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  • Morgan Weinmeister

5 teas and herbs to drink more of


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Before writing for the West Island News, I was lucky enough to work in a tea shop. As such, I became quite familiar with the benefits of different tea types, herbs, and blends.


Below is a list of what I feel are essential additions to your tea collection. From insomnia to IBS to heart health and better focus, you are sure to find something useful (and maybe even surprising) on this list.


Are you more of a tea or coffee drinker?


What blend do you drink every day? Let us know in the comments!


Chamomile


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Made by drying the chamomile flower, which is very similar to a daisy, steeping this tea has a wide variety of benefits. Most of which, I had not yet heard of. Over time, you’ve likely heard how chamomile can have calming properties that appease anxiety and aid in better sleep.


What you might not have heard are the ways in which steeping the dried chamomile flower can aid with menstrual pain and symptoms and can even fight against osteoporosis. This degenerative disease caused by weak and brittle bones is most commonly seen in post-menopausal women due to a fall in estrogen.


The chamomile flower has been shown to lessen these effects and therefore contribute to better overall bone health.


I recommend steeping the pure flower rather than a chamomile tea blend from the grocery store, as it is more potent, and the results are usually more effective. Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine-free which makes it a great addition to your night routine.


Peppermint

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Native to some parts of Europe and Asia, peppermint leaves, both fresh and dried have been used for not only their pleasant smell but also their many benefits.


Most notably, peppermint has been known to aid with digestion and nausea. I will always remember finishing a large meal at a restaurant with my family and my grandmother reaching into her purse to pull out her roll of mint lifesavers. “Here,” she would say. “It’s good for your tummy.”


Not only is the natural cooling effects of peppermint soothing for your stomach, but peppermint has also been shown to calm the digestive tract and relieve muscle spasms in the gut – a symptom often associated with IBS.


The oils in peppermint leaves have also been known to help reduce the pain of migraines and tension headaches. A small amount of peppermint oil rubbed on the temples and the back of the neck can help appease headache pain.


Consuming peppermint tea orally can have a similar effect.


The menthol found naturally in peppermint leaves encourages stronger blood flow which can alleviate pain.


Rooibos


The Rooibos (roy-buhs) plant, native to Africa, is a small red bush that is naturally caffeine-free and slightly sweet in flavor.


Rooibos contains many essential minerals and antioxidants. Its high levels of vitamin C also contribute to its many health benefits.


For starters, rooibos tea has been known to improve the appearance of skin and give an overall more youthful look. It contains a primary ingredient in most anti-aging skincare called alpha hydroxy acid. Check your ingredients list the next time you pick up your anti-aging serum! They might surprise you.


Even more impressive, rooibos tea contains an active ingredient known as Chrysoeriol which is known to reduce inflammation. This, alongside with the flavonoid Quercetin reduces symptoms of allergies and may even prevent the onset of symptoms.


Chrysoeriol, which we mentioned earlier, is also responsible for the promotion of circulation and heart health and can prevent cardiovascular disease and heart attack.


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Yerba Maté


Yerba Maté is a South American herb that is widely popular due to its naturally high caffeine content and benefits similar to most teas. In my experience with maté tea, it always felt like more of a mental energy boost rather than a body one. I sip this tea when I’m in mid-terms at university and need to make sure that my focus levels are at their peak.


If you’re a gym geek, yerba mate has also been used as a natural pre-workout in conjunction with other supplements. This always depends on what works best for you, and how you prefer to handle your personal gym and workout routine.


Studies have also shown Yerba Maté’s ability to protect and fight against some bacterial and fungal infections. One study showed that high doses of yerba mate extract could deactivate the effects of E. coli bacteria which is responsible for a variety of symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain.


Oolong

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Believe it or not, this is actually the only item on the list which is actually classified as tea because it is derived from the tea leaf less commonly known as “Camellia Sinensis.”


Oolong tea finds itself somewhere between black and green tea. It is bolder than a green tea but not quite as harsh as a black one. Uniquely, oolong tea is traditionally hand-rolled into what looks like little balls or rods. As you steep the leaves, they unravel to reveal the beautiful tea leaf shape.


Speaking from personal experience, oolong tea is a strong metabolism booster and can help with weight loss alongside appropriate dietary changes.


It is also highly beneficial to hair, skin, and nail health. When I embarked on my hair health journey, incorporating oolong tea into my daily regimen was pivotal in seeing significant changes in the strength and appearance of my hair.


Oolong tea also contains fluoride which can help reduce your risk of cavities.


It is worth noting that oolong tea can be quite high in caffeine content. If you’re particularly sensitive, start with a cup of oolong tea early in the day and see how you feel. I don’t recommend drinking this tea beyond 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon.


The world of tea is vast, and the facts are endless. It never ceases to amaze me how much power nature has in healing us from the inside out. What natural remedies would you be lost without?