It's easy to be swayed by some of the latest and greatest health crazes, no matter how kooky they can sometimes seem. But depending on what you're looking to aid — a lack of quality sleep, sluggishness, or even just a sore throat, for example — a solid remedy could already be just sitting in your cupboard. And if it's not already there, it's easy to grab at your local grocery store, and might not even cost you more than a few bucks. Some of the best teas around aren't just great for sipping slowly on chilly days: They'll actually help with some common wellness needs.
Maybe you're trying to give up coffee for good but still want to feel energized, or maybe you're looking to revamp your beauty routine from the inside out. There's a tea to help with these issues and more — which is all the more reason to stay stocked up. While it's important to note that depending on your symptoms and severity, you don't want to sip tea instead of seeing doctor. That said, according to health experts like Jamie Bacharach, a certified herbalist and acupuncturist at Jerusalem Acupuncture, certain types might just soothe what's ailing you. Ahead, find recommendations from Bacharach and more experts for teas that could be your ticket to less stress, better digestion, and even a more supercharged workout.
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Rosemary Or Schisandra For Focus
“Depending on the type of tea you drink, your body is being given access to phytochemicals and antioxidants, both of which are very useful,” Kim Rose, RDN, CDCES, CNSC, tells TZR. “These kinds of nutrients may help combat fatigue and enhance cognitive function.” One herb that contains these? “Schisandra,” she says. “A great tea that contains this herb is Elements FOCUS drink. It not only contains 400 milligrams of schisandra, which may help fight distractions, but also citicoline, which supports brain power.”
Alternatively, Mona Dan, LAc., MTOM, an herbalist, acupuncturist, and founder of Vie Healing, suggests rosemary tea, among others like ginseng and ginkgo biloba. “Studies show that they have brain-stimulating components that support memory,” she explains.
Ginger Or Mint For Nausea Relief
For Rose, ginger tea has always been her personal go-to for nausea relief. “Research shows that the ginger root contains gingerol and shogaol, which are bioactive compounds that may help alleviate nausea,” she explains. Dan adds that teas with citrus and mint are also great options (and ginger can be added to these as well). “Our Vie Healing Happy Tea has a blend of Moroccan, spearmint, and peppermint to give you the digestive support needed.”
Green Tea Or Garlic For Immunity Support
“Supporting your immune system requires a little ingenuity,” Rose says. For her, this means trying something outside the box — aka making a sort of “garlic tea” when feeling less than her best. “Garlic is full of allicin, which has immune-boosting properties,” she says. “Getting a warm cup of water, placing a crushed garlic peg, and flavoring it with a small amount of honey is one possible way to reap the benefits of allicin.”
Both Dan and Rose also recommend green tea if you’re not quite feeling up to a garlic drink just yet. “It’s packed with antioxidants that are supportive to the immune system,” Rose continues.
Peppermint Or Ginger For Digestion
"Due to its naturally high menthol content, peppermint tea has long been used to ease indigestion, relieve symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, improve the effects of IBS, and more," says Bacharach. "While peppermint should not be viewed as a cure or standalone treatment for digestive issues, it can certainly help to soothe the stomach in a pinch — naturally and safely."
As for ginger, the herbalist notes that those natural compounds Rose previously mentioned (gingerols and shogaols) can promote stomach contraction and movement. "This helps to promote digestion and soothe digestive irritability, as well as issues connected to digestion such as nausea and vomiting," she says. "Fresh ginger works best to soothe the digestive process but dried tea can be effective as well."
Turmeric Or Lemongrass & Honey For Sore Throat
"Thanks to potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties, turmeric can effectively reduce or even eliminate sore throat and its associated discomfort," says Bacharach. "The irritation and pain stemming from sore throat are reduced by turmeric's natural medicinal properties, helping to provide instantaneous relief. [It] has also been shown to promote immunity, which can help it to prevent sore throat as well."
Both Dan and Rose recommend a similar alternative: lemon or lemongrass tea mixed with honey. Dan explains that citrus can be soothing to the throat, while Rose says that lemongrass has “antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may get to the root cause of the irritation.” The honey, she continues, is rumored to be a natural cough suppressant.
Chamomile Or Matcha For Anxiety
"A powerful but natural stress-reliever, chamomile is capable of easing anxiety other stress-related conditions," the herbalist explains. Alternatively, Rose recommends matcha. “The latest buzz is that it has a calming effect that may help with anxiety,” she says. “Ceremonial grade matcha is high in antioxidants. As a result, it may have a positive effect on cognitive function and overall mental well-being.”
That said, Bacharach is quick to mention that chronic issues might better be left to medical professionals. "While chamomile can be relied upon to reduce feelings of anxiety, any severe anxiety-related illness should receive more serious attention and treatment."
Green Tea Or Pu-erh For A Workout Boost
Bacharach notes that green tea's catechin, a natural antioxidant, can boost metabolic functioning, and matcha, a concentrated powder form, can amplify these effects. Green tea is also great to sip post-workout due to its anti-inflammatory effects and its moderate amount of caffeine, which can keep you feeling energized. Dan, on the other hand, recommends pu-erh: “A great fermented tea to give the body an extra boost.”
Tulsi/Holy Basil Or Valerian Root For Stress & Sleep
While holy basil has a ton of other benefits (like anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties) one of its superpowers as an adaptogen is its ability to reduce stress by regulating cortisol levels, which also leads to a better night's sleep. Dan also suggests valerian root tea, which has been used to treat insomnia for centuries — mixed with a magnesium-based powder, “it’s great for really relaxing the body and mind,” she says.
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