Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3 Herbal Teas and How they Benefit Your Health

If you're not a big fan of green tea (I didn't use to be, but I've come around in recent years, and now I like it), herbal tea (technically an "infusion" - not a tea) also has some great health benefits, and may be more your cup of tea! While herbal remedies have been used in some cultures for centuries, other societies have just begun to accept their benefits.  Even now, some people still rely on modern medicine for problems that can be treated effectively with an herbal remedy because they are leery about them.  A great way to get the benefits of herbs without taking supplements is to brew them into a tea.  You then get the benefits along with a great tasting drink.

Here are three great herbal teas and what they can do to help you. 

Valerian Tea

Tea Inventory
Tea Inventory (Photo credit: euphbass)
Valerian has been used for centuries to help with a whole host of medical problems.  Most recently it has been used to calm nerves and even soothe severe anxiety and restlessness.  It is a great tea to enjoy at the end of the day when you want to unwind and relax.  Because it acts as a sedative, Valerian is often used to cure insomnia and get a restful night’s sleep.  It is also commonly used to help with menstrual cramps and digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Warning! You should also be wary of continued use because it can become addictive and produce withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. If drinking valerian tea, do so only occasionally.  
When making Valerian tea, do not use boiling water.  You can decrease its potency; just use hot water. 

Echinacea Tea

Want to be able to strengthen your immune system and better fight off viruses like that flu?  Or course you do.  That’s why you should try to drink Echinacea tea regularly.  This tea stimulates your T cells and helps boost interferon production; both essential parts of immune functioning. Echinacea should not be taken daily, but you can safely drink Echinacea tea whenever you feel a cold coming on, or you just need a boost to your immune system. I love Celestial Seasonings' Echinacea Wellness tea - it tastes great, and is lovely when you have a cold, or are fighting one off.

Note: A few people may be allergic to Echinacea, so if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction or an asthma attack, discontinue use and see a doctor immediately. 

Herbal tea
Herbal tea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hawthorn Tea

If you’re looking for a natural, effective way to help improve your heart function and circulation, you may want to try hawthorn tea.  This herb has been known to help the heart, relieve blood pressure problems, lower cholesterol, and improve circulation.  It’s also an antioxidant which means it helps prevent cancer and improves overall health.

If used properly, herbal teas can be a great way to naturally improve your health and help you live a happier life.  If you benefit from these teas, there are many other options that you can try to maintain good health.

NOTE: Before drinking herbal teas, taking herbal supplements, or taking any medications, you should talk to your doctor.  Herbs can have side effects, complications, and drug interactions; just like prescription meds.  You doctor will be able to tell you if it’s safe for you to use certain herbs or not.   

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