think

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    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Drinking peppermint tea right this second! Love having herbal tea just before bed! :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I drink several of these teas quite often, especially chamomile at night or after dinner. It is good to settle a stomach.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      I absolutely love this lens. I'm actually drinking a cup of herbal tea while reading it! :) Please take a look at some of your video modules, though- a couple of them appear blank. (Youtube does that some times, drats.) Outstanding lens. Great info and nice layout. Bravo!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 5 years ago from Texas

      I'm thinking of switching from coffee to tea due to its health benefits, but it will take time to acquire a taste for it. Thanks for all the information.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Very cool. I drink a lot of herbal tea, myself, but realized as I was reading this that I know very little about it! Bookmarked to come back when I have time to finish the videos. Thank you!!!

    • profile image

      sgaintegral 5 years ago

      This is a very huge article with plenty informations, i spend a lot of time to read this :)

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 5 years ago

      It's very informative! I learned a lot about tea tonight!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Very comprehensive info on some herbs that can be made into teas. Thanks!

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Wow, great information on herbal teas. I have to admit, I'm a Celon Tea drinker, and not soooo keen on herbal teas (although I haven't tried all of those you mention here, so perhaps I should ;) ) but my son (15) grows his own mint and loves to make mint tea in the mornings and evenings. Blessed. :)

    • profile image

      scss 6 years ago

      I am a tea drinker, but also enjoy spearmint, chamomile, elderberry teas for health. Great lens on the benefits of herbal teas!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I received a box of herbal teas as a gift and thanks to this lens I am learning about them!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 6 years ago

      Where did you find the photos and videos for this wonderful lens?

    • petkong profile image

      petkong 6 years ago

      I love herbal products. Great for your health and there's no addiction and side effect. It's one of great lense about herbal tea. Thx for sharing

    • profile image

      jennifermartine 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens on herbal teas.I love it.It's good for our health.

      -

    • fitnessdad70 profile image

      fitnessdad70 6 years ago

      I definitely need to be drinking more tea.

    • profile image

      RobinDM 6 years ago

      You mentioned not knowing about Feverfew. It is usually considered quite good for migraines!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens on herbal teas, I enjoy several different flavors of herbal teas. The flavors and benefits are wonderful.

    • TheZinc LM profile image

      TheZinc LM 6 years ago

      awesome lens, I love herbal tea!

    • bhthanks profile image

      bhthanks 6 years ago

      Herbal Teas can have so many health benefits and they can be delicious, if you choose the flavors that you like!

      I prefer herbal teas over regular teas.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Love this lens!!! Great herbal information! Thanks and here's some Angel Dust!!! :)

    • almond24 profile image

      almond24 6 years ago

      I love herbal teas. Thanks for making this great lens, I learned a lot!

    • FitVision profile image

      FitVision 6 years ago

      Great lens, I learned a lot. Need to start getting in to herbal tea!

    • privresearch profile image

      privresearch 6 years ago

      Excellent lens! I enjoyed it

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like herbal tea. Once, in a restaurant, they brought me a big cup with fresh mint leaves steeped in hot water with honey on the side. I really enjoyed it.

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 6 years ago

      Really enjoyed this information.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      Great lens. It was interesting to learn what herbs helped with what ailment.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 6 years ago from Missouri

      Great lens!

    • TZiggy profile image

      TZiggy 6 years ago

      As far as I know, you can probably find a tea that can help ease the symptoms or provide a cure for almost any ailment you may have.

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 6 years ago

      Herbal Tea is the best way I keep influenza away. Great Squid. Thanks for sharing.

    • spartakct profile image

      spartakct 6 years ago

      Great information regarding herbal teas!!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I don't know if it counts as an herbal tea or not, but we have been drinking cinnamon tea (made by boiling cinnamon stiks.) We love it and have seen some health benefits recently, which I thank are at least partialloy attributable to the tea.

    • wolfie10 profile image
      Author

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      @Grandad52: thank you very much for this. i hope it helps people a little.

    • profile image

      Grandad52 6 years ago

      I posted a poem on FB sending people to this lens:

      Tis the season of colds and flu.

      Stay away from shots the doc wants to give you.

      Go this lens and see.

      The benefits of Herbal tea.

    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 6 years ago

      Very informative lens, Wolfie 10. I had no idea that Alfalfa Tea contains Vitamin K which we need to help absorb calcium properly.. I have used Fennel tea before. It is good for heartburn.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I love all sorts of teas! Great lens!

    • creativeinc lm profile image

      creativeinc lm 6 years ago

      I love peppermint tea. Great lens.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I HAVE to drink tea everyday, I love it! Thanks for teaching me new things about it that I didn't know. :)

    • profile image

      seelya83 6 years ago

      really informative. chamomile is my favourite herbal tea. thanks.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      Interesting, informative lens. Thanks for doing the research for us!!

    • profile image

      sunnymars 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. I love my herbal teas! Dandelion tea is another good one and for those coffee drinkers, roasted dandelion leaves is a great substitute to coffee :)

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I used to drink coffee and black teas, but now I am a herbal "tea" drinker only. We buy many different kinds for many uses from a local lady who makes them herself. We have a number of herbs growing here too, so perhaps I should try making my own. Well done!

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 6 years ago

      Nice work!! I like that you did your research. Herb tea is amazing, and so calming!

      Blessed by a Squid Angel!! :)

    • wolfie10 profile image
      Author

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      @tigrldy20: thank you for your kind words, I'm still working on this lens and try to make it better. There is always something new out there which I can include.

    • tigrldy20 profile image

      tigrldy20 6 years ago

      Awesome lens, works perfectly with my lens on different kind of tea and coffee. I did add a link to your lens from mine so that people could get more information on herbal teas. You did a much better job that I could have. 2 thumbs up

    • mellex lm profile image

      mellex lm 6 years ago from Australia

      Hey, This is an awesome lens - heaps of information!

    • profile image

      Cloudberry 6 years ago

      I love drinking tisanes (hadn't known that was the term for it -- thanks!) for the headache and stress-relieving benefits. If I've been feeling tired or foggy, having some tea is a nice natural cure to take it right away. =)

      Very informative article -- I like that you list the health benefits of each particular brew.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      I have tried Green tea, but I didn't like it

    • Yawapi LM profile image

      Yawapi LM 6 years ago

      I rely on herbal teas as medicine. Great lens btw, well done!

    • profile image

      beardvc 6 years ago

      I drink to much coffee anyway, .tea is something to think about

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 6 years ago

      I love herbal teas and my all time favoutite is mint tea. I grow the mint in the garden, dry it amd then drink it.

    • wolfie10 profile image
      Author

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      @GonnaFly: hi there you don't have to like all of them, but it is good that you have found one which is helpful on the odd occasion.

      thanks for leaving a comment

    • wolfie10 profile image
      Author

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      @VoodooRULEs: thanks for the kind words. i'm still working on this lens as there is so much more to add

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      I must admit I don't really like herbal teas. But I know they are good for me and I do have some on occasions for stomach aches etc. I know I should drink more of them =D

    • profile image

      VoodooRULEs 6 years ago

      Great work! Comprehensive! Easy to read! And right on point with respect to healthy lifestyle! Thank you!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 8 years ago

      Great lens!I love drinking tea! Lots of information about tea that I never knew! Thanks for the information!

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 8 years ago

      I love herbal teas. Great lens *****

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, I liked the information in this lens and gave you 5 for all that. What I would do to improve further though is to bring the list from Wikipedia and its comments further down with fennel and peppermint photos and sections higher so you spread the colour around a little more. Thank you for your useful comments on my lenses too!

      All the best! :)