This amazing post was written by Caitlin Iles, a Holistic Culinary Nutritionist, and Yoga teacher who focuses on healing the body through the latest nutrition research and time-tested, evolution-based dietary concepts. She shares recipes and inspiration at www.caitliniles.ca or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
I am obsessed with herbal tea, or tisanes if you want to get fancy about it. I think any day, event, or situation can be made infinitely better with a warm cup of something aromatic and soothing. Though I tend to mostly stick to my favourite ginger and peppermint teas, sometimes it’s fun to experiment with different types of tea to help us with different niggling health issues. I’ve written here before about some of the best herbal anti-nauseants and parsley tea for skin health, but wanted to share some other fabulous herbs with you. Mother Earth has provided us with so many medicines to help make our bodies stronger, skin softer, and tummies happier. Check out some of my favourites below!
15 Best Herbal Teas for Your Health
Benefits: This herb is rich in chlorophyll (it’s what gives the leaves their bright green pigment!) and has long been considered a body tonic in herbal medicine. Recent research is showing that it can help manage blood sugar and inflammation in diabetics, has a potent anti-oxidant and protective effect in the body, and can increase the amount of glutathione (our master antioxidant!) in the liver and kidneys!
Pairs well with: lavender, peppermint, spearmint, or red raspberry leaf
2. Red Raspberry Leaf
Benefits: This herb is naturally high in many important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, and iron. It is also high in tannins, which can be quite soothing both internally and externally. Herbalists have recommended red raspberry leaf for years to women of childbearing years as it is thought to tone and strengthen the uterus, making for an easier labour.
Pairs well with: Nettle, spearmint, peppermint, ginger, lavender, tulsi, or lemon balm.
3. Spearmint (Testosterone)
Benefits: I put both spearmint and peppermint on this list not only because they are my two favourite teas, but because in addition to its anti-nauseant and anti-emetic effects, spearmint can also help lower testosterone levels in women struggling with PCOS or other hormonal imbalances causing issues such as hirsutism.
Pairs well with: Peppermint, ginger, nettle, red raspberry leaf, tulsi, lemon balm, lavender, or chamomile.
Benefits: This herb is one of my all time favourites and I try to drink at least one cup of peppermint tea per day. It has been shown to aid in alleviating symptoms of IBS, activates digestion to help get our digestive enzymes flowing, soothes stomach irritation & inflammation, and has anti-bacterial health benefits.
Pairs well with: ginger, spearmint, nettle, red raspberry leaf, or lavender
Benefits: Many studies are being done on the effectiveness of ginger extract as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. It has also been shown to help with glycemic markers in diabetic patients and when combined with cinnamon may help with post-exercise inflammation and soreness.
Pairs well with: Pau d’arco, turmeric, cinnamon, mint, or chaga.
6. Pau d’arco
Benefits: Pau d’arco is another one of my favourite teas that I drink daily as the base for my hot chocolate elixir. It has great anti-inflammatory effects, inhibits pathogenic bacterial growth in the gut without impacting our healthy bacterial colonies, and has cardio-protective benefits. It has a rich, slightly sweet flavour and makes a great base for smoothies or elixirs.
Pairs well with: Raw cacao, chaga, ginger, or turmeric.
Benefits: This beautiful herb has the most relaxing effect on the body thanks to the volatile oils that provide its signature scent. It can be used as a soothing tea for nausea, anti-anxiety, pain relief, managing migraine symptoms, and to lower stress.
Pairs well with: Peppermint, spearmint, nettle, red raspberry leaf, chamomile, and tulsi.
Benefits: Mushrooms are becoming one of the darlings of the health food world and with good reason! This study has shown that chaga has inhibitory effects on tumor cells in vitro. It can also help manage the inflammation characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease and thanks to its immune modulating effects on the body may be used as an anti-allergenic food functional food.
Pairs well with: Pau d’arco, ginger, turmeric, or raw cacao.
9. Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Benefits: This herb has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogenic tonic and current research is validating its thousands of years of use. Taking Tulsi can help manage symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, may help improve brain function in adults, and is a potent anti-oxidant. You can buy tons of different blends of holy basil tea to boost the health benefits and deliciousness!
Pairs well with: Peppermint, spearmint, ginger, lavender, chamomile, or lemon balm.
10. Dandelion Root
Benefits: If you’re feeling bloated or like you’re retaining water you may want to try some dandelion root tea, as it’s a great diuretic. They are also researching its potential effects on the pancreas to help with obesity management and have shown that it protects the liver against chemically induced damage. It’s got a great roasted flavour and you can even buy some great dandelion root-based coffee replacements.
Pairs well with: Chaga, pau d’arco, or chicory.
Benefits: This soothing flower is widely known for its calming effects on the mind, but did you know it is also great for tummy troubles including IBS symptoms, ulcers, diarrhea, nausea, and gassiness? It has an incredibly mild and slightly sweet flavour, which makes it a great introduction to the world of herbal medicine
Pairs well with: Spearmint, mint, nettle, tulsi, or red raspberry leaf.
Benefits: Cinnamon is an incredibly potent anti-bacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, which means it can help your immune system protect you from the colds and flus circulating at school, home, or the office. If you suffer from prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or PCOS cinnamon can be a true lifesaver! It has been shown in studies that even small amounts, as little as ½ tsp./day, can help lower your fasting glucose levels—the fancy terms for the amount of sugar circulating in our blood between meals—, HbA1C, and blood pressure by improving your response to insulin.
Pairs well with: Ginger, turmeric, pau d’arco, turmeric, licorice, chaga,
13. Lemon Balm
Benefits: This herb has a slightly sweet, lemony flavour and is part of the mint family. It has many similar health benefits as peppermint, which you can see above. However, it is also beneficial for helping alleviate stress and anxiety, which can have a tremendous impact on digestive health and function. Your brain is intimately linked to your digestive system and so when you’re feeling stressed out or nervous it can cause discomfort and even nausea in the digestive system. This herb is a great option if you find you get tummy aches or if you tend to lose your appetite due to stress.
Pairs well with: Peppermint, spearmint, nettle, red raspberry leaf, chamomile, lavender, or ginger.
Benefits: This herbal tea can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and stomach, prevent LDL oxidation (a key player in heart disease), may enhance fat burning during exercise, and, like spearmint, can help manage levels of testosterone in women with PCOS and hirsutism. It’s got a great, sweet flavour and makes the perfect post-meal cuppa!
Pairs well with: Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, or peppermint.
Benefits: This miracle spice has over 2000 published scientific studies touting its health benefits. A few of them include potent anti-inflammatory effects in the body, it can help reduce symptoms of depression, fabulous for pain relief, and may be a great option for helping manage weight in those with health conditions. Check out how to purchase the best quality turmeric here.
Pairs well with: Cinnamon, licorice, ginger, cardamom, chaga, or pau d’arco. Try out my amazing Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Latte here!
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