Petra Kravos is a UK based health blogger, originally from Slovenia, and is founder of popular health and fitness blog, Be Healthy Now. Petra is passionate about health and loves helping people on their healthy-living journey.
Over to Petra…
Have you considered adding herbal tea to your routine in order to improve your health? The benefits are vast with caffeine-free herbal teas helping to improve help, ease symptoms and help prevent illness and disease.
Here are my favourites:
Chamomile tea is one I grew up with. It was there for us (children) when we had stomach aches or tummy bugs, and when I got older, it helped with disruptive menstrual cramps.
My mum would drink chamomile tea when she was stressed and wanted to calm herself down and when she couldn’t sleep. I later discovered that chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well documented medicinal plants in the world so if you don’t have it in your home yet, it’s time to stock up.
When looking at science, the dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids (antioxidants) contributing to its medicinal properties. These antioxidants provide the anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.
There’s been a lot of research around chamomile tea and its positive effect on health. For example, consumption of chamomile tea was linked with a lower risk of thyroid cancer and a chemical found in chamomile, apigenin, has been shown to stop breast cancer cells from spreading.
What’s more, chamomile tea has other proven health benefits:
- It can fight anxiety and depression
- It’s a natural hay fever remedy
- It can help to reduce pain, congestion, swelling and redness
- It improves heart health
What an amazing tea.
Older generations in Slovenia traditionally drink nettle tea in spring, as a way of, ‘cleansing their blood’. Despite not paying much attention to this tradition, I’ve looked into it more deeply and can see the benefits.
Nettle enhances the overall liver function and supports the kidneys and spleen. When these organs function better, the overall blood quality is improved.
Nettles are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and for this reason, can be used for the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. Some studies have shown that people find relief from joint pain by applying nettle leaf topically, while other studies show that taking nettle extract orally, along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), helps people reduce their NSAID dose.
Nettle leaves have also been proven to have antimicrobial activity and have other positive effects on human health. Here is what nettle tea could also help with:
- Treat anaemia as nettles are rich in iron and other minerals
- Help with diseases of the urinary system, especially prostate problems
- Lower blood pressure
- May help with hay fever symptoms although more research is needed to confirm this.
The nettle infusion is not recommended to consume if you are pregnant, have heart disease or kidney issues (nettles interact with certain medications so it’s always worth checking with your doctor before consuming nettle tea).
Olive leaf tea
Olive leaf tea has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece but for some reason, the practice hasn’t quite made it to the Northern countries in Europe. You can buy it online, if you fancy trying it as it’s not something you will commonly find in health stores or in your local supermarket. There should definitely be more fuss made about this wonderful, healthy tea which I discovered only a few years ago.
Olive leaf tea has a pleasant taste, does not taste bitter and is high in antioxidants (it has even more antioxidants than green tea). These antioxidants play an important role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, for example, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and cardiovascular disease.
Olive leaf tea has many health benefits however they are yet to be proven as most of the research around olive leaf health benefits refers to olive leaf extract and not olive leaf infusion. However, it is my understanding that extract is more concentrated while infusion is not as strong but still provides health benefits if drunk, often. Moroccans have been consuming an infusion of olive leaf for a long time so there’s no doubt there are benefits in doing so.
When it comes to olive leaf extract, it’s been proven to support the immune system and supplementing with it, could also help prevent colds and flu in winter.
Olive leaf tea is suitable for the whole family but if you take any medications it’s good to check with your doctor before drinking it.
There are many herbal teas you could try drinking to improve your health and these are just some to consider. I’ve grown up drinking chamomile tea and believe this is a herbal tea everyone should have at home, especially because children can drink it too.
You could also try other herbal teas that can help with various issues, for example, peppermint tea (great for soothing stomach upsets and flatulence), fennel tea (also good for digestion) and rooibos tea (high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory).
Let me know your favourites.