Good Reads: Popular herbs offering unique health benefits

Popular herbs like Jasmine and Chamomile are great alternative to caffeinated brews with offering unique health benefits. These are often made from blend of natural ingredients, like dried leaves, seeds, grasses, barks, flowers etc.

Herbal infusions are steeped in powerful curative properties that range from an ability to aid indigestion to promoting relaxation. So lets look which herb in your tea bag is effective in treatment of which common ailment.

CHAMOMILE

Flower long loved for its soothing and sleep- inducing qualities. It’s petals have active ingredients which are further combined with other soothing herbs like Valerian. The blend is meant to lull you into relaxation.

LEMONGRASS

Lemongrass plant has a citrusy tang that is very much preferable in cooking as well as tea. Often served as after dinner drink for digestion primarily for Citral substance also found in lemon peels. Typically preferred unaccompanied by other herbs but can be blended to create lemon-flavoured gteas.

JASMINE

A species of the genus Jasmine (a shrub or vine in the olive family)— the flower is featured in tea blends. Most loved for its robust fragrance rather than its health value. Oils extracted from the petals of flower are often combined with a green tea or roobios tea to create the steaming concoction we enjoy.

PEPPERMINT

Often peppermint tea is either a mixture of black or green tea with peppermint leaves, or a simple peppermint tisane (referred to as mint tea). Menthol-containing leaves are believed to help soothe irritable bowel syndrome, nausea and other stomach-related ailments by calming the abdominal muscles and improving the flow of bile, which aids in digestion.

Echinacea

Thou there’s a debate on whether this herb prevents common cold but it’s widely acknowledged as a powerful herb containing active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and have antioxidant effects. Uppermost section of the plant is believed to contain polysaccharides (a substance known to trigger the activity of the immune system).

ROSEHIPS

Seed-filled red-orange pods that form at the base of the rose bloom, when boiled with water, produce tea with a tangy, tart flavour and pinkish colour. High concentration of vitamin C, the herb is valued for its immune-strengthening properties.

BLACKBERRY LEAVES

Leaves contain a healthy dose of flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant activity. Picked, dried in the sun and infused with boiling water, blackberry leaves are the essence of most berry-flavoured teas.

HIBISCUS

Herb favoured for its tangy flavour and known health value as a natural diuretic. Better known to us as the “zinger” in teas such as Celestial Seasonings’ Red Zinger, Berry Zinger and Lemon Zinger.

ORANGE PEEL

Zest of an orange peel is often the basis of orange, clementine, honey and tangerine teas. When dried and infused with boiling water, the peel produces a strong, aromatic flavour and is known for its immune system–boosting properties.

HAWTHORN

The plant is believed to contain flavonoid-like complexes that help in improving cardiovascular health by relaxing and dilating blood vessels, which increases blood circulation and lessens stress on the heart. Hawthorn berries are also believed to relieve water retention by draining the body of excess salt. The leaves, berries and flowers of the plant is used in variety of peach- and berry flavoured teas.

So next time you’re in the tea aisle, keep these tips handy so you can make a knowledgeable selection.