OK. Before you think I’ve gone crazy, I just want to say for the record: Coffee is amazing. But it gets a bad rap sometimes and with good reason. The spike in caffeine, excess calories if it’s a Starbucks, and the inevitable crash that follows.
It’s a new year, and I’ve started wondering if I really should scale back my coffee drinking and replace my morning joe with a cuppa herbal. Off I went to discover what herbs could give me a healthier wake-up call and a side of health benefits. The herbals listed below also caffeine-free!
A disclaimer: you can drink these teas all day long, but if you’re not drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, a cup of tea isn’t going to offset the chronic fatigue. Be honest with yourself and with expectations you may have of these herbals!
peppermint: The menthol found in peppermint not only will lift your spirits up in the morning, but it will kickstart your internal organs including your digestive system. An added bonus is that your metabolism gets a jolt!
ginger: The spicy kick of ginger is perfect especially when it’s chillier outside because of the warming sensation it gives. Ginger also promotes circulation so your body can really get going in the morning. It pairs well with mint so experiment with different combinations!
stinging nettle: This rather unusual herb has the keen ability to pack in more energy than a caffeinated cup can, according to Susun Weed. To get the full benefits of the Nettle leaf, steep it overnight.
Rhodiola: this powerful little root is also known as “goldenroot”. It has an energetically bitter taste to it but it definitely wakes you up and keeps you focused. According to the AARGO, Rhodiola was taken by Russian Olympic athletes and even cosmonauts to increase physical and mental performance. I can personally recommend The Viking Moxie Tea by MoxTea. For a full review, check out what I had to say about the Viking Moxie.
Did I miss any that should’ve been on the list? Which teas do you drink for a pick-me-up?
We’ve made it through Thanksgiving…but unfortunately, we may have accumulated more than what we bargained for if you know what I mean.
Now, if your holidays look anything like mine, there’s a lot of rich, dense leftovers made of pure carbs and sugar in my fridge! And once you start on the carb and sugar route, it’s difficult to stop! Then the bloating and swollen feelings come, and somehow this joyous season loses a bit of its luster.
But this is a season of wonder and happiness and we want to enjoy it without the bloating right?!
I want to arm you with some herbal teas that can fight for you against that general bloated and swollen feeling and give you a bit more clarity this holiday season.
From nausea to , ginger is a miracle root that kicks most common ailments to the curb. Best made from fresh roots, this tea pairs well with lemon and honey.
Not only will peppermint help with bloating, but this little leaf also relieves fatigue and aids digestion. It fights against stress, nausea, bloating, is an anti-inflammatory herb, and is even a mild appetite suppressant!
Paired well with ginger, Lemon is antihistaminic, anti0inflammatory and a mild diuretic. Not to mention, a bright cup of lemon tea will do wonders if you are easily affected by seasonal mood changes, and need a general lift.
This is a more uncommonly known herbal tea, but it does wonders for fighting against bloating. Fennel has natural anti-inflammatory properties and it cleanses the digestive system, the kidneys, and the blood.
this tropical flower helps flush out water retention due to ingesting excess sodium and is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can easily learn how to make your own hibiscus tea at home.
The relaxing flower does more than just relieving stress. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, helps with indigestion, and soothes the occasional upset stomach.
Any combination of these teas can keep the bloat at bay, but try to stay away from adding too much sugar, milk/cream, etc. If you need to add some sweetness, reach for agave, honey, or stevia. Or you can lean towards the more sweet-tasting teas like chamomile, hibiscus, and fennel. Ginger tends to be a very bitter tea and almost always I end up adding some sweetness to mine!
I hope this quick cheat guide will help you as you enjoy the wonders of the season without the unwanted side effects of holiday meals, Christmas cookies, and dense foods!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
…and indeed it was!
I wasn’t really sure where to begin my new blog. where does one start?!
I thought about pulling a Frauline Maria and “start at the very beginning” and go through the Do-Re-Mi’s of teas, but that sounded a bit too predictable.
In the meantime, I had been battling a suffocating cold since New Year’s Day that hindered both my breathing and my thinking. Two days and nearly a whole bottle of Theraflu later, it was getting worse.
I’ve GOT to do something else…
I’m not even sure (#1) what triggered the thought, and (#2) why I didn’t think of it before, but I was a the grocery store picking up dog food and stopped by the tea and coffee aisle like I religiously do EVERY time I’m there. I rummage through a couple of boxes of tea and finally decide on the Echinacea Plus tea from Traditional Medicinals. It was worth a shot! If it doesn’t work, at least I’ve got more delicious tea to steep and sip!
I’m not kidding you when I tell you this. I drank 1 cup and a half that afternoon and my coworkers were already commenting that I sounded better! By the next day, the cold was 90% gone.
(Just to clear the air, I bought my teas with my own money, this is not sponsored or a colab. It’s my personal experience and research I did! OK? OK!)
Here’s the scoop on Echinacea, tea lovers:
Echinacea, or purple coneflower, is a plant native to North America and found mostly in rocky prairie-like areas. the above-ground plant is mostly used for medicinal purposes, although the roots also have health benefits as well. Echinacea has immune-boosting properties and commonly used in pill form, extracts, syrups and you’ve guessed it, TEA!
Now, let’s get really nerdy:
Out of the several species of echinacea, Echinacea Purpurea is the one that is commonly used and found in teas, supplements, and tinctures. There are certain polysaccharides within the echinacea plant that boosts our immune systems, and is a short-term treatment for upper respiratory infections.
According to the university of Maryland Medical Center, “a review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.” Essentially, the polysaccharides in Echinacea increase white cell production to fight off viruses!
Let’s replace the lab coat for an apron and go into the ways that we can use Echinacea at home:
TEA: I used the Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus (I’m not endorsed by them. I just picked them because they are US-based, organic, and non-GMO verified.)
Tinctures, syrups, extracts or drops: I have not personally tried these before but in my research, I read a lot of positive reviews about the health benefits to using drops and tinctures. If anyone is interested, I’m planning on creating a DIY Echinacea tincture!
Pills: You can also buy over-the-counter Echinacea pills, but I also haven’t personally tried these. Just word to the wise: Most standard supplements will claim to have echinacea, in reality have less than 10% echinacea and the rest is filler. So, do your research before purchasing!
Keep in mind that when you’re buying anything that you’re going to ingest, please make sure that you’re buying good quality ingredients. PLEASE check with a doctor before taking anything, as I’m not a medical expert or doctor.
BUUUUUT…..since I’m primarily focusing on herbal teas and have personally tried the Echinacea tea, that is what I’d recommend next time you’re feeling a little under the weather and need to kick that cold to the curb! Go for high quality loose leaf echinacea tea (fresh from our garden is ideal!) and natural/ organic topical products.
I’m actually thinking of planting some Echinacea plants as part of my herbal tea journey!
Thank you for stopping by my humble herbal tea blog! It means the world to me that you stopped by, enjoyed a cuppa and accompanied me through my Echinacea journey….although, something tells me that this won’t be the last time Echinacea makes an appearance!