Tea is a beverage enjoyed around the world both for its taste and its health benefits. There are many varieties of tea on the market today, and it's important to understand their differences before selecting the right herbal tea for your needs. Black, green and white teas are produced from a plant called the Camellia sinensis. These are the most traditional varieties of tea and contain caffeine. You will also find rooibos and honeybush teas (also called red tea), which are produced from a shrub that grows in South Africa and pure herbal teas that are made only from the roots, leaves and stems of various plants. These varieties of teas are usually free of caffeine. Red, black, green and white teas all provide key nutrients called antioxidants, which help to protect the body from cellular damage due to harmful molecules called free radicals. Pure herbal teas are often drunk as a part of folk medicine. Their uses will vary based upon their type. For example, German chamomile herbal tea is often used to relax the body and encourage sleep, while ginger tea is believed by some practitioners to alleviate nausea.
Choosing a Tea for Taste and Health
There are hundreds of herbal tea products on the market, and you may find it difficult to know how to begin choosing the right one. Start by considering your reason for drinking tea. Are you looking for a product to help you with a specific medical concern? Do you simply enjoy the taste? Do you hope to gain more antioxidants from tea? Once you know what types of benefits you hope to gain, you can narrow your focus to the type of tea that is best for you and refine your search further. Enjoy the convenience of single serve tea bags. Keep in mind that the health benefits of tea still require verification through research in most cases, and some teas may cause side effects. Products that contain caffeine could leave you feeling jittery or restless, and chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people. It is also possible for herbs to interact with medications. As an example, ginger root can interfere with blood thinning drugs, diabetes drugs and high blood pressure medication. You should consult your doctor about the benefits and possible risks of using any herbal tea.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.