What Is Herbal Tea?
The world of tea is made up of so many magnificent flavours. From bold, black tea brews like Joko that give you a boost, to calming cups of rooibos and cooling glasses of iced green tea, there are a wide variety of tasty teas to choose from. However, when it comes to tea types, for most of us black, green and fruity, flavoured teas are all we think about.
While sipping on a steaming cup of Joko black tea may be part of your daily routine for a pick-me-up, there’s a category of teas that are widely loved but not understood enough. Herbal teas are a super tasty type of caffeine-free teas that offer a host of health benefits. With all the delicious flavours and various health benefits herbal teas offer, it’s no wonder that they’re so widely consumed. But while many might love a hot cup of herbal tea, technically, they aren’t true teas.
Feeling a little confused about what true teas are and which ones aren’t? Don’t stress because we’re breaking down the differences between the two so that you know what you’re getting from each brew.
Herbal vs True Teas
It could be that you swear by sipping on a cup of chamomile tea to help soothe you to sleep, or your go-to for an upset tummy is a mug of ginger tea. It could even simply be that you drink tea because you enjoy the fantastic flavours a cuppa brings. Whatever the reason behind your tea drinking, the chances are that you’ve sampled both herbal and true teas. But when it comes to the two teas, few people know the difference and even fewer know the reality that herbal tea isn’t a true tea. How is it possible that the beverage you prepare like tea, drink like tea and enjoy like tea isn’t a true tea, you may ask? Well, let’s begin by unpacking herbal tea’s history.
The History of Herbal Tea
Herbal tea history is pretty much as longstanding as the history of what we refer to as true teas, with herbal teas widely being used for medicinal purposes . But what are they? True teas are named so because they come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, commonly known as the tea plant. While herbal teas - commonly referred to as tisanes in Europe - are made using the flowers, leaves, seeds, spices, fruit, roots or bark of a wide variety of other plants, excluding the Camellia Sinensis plant.
There are several different true teas but some of the most popular ones include black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white tea. With herbal teas, there are so many wonderful flavours and types to be enjoyed thanks to the wide variety of plants that can be used to make this tasty brew. But aside from the delightful taste of tisanes, there are many other herbal tea benefits to be enjoyed from drinking this brew. Let’s explore.
Benefits of Drinking Herbal Tea
Each type of tisane offers its unique benefits. But one of the most significant advantages that the majority of herbal teas share is that they are caffeine-free, making them an excellent alternative to true teas which contain caffeine. Moreover, herbal teas are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help support our immune system and overall health.
But here’s a quick list of the general benefits you can enjoy from drinking some of the most popular herbal teas.
Chamomile tea is known for its calming properties and is often enjoyed before bed to promote a restful night's sleep. Some other benefits you may get from drinking chamomile tea regularly include helping to soothe an upset stomach.
This refreshing tea is known for its ability to soothe an upset stomach. Its minty flavour and aroma are invigorating, making it the perfect pick-me-up for any time of day.
For those who love a little spice in their life, ginger tea is a must-try. This tea is known for its digestive benefits and can help alleviate nausea and bloating.
This tea is packed with antioxidants and is said to have numerous health benefits including lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation .
With so many different types of herbal teas available, there is a flavour and benefit for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're looking to soothe a headache, improve digestion or simply relax after a long day, there is a herbal tea out there for you. So why not brew up a cup and cosy up with a good book? Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!