It is no secret that tea has come a long way since its origins in China 5000 years ago. From Assam in India to Earl Grey in England, the hot drink is now a cultural staple in a number of different countries.
For regular tea drinkers, its popularity is hardly surprising. Not only is the herbal remedy versatile and tasty, but it’s also recognised to support our physical and mental health in a variety of ways.
But while the advantages of most teas are well established, other valuable varieties often fly under the radar.
If you’re looking to switch up your English Breakfast, this article will outline 6 delicious—and often overlooked—herbal teas that have been shown to benefit our body and mind.
- Nettle Tea
As far as wild plants go, nettles don’t have the best reputation. If you’ve ever brushed by its jagged leaves on a country walk, you’ll understand why.
Yet, aside from its famous sting, the nettle plant is also renowned for its medicinal properties. Its use even dates back to Ancient Egypt, where civilians would use the plant to remedy everything from lower back pain to arthritis.
Nettle leaves can be eaten after they’re steamed, but the most popular way to reap the benefits of the plant is by infusing it into tea.
Nettle tea is bursting with all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are native to the plant. Not only is it recognised to benefit our wellbeing, but it also has a delicate, earthy aroma akin to green tea.
If you’re interested in sampling this unconventional tea, you can buy the brew in bags, loose-leaf varieties, or even make it yourself by adding the leaves to boiling water.
- Dandelion Tea
Another frequently overlooked herbal drink is dandelion tea. Dandelions are bright yellow flowers that are native to Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.
The plant is a common weed, and you’ve probably seen them grow freely across meadows, gardens and roadsides.
The medicinal use of the herb stretches back to the 10th and 11th centuries, and due to the variety of beneficial compounds in the flower, dandelion tea is becoming an increasingly popular beverage.
Although research into the plant isn’t extensive, studies suggest that dandelions may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Other research indicates that the weed could be beneficial to those with high blood pressure or poor liver health.
If you’re interested in what dandelion tea could offer you, you can purchase products that contain its flowers and its roots. As an alternative, you can try to make your own version by steeping the flowers and stems of the weed in hot water.
- Reishi Tea
Reishi tea is another herbal drink that’s bursting with nutrients. Reishi is a mushroom that grows naturally across Asia. Frequently dubbed the “mushroom of immortality”, the fungus is one of the oldest symbols of longevity and wellness in China.
While reishi is still relatively unknown in the west, it’s becoming increasingly popular in certain wellness circles—and for a good reason.
While research into the mushroom is still ongoing, research suggests that the ancient fungi has immunity-boosting potential. Specifically, a 2010 study discovered that the mushroom may help to fight off infections by altering inflammation pathways in white blood cells.
In addition to this, other research also indicates that reishi extract may be able to reduce fatigue and support peoples general wellbeing. However, more research into the benefits and potential risks of this mystical mushroom needs to take place before we fully understand its effects.
To make reishi tea at home, simply cut the mushrooms into thin slices and boil them in boiling water for around 2 hours. Then, leave to chill until it’s a drinkable temperature, strain the mushroom pieces out of the water, and serve.
- CBD Tea
If you’re looking for herbal tea with a twist, CBD tea might be for you. Otherwise known as cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical compound that is found in industrial hemp and cannabis Sativa.
Unlike THC, the slightly better-known cannabinoid, CBD is completely non-intoxicating. Instead, the extract is recognised to favour our mental and physical wellbeing in a number of different ways.
The compound is commonly used to remedy chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety, among other conditions. Recent studies suggest that the cannabinoid may be useful in addressing these issues due to the unique way it interacts with our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a regulatory system that helps to bring balance to a range of biological processes. When CBD is consumed, it helps this network to work more effectively, and this is largely why the extract is recognised to influence our mood, mental processes and physical perceptions.
CBD infused tea is available in tea bags, but you’re also able to create your own by adding a few drops of the oil tincture into your favourite tea.
It should be noted that some of CBD’s remedial potential may be diminished when it’s added to boiling water, so if you’re looking for more notable effects, another method may be more suitable.
In this case, you can combine your relaxing tea drinking ritual with some tasty CBD oil gummies or other edibles for added benefits.
- Ginkgo Biloba Tea
Finally, another mentally boosting supplement that makes a great tea is Ginkgo Biloba. It is obtained from the leaves of the Ginko tree, a species of tree that is native to East Asia.
Ginko has been used to support the health and wellbeing of humans for centuries. In fact, some experts believe it’s the oldest living tree in the world.
Due to the tree’s supposedly health-boosting qualities, the supplement is still commonly used to enhance people’s overall wellbeing.
Studies now indicate that it may be able to lower the risks of many diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers because of its antioxidant potential.
Moreover, research also suggests that the ancient plant may be effective in addressing a range of mental issues, including anxiety, stress and cognitive decline associated with ageing.
One of the best methods to experience the potential positive effects of Ginkgo Biloba is by infusing it into tea.
The herbal supplement is available in tea bags, loose leaves, and you’re also able to steep the leaves of the plant yourself.
We hope these suggestions have opened your mind to the versatile and healing nature of herbal tea.
Now all that’s left to do is put on the kettle, find a cosy spot, and unwind with your chosen remedy!