In a world full of cappuccinos, skinny lattes, espressos and americanos, among others, it seems that people cannot go a day – or an hour – without their delicious cup of Joe that puts a skip in their step and gives them boosted energy. But is coffee that good for you? Many don’t do well with the caffeine and get ratty, irritable, anxious and suffer from insomnia. But I have to admit – the taste is exceptionally addictive. And once mixed with milk, cream and sugar it actually becomes more like a seductive liquid desert to start the day on a buzz. And what a buzz it is!
Some people though, especially in Europe and Asia, choose a healthier alternative and delve into the delicious world of teas. Surprisingly, with over 3,000 varieties in the world today, tea is the most consumed drink after water.
If you read any article about tea, it will break tea down into 6 groups, namely:
- Black Tea
- Dark Tea
- Oolong Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea and the elusive
- Puer Tea
But I would like to draw away from delving into all these teas with which so much information has been published and rather delve into the non-caffeinated varieties such as:
- Chamomile Tea
- Cranberry Tea
- Apple and Cinnamon Tea
- Passion Fruit Tea
Known for its calming properties, chamomile tea is the perfect drink to give to anyone who is stressed, has an upset stomach, is menstruating , ulcers or is having trouble sleeping. It calms and relaxes the mind. Its taste comes from the several daisy-like plants of the Asteraceae family .
Nausea and vomiting may result from tea made with high concentrations of chamomile. Allergies related to daisy and aster plant family may indicate an allergy to chamomile. It is not recommended, nor safe, to drink chamomile tea during pregnancy as chamomile has such powerful anti-inflammatory properties that too many cups a day can result in complications of the baby’s heart as well as breathing problems.
2. Cranberry Tea
The antioxidants in cranberries protect cells from damage by free radicals. It contains vitamin C which can help fight these free radicals. It also contains Vitamin K, helping towards the formation of strong bones and Vitamin E which reduces the formation of cataracts, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. It especially helps in treating stomach and breast cancer. It is fantastic for preventing gingivitis, supports weight loss, reduces cholesterol levels in the body, relieves painful period cramps and supports good liver, kidney and lymph functioning. It also helps prevent blood clotting. One of the most well-known and major benefits of cranberry tea is that it treats UTI – urinary tract infections. It cleans and flushes out the bacteria from the urinary tract, preventing and curing UTI in turn.
Again, this tea it is not considered safe for breastfeeding or pregnant women and not recommended in any way for people allergic to aspirin. Excessive amounts can not only cause kidney stones but can also cause stomach disturbances like diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress.
3. Apple and Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. The addition of cinnamon to apple tea magnifies the fruit’s inherent role in metabolizing cholesterol through an added boost of manganese. Apples help to carry and increase the amount of oxygen needed by body systems through the water-soluble Vitamin B-6 they contain. Cinnamon can enhance the role of Vitamin B-6. Along with helping to prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, the dietary fiber found in apples and cinnamon can help guard against colon cancer.
Too much of this tea may lead to liver damage and may also negatively interact with drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and anticoagulants such as warfarin. There are not too many side effects with the apple tea itself.
4. Passion Fruit Tea
Passion fruit tea can relieve stress, insomnia, anxiety and nervousness. It is a gorgeous plum color once dipped into hot water and has a great taste. It is often mixed with mango and is a lovely treat to have just before bed, especially with a soothing spoon of raw honey.
The side effects include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness and confusion.
Personally, if fever ever hits, all I do is take a bag of chamomile, passion fruit and green tea, throw in some fresh ginger, a tiny bit of garlic powder, a fifth teaspoon of turmeric, two thick halves of a slice of lemon and a big tablespoon of honey and I wake up in the morning having had a healthy sleep with the flu symptoms vanished.
Tea has always been my “go-to” beverage of choice and I always have it first thing in the morning to cleanse out my system in the healthiest way possible. Like ancient philosopher and founder of Taoism Lao-Tzu said “Tea is the elixir of life.”