Herbal Infusions

With 7 days to go until the start of the Sugar Detox I though it would be a good idea to give you some information on Herbal Tea. If not for you, for me, seeing as I am going to stop consuming caffeine for the 21 days as well.

I have to be honest I was never a big fan of Herbal teas. However over the past 2 years I have discovered the hidden goodness and warm fuzzy feeling they bring along with them. I love how their aroma fills a room; it immediately transports me to some exotic land where I am queen! Add a beautiful tea cup or even tea pot and within minutes I feel on top of the world, what can I say I love pretty things!

There is such a vast variety of infusions out there these days you are almost guaranteed to find one that you LOVE. For those of you (and me) who struggle to get excited about one of the healthiest, green tea – lets explore a few more and the reasons why they are a great way of warming up and rehydrating.

Herbal tea has lots of amazing health benefits; they are not only caffeine free but also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that herbal tea is not really a TEA? I didn’t! Tea comes from a specific type of plant, the Camellia Sinensis bush. Herbal tea is an infusion also known as Tisanes, of leaves, seeds, roots, flowers, grasses or even bark. These are combined and then extracted in hot water. This way we get all the benefits of the individual plant product.

Some of the most common positive & negative effects of Caffeine

Positive effects

  • Caffeine increases levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and glutamate.
  • Acetylcholine is associated with attention, concentration, learning, and memory but there is no conclusive evidence yet that caffeine has any effect on memory and cognitive function.
  • Low doses of caffeine show increased alertness and decreased fatigue.
  • Caffeine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate.
  • Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, and use of caffeine is studied as a treatment for the Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms.
  • Caffeine may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Caffeine may be a source of healthful antioxidant activity against some free radicals inside the body.
  • Caffeine may increase the effectiveness of gastrointestinal uptake of some pain killers, especially in patients with migraine and headache medications.
  • In these studies, the greatest benefits were observed in those who drank coffee for a long period in their lifetime.

Negative effects

  • Caffeine can increase blood pressure in non-habitual consumers. High blood pressure is associated with an increase in strokes, and cerebral vascular disease, which in turn increase the risk of multi-infarct dementia.
  • Caffeine may reduce control of fine motor movements (e.g. producing shaky hands)
  • Caffeine can increase cortisol secretion, some tolerance is developed.
  • Caffeine can contribute to increased insomnia and sleep latency.
  • Caffeine is addictive. Caffeine withdrawal can produce headache, fatigue and decreased alertness.
  • High doses of caffeine (300 mg or higher) can cause anxiety.
  • High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of experiencing auditory hallucinations.
  • High caffeine consumption accelerates bone loss at the spine in elderly postmenopausal women.

AS WITH ALL THINGS (except processed sugar that has no benefits and should be removed from the face of the earth) BALANCE IS KEY

The most noted and general benefits of herbal teas are:

  • Achieving a more calm and relaxed state of mind
  • Supporting a healthy heart
  • Aiding with stomach and digestive problems
  • Providing cleansing properties for the body
  • Promoting energy and wellness
  • Nourishing the nervous system
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Providing antioxidants to the body
  • Boosting energy levels and invigorating the body
  • Relieving stress
  • Helping to avoid colds by boosting the immune system
  • Stimulating the internal organs
  • Promoting a good night’s sleep.

“In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill,” says herbalist Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Peterborough, Ont. "You’re getting the benefits of hydration. There’s the social element: Tea is something that you can share with people. And when you’re drinking herbal tea, you get aromatherapy at the same time—and that’s something you don’t get from a tablet!”

Some of the most commonly used ingredients found in Herbal Teas:

  • Allspice – helps to soothe the common cold and relieves upset stomachs
  • Anise seed – aids digestion and freshens the breath. It can also soothe a cough and improve bronchitis.
  • Blackberry Leaves - Studies suggest that the leaves contain a healthy dose of flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant activity.
  • Cardamom - Cardamom tea helps treat indigestion, prevents stomach pain, and relieves flatulence. It’s also helpful to drink a glass of cardamom tea if you are feeling nauseous
  • Chamomile – is renowned for its calming properties and is also said to be anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic and used for insomnia.
  • Chrysanthemum – is sweet-tasting and is able to reduce body heat resulting from fever. It also helps protect against liver damage and neutralises toxins.
  • Cinnamon – is calming and helps to support healthy circulation and digestion.
  • Echinacea - Echinacea is widely used to prevent or cure the common cold. It’s a powerful herb that contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and have antioxidant effects.
  • Ginseng – stimulates vitality and helps the body stay healthy.
  • Ginger root – is excellent for improving circulation, and is one of the best herbs for improving digestion, nausea, lung congestion, and arthritis.
  • Green Tea - 
Green Tea comes with such a host of health benefits, that it’s called the ‘wonder herb’ by tea drinkers and medical practitioners alike.
Drinking green tea lowers cancer risk and also inhibits carcinogenic in cigarettes and other compounds when imbibed. Green Tea contains potent antioxidants called polyphenols, which help suppress free radicals. Green tea also stops certain tumors from forming. Green tea lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and thereby promotes heart health. Green tea also lowers blood pressure, prevents and fights tooth decay and dental issues, and inhibits different viruses from causing illnesses
  • Hibiscus Flower - Hibiscus tea is known to lower blood pressure, reduce high cholesterol and strengthen the immune system (it’s rich in Vitamin C). Hibiscus flower infusions have known to reduce hypertension as well, in people prone to this condition
  • Hawthorne – strengthens the heart and increases blood flow.
  • Lavender - A cup of lavender tea can soothe your mind and body, inducing sleep. If you are feeling down and depressed, a cup of lavender tea can help uplift your spirit.
Lavender tea helps sooth and treat flatulence, colic, bowel infections and an upset stomach. Lavender tea can be used as a wash on the chest to help reduce cough, bronchitis, asthma, cold and other respiratory issues. For both children and adults, lavender is used to reduce body temperature during fever
  • Lemongrass – is frequently used due to its calming properties.
  • Lemon balm – lifting the spirit and improving concentration.
  • Milk Thistle & Dandelion – gentle liver cleansers that also assist in the production of bile, which in turn helps with the digestive process.
  • Nettle - They can also assist in the production of bile, which can help with our digestive process.
  • Parsley – is a diuretic and helps with kidney function.
  • Pau d'arco - has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of organisms including bacteria, fungi, yeasts (including Candida albicans), viruses (including herpes simplex types I and II, influenza virus, poliovirus and retroviruses) and parasites.
  • Peppermint – Stress relief, helps to soothe gas/digestion and reduce bloating.
  • Red Clover - use as a medicine for menopausal symptoms, cancer, mastitis, joint disorders, asthma, bronchitis, psoriasis and eczema. It is not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Rose hips – are a natural source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are a liver, kidney, and blood tonic, and are a good remedy for fatigue, colds, and cough.
  • Rosemary - . Rosemary can help your muscles to relax. Additionally, rosemary is an effective digestive aid as well. If you have gall bladder and liver complaints, drinking rosemary tea regularly will greatly help relieve your symptoms. Rosemary tea also relieves cough and mild asthma symptoms.
  • Sarsaparilla – promotes energy and healthy skin.
  • Slippery elm – helps to relieve stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal problems.
  • Rooibos – High in vitamin C and antioxidants. Also been known to help with common skin ailments such as eczema.

When choosing a herbal tea it is important to look for a well-sourced product made from high quality ingredients. Be cautious of products that add flavouring to their infusions. These days’ companies add chemicals to almost all anything so it is a good idea to do your homework. Remember to steep your tea for as long as 10-15 minutes to get the most out of your infusion.

Now go and enjoy a healthy soothing wonderful cup of Herbal Tea! And remember to stock up for the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Every day is a school day


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