If you’re considering buying a healthy tea selection gift for your loved one to help them on the road to recovery, you should probably be clued up as to the whys and wherefores of the various teas on the market. You may wish to know which is the healthiest of the herbal teas or which is the most popular herbal tea. In this post the aim is to share some information to help you choose the gift of the right type of comforting cuppa that works best .for your loved one
The first thing to be aware of when we’re comparing teas is that not all teas are created equal! In fact, strictly speaking, in order to earn the title “tea” your brew must have originated from the Camellia Sinensis plant. So if you’re not drinking Black tea, Green tea, White tea (or Oolong tea plus one or two other less well known teas) then the likelihood is that you’re drinking an infusion or a tisane instead. FYI a tisane is an infusion from a leaf, flower, fruit, root or bark of a plant other than the tea plant.
Tea – the real McCoy
Assam tea, Ceylon tea, Kenyan tea are all varying types of black tea. And what we commonly call English Breakfast tea is a blend of black teas. Adding milk to black tea reduces its effectiveness and so is not recommended from a health benefit point of view.
Benefits of Black tea: Black tea is high in antioxidants and is therefore helpful in keeping cancer at bay. It helps to improve the function of the heart and the fluoride content is also good for teeth and bones.
Green tea is the same plant as black tea but is not fermented and is not fully oxidised as is black tea. Oxidation takes place when a substance reacts with Oxygen to become an altered substance. Also it is often said that Green tea has more antioxidants than black tea but in reality it has a different set of antioxidants due to the differing processes that the plant undergoes.
Benefits of Green tea: Its antioxidants may impede the growth of various cancers, prevent constriction of the arteries, burn fat, reduce the risk of neurological brain disorders and reduce the risk of stroke.
White tea is also from the Camellia Sinensis plant but undergoes even less of a process than Green tea. Its flavour is therefore not as strong as the Green and Black teas. It has more antioxidants than its higher processed counterparts and is considered to be the most healthy of the teas.
Benefits of White tea: White tea is known as an agent that helps to reduce the risk of cancer. It is high in antioxidants and has good anti-aging properties. It also has antibacterial properties which protect the body from infection caused by bacteria.
Oolong tea is a less well-known tea than Black, Green and White tea and is seen as a half-way house between Black tea and Green tea. Black tea is fully oxidised, whereas the oxidation process is halted by steaming or frying Green tea leaves. Oolong tea is partially oxidised and has a rich flavour.
Benefits of Oolong tea: Some of the things that Oolong tea is known for is known for its weight loss benefits, its cancer reducing properties and the ability to improve mental alertness.
Infusions – a tea by any other name would smell as sweet
Chamomile tea has been found to relieve menstrual pain. It is also thought to lower the blood sugar of those with diabetes. Another benefit of Chamomile tea is that it prevents or slows down the progress of osteoporosis and also is found to reduce inflammation in the body.
Ginger tea is know for its ability to put nausea and vomiting in abeyance. It is also good for improving digestion and like Chamomile it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger tea is known for its effectiveness in treating congestion caused by the common cold and also alleviates respiratory and circulation issues.
Rosehip tea is rich in Vitamin C and high in antioxidants and as such is has excellent properties for fighting cancers and for boosting the immune system. Studies have shown that those who drink this infusion have a lowered risk of developing heart disease.
The benefits of drinking Hibiscus tea are many. Hibiscus tea is used to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. it also has excellent inflammatory properties which makes it effective for restoring the digestive and immune systems. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C and high in antioxidants and is therefore thought to diminish the risk of cancer. It is also believed to be helpful for treating high blood pressure and can help with weight loss.
Echinacea is best known for its immune system boosting properties. This plant is also antibacterial and can shorten the length of a cold and if taken before a cold is contracted in has been known to prevent the onset of colds and viruses.
If we were to ask the question: which is the most popular herbal tea, Peppermint tea would be a big contender. Not only is it a soothing “tea” but it is used as an analgesic to reduce pain of cramps and indigestion. Amongst other conditions, Peppermint tea is used to cure constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.
Use with caution
Although the benefits of the various teas and infusions are many and their uses are found to be effective, those who have serious illnesses or who are on medication should check with their primary care consultant before adding any of these teas to their regimen. There is also the possibility that the properties of different teas and infusions could work against one another which could be dangerous. You will want to do your research before making a gift of herbal teas for your ill loved one.