The cooler breeze and shorter days are here, heralding the beginning of winter. The comfort of a steamy hot cuppa is just unbeatable when snuggling under a thick dunna is not the option one can take up everyday!
Winter is also the time we need to take extra care of our bodies and herbal infusion is perfect to do just that. Herbal remedies (and tonics) have been around for centuries and can be found in any part of the world. A lot of the age-old recipes have been rediscovered in the recent decades for their health benefits.
But I hear you asking, “Isn’t herbal tea “tea”? I don’t want any caffeine in my tea.”
Well, here lies the confusion. Herbal “tea” is not actually tea; hence containing NO caffeine. Nowadays we call any liquid yield from putting a bit of a plant or plants in a cup and pour in hot water “tea”, but strictly speaking, this liquid is not tea because it hasn’t got any tea leaves in it and should be called “herbal infusions”, or, if you prefer to say it with an exotic flair, tisane.
There are of course tea mixed with herbs, such as Jasmine Green Tea or Chai, so the best thing to do is read the ingredient list carefully before purchase.
As there are such an extensive list of herbs and they all have various properties, it is hard to go into all of them in detail. Here are a few and if you are keen to find out more, we have prepared a list of herbs and their health benefits for your reference. Click here to go to the “Herbs A to Z” page.
Cinnamon: Body warming, this herb is perfect to add into your favourite black tea with milk you can also use a quill of cinnamon to stir your cuppa to impart the sweet flavour of cinnamon.
Tea that has this ingredient: Chai Black Tea, Circulation Spice, Invigorate
Lavender: this fragrant herb can relax the body, relieve coughing and improve oral hygiene.
Tea that has this ingredient: Stress-Less
Ginger: Commonly used in Asian cooking, this spicy herb makes a germ busting infusion to calm the scratchy throat when warms the body. Have a small cup of this herbal infusion an hour before bed can help blood circulation and give you better quality sleep.
Tea that has this ingredient: Ginger Kiss, Cleanse, Invigorate
Rooibos: (red bush tea from South Africa) ideal for people of all ages, is drunk as a caffeine-free alternative to tea that can relieve insomnia, colic, headaches and skin allergy.
Tea that has this ingredient: Organic Rooibos, Field of Dreams
Rose: In Asia women drink it to combat the common cold (as it is rich in Vitamin C) and to tone their skin. Its also great for weight management.
Tea that has this ingredient: Moulin Rouge, Cherish, Relax
Brewing for herbal infusion is easy generally speaking 1 teaspoonful of herbs per cup, make it with hot to boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes. Adjust quantity or brewing time after trying the first cup. Use an infuser if you don’t like drinking petals.
Although most of these herbal infusions should be drunk as they are, some herbal infusions do taste great with “extras” such as honey in chrysanthemum and Moulin Rouge or a slice of lemon in Organic Rooibos.
And of course just like anything else we put into our body, moderation is the key. If you are unsure whether a herb will trigger off any adverse reaction, talk to the health practitioners about your concerns before taking the infusion. Always start with small amount to see how your body reacts to it, as we are all built a little differently
Don’t forget to check out our About tea/Health section under the Reading Room section, you will find articles we have collected relating health issues on drinking herbal infusion.
Minor update to this article: Nov 06.