A cup of garam chai is just what the doctor ordered, especially if redolent with the fragrance of fresh ginger and lemongrass, each of which bring their own bouquet of benefits. But what if you could sip on a variety of infusions that not only boost your immunity but give you a bunch of beautiful bonuses? Read on to find out how caffeine-free herbal teas can lift your spirits, improve your digestion and induce restful sleep.
A tropical flowering plant, hibiscus flowers have the highest amount of antioxidants that can be gained from a tea, that also helps lower bloody sugar levels, blood pressure levels and apparently, even bad cholesterol. The pretty colour is beguiling and the ruddy tea does help with weight loss but one needs to be careful especially if you already have low bloody sugar or pressure levels.
From the Cape of Good Hope, Rooibos tea is another red tea that performs all the same miracles that Hibiscus tea does. Possessing 50% more antioxidants than you can find in the finest green tea, Rooibos must be consumed in moderation lest it cause excessive dehydration. Rich in minerals such as copper, zinc, iron and manganese, this tea is also good for digestion, improves sleep and heart health but most surprisingly, it enhances bone strength and hair health as well.
Another flower that lowers blood sugar and blood pressure levels, chamomile tea also has the ability induce deep and restful sleep. While this may be the most highly prized quality of this tea, chamomile is also known for improving your digestive health and offering a protection against cancer.
At times like these, respiratory ailments are the most worrying and to be able to prevent them is truly the easiest with a regular cup of tulsi or holy basil tea. It can avert various breathing troubles such as coughs, flu, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, colds, congestion, sinusitis, and similar ailments. Additionally, it is a great stress buster and is even known to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
From Central Europe and North America, elderflower tea has been revered by the Scandinavian people for centuries and science has shown us that this reverence was not misplaced as it contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals besides quercetin, isoquercitrin, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids and triterpenoids, as well as relatively high levels of Vitamin C, making it the perfect assistant to combat the flu.
Protecting the liver, preventing cancer and keeping heart disease at bay, besides avoiding weight gain and improving brain function – all of these and more are the benefits accrued from frequently imbibing the delicious and brightly coloured matcha tea made from powdered green tea leaves.
From Kashmir, this aromatic and delicious drink concocted from different spices, leads to wonderful results such as glowing skin, lowered stress levels, raised immunity, and the prevention of the flu.
Instead of buying expensive packaged blends, here’s how you can prepare a simple tea from spices in your kitchen pantry, by simply following this recipe:
SPICED TEA RECIPE
· 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
· 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
· 1 tsp borage seeds (ajwain)
· 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
Boil the lot together on a low heat in 4 cups of water till reduced to half. Strain, cool and drink either slightly warm or at room temperature to alleviate digestive distress such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. This can be enjoyed several times a day as there are no side effects.
This can be sweetened with honey or jaggery syrup, if required. More spices such as cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns or cardamom can be added to enhance the fragrance and benefits of this tea.
(Simona Terron is a Freelance writer and podcaster with over two decades of media experience, she runs a home kitchen in Mumbai on the weekends and is on IG (instagram.com/TheHeartChef/) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/theheartchef/)