Tea Time: 10 Herbal Teas for Health

Try these easy-to-find and delicious herbal teas for 10 common health problems.

| January/February 2016

  • Derived from the Chinese chá, “chai” means tea in much of the world, including Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa and Brazil.
    Photo by Howard Lee Puckett
  • A cup of tea can be more than just a pleasant beverage. The correct blend of herbs can also help address minor ailments.
    Photo by iStock

Steaming, delicious herbal tea can do more for us than act as an afternoon pick-me-up. A wide variety of herbs have healing applications, and they can be administered as a lovely cup of tea. From classic calming herbs such as lavender and chamomile to garden standbys such as rosehips and sage—and even plants known as weeds such as dandelion—many herbs can help us feel better on a regular basis.

Herbal Tea Recipes

Chamomile-Lemon Balm Calm-Down Tea Recipe
Basic Black Chai Recipe
Bone-Strengthening Tea Recipe

1. Chamomile for Anxiety

Although chamomile is a gentle healer, it’s still highly effective. This yellow daisylike flower is a popular medicine among herbalists, as it’s known to treat a variety of ailments. The flowers contain high amounts of the volatile oil azulene, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile is also a popular remedy to reduce anxiety and quiet the mind for sleep.

TO MAKE TEA: Gather 1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh chamomile flowers and steep in 1 cup boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. The longer it steeps, the more bitter it will taste.

2. Lavender for Sleep Problems

A beautiful and fragrant addition to any garden, lavender has profound relaxing, calming and uplifting effects. A number of studies have shown this violet beauty to help slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation and lift mood. It’s most popular as an aromatherapy aid, where it’s used in inhalation therapy to treat headaches and reduce stress, as well as a topical aid where its antifungal actions come in handy. But it also makes a wonderful healing tea.

TO MAKE TEA: Harvest lavender flowers when the buds are just starting to open for the highest quality, according to Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs. Steep 4 teaspoons fresh lavender buds in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

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