When herbal Chinese tea is mentioned, it is simply the medicinal herbal tea made from Chinese medicinal herbs. These herbs are boiled in water and served like a tea but without the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. These medicinal herbs are mixed together for their medicinal or physical results and are called ‘tea’ even without the physical presence of the tea plant. This herb tea is a kind of tea soup from Guangdong and is made to cool off the body because of the hot and humid weather in that area. However, this is the traditional herbal Chinese tea which is very much different from the herbal Chinese tea we know of today.
The herbal Chinese tea we know of today is usually any tea that is blended with herbs, flowers or fruits either to cure an illness or to just sooth the body. Here are some common herbs that are mixed with tea and the remedies they are known for:
1. Chamomile is the herb known for calming the nerves, relieving stomach pains and preventing ulcers.
2. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It also reduces cholesterol and prevents the formation of blood clots thus preventing heart attacks.
3. Ginseng is used to increase energy and protects the liver and stimulates the immune system.
4. Raspberry Leaf is used to help prevent miscarriage during pregnancy, help lessen the effect of morning sickness and treat uterine problems.
5. Peppermint helps in indigestion and bowel irritability problems.
6. Ginger prevents internal blood clots thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. It can also be used for motion sickness and to sooth the throat.
7. Honey helps in reducing cholesterol and can help heal wounds.
8. Licorice is used to relieve ulcers and sore throats.
9. Anise can flush out parasites from the body, treat digestive problems, relieve menstrual cramps and alleviate toothaches.
10. Cinnamon is used to treat colds, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Some of these herbs should be bruised before mixing with your tea leaves to bring out its properties while others should be fresh or dried, whole or grounded. Also, you should know how much quantity of these herbs can be used for one serving to avoid any allergies or untoward incidents.
Herbal Chinese Teas
There are over the counter herbal Chinese tea nowadays that have already been combined with some natural herbs to add to the inherent benefits that the so-called tea brings. This is called the tisane, an infusion of various plants which may include fresh or dried flowers, roots, leaves, seeds or bark of trees, without the tea plant.
There is also what is termed as flavored tea, which is the actual tea plant or processed tea plant like green tea, black tea, white tea or oolong tea mixed with a plant or flower. This is done to enhance the inherent properties of the tea with that of the flower’s or plant’s medicinal properties, like Earl Grey is black tea with bergamot or Jasmine tea is Oolong tea with Jasmine flowers.
The hype about herbal Chinese tea is that whether you go for the traditional or the flavored tea both types are consumed for their medicinal or health benefits. However, there are also safety precautions that should be taken because some herbs may have toxic or allergic reactions. The fact remains that herbal teas cannot make substantiated claims of their medicinal effects because these are traditional to Chinese or Asian cultures only and no documented studies have been made on these herbal teas.
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