Get Started Using Medicinal Teas

When you talk about medicinal teas or teas with natural health properties many people immediately think they need to grow, dry and blend their own teas. That couldn't be further from the truth! You can walk into any large grocery store and find at least a dozen different herbal teas available in tea bag form!

Various brewed herbal teas and herbs for natural healthcare

I'm not talking Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme and Trader Joes. Kroger has a great selection of herbal teas as does Walmart, Target, Meijer, Albertsons and most other large grocery stores. Admittedly the small stores might not carry many, but they should have a few. Those first 3 stores I mentioned will have a huge selection available!

Some of the most common herbal teas are peppermint, chamomile, ginger and hibiscus. You can usually find several blends also like detox, immunity and energy blend.

I started using herbs more than 25 years ago to take control of my health when modern medicine couldn't seem to help me. Back then I could only find bulk herbs and teas so that's where I started. Herbalism has come so far since then, that several companies have started herbal tea lines that are available everywhere! Traditional Medicinals, Yogi and Tazo are 3 of the most common brands.

How to use herbal tea

There are 2 different types of herbal teas, ones that work immediately and ones that have cumulative effects. That's not to say they don't work immediately, but if you're drinking hibiscus tea for it's liver protecting benefits you're not going to 'see' results after one cup. You're going to want to drink a cup (or more) daily. 

However, 1 cup of chamomile tea may make you sleepy or settle your nerves.

How to brew herbal tea

Use fresh spring water boiled in a clean kettle.
Preheat teapot/mug by adding some hot water, swirl inside cup and dump out.
Use one tea bag or 1 tsp of dried herb (minimum) Use triple the amount if using fresh herbs.
Add boiling (slightly off the boil) water and cover.
Steep at least 5-10 minutes.
Strain if using loose herbs.
Sweeten if needed.

Common herbal teas and their uses

I've chosen teas I regularly see in the grocery store for this list, those each store may vary and you're may have many more options!

Herbal tea bags ready for health use

Ginger Tea

Ginger is a warming herb known for reducing irritation of your stomach, helping with bile production and relieving nausea. Calms symptoms of motion sickness. It can also help with inflammation, arthritis, pain, circulation and so much more. Gingerols are the active compounds in ginger that are responsible for its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Related reading: The many health benefits of ginger.

Hibiscus Tea

By drinking hibiscus tea, you can improve liver health, cholesterol problems or high blood pressure. Regular consumption of hibiscus tea can increase your body's metabolism, helping you to lose excess weight. This is a delicious, fruity tea with a mild flavor that is amazing alone or with some raw honey.

Related reading: The beauty and health benefits of hibiscus.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea has an energizing flavor that can help you overcome digestive issues such as nausea along with reducing pain and inflammation. Not only can drinking peppermint tea boost your immune system, but its antibacterial properties promote mouth health and may help to eliminate halitosis. Peppermint is stimulating, so it's great to have early in the morning for more energy, or any time you are having tummy or digestive issues.

Related reading: Health benefits of mint.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea offers numerous benefits for the body, including inducing relaxation so that you can sleep. This mildly flavored medicinal tea is also appropriate for alleviating your menstrual cramping or the symptoms from a cold. May help relieve feelings of anxiety and stress. One of the most popular chamomile teas in stores is called Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings.

Lemon Balm Tea

A member of the mint family, lemon balm tea has a green lemony flavor, and may help to regulate your body's blood glucose or eliminating bacteria from your digestive tract. It can be used to soothe the stomach, ease anxiety and stress.

Tea blends

You can also find tea blends available for specific issues. These are formulated by mixing a few different herbs to support the body. For example the Sleepytime tea mentioned above has chamomile and lemongrass to help induce sleep. They even have an extra strength version with valerian added! 

I like the detox teas that contain dandelion root and licorice as I believe my liver needs added support, though I stay away from the ones containing senna as it causes a trip to the bathroom! If you're not sure which herbs you want to get started with, a blend will make it easier for you to pick.


Related reading: There are 11 medicinal herbs that can be grown indoors in winter, which ones will you grow?

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