Are herbal teas good for you? A question we’ve heard a lot on our Herbaceous journey. It’s a reasonable question, too. Especially given how for the last few decades herbal teas have mainly been purveyed in health food shops. It’s only relatively recently that herbal teas are growing in popularity and ubiquity. One can now pick up a box of caffeine free tea at your local corner shop and at the supermarket. So are herbal teas good for you?
The fact that they’re a mainstay at Holland and Barrett doesn’t automatically make them healthy (one can pick up loads of naughty things at Holland and Barrett if you try hard enough). In this post, we’re going to answer that perennial question: are herbal teas good for you?
Good health is about finding a balance and what works for your individual needs
Like with most things in life, how “good” something is for you (i.e. how beneficial it is for your health) really depends on how you consume or engage with said thing. Broccoli is good for you, but not so much when slathered in oyster sauce (which is high in sugar and loads of processed stuff). Exercise is brilliant, but not when taken to obsessive extremes. Our human propensity to think in dichotomies, i.e. in terms of black and white, has us believe that more equals better. Health is more about finding a sweet spot, a balance, that works for you. Remember, each individual has their own set of health requirements. That cup of peppermint tea in the morning might be a great awakener for you, but could cause feelings of nausea in another.
We may be biased, but whenever someone asks us “are herbal teas good for you”, we tend to answer “yes”. And here’s why:
Herbal teas are naturally caffeine free, which means you can drink as much as you like without worrying about becoming over caffeinated. Even though there’s plenty of scientific research that supports the case for caffeine (and plenty that doesn’t, but hey ho that’s the nature of science), consuming heaps of it isn’t usually recommended. One’s own caffeine tolerance, or lack thereof, plays the biggest part in how much caffeine one can endure. However, you can never go wrong by opting for a non caffeinated hot beverage. Especially during the latter part of the day. (Find out if your favourite hot drink actually has caffeine in it.)
NB: Some green or black tea based blends with herbs or spices in them are sometimes referred to as herbal blends, but we define ‘herbal tea’ as tea that only contains herbs and spices.
Herbal teas help you reach your daily water intake
The fact that herbal tea is caffeine free doesn’t only help you avoid jitteriness or paranoia. Caffeine happens to be a powerful diuretic, dehydrating you and causing you more frequent trips to the loo. With a naturally caffeine free herbal tea, you can rest assured knowing that everything you consume goes directly towards rehydration. If you drink four or five large mugs of herbal tea per day (as we do), you’re well on your way to meeting your daily water intake. Great news if you struggle to drink enough water or if you find plain water a little boring. Want to know more about the benefits of drinking water? Click here.
Enjoy the medicinal benefits of plants by consuming herbal tea
For thousands of years, the plant kingdom has been used by people the world over. Plants can treat almost every conceivable ailment: physical, mental and spiritual. Herbalism might be seen as more of a complementary healing practice nowadays, but many of today’s mainstream pharmaceuticals are derived from plant compounds. In some cases, the plant compounds are just as or more efficacious than the pharmaceuticals. St John’s Wort, for example. Drinking herbal tea is one way to consume herbs and enjoy their medicinal properties, while also enjoying a tasty brew.
All you need is plants… and hot water
Given the sheer number of herbs and spices available, there are an unlimited number of herbal blends that can be brewed. Although some will taste better than others. For the benefits of drinking herbal tea to be enjoyed fully, choose infusions that are free from added flavours, colourants and sweeteners. All you need is plants. And hot water.