What could be better than a respite from the busy-ness of daily life to enjoy tea with someone special: perhaps if that tea offered therapeutic value in addition to its soothing qualities? To that end I’d like to share some of my favorite teas that are both delightful and offer medicinal benefits so you can pick the best teas for your health problems.
Allergies—Drink a cup of nettles to reduce allergies and allergy symptoms such as nasal and sinus congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes. Research published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research found that nettles were effective against symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Anxiety or Depression—Select lavender flowers to reap the rewards of this fragrant plant’s natural mood-boosting and calming effects. In a recent study comparing the effects of a medication for depression to drinking tea made from lavender flowers, scientists found that lavender was slightly more effective than the antidepressant drug. Study participants drank two cups of lavender tea daily to reap these effects.
Coughs or Viruses—If you’re suffering from a persistent cough or fighting off a virus, then it’s thyme for tea. The herb is highly antiviral and arguably the best herbal remedy for coughs, applications that are even approved by the German government as medical treatments for these conditions.
Migraines and headaches—Choose feverfew, a proven migraine and headache remedy. You probably won’t notice immediate migraine relief but consumed on a daily basis for at least a month and you’ll likely experience a reduction in the frequency of your migraines.
Muscle or joint pain—Choose ginger tea made with fresh ginger root. Ginger contains a unique compound known as gingerols that are proven pain relievers. According to research published in the Journal of Pain, ginger was found to alleviate muscle pain. Other studies demonstrate its effectiveness against joint pain as well. To reap the most benefits, you’ll want to make this tea differently than the others. Boil a 2 inch piece of ginger, coarsely chopped in about cups of water for about 45 minutes, then strain and drink as desired throughout the day.
How to Make Herbal Teas
Use one teaspoon of the dried herb per cup of boiled water (or two teaspoons of the fresh herb). Let steep for at least 10 minutes then drink two to three cups daily for best results. Because ginger is a root, the medicinal properties are best extracted by making a decoction, which involves boiling the herb for at least 45 minutes.