5 Herbal Teas that you need to try right now

5 Herbal Teas that you need to try right now
11/03/2015 Margarida Moreira

The herbal tea is an ancient process that consists in extracting chemicals from plants aiming to restore or maintain health, for pleasure and conviviality.

Prepare an herbal tea

Heat the water in a heat source (the microwave is not recommended)  until the first bubbles are detached from the bottom of the kettle (70°C to 90°C) that is without allowing the water to boil.
Add approximately 3 g/L of the plant (the amount varies depending on the plant species), cover and wait between 5 to 7 minutes so that the plants chemical compounds are liberated to the water, providing organoleptic and medicinal properties.

Top 5

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): provine name from Latin and means “Camellia China“. Green tea contains a higher amount of polyphenols (one or more hydroxyl – functional group – attached to an aromatic ring) and antioxidants. The green tea is rich in minerals and vitamins. In medicine, tea (the plant) is recommended for preventing atherosclerosis, cancer, and coronary heart disease, lowers cholesterol and promotes the elasticity of the arteries. Green tea increases energy levels, fat burning (promotes weight loss), is antibacterial (as such promotes good breath) and digestive (relieves digestive disorders: stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea). Parts used: leaves. Precautions: The tea promotes the production of gastric acid, such as people suffering from gastric ulcers should avoid this tea – with the exception of prescription by a health professional. Tea is rich in caffeine and should be drunk in moderation.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): chamomile was considered one of the nine sacred plants by the ancient Saxons. (Do not confuse the Matricaria recutita with Chamaemelum nobile or C. romana, despite all being commonly known as chamomile, are different species). The German chamomile (the real one) is very rich in flavonoids, coumarins, fatty acids and tannins. These chemical compounds are critical to the medicinal properties of this plant: anti-inflammatory (also relieves the pain caused by tooth eruption and abdominal pain), tonic, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, sedative, antipyretic and calming. The poultices soaked in the herbal tea relieve burns, rashes, itching and ulcers. Parts used: flowers. Precautions: pollen from flowers can cause allergy in sensitive people.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita): the plant is recognized in dishes, delights desserts and refreshes beverages. In medicine, the herbal tea is prescribed as an antipyretic, diuretic, to relieve headaches and to combat digestive disorders (indigestion, malaise, stomach pains), as carminative (reduction or elimination of flatulence), tonic and antiseptic. Parts used: leaves. Precautions: The plant has abortifacient properties.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): used in the preparation of meals, is also a nice and pleasant flavor when served as as herbal tea. In medicine, ginger (rhizome) is rich in starch, proteins, lipids, proteases and volatile oils among many other compounds. In medicine, it is used since the nineteenth century, in the form of powder, to treat digestive problems related disorders (indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea and flatulence). More recent studies confirm the medicinal properties used for centuries and add that ginger stimulates various digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas. The rhizome also contain other medicinal properties such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, relieves bone pain and reduces cholesterol. In pregnancy is prescribed to relieve the sickness / nausea and vomiting. The herbal tea of dried ginger (or ground) is essential to treat cough (10 mg of dried ginger / powder to each cup of tea, 250ml of hot water). Parts used: rhizome. Precautions: Ginger can cause heartburn and affect the blood coagulation time. Pregnant women should consult a health professional before consuming ginger, because high amounts can induce abortion.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus): the aromatic tropical plant is glorified in South America and India for the therapeutic effects. The lemongrass is practically recognized as the most digestive plant on record! In medicine it is used as antipyretic, antibacterial (studies show that fights at least 22 strains of bacteria), antimycotic, antifungal, sedative, analgesic and combat digestive disorders (carminative, digestive and is recommended to treat vomiting and diarrhea). The plant proves to be effective for treating influenza (a cup of tea every 3 to 4 h, several times a day) and to improve the athlete’s foot (the essential oil is more effective than topical application of the herbal tea). The herbal tea relieves pain and processes cholesterol. Parts used: leaves. Precautions: There are no reports (to date) of side effects.

KRAPP, K. [et al.]. Manual de medicinas complementares. Barcelona; Loures; Porto: Oceano: Crerital: Nova Variante, [2004]. [VIII], Original title: The gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine

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