With the arrival of November, it’s time to exchange your pleasing glass pitchers of iced tea for your favorite mug of the hot stuff. That mug of yours has been waiting patiently in the cupboard for you to grab hold of its handle, carefully place a tea bag inside, and fill ’er up with boiling water. Thank you, mug!
There are a mind-boggling number of teas to choose from in the tea-niverse, each touting its own list of good reasons why you should drink it. I happen to think herbal teas are wonderful because they’re caffeine-free. That means there’s no need to worry that treating yourself to a late afternoon mug will lead to a night of interrupted sleep.
Also, it’s not just the green teas of the world that give your health a boost with each sip. Herbal teas provide some very real health benefits too—provided they’re wild-crafted or grown in healthy soil without pesticides and herbicides. Whether you want to ease your upset stomach or calm your busy brain, the right tea in your pantry can be an absolute lifesaver.
What are the right teas to keep around? Let your palate decide what’s best for you. As for me, when the cooler weather starts creeping in, I make it a point to not run out of the following:
Peppermint – Our boys have always been partial to mint anything, so it’s easy to get them to drink a cup of peppermint tea when something is off with the inner workings of their digestive system. This mentholated wonder helps with nausea, diarrhea, and “breaking” a fever, plus it supports your immune system with its antibacterial-ness.
Ginger – This odd-looking root deserves an entire post of its own, but we’ll just talk about the tea version for now. Ginger is high in vitamin C and magnesium. It offers relief for cold-related congestion and soothes stomachs when they need it most. But that’s not all. Ginger tea helps improve circulation and reduces inflammation. I like to make my ginger tea by grating or slicing the root itself and steeping it in boiling water—it’s really that simple. For added convenience, I also like to keep a box of tea bags around too. Ginger tea isn’t for everyone though. If you’re pregnant or taking a blood thinner, ask your physician if it’s safe for you to enjoy a cup.
Chamomile – In its natural state, the chamomile herb looks like a very small daisy. But once harvested and dried out, it makes a delicious tea that’s often associated with calm and sleep. Not that it’s just for insomniacs—chamomile tea aids digestion, eases anxiety, boosts the immune system, and even shows some promise for those living with type 2 diabetes. So don’t let this delicate flower-looking herbal tea fool you—it packs a real wallop in health benefits.
For those of us who enjoy a mug o’ tea, the sheer act of selecting, brewing, and sipping away is a comforting and soothing ritual. The bonus is that the right tea also serves a true purpose when your body needs some extra nourishment as well.
Already an herbal tea enthusiast and looking for a new adventure in your garden next season? Check out Maria Atwood’s article Cuppa Medicinal Tea: Growing a Medicinal Herb Garden! It will get you excited about stepping up your herbal tea consuming game.