It’s no secret that teas have taken on the role of healing agents since ancient times. Teas with medicinal benefits have grown in popularity as holistic and wellness practices rise as of late. Not only are teas a great comfort drink for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons, but they can ease certain symptoms and prevent disease. Data shows that green tea has “cancer-preventative effects” from cell culture according to research, while black tea shows similar benefits1.
Tea has also shown to have preventative qualities for metabolic and cardiovascular health conditions. Research shows, “Various studies suggest that polyphenolic compounds present in green and black tea are associated with beneficial effects in prevention of cardiovascular diseases, particularly of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease,” 1. Although incorporating tea into your diet won’t actively treat chronic disease, it serves as a tool for prevention and easing symptoms in a holistic way.
Tea types that most illustrate significant health benefits include black (fermented), green (non-fermented), and oolong (semi-fermented) 1.
Green tea is one of the most common types of tea that has great health benefits. These benefits include2:
- Prevention of Cardiovascular disease and cancer
Black tea has been shown to decrease the risk of skin, colon, and lung cancer. This tea contains powerful polyphenols such as theflavins and amino acid L-theanine, to protect against the onset of many chronic disorders3. Other benefits of drinking black tea on a daily basis include3:
- Reduced onset of cardiovascular disorders
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Improved blood pressure
- Reduced complications associated with hypertension
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Improves the status of insulin in diabetics if drinking non-sweetened
This tea may be less popularized compared to green and black teas; however, the benefits are undeniable. Like green tea, oolong has around 10 to 60 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Here are some of the benefits4:
- Lower cholesterol levels and reduced heart disease risk
- Encourages weight loss and healthier gut bacteria
- Reduced risk for neck, throat, and ovarian cancer
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Prevents cavities as it contains naturally occurring fluoride
- Lower risk of Alzheimer’s
- Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
Recipe: Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk Tea
- 2 cups of Milk, or your favorite non-dairy alternative
- 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp of ginger
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon or stick of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of Honey or coconut sugar to taste
1. In a pot or saucepan, add your milk of choice, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, and honey.
2. Warm on medium heat, ensuring it isn’t boiling for about 3-4 minutes. Whisk the ingredients to combine thoroughly.
3. Once warmed, turn off the heat and add any sweetener to taste. Pour into your favorite mug and top with cinnamon or a dash of turmeric. You’ll be cozy for the cooler months in no time!
*For an added caffeine boost, add your favorite chai tea blend and steep for 5 minutes
Emotional Support Blend
- Option 1: Add ½ tsp of each herb and steep for 5 minutes. Add honey to taste.
- Option 2: Add 1 tbs of each herb to quart container, fill will hot water, and steep overnight. Add honey to taste.
- “Armor-like,” often recommended for air / trauma workers
- May help equalize blood pressure, reduce fever and inflammation, restore homeostasis to circulatory system
- Contains chamazulene, a key ingredient in chamomile
- May benefit those seeking support in creating boundaries, saying “no”, and acting with courage
- May support cardiac tissue, calm palpitations, and release tension
- May benefit those experiencing loss and grief
- May support arteries and capillaries in nourishing cardiac tissue
- May strengthen muscular contractions while calming heart rate
- Stimulates and uplifts, may bring comfort to the body
- May benefit those in need of encouragement, especially during times of emotional vulnerability
- May support healing wounds and cooling burns
11 Surprising Ways Drinking Tea Can Heal You
- In a Canadian study, people who took 400 milligrams of ginseng a day had 25 percent fewer colds than those popping a placebo. Ginseng helps kill invading viruses by increasing the body's production of key immune cells.
- Trouble finishing your work? Grab a cup of peppermint tea. Researchers in the United Kingdom reported in the International Journal of Neuroscience that it took a mere whiff of peppermint to increase subjects' alertness and memory tasks.
- Passionflower has the flavone chrysin, which has wonderful anti-anxiety benefits and, in part, can work similarly to the pharmaceutical Xanax (alprazolam), suggests a study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmaceutical Therapy. A mild sedative, this particular species of passionflower provides a vegetal-tasting tea that calms nervousness and anxiety. It is generally considered safe to use but should be avoided by pregnant women.
- Next time you're feeling big as a blimp, burst the bloat with a hot cup of lemon tea. What makes it so powerful? D-limonene, the major component of citrus-rind oil, is commonly found in the brew. The extract has been used for its diuretic effects since ancient times, but until recently there were no scientific findings to back the assumption. A recent animal study published in the Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan confirmed D-limonene can indeed fight off water retention.
- Preliminary studies have shown that rooibos, a red tea from South Africa, may have the same kickstart effects on your immune system as green tea. But with its richer flavor, rooibos will help cut through the dulled senses that come with a stuffy nose. And to keep your symptoms in check, drizzle in a little honey: Penn State scientists have discovered that honey is a powerful cough suppressant. When parents of 105 sick children doled out honey or dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines like Robitussin), the honey was better at lessening cough frequency and severity.
- A study published in the journal Biological Chemistry showed that green tea protected the liver from some of the oxidative stress brought on by alcohol. For more, don't miss 7 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Green Tea.
- And another study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed that athletes who drank mineral water containing peppermint oil improved their performance on a treadmill test. The researchers theorize that peppermint has an effect on arterial smooth muscle, which lowers heart rate and systolic blood pressure and improves respiratory efficiency. Of course, there's more you'll need to function at your prime than just peppermint tea. For that, you should read up on these 15 Exercise Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Workout.
- Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can help you recover faster after an intense workout.
- Valerian has long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. The same can be said of these 5 Absolute Best Foods to Eat For Better Sleep.
- EGCG, a chemical compound that is potent in green tea, has been shown in studies to stop the adenovirus (one of the bugs responsible for colds) from replicating. Start pumping green tea into your system at the first sign of a cold and you should be able to stave off worse symptoms.
- Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the journal Appetite found that those who sniffed peppermint consumed 2,800 fewer calories a week. (At that rate, you'd drop a shocking 41½ pounds in a year—just by sipping and sniffing peppermint!) Tea isn't doing the trick? Check out hte 19 Healthiest Foods to Stop Your Cravings, According to RDs.