Summer has finally come to an end for me. My last vacation has be taken... just in time for autumn. Without a doubt, fall is my favourite season - the root vegetables, the leaves, cute boots and of course, tea! Loads and loads of tea!
Those who know me are familiar with my fondness of tea - that is, herbal tea. A herbal tea (also known as a tisane) is a herbal infusion made with anything other than the leaves from a tea bush. While there are literally thousands upon thousands of teas in this world, there are a few favourites I keep close to my heart (or stocked in my cupboard). Without further adieu, here is a list of the top seven best herbal teas for health and natural beauty:
1. Ginger Tea
Naturally warming, ginger supports healthy digestion - this is the biggest component of why it is great for beauty - so great, I have dedicated an entire blog post to this one. Often used by ayurvedic practitioners, ginger has been used as a way of activating the body’s internal energy to help regain balance and harmony. Because ginger helps digestion, it can also be great for curbing nausea, vomiting or upset stomach due to motion sickness.
2. Licorice Tea
Licorice tea has been traditionally used to support the respiratory and digestive system - and as we've discussed, anything that makes your digestion move more smoothly, has great affects for your beauty (think exporting aging toxins out quickly, while facilitating nutrient absorption). Licorice root is full of healthy flavonoids - powerful antioxidants that fight a host of diseases. In fact, these flavonoids are so powerful, they have been given credit for being antiviral, antibacterial, antiinflammatory,antispasmodic, antioxidant, antidepressant, demulcent and expectorant activity - phwef, that was a mouthful. Due to its remarkable healing components, licorice root has even been used in the treatment of many minor to severe health conditions.
3. Echinacea Tea
I love echinacea tea for this time of year... when the colds start to pick up. Colds take a toll on your natural beauty, even if it is only temporary. Echinacea tea is a fantastic cold-preventer and the perfect pick-me-up when its too late. Studies have shown that drinking the herb can shorten the span of time that it normally takes to recover from the common cold by an average of 1.4 days. As well as colds, echinacea tea has been reported to help enhance immunity against coughs and flus as well as other upper respiratory ailments by stimulating your immune system.
4. Chamomile Tea Blends
What enhances your natural beauty more than a good night's sleep? Well, a few things, but sleep is a big component of maintaining vibrant skin, white eyes, and a healthy body overall. Chamomile can greatly help with calming your nervous system. Finding a blend with valerian root can help with restlessness and get you resting easy even faster. Chamomile tea can also be use topically for dark under eye circles - dip in cold water and use as packs on your eye for 5 to 7 minutes. And for those migraine sufferers, drink a mug of this beauty when you feel a migraine coming on - it has many soothing properties beyond making you sleepy.
5. Green Tea (with Kombucha)
While a green tea blend with Kombucha won't give you the full health benefits of Kombucha, it does make for a delicious flavour. The real benefits here are in the green tea. Green tea promotes beautiful skin in several ways. Its anti-bacterial properties fight against tooth decay, while also working together to combat acne bacteria - how's that for double trouble? Green tea also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and swelling in skin. Further still, its antioxidants destroy free radicals, which weaken the skin tissue, while also regulating hormone levels (this can help reduce future acne breakouts - hoorah!). Beyond acne, there is the anti-aging component: the antioxidants are again the key heros here, and are fighting hard to lessen damage caused by free radicals.
6. Rooibos Tea Varieties
Rooibos tea is naturally high in vitamin C as well as other minerals, and as a result, rooibos has all sorts of health benefits. An easy drinking tea, it is well known for its antioxidant properties—our friends in disease fighting and anti-aging. Lately, rooibos has been getting attention for its ability to help with common skin concerns, such as eczema. A variety of rooibos - red rooibos, to be precise - contains high levels of polyphenols, a type of anti-oxidant believed to combat the blood-vessel inflammation that leads to heart disease. Scientists have also found that 1 cup of red rooibos tea contains an ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity - an antioxidant rating system) value of 725 - a high number on the comparative scale. Check out the complete ORAC food list here.
7. Rosehip Tea
Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best plant sources of vitamin C - important for the immune system, skin, tissue health and adrenal function. In Ayurveda, practitioners use rose-hip tea to cool and soothe the skin. The King Beauty Vitamin, vitamin C, also builds collagen, which keeps the skin young-looking and moisture-balanced. Vitamin A is also provided by this pretty pink tea, which is great for keeping your skin and mucous membranes healthy, while facilitating the growth and maintenance of your skin, hair, and nails.
With all that being said, we see some great similarities. The main healing qualities of tea are in the flavonoids — a natural class of antioxidants that are found in many natural plant-derived foods. Despite everything great and good that is in tea, we must not neglect the fact that enjoying a warm cup of tea does loads for your health in terms of calming your nerves. Nothing helps melt stress like a giant mug of tea, cozy wool socks and a great movie.
Top Teas from LPN:
Whichever infusion suits your mood, or aids your ailment, be sure to choose high quality, organic teas. Where the tea is sourced from is also important. Avoid teas that add artificial flavours, colours and essential oils. Some of the greatest and best brands of herbal tea include: Yogi Organic Teas, Traditional Medicinals Tea, Pukka Organic Teas, Harney & Sons Tea, Clipper Organic Tea Blends and some interesting organic blends made by David's Tea.
**As with all supplements, use in moderation. If you're suffering from a specific medical condition, talk to your doctor. Too much of anything is never beneficial... well, almost never ;)
Cheers to your health, gorgeous!