A little while ago, we investigated the origins, characteristics and benefits of the different kinds of teas. But what about those tasty tisanes, otherwise known as herbal teas?
Tisanes are not true teas, in that they are not made from actual tea plants, but they use a variety of herbs and spices to create an infusion. Tisanes are often caffeine free, which makes them a great evening alternative to regular tea. A warm comforting sip of these herbal infusions can do wonders for your body and soul! Consider a few varieties for your next mug.
Ginger originates from Southeast Asia and has been used medicinally as early as 200BC. It has a warm spicy flavor that is both soothing and energizing. It is equally satisfying when served hot or cold and goes well with honey, mint, or lemon.
Benefits: Ginger is a classic remedy for nausea, tooth aches, migraines, menstrual cramps, and even has anti-fungal properties that make a great topical treatment for athletes foot.
Peppermint tea is made from the dried leaves of the peppermint plant. It’s strong menthol content gives it a strong mint flavor that pairs well with other herbal teas or on it’s own.
Benefits: Like ginger, peppermint is traditionally used to sooth the stomach and relieve nausea. It can also help clear your sinuses and calm a cough in allergy or cold seasons.
Rose hip Tea
Rose hips are the round portion of the flower just below the petals. They contain the seed of the rose plant and have a distinct but mild herbal taste that is somewhat difficult to describe.
Benefits: Rose hips are rich in vitamin C (50% more than oranges!) which makes them a wonderful soother during cold season. Rose hips are also a good source of vitamin A, which is beneficial to the immune system. Recent studies even show that rose hips might be very effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Hibiscus is a bushy plant with vibrant crimson flowers native to Africa, but commonly grown in the Caribbean. The tea is made from the dried calyces — the cup-like structure that supports the flowers. Although it has a sour flavor, it has sweet undertones that can be brought out with sugar or honey. It can make a lovely iced tea or tea spritzer with the addition of soda water and lime!
Benefits: Hibiscus has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with slightly elevated levels. There is also emerging evidence that it may also help to keep cholesterol in check.