Herbal Tea - Varieties and Benefits By Janet Kane

Herbal teas — less commonly called herb teas or tisanes — and fruit teas are beverages made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, fruits, or other plant material in hot water. They do not usually contain caffeine.

You can visit a health shop to get your organic tea leaves and make your own mixes, or simply buy premixed. I prefer organic so you get the true leaf without the harsh chemicals that often negate the medicinal and nutritional benefits sought after.

Bergamot
The citrus fruit is known as the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea. This oil has been known to treat mild depression and digestion problems in the past. Look for it in herbal blends rather than as a stand-alone tea.

Chamomile
One of the most common herbal brews, chamomile has many benefits. It soothes the stomach, and can be helpful for diarrhoea, nausea, reflux and abdominal cramps including period pain and anxiety. Often had at night to soothe, relax and prepare for sleep.

Cinnamon
Not only is it a delicious ingredient in apple pie, cinnamon in herbal tea helps improve digestive problems too. Cinnamon is a warming tonic, wonderful for easing winter chills, and also or people who feel the cold.

Dandelion
Can be used for bloating, acne, digestion, and dandelion tea has been shown have a significant effect on water content in the body because of its diuretic properties.

Fennel

Fennel has a distinctive licorice flavour and often adds that sweetness desired when dieting and excellent for digestion. A weaker form blended with chamomile flowers is great for babies with colic. Combining chilli seeds is an incredible combination.

Ginger
Ginger is a tummy tonic and great for nausea, diarrhoea, indigestion and cramping. Ginger is also a terrific circulation tonic and can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Hibiscus
Hibiscus flowers contain high levels of antioxidants, and in tea, it is helpful for the inflammation of mucus membranes such as sore throats, gum disease and cystitis and recently been found to reduce high blood pressure.

Juniper Berry
Juniper berries are used by herbalists in teas for urinary tract problems and especially as a diuretic."The berries in a tea need to be boiled and can be mixed with other berries for assisting a healthy heart.

Lavender
Lavender can promote the feeling of calm, but the oil on its own is strong in a tea, so best combined.

Lemongrass
Lemongrass is said to aid digestion, bloating and flatulence. It is also helpful for headaches and good for nervous system.

Lemon Myrtle
Lemon Myrtle has a great tangy lemon flavour and can be mixed with other teas. It is great used as a cleanser with Manuka honey if you're suffering with a winter cold or flu.

Peppermint
Excellent for digestive problems, and good for snuffly colds. This is a tea I prefer after my dinner meal to digest and settle. Sipping cool peppermint tea can also help relieve the hot flashes of menopause.

Spearmint
Spearmint tea is excellent for sinus and upper respiratory conditions. Can be mixed with lemongrass.