Many of my patients have asked about alternatives to coffee and black tea. While taken in moderation, 1-3 cups (8-24 ounces) per day, coffee is beneficial but many cannot take the caffeine “jitters” coffee creates. Black tea can be taken in more quantity, up to 5-6 cups per day. Black tea can be irritating to the stomach so people want alternatives.
Many household kitchen herbs, spices, and foods can be steeped in hot or boiling water and turned into a tea or a tisane- which is the proper term for what most people call herbal tea.
This post tells about tisanes (herbal teas) and how to prepare them. The long and short of the proper way to prepare your brew is:
- Warm your pot and cup with piping hot water
- Use a strainer or muslin bag that allows for expansion of the contents and maximum contact with the hot water.
- Use one heaping teaspoon per 12 ounces of water, or 6 grams per 331 grams of water if you’re Canadian. 😉
- Boil the water and pour the boiling water into your pot.
- Let the contents steep for 4-7 minutes. If you think your brew is too strong you can add some water later. You’re free to experiment and trust your taste buds.
- If you want to sweeten your herbal tea, feel free to add a little sugar- or even better- honey or stevia. These teas should be mild enough that you don’t need as much sweetener.
- If you use citrus, feel free to give the fruit a squeeze in your pot before adding it to the strainer or bag.
- Pour your cup and enjoy.
Herbal Tea You Can Make At Home
Most herbal tea comes from contents that are widely available in many people’s homes. Many herbs, spices, roots, fruits, and other foods can be used to make these herbal teas. Almost every kitchen has these ingredients. A few of these herbs will be mentioned below.
Ginger is a wonderful kitchen herb that can help with many minor ailments and it tastes good too! This herbal tea can help with lowering high blood pressure and thinning the blood. Ginger is anti-viral which makes it great for when you have a cold or the flu. Other research shows that it helps with nausea and vomiting. You can read more about ginger at this link.
Peppermint tea has been used for centuries as a relaxing beverage and a medicine. This herbal tea is used for fighting fevers and mild pain. Peppermint tea is used for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal cramping, and bloating. If you want to read more, you can click on this link.
Other Herbal Tea to Try from the Store
Herbal tea made from hibiscus flowers has a few benefits that help with modern American health problems. It has been shown that hibiscus tea reduces high blood pressure and also reduces high cholesterol. This tea is one that should be in every cabinet or pantry.
“I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! ‘One teaspoonful to be taken at bed-time.'”
Most of us, when we were very young, were read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I still enjoy reading the story to my little children. Chamomile tea is probably best known for helping people get to sleep and fighting insomnia. Herbal tea made from chamomile flowers is also used for stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome menstrual cramps, and Type II Diabetes. You can read more here.
Delicious and healthy, these herbal teas are easy to make. In fact, as I wrote this blog post, I enjoyed an herbal tea made from mint and chamomile. Like all foods, these herbal teas contain ingredients that some people are allergic to or that can interfere with certain drugs. Ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner which ones might be right for you.
If you have questions about how herbal medicine can help you with your healthcare problems, don’t hesitate to contact our office at (314) 569-0057 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org