Unlike regular teas such as green tea, black tea, and oolong tea which are made from Camellia sinensis or tea plant, herbal teas are made by mixing various herbs, spices, fruits, seeds, roots and other plants. Herbal teas, also known as herbal teas, do not contain caffeine and are popular for their taste and health benefits.
Lately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the health benefits of herbal teas have come to the fore. We spoke to India’s leading sommeliers and tea experts to learn more about the health benefits of herbal teas. Here’s what they had to say.
Health Benefits of Herbal Teas
1. Strengthens immunity
Neha Mary, tea sommelier at The House of Tea says, “Herbal teas are packed with amino acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that work to relax and rejuvenate the mind, detoxify the body, increase immunity, stabilize metabolism and maintain healthy skin cells. In particular, turmeric tea stimulates the immune system.”
Kausshal Dugarr, CEO and Founder of Teabox adds, “Herbal teas are very beneficial in helping the immune system. They protect the body against oxidative stress and help fight disease and infection, reducing the chronic disease risk.” Herbal teas from elderberry, echinacea, ginger and licorice are also well known for their immunity boosting properties.
2. Reduces inflammation
Dugarr adds, “Another observed benefit is its anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal teas that contain ingredients such as eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint and turmeric help soothe any distress due to arthritis, headaches, hemorrhoids, body aches and even nausea.”
Aditi Singh and Karishma Jasra, co-founders and nutrition experts of Rooting Back say, “Peppermint tea is best as a natural pain reliever because it is a great boon to women for menstrual cramps. It is beneficial for children and helps cure allergies, colds and itching or rashes.”
3. Help to sleep
“Chamomile is a natural remedy for sleeplessness. During the pandemic, as many of us struggle with our sleep schedule, sipping a cup of chamomile tea is beneficial. Its soothing properties revive your nervous system. Even when I need to put the power off for a busy day, I brew a cup of chamomile tea. Since it is 100% caffeine-free, it is perfect for soothing sips anytime of the day, ”says Snigdha Manchanda, founder and tea sommelier of Tea Trunk. Chamomile tea also release chemicals in the brain that fight against depression.
4. Helps in digestion and weight loss
“Most herbal teas, depending on their ingredients, have properties of detoxifying the body and help the digestive system. They are also a favored drink for reducing weight because they act as appetite suppressants reducing the urge to overeat,” adds Dugarr. In particular, fennel, lemongrass, mint, and spearmint teas are beneficial for digestion and weight loss.
5. Relieves Stress
Rudra Chatterjee, CEO of Luxmi Group says, “As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, people are looking for drinks that relieves stress in the form of tea that also has healing and medicinal properties. Herbal teas are considered natural remedies for a number of ailments such as anxiety and stress, among others.” Lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, and gotu kola teas are great for combating stress.
Our favorite local herbal tea brands
In recent years, there has been a boom in the Indian herbal tea landscape. Here are some of our favorite local herbal tea brands that you should check out:
This brand of artisan tea offers a range of herbal teas directly from family estates across the country. Their Lavender Dream, Floral Blossom, and Citrus and Spice teas come highly recommended.
2. Oh Cha
Boutique tea brand Oh Cha offers conventional herbal teas such as chamomile, hibiscus, jasmine and lemongrass teas, as well as experimental blends like blueberry cheesecake and whiskey tea. Their best-selling herbal tea is Dream Tea, which includes lemongrass, chamomile, nutmeg and lemon balm – perfect for relaxing after a long day.
3. Tea trunk
Offering a wide range of unique blends, Tea Trunk also allows you to make your own blend by choosing your favorite herbs and plants. We love Tea Trunk’s chamomile tea, which comes from the Himalayan foothills and can be brewed both hot and iced.
4. Karma kettle
Karma Kettle’s herbal tea blends include ingredients such as butterfly pea flower, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, sea buckthorn, spearmint, and lemongrass. Each herbal tea is endowed with a multitude of health and wellness benefits.
5. Tea box
Herbal teas from this local startup are very popular. The highlights of their range include the Pure Chamomile Tisane, the Rajasik Ayurvedic Chai and the Hibiscus Lemongrass Tisane.
6. Chai crafts
Calcutta’s Chai Craft wellness teas are based on Ayurveda. Their herbal teas contain a variety of flowers, seeds, roots, leaves and bark. Our favorites are their peppermint and spearmint teas.