Herbal teas can be wonderful for improving your overall sense of wellness. They can more accurately called herbal infusions, as they don't contain any tea. And of course you don't necessarily need to use a teabag: you can create your own herbal infusions quite easily from many leaves and flowers you might find growing wild: nettle and dandelion, for instance. Others are created from leaves or roots that you can buy from a local store or supermarket, such as root ginger or peppermint leaves.
Still, there's also a delightful market of wonderful ready-made tea bags, many of them organic, to tempt your tastebuds. And while many people reach for teas in cold weather, they are great all year round.
In particular, if you are trying to manage your weight, herbal teas may be a surprising source of help.
- Many herbal infusions aid with digestion in one way or another: reducing heartburn; increasing blood flow to the digestive system; absorbing gas; providing a laxative effect; increasing digestive enzymes. Check out such top picks as ginger, fennel, dandelion, peppermint, nettle, lemon verbena, lemon balm, chamomile and liquorice.
2. Just the fact of reducing your stress, which numerous herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, lavender and ginseng do, will also help keep you away from comfort eating.
3. It's been shown that having something warm, rather than cold, be it food or drink, increases your sense of satiety. So, a herbal tea will reduce your hunger pangs and cravings. I especially love liquorice, or a liquorice and peppermint blend for this, as the sweetness of liquorice as an after dinner treat replaces my desire for dessert.
4. How many people have taken up smoking to stop them snacking? It's well known that it's easier to replace one habit with another. Far healthier, though, to sip a cup of tea, rather than mindlessly snacking.
5. Many people suffer unwittingly from dehydration and it's common to reach for food when you feel that need. However, you can satisfy the true desire with a herbal tea that has no calories, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
So, why not try replacing a snack with a herbal infusion, or sipping a warm brew after a meal rather than reaching for dessert?