The health benefits of drinking tea | Healing yourself

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Herbal teas have been used for centuries as medicine and we still use them for their healing properties today. Tea isn't going to replace any important medication, but it might help to improve some health issues and generally make you feel better day-to-day.

We've rounded up some of the top herbal teas for common symptoms and the benefit of specific teas to help you find the one that works the best for you.

Tea that helps you lose weight

  1. Green tea is one of the best teas to help you lose weight. It is believed to boost the metabolism, which helps the body to burn more fat. This study showed that on an unrestricted, 2000 calorie diet, a group that drank green tea for the 12 week study lost an additional 3kg compared to the placebo group. They found that the group who had the green tea were expending more energy in a rested state and so the green tea was making the body burn more fuel for energy.  
  2. Matcha tea is also a great tea for weight loss because it is a concentrated powdered form of green tea, and so it contains the same benefits. Matcha tea contains catechin, which this study proved aided in weight loss. Obese Japanese men and women took catechin on a daily basis and continued with their usual diet and exercise. The group who took the catechin lost more weight and decreased their cholesterol.
  3. Oolong tea is considered to have an even greater effect on metabolism than green tea. The tea has been proven to increase metabolism, while also decreasing cholesterol. Research has also found that it also helps to prevent obesity if consumed long term.
Health benefits of tea

Tea that helps you sleep

  1. Chamomile tea has been used as a herbal medicine since ancient times. The tea has been proven to reduce the physical symptoms of poor sleep and even helps to reduce depression, however this has been concluded to be an immediate, short term solution. Drinking Chamomile tea may not improve sleep quality long term. Having said that, having a warm, un-caffeinated drink in the evening may help to get you to sleep and that alleviate the symptoms of many restless nights.
  2. Just like having a warm cup of chamomile before bed, lavender tea may help you sleep due to its aromatic properties. Lavender has been used throughout history to help induce relaxation. Again, like the chamomile, drinking lavender tea has been proven to improve quality of sleep but the effects wore off when participants stopped drinking the tea.

Tea that helps with headaches

  1. Surprisingly, caffeine can help to reduce headaches – especially caused by migraines. Green tea is therefore suggested to help reduce headaches. This should not be considered a long term fix. If your migraines are frequent, drinking caffeine on a long term basis can prevent the long term treatment of headaches.
  2. In addition to caffeinated teas, ginger tea’s anti-inflammatory properties is believed to be able to relieve headaches by relaxing the blood vessels and therefore improving blood circulation to your brain.
Health benefits of tea

Tea that helps with nausea

  1. Ginger tea is a great tea to drink if you’re suffering with nausea along with a headache or migraine. Ginger was shown to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant people and chemotherapy patients.
  2. Peppermint tea is believed to help reduce nausea as it relaxes your stomach muscles. It’s also a very calming tea to drink with aromatic properties, which aid in keeping nausea at bay.

Tea that helps with bloating

  1. Fennel tea is useful as a digestive aid and so it can be drunk after a meal to help prevent bloating. It is also used to treat muscle spasms in the stomach, which often makes it a great remedy for IBS sufferers.
  2. Peppermint tea, as mention before, relaxes your stomach muscles which helps to prevent muscle spasms. Better digestion means reduced bloating, so if you don’t like the taste of fennel, give peppermint tea a try.
Health benefits of tea

Specific teas and their benefits

The benefits of drinking green tea

Boosts your metabolism

Increases fat loss

Decreases cholesterol

Alleviate headaches

Reduces risk of cancer

Acts as an antioxidant

Source

The benefits of drinking chamomile tea

Improve sleep

Ease upset stomach

Treat heartburn

Reduce nausea

Source

The benefits of drinking black tea

Increased alertness

Increased energy

Acts as an antioxidant

Lowers risk of ovarian cancer

Lowers risk of heart attack

Source 

The benefits of drinking white tea

Antibacterial to protect against infections

Aids weight loss

Helps regulate blood sugar levels

Acts as an antioxidant

Reduce risk of premature ageing

Cold and flu remedy

Source 

The benefits of drinking ginger tea

Relieve nausea

Anti-inflammatory

Boosts blood circulation

Strengthens the immune system

Reduces bloating

Aids digestion

Source

The benefits of drinking oolong tea

Increase alertness

Increase energy

Aid weight loss

Increase metabolism

Source 

The benefits of drinking peppermint tea

Reduce bloating

Reduce nausea

Aids digestion

Relieves stress

Induces relaxation

Eases headaches

Source

The benefits of drinking rooibos tea

Acts as an antioxidant

Reduces risk of heart disease

Reduces risk of cancer

Helps to balance blood sugar

Improves digestion

Source 

The benefits of drinking hibiscus tea

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces cholesterol

Acts as an antioxidant

Reduces risk of cancer

Aids in weight loss

Increases metabolism

Natural antidepressant

Source

The benefits of drinking chai tea

Improves heart health

Reduces blood sugar levels

Reduces nausea

Improves digestion

Aids in weight loss

Source

The benefits of drinking matcha tea

Improves concentration

Promotes relaxation

Increases metabolism

Aids in weight loss

Reduces risk of cancer

Reduce risk of heart disease

Source

Remember that tea can't replace important medication and can't counteract a poor diet. But when you get the diet right and combine some herbal tea, you'll be surprised at how much a relaxing tea can help.

Photography: Rhys Herbert

Styling: Daisily