The history of tea is thousands of years old. Legend has it that about 4,000 years ago, a Chinese emperor was the first to drink tea, after dried leaves fell into the hot water he was about to drink . Since then, tea has been used in ritual offerings, medicinally, for focus and energy, eaten as a vegetable, and more.
Leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are the original tea leaves. Black, green, white, and oolong tea are all made from these leaves and have some similar benefits, too.
But, since the origin of tea thousands of years ago, countless other varieties have appeared all over the world. Each different kind of tea has a unique taste and benefits. Some can even be combined to create a potent blend to address your needs.
Teas for Detox
Drinking tea to detoxify your system is usually referred to as a “teatox.” There are a number of different methods to cleansing your body with tea. Some involve drinking nothing but tea for a day. Others incorporate several cups of tea every day. The following teas can help you with your teatox journey.
Dandelion root and leaf have been used medicinally for centuries and has historically been used to treat problems involving the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts (the ducts that carry bile through the pancreas and into the small intestine).
Nowadays, dandelion is a popular way to treat digestive discomfort. The whole plant can be eaten fresh, or you can pick and choose the leaves and roots. Dandelion can also be dried and taken in capsule form, or as a liquid extract .
Of course, we like dandelion best as tea. Some people find it too bitter, but it can be sweetened with honey or agave.
For centuries, licorice root has been used in China, Egypt, and Greece to help with stomach inflammation, and today is no different. Licorice root is most commonly used, as a dietary supplement, to address digestive problems .
This herb is most popular to promote regularity, i.e. regular visits to the bathroom. The FDA has even approved senna leaf as a short-term treatment for constipation. The leaves contain a compound called sennosides, which help move stool through the bowels .
Oolong tea can help boost metabolism because of its rich polyphenol content. Research has even shown the tea can boost metabolism by 20% for 2 hours .
The tea is gentle on the stomach but also contains caffeine, making it a popular alternative to black tea.
Teas for Stress and Anxiety
Stress is difficult to avoid and difficult to deal with. Anxiety is even worse. Fortunately, there are plenty of teas that can help reduce feelings of stress. As far as anxiety is concerned, tea is beneficial as well, but if you’re concerned that your anxiety levels are too high, you should talk to your doctor about all your options.
Passionflower has a long history as a mild sedative. Spanish explorers found it in Peru in the 16th century, and Native Americans have used passionflower as a mild sedative. Today, it’s used to help anxiety, sleep problems, and even ADHD .
This stress-busting herb can help reduce anxiety because of its ability to lower cortisol, the “stress hormone” in your brain . Research has found the herb can reduce levels of anxiety and insomnia. If you decide to try ashwagandha tea, make sure you have some free time blocked off, in case it works a little too well!
Believe it or not, this herb is not “truly” related to ginseng. Siberian ginseng has different active chemical components than real ginseng, but what’s important here is that it’s an adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body and mind deal with stress. It might even be able to help improve focus and memory .
Historically, hawthorne (also spelled hawthorn) has been used for anxiety, as well as digestive and kidney problems. Some studies have been done on its effects for heart health, but other than that, little is known about the benefits hawthorne can have on your health .
Teas for Upset Stomach
An upset stomach can be caused by so many different things. Uncomfortable cramps, bloating, and nausea are typical symptoms of an array of underlying issues, like constipation, gas, indigestion, a hangover, and more. Try one of the following teas to help soothe the situation.
Ginger root is incredible for soothing an upset stomach. It can be taken in a number of different ways, but the taste is more mild as tea than some other variations. Dried ginger root has been used for thousands of years in Asian medicine for upset stomach and nausea .
Next time you have an upset stomach, reach for some ginger tea instead of ginger ale. Tea contains more of the compounds that relieve an upset stomach or nausea, so you need less of it and it typically works faster.
One reason why licorice root tea is great for detox (as explained earlier) is because of its effect on digestion. In addition to being a good tea for detox, licorice tea is helpful for those dealing with digestive discomfort and ulcers .
Licorice root has been shown to stop the growth of Helicobacter pylori (otherwise known as H. pylori), which is a strain of bacteria that will sit in your digestive tract and cause ulcers. Because of its ability to do that, licorice has been used to alleviate peptic ulcers.
There are several different species of chamomile; the two most commonly known are German and Roman, and both can be used for chamomile tea. It’s been described in ancient medical writings and is easily one of the oldest herbs still used today .
Mint has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years, but peppermint wasn’t recognized as its own type of mint until the 1700s. Today, peppermint is used to soothe symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
On the flip side, peppermint can aggravate symptoms of heartburn. Since the mint is helpful in relaxing the stomach, it sometimes works a little too well and relaxes the muscle that prevents stomach acid from leaking up into the esophagus. If you already deal with heartburn, peppermint might not be the right herb for you.
Most research on peppermint has been done for peppermint oil, not peppermint leaves or tea. Peppermint oil has a high concentration of the components that make it useful for digestion. To benefit from drinking peppermint tea, you may have to try drinking different amounts and see what’s right for you.
Holy basil, also commonly known as tulsi, isn’t the same basil used as a pizza topping or in a bowl of pho. It has a long history of use in Indian medicine, and different parts of the plant can be used to help a wide array of different ailments.
Modern research has shown holy basil to effectively prevent and heal stomach ulcers. Not only can it reduce acid secretion, it can also increase and improve the mucus lining .
Make holy basil tea to soothe your stomach by steeping 2-3 teaspoons of holy basil leaves per 8 ounces of hot water, for 5 to 6 minutes. Avoid adding flavors or sugar, because these might aggravate stomach pain.
The fennel plant is popular for its versatility. It’s used in all kinds of cuisine, and all parts of the plant can be used, from the seeds, to the bulb, to the leaves. Fennel is also used medicinally and has been since ancient times, when Romans and Greeks used it to increase their lifespan (while fennel doesn’t quite work like that, including it in your diet has its benefits).
Fennel tea is a standout among teas. It’s made with seeds from the plant, and it’s highly effective at reducing abdominal discomfort caused by cramps, bloating, and gas. Fennel tea also has compounds that help improve nausea, like that caused by the stomach flu, food poisoning, and hangovers .
Green tea is made by steaming the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (which is also used to make oolong and black tea). The steaming process unlocks polyphenols, which are antioxidants responsible for a lot of green tea’s health benefits. One of those polyphenols is catechin, which studies have shown to have a positive impact on gut health .
Like green tea, black tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and is also rich in polyphenols. Research shows that the polyphenols in black tea can improve gut health and even induce weight loss.
The study, done with mice, shows that black tea polyphenols are capable of improving certain types of bacteria in the gut. Firmicutes bacteria, which are associated with obesity, decreased in mice that were given black tea extract. Bacteroidetes, which are “good” bacteria, associated with lean body mass, increased .
Teas for Other Ailments
But wait, there’s more! The teas described above are only some of the many teas available to help you feel better. Check out this table below for even more ailments and helpful teas.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning or that midday lull, most people find themselves feeling sluggish or tired at one point or another during the day.
You can be perfectly alert but have a difficult time focusing on what’s in front of you. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with energy levels. Sometimes your mind needs a little boost.
When you gotta go, you gotta go… except for the troubling times when you can’t.
When there aren’t enough antioxidants in the body to fight free radicals, those free radicals can cause damage throughout your body at the cellular level. Oxidative stress is linked to a number of serious health issues, as well as aging.
Whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight, there are a number of teas available to help you out.
Bad breath is typically caused by bacteria. Brushing and flossing teeth usually solve that problem, but unfortunately not for everyone.
We’ve all experienced that pounding feeling that comes from a headache. No matter where it’s located, no matter how dull or intense, headaches can bring your day to a screeching halt.
Common seasonal allergies can involve sneezing, coughing, watery and itchy eyes, headaches, stuffy nose… Luckily, there are teas for that.
If you have trouble sleeping, you’ll try pretty much anything to help.
There you have it! Tea has been around for thousands of years and has only grown in popularity and usefulness. If you’ve tried any of these teas before and had success, or know of a tea that wasn’t mentioned, please let us know on any of our social media channels!