5 Medicinal Teas Every Kitchen Should Have
Herbs, plants and seeds are so strong and effective that even drug wars have been started over them. The trick is to drink them in pure form without fillers or artificial sweeteners blocking their medicinal powers. Whether you grow your own plants, buy from a trusted farmer or shop at local health food store, be sure to get the highest quality of herbs possible when steeping brews and elixirs.
From nausea to indigestion, sore sore throats to stuffy noses, herbal teas can offer soothing relief. Instead of popping a pill that will temporarily mask your symptoms, next time try to sit and relax with a hot cup of tea. These five teas are known for their medicinal benefits. Keep them stocked in case you experience any of the symptoms addressed. Unlike medications there will be no dangerous side effects, so sit back and relax.
It is true, this herb growing like a weed in your yard can be harvested for medicinal properties and is often eaten in fancy restaurants. I was served dandelion delicacies more than once while living in New York, please note that the mature greens are very bitter! In the UK, the flowers and young leaves which are not bitter were made into Dandelion wine and in India, it is used as a liver tonic. Dandelion tea can be found at your local health food store by both Alvita or Traditional Medicinals. I recommend everyone living in an urban environment, breathing conditioned air, drinking any alcohol, using any chemical cleaners, or eating any processed foods to drink dandelion tea as it supports the liver in removing toxins from the body.
The dried ripe seeds and fennel oils are harvested for medicinal purposes. Fennel is very effective in relaxing the colon, increasing the flow of breastmilk, and it is often used for babies with colic. In India fennel seeds are often served to chew on after a meal. The chewing and fennel itself further stimulate digestion and the oils freshen the breath. After a full meal, TV ads try to convince us to reach for a Tums or a stomach acid blocker. This is a dangerous way to experience quick relief with many side effects in the future. Next time you feel indigestion after your meal, cozy up on the couch with a hot cup of fennel tea or simply chew on some fennel seeds. If the seeds are hard to come by, fennel teas can be found in tea bags at most stores.
Ginger has been harvested for centuries for its medicinal uses in nausea, inflammation, and many other digestive disorders. Researchers believe that not only do the chemicals in the ginger root affect the digestive organs, but they are effective in the brain and the nervous system too. I recommend ginger for morning sickness, for motion sickness and for general upset stomach. Unlike Benadryl or Dramamine, ginger does not break down into toxic chemicals in the liver which is what causes nausea in the first place. Do your self a favor and test this ancient remedy. Skip the sugary ginger ale and go for the real deal,the spicier the better for nausea believe it or not. You can find ginger teas at most stores or you can simply peel and slice the root into some water and simmer it gently for 10-15 minutes.
Licorice Root Tea
My aunt Karen taught me about Chinese Licorice root tea 15 years ago. She used the root, which can be bought in most Chinese shops or real tea shops and looks like bark.The chemical in licorice root is often used in medicines and is thought to be one of the most under utilized plant for its medicinal value. Most people like the sweet taste of licorice root that is not nearly as strong as the black licorice candy we ate as kids. The tea will soothe a sore throat and helps in repairing gut lining. I recommend a good dose of licorice tea every time you feel hoarse or crave something sweet. Eating sweets late at night can damage the immune system, your metabolism and overall health, but there are no side effects from a hot cup oft tea. Pure licorice root tea can be found in tea bags by Traditional Medicinals or Yogi teas.
My mother has a green thumb that did not get passed down genetically. I try to recreate her gardens and landscaping but my plants seem to barely survive until she comes to doctor them all back to health. In her backyard she has a field of mint that grows like a weed. My transplants have barely survived enough to provide us the occasional medicinal tea. Peppermint is a well known healing plant for colds and aches and pains. The compounds in peppermint calm down spasms in the digestive tract and in the sinuses which is why it makes a great decongestant. The oils in peppermint draw heat to the skin which relieves pain so it can be used topically as well as orally. Drink a hot peppermint tea with your next achy cold, throw a few drops of peppermint oil in your bath and stimulate circulation in a congested body.
You may be surprised not to find Chamomile on this list or Turmeric Tea, both wonderful soothing teas for relaxation and inflammation. The truth is the list could go on and on forever. These 5 medicinal teas every kitchen should have are focused on digestion and elimination and can be enjoyed every day.
* Do not under estimate the potency of these plants, strong doses in the form of concentrated oils can have very strong side effects. Please be advised before using tinctures medicinally.