WHAT IS A HERBAL TEA?
Herbal tea is a term used to describe infusions of herbs and aromatic plants. Although the infusions have the word “tea” in their name, they are not tea in the true sense of the word, since they are not made with parts of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Instead, the bark, stems, roots, seeds, fruits and leaves of other plants are used as ingredients. With the exception of the mate infusion and the guaius tea, the infusions do not contain caffeine.
As diverse as the herb world is the one of the possible mixtures of tea. The most important ingredients for medicinal herbal tea
infusions . • Leaves • Flowers • Fruits and seeds • Bark • Roots
Plant leaves contain a highly effective combination of sugars, proteins, and enzymes. In addition, they give off aromas and flavors with effects ranging from calming to invigorating, which explains the wide variety of leaves used in the infusions.
Lemongrass, often called lemongrass, is not only an important ingredient for aromatic curry dishes, but also an excellent herbal tea. Evergreen plant of the sweet grass family, it has long, pointed and robust stems.
The plant grows in dense shrubs in tropical or subtropical regions: Southeast Asia, southern India, Sri Lanka, the US, and the Caribbean, and lasts for three to four years.
Lemongrass is increasingly being found in tea blends, often combined with ginger.
In an herbal infusion, the mild lemongrass flavor and surprisingly fresh aroma unfold beautifully. The plant lasts three to four years. In Indonesia and Malaysia, lemongrass has been prized for centuries as a medicinal plant against depression and bad mood.
There are more than 200 species of mint. The most common variety here is mint, which is almost universally known as an infusion. Nana mint, much like peppermint, is popular in Arabic cuisine.
And it’s obvious, because mint is very refreshing, tasty, calming and invigorating. Its consumption can limit the desire to eat sweets, which makes it a natural dietary aid. One of the most popular infusions worldwide is mint tea.
Known to many as an unpopular herb for walking, nettle is underappreciated by many. If it comes into contact with its leaves, they burn for a long time. However, the nettle has been known as a medicinal plant for centuries.
More recently, nettles have become especially popular as an herb to support diet and fasting because they are believed to increase metabolism and have a draining effect.
African bushmen have been drinking rooibos tea for hundreds of years. The name rooibos means red bush, which is why it is often referred to as red bush. Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant, which grows exclusively in the Cedar Mountains in the heart of South Africa.
The red color is the result of the fermentation process, since the rooibos bush is actually green. Rooibos tea has a calming effect, with a sweet and slightly nutty flavor and is caffeine and tannin free.
The leaves of the rooibos plant are rich in trace elements, such as copper, iron, potassium, fluoride, zinc and alpha hydroxy acids, known from many cosmetic products. Discover 10 more facts about rooibos tea.
The small evergreen shrub yerba mate is a spicy plant from the tropical highlands of southern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. The Spanish name for yerba mate comes from the Spanish word “hierba”, which means grass, and “mate” is the Quechua word “mati”, which means bowl.
Thus, collectively, this tea means “cup of herbs”. Mate can be drunk from a cup or, traditionally, from a gourd, with a straw called a bombilla.
Guayusa is an energizing infusion from Ecuador. The base of this herbal tea, known among indigenous peoples for centuries, is the species of holly ilex guayusa. The leaves of the plant contain caffeine, making it a popular morning pick-me-up.
Guayusa consumption is also believed to provide mental clarity and can induce lucid dreams. The flavor of the guayusa is soft and earthy, but without bitter notes. In addition to caffeine, guayusa contains many essential amino acids, vitamins C and D, as well as minerals such as zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
The fresh or dried flowers and petals add color and a subtle aroma to herbal tea blends.
Chamomile is one of the oldest herbs. True chamomile and Roman chamomile are especially well known. In ancient Egypt, chamomile was called the flower of the sun god because of the shape of its flowers and was highly prized for its numerous medicinal properties.
Since chamomile is one of the most widely used infusions, this plant is cultivated today in many countries.
It flowers in May or June, depending on the temperature, and gives off a lovely fragrance with a hint of apple. Since chamomile has a strong drying effect, it should be taken into account when using it externally.
This perennial plant is a type of shrub that grows up to one meter in height. Lavender is known for the purple color of its flowers. In the areas of southern France where it grows freely, entire landscapes are perfumed with its delicate, reassuring floral scent.
In an herbal tea infusion, its essential oils and its typical lavender aroma are optimally revealed.
Hibiscus is often used in herbal and fruit teas as it contributes to its rich color and pleasant acidity. Contains anthocyanins, plant pigments responsible for the red coloration of various fruits.
The hibiscus, which has about 150 different species, is native to tropical regions. At the same time, hibiscus are also grown here. The flowers of this plant are used in tea.
Rosehip is not only a common ingredient in tea, but the rose petals themselves are a popular tea refiner, especially in Asia. Black tea flavored with rose petals has long been a well-known Chinese classic.
When added to black, green, fruit or herbal infusions, rose petals reveal a delicate and relaxing aroma.
The rose is native to Persia. There are over a hundred different varieties. As early as 500 BC in China, Confucius reported on roses.
The rose was introduced from Persia, through Asia, in the Mediterranean region and then the Romans brought it to our latitudes. Since the Middle Ages, it has also been part of the gardens of the monasteries.
The roots take nutrients from the soil and transport them to the leaves and flowers of the plant. They are an ideal ingredient for infusions. In temperate climates, they absorb nutrients from the soil and store them for the winter, when the plant’s metabolism is inactive.
It is best to harvest them on a dry spring day, when the plant has just woken up. If the roots are not too thick or soft, they can be hung to dry or dried in the oven. The dried, roasted roots are a caffeine-free tea substitute.
Mainly used as a spice, ginger is also very popular in herbal tea mixes. Ginger is an important ingredient, especially in health infusions and tea.
It is grown mainly in India and Asia, but its tubers are available in supermarkets throughout the year. Ginger is native to Southeast Asia and has a long healing tradition. Taken as a tea, ginger has a warming and invigorating effect.
This fibrous root gives the tincture its sweetness. Its flavor is about 50 times sweeter than ordinary cane sugar. The juice of the root is mainly used to make licorice.
Only the underground and yellowish part of the root is used. Licorice root has a long tradition as a medicinal plant and remains one of the top ten natural remedies in China.
Although licorice tea is very tasty due to its unique aroma and natural sweetness, it is not suitable for prolonged consumption. If the body receives glycyrrhizin for a long time, sodium accumulates in the body and more potassium is excreted through the kidneys.
In the long term, this can lead to high blood pressure and water retention. If licorice is only one ingredient in herbal tea mixes, the glycyrrhizin concentration is very low.
People with high blood pressure, kidney problems, or diabetes should avoid licorice root. The medicinal plant is also not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.
Turmeric, or turmeric, has long been known both as a spice on its own and as a main ingredient in curry powder, more specifically for its yellow colouring, curcumin. Turmeric is especially popular in the preparation of golden milk.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and grows in the tropical regions of Asia. Only the underground part of the bush is used, which can exceed a meter in height. Its appearance is similar to ginger, but it has a deep yellow color.
Although the root has been used as a remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, in Germany it has only recently become a trendy ingredient and has been described as a miracle food supplement. Some call turmeric the “magic root vegetable” or the “spice of life.” The extract – yellow curcumin – is believed to be effective against arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
The bark, like the root, is important for nourishing the plant. The bark is increasingly used in infusions.
The cinnamon tree, from which it is extracted, belongs to the laurel family and is native to South Asia. More than 3,000 years ago, the Chinese used cinnamon primarily as a spice. Cinnamon was also introduced from Sri Lanka in the 15th century, where it was one of the most expensive spices until the 18th century.
The famous cinnamon sticks are made from the bark of the tree. The bark is peeled and twisted during the drying process. Most people know cinnamon as a spice, but it is also an effective medicinal plant. Cinnamon belongs to the group of flavorings that resemble sweetness. In this way, the tea can be purified in a healthy way.
SHOP HERBAL TEA
Here’s what to keep in mind when buying herbal tea:
Although herbal teas can also be bought cheaply in supermarkets, it’s important to make sure the seller provides information about the origin, plant parts used and processing.
Herbal teas made from hand-harvested herbs from a small organic herb garden or even wild herbs have a different flavor and concentration of valuable essential oils than mass-produced herbal teas.
When buying, pay attention to the appearance of the infusions. Do the ingredients have a fresh color? Are the individual flowers and leaves visible? The quality of herbs largely depends on how they have been processed.
THE HEALING POWER OF INFUSION
What tea does herbal tea make?
The infusions have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Nowadays, numerous herbal infusions and mixtures are also popular in our country to soothe, relax or relieve colds.
The herbs tea what is it for. Plants and herbs contain complex chemical ingredients that may be incompatible with conventional medication or may cause allergies. Some water-soluble components can reach doses so high that they are comparable to drugs in the traditional medicine.
For this reason, non-specialists should not create tea mixtures of different herbs themselves, but leave this task to specialists. Always ask your doctor for advice before prescribing an infusion.
PROPER PREPARATION OF THE HERBAL INFUSION
What is the correct way to prepare an herbal tea?
For prepare a herbal tea natural, a liter of herbal tea is used, about 14 grams of herbs should be used. Depending on your taste, you can reduce or increase the amount to make the infusion. Typically, about a teaspoon of herbs can be taken per cup (150 ml).
Bring the water to a boil and add the herbs while it continues to boil.
Depending on the composition of the herbal tea, infusions should be brewed for 5-15 minutes and covered while brewing to prevent essential oils and vapors from the valuable ingredients from escaping.
Strain the tea and enjoy it unsweetened.