Interesting Ways To Use Herbal Tea You Never Thought Of
Published | 7 min read
Herbal tea can help improve your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health. It's also an overlooked beauty tool. Here are some interesting ways to use your favorite herbal tea.
Are you interested in adopting a more natural approach to health and skincare? If so, you may want to consider using herbal tea daily.
In addition to being delicious and refreshing to sip on, herbal tea is one of the best and most accessible forms of natural medicine available to Americans.
In this guide, we’ll explain the health benefits of herbal tea as it pertains to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Plus, we’ll introduce you to lots of interesting ways to use it that you never even thought of.
What Is Herbal Tea?
Although it has the word “tea” in it, herbal tea is not technically tea at all. This is because it does not contain the leaf buds or leaves of tea plants.
Instead, herbal tea is made from blends or infusions of dried flowers, fruits, spices, or herbs in water. These are known as tinases.
Unlike teas that come from tea plants, tinases do not contain caffeine, making them ideal for promoting calmness and reducing anxiety.
How Is Herbal Tea Used In TCM?
According to registered TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling, food is thy medicine, and medicine is thy food. Herbal tea is part of TCM diet therapy.
“Similar to the concept of TCM, herbal tea helps to balance the body system and brings benefit to the body. It is simple to prepare and more acceptable by consumers,” Physician Lim stated.
Herbal teas are the primary source of dietary antioxidants in many cultures. They are widely represented in the traditional medicine of various cultures.
This is due to their health-promoting activities, such as anticancer, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Best Herbal Teas To Use
Herbal tea can be customized to meet your needs. Aside from drinking it, you can use it as an external wash. It’s often used to help with eczema and infantile jaundice.
Research shows that Yi Zhi Huang herbal tea activates a receptor in the liver that helps clear bilirubin – a pigment that contributes to fetal jaundice.
“It’s made by boiling longan, red dates, goji berries, and codonopsis root. This helps to invigorate qi and nourish Blood to promote the mother’s recovery during confinement,” stated Physician Lim.
Here are some other herbal teas and their potential uses:
Chamomile tea may be beneficial for infants to promote better sleep quality. According to one study, it helps in promoting calmness and may reduce colic.
According to Physician Lim, “Apigenin – a compound found in chamomile – helps relax the muscles and offers a sedative effect to extend sleep duration when given before bedtime.”
“However, it is advisable to seek a professional’s guidance before use. It is also not advisable to introduce this to infants younger than 6 months old or when solids have not been introduced,” cautioned Physician Lim.
Another study found that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily for six weeks lowered blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and fat while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
Always speak to a doctor before using Rooibos tea to lower blood pressure, especially if you are on blood pressure medication.
According to Physician Lim, there are two types: Asian ginseng invigorates qi and yang and American ginseng is more nourishing. Ginseng contains two significant compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits.
Here are seven evidence-based health benefits:
- Contains beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- May benefit cognitive function: One study found that people who consumed 200 mg of Panax ginseng daily for four weeks had improvements in mental health, social functioning, and mood. In another study, Ginseng benefited mental functions. It also promoted feelings of calmness and mood in both healthy people and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Assists with erectile dysfunction: One study found that red ginseng decreases oxidative stress in tissues and enhances blood flow in penile muscles.
- Helps strengthen the immune system
- It has potential benefits against cancer: Ginsenosides in ginseng seem to regulate inflammation, provide antioxidant protection and maintain the health of cells. This could help decrease the risk of certain kinds of cancer. Nevertheless, more research is needed.
- Studies show it can help fight fatigue and increase energy levels
- It may help lower blood glucose: Ginseng, particularly fermented red ginseng, may help increase insulin production, enhance blood sugar uptake in cells and provide antioxidant protection.
Here are some proven benefits that you can use oolong tea for:
- May improve heart health and associated conditions, such as blood pressure and cholesterol
- Can be used to protect against type 2 diabetes: According to one study, the polyphenol antioxidants in oolong tea may help maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- May promote weight loss: Researchers suggest that oolong tea’s ability to enhance enzyme inhibition and antioxidant interactions with gut microbiota may be the reason for its weight loss actions.
- Relieve stress and promote cognitive functions: Oolong contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has positive effects on relaxation and cognitive performance.
- May protect against certain cancers: According to Physician Lim, “Similar to black and green tea, the antioxidants in oolong may help prevent cell mutations. However, more studies are needed.” One study found that tea drinkers have a decreased risk of lung cancer compared with non-tea drinkers.
- Promote tooth and bone strength: One study showed that those who drank black, green, or oolong tea daily over a 10-year period had a 2% higher overall bone mineral density.
- May relieve eczema: One study found that the polyphenol antioxidants in oolong tea may help relieve eczema.
Is Flowering Tea The Same As Herbal Tea?
Flowering tea is also known as blooming tea. It consists of a bundle of dried tea leaves wrapped around one or more dried flowers. These are made by binding tea leaves and flowers together into a bulb, then setting them to dry.
When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower, and the flowers inside emerge as the centerpiece. Flowers commonly used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus.
According to Physician Lim, “Flowers are added to boost the sensory delights of the tea and enhance its therapeutic effect. However, the medicinal concentration is usually low and the therapeutic effects are derived from tea leaves instead.”
“When flowers are added in larger concentrations, they will exhibit their therapeutic effects. For example, chrysanthemum clears Wind-Heat and helps to detox,” Physician Lim continued.
How to use flowering tea
According to Physician Lim, here are some possible uses of flowering tea:
- It may bring about psychological benefits by calming the mind
- It contains antioxidant catechins that may reduce the risk of heart disease, support metabolic health, and prevent type 2 diabetes
- May help reduce the risk of cancer by preventing cell damage and abnormal cells that may become cancer
- Can help support good oral health by decreasing cavities, reducing the risk of periodontitis, and combatting bad breath
Thanks to its natural medicinal properties, there are endless ways to use herbal tea. Apply it externally as a scrub for dry skin or sip it after meals to regulate your blood sugar levels. You can also add it to your nighttime routine to help you sleep better.
Be sure to contact a registered TCM physician or medical doctor before consuming herbal tea if you are currently taking any medications. It’s also advisable to speak with your child’s pediatrician before giving them herbal medicine.
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- Science Direct. 2022. Herbal Tea – An Overview.
- Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2004. East meets West: an herbal tea finds a receptor.
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- Journal of Ginseng Research. 2011. Improvement of cognitive deficit in Alzheimer’s disease patients by long-term treatment with Korean red ginseng.
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- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2021. Tea consumption and long-term risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications: a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults.
- Molecules. 2018. A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols.
- Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition. 2017. L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety.
- Iran Journal of Public Health. 2019. Association of Lung Cancer and Tea-Drinking Habits of Different Subgroup Populations: Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies and Cohort Studies.
- Archives of Internal Medicine. 2002. Epidemiological evidence of increased bone mineral density in habitual tea drinkers.
- Archives of Dermatology. 2001. A trial of oolong tea in the management of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis.
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