Herbs are commonplace in most cuisines and you can find a selection of them in nearly every pantry in the United States. But despite being common, they are often underused. In some European countries they make teas from herbs, in some Asian dishes they make herbs the centerpiece, and don’t even get us started on how obsessed the Greeks are with oregano or the Indians are will cilantro.
They are highly nutritious, packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and unique compounds that can do everything from detox you to improve the heath of your brain, your heart and your muscles. So, start bringing herbs to the foreground and start using them more with these herb teas.
Popular in Greece and in Balkan countries, sage tea is made from common sage, the same stuff that you use to flavor meat and sauces, only it hasn’t been sitting in someone’s pantry for several months. Sage is also burnt as part of certain pagan and new-age rituals, as the smoke is said to help with everything from “metaphysical cleansing” (now that’s an effect you won’t find on WebMD) to energy.
If we get back to the actual scientifically proven health benefits, sage is packed full of many vitamins and minerals. 100 grams of this stuff, which is 300 calories worth, will give you 100% to 200% your RDA of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron and calcium. 100 grams is likely more than you are ever going to consume in a single sitting, but it gives you an idea of just how potent this herb is and just why it features in a host of health foods and supplements.
It also contains everything from copper to vitamin K and is very low in everything that is bad for you, including cholesterol, sodium and sugar. It’s as natural and as healthy as plants get, so start brewing yourself some sage tea today.
Another popular herb with a strong flavor, rosemary is also loaded with health benefits and packed with nutrients. It contains something known as Rosmarinic acid, which can be found in many healthy herbs but was first synthesized in rosemary, from which it takes its name. This compound is a powerful antioxidant and offers an array of benefits, from helping the body to fight against chronic disease to limiting inflammation.
Rosemary is also a great source of many nutrients. 100 calories worth of this potent herb is enough to provide you with nearly half of your RDA of calcium, iron and manganese, and a third of your RDA of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It will also give you 20% of your RDA of folate, vitamin A and magnesium.
In many ways, including the nutrient composition, it is similar to sage. So the one you choose really all comes down to taste. If you enjoy the taste of both and want to experiment, then try drinking both of them. If you prefer one, then that should still be enough to give you all of the aforementioned benefits.
Roses are beautiful flowers, but let’s be honest, they are not the easiest to grow and they don’t live very long either. In the west the vast majority of roses are grown to be sold on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, when everyone seems to want to buy their own bunch. In other countries, including the Middle-East, roses are more commonly eaten or made into edibles.
If you have ever tried rose water then you will be able to attest to just how delicate, fragrant and tasty they are. And if you’re feeling particularly ambitious then you can even make rose tea out of them. Proponents of this drink claim that it can help in a number of ways, from supporting the urinary system, much like dandelion root, to helping cure a sore throat, strengthening the immune system and keeping your skin healthy.
The actual nutritious value of rose petals is limited. The petals are 95% water, with few oils to beef up the calorie count or to provide any notable vitamins or minerals. But they taste great and there is hundreds of years worth of anecdotal evince claiming that they can provide the user with an assortment of amazing health benefits.
Peppermint tea is a popular type of tea here in North America and around the world. But there are many other beneficial plants in the mint family. This is an all-round potent herb that provides a wealth of digestive benefits, from soothing indigestion to helping with acid reflux and bloating.
On a gram by gram basis it is not quite as potent as the other herbs on this list and because it has a very strong, menthol taste, you will also use less of it. However, it’s still a herb tea that you can consider consuming on a daily basis because the menthol can help with an assortment of ailments (including congestion) and the other oils and compounds can soothe the digestive system.
Thyme is an amazing herb and one that has been studied for an array of health benefits. One of the most promising of these is its effect on skin complaints such as acne. In 2012 a team of researchers found that a tincture of thyme was one of the most effective natural solutions available, something that seems to have resulted form its potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
It is not alone in having these properties and you can find them everywhere from sage to honey, but they are very potent in thyme and that bodes well for drinkers of thyme tea and for users of thyme essential oils. There are also studies that have linked this herb to a reduction in blood pressure and heart rate, while others have suggested that it could be effective at treating coughs and at boosting the immune system.
Maybe it’s thyme to add this tea to your daily regime?
Groan all you want, you know we couldn’t let this one pass without at least 1 corny joke.