As colder weather continues this winter season, you may be wondering what you can do to spice up your usual list of warm beverages. Tea has been a longtime favorite for many people as their go-to drink of choice, whether they are feeling a little chilly, want to relieve stress or anxiety, or want to promote healthy skin.
Having existed for centuries, tea was originally used for medicinal purposes. With its roots in China, tea has been developed and perfected for a variety of purposes and results. Brought to the Western world, more specifically Europe, by Portuguese traders, tea has become a staple in many households. Once the leafy concoctions hit Europe, tea quickly spread all over the world following age-old trade routes.
From helping calm you down to fighting allergies, tea is truly more than a hot beverage on a cold day. Here are five teas and what they can do for your health.
- Green Tea: One of the oldest and most popular teas in the world, green tea has been proven to help lower your cholesterol by replacing bad cholesterol with good, reduce the risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss. Packed full of antioxidants, green tea has been found to help fight cancer. Whether loose-leaf or in a bag, green tea is sure to help you feel top notch.
- Lemon Balm Tea: Originating in the Mediterranean, lemon balm tea is used for a wide variety of reasons, from reducing agitation and nervousness to helping calm your stomach. Most recently, the lemon balm herb has been linked to improving your quality of sleep. For years, this tea has been used to ease one’s feeling of melancholy by refreshing your mind, body and spirit.
- Rooibos Tea: Also known as “red bush” tea, this tea was originally brewed in South Africa. Containing a range of antioxidant properties, rooibos tea has been used for centuries to keep your skin, teeth and bones healthy. This powerful tea is also known for its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Have a cup before or after a meal to help aid in your digestion.
- Chai Tea: With its foundation in India, chai tea has rapidly spread across South Asia to become the drink of choice in many regions. While this tea can be readily ordered at your local coffee shop, creating it in the traditional Ayurvedic medicinal style will give you the most benefit. Used for anything from a digestive aid to reducing inflammation in common diagnoses such as arthritis, chai tea is a powerful, tasty drink.
- Chamomile Tea: A tea that has been around since the pyramids were constructed, chamomile tea was created to deal with a variety of psychological ailments. This tea has been known to help with a variety of emotional struggles. Whether you are stressed out, depressed or anxious, a cup of chamomile tea will help bring you back to your emotional center. Furthermore, this ancient brew has been proven to boost your immune system.
While the list above only captures a small snapshot of the thousands of tea varieties in existence, you may want to pick up any or all of the five teas at your local health food store to give you a leg up on your health. From major health issues like cancer or high blood pressure, to lowering anxiety or getting a better night’s sleep, ditch the over-the-counter-sleeping pills and grab some tea! Whether you prefer loose-leaf over bagged tea or drinking a single cup or an entire kettle, you can’t go wrong with a good cup of tea!
Ryan Keel graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in health sciences. He is a freelance writer focusing on health and wellness, physical education and related topics.