When Tea is Not a Tea
But when it comes to defining herbal tea, it would seem that it is not actually tea as we know it but an infusion made from any plant other than the Camelia Sinensis or tea bush. Herbal teas are made from leaves, roots, seeds or flowers with boiling water poured over them and steeping for a given length of time just as you would when making any tea. The liquid is then strained and served often with natural sweeteners. Popular examples of herbs used in making an infusion or tea are mint and chamomile.
A number of these teas have medical or other health benefits associated with them. There are teas or herbal infusions for weight loss, digestion aids, the common cold, headaches, as well as a number of other symptoms and because the various herbs can be combined there are an endless number of herbal teas to meet every health and dietary issue.
The Benefits of Herbal Brews
Many of these teas have very familiar names, one of the most well known being chamomile. It is a plant with tiny daisy like flowers and these blossoms, along with the plant are used to make an herbal tea that has been used for centuries to relieve ailments such as rheumatism, back pain and insomnia.
Another very simple herbal tea is rosehip. Rosehips are the round seed pods that form at the base of the rose and once the rose is gone these will ripen into bright red orbs chock full of vitamin C. They are used alone or in blends with other herbs to make an herbal tea rich in antioxidants.
One of the nice benefits with teas is that if you are trying to cut down on caffeine, herbal teas are not actually made using the tea leaf so these brews are caffeine free. So next time you're looking for a healthy alternative, try some herbal tea. There's a lot to choose from and you're sure to find one you like.