Whether you savor your tea by clutching a hot steaming mug, or think refreshing thoughts with an icy-cold glass of it in your hand, tea is more than just liquid refreshment.
There’s often a ritual associated with brewing a cup, and the purpose of that ceremony changes from day to day, and mood to mood. Taking time to honor those moments can help give us perspective, stamina and resilience.
Here are three teas for special needs:
Energy. When you need a pick-me-up, a good choice is ginseng, which has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. The benefits of ginseng, which typically refers to extracts of plants of the Araliaceae family, are associated with a group of ginseng-specific saponins known as ginsenosides and eleutherosides. The plant can provide an energy boost without caffeine or dangerous stimulants.
In addition to enhancing energy, ginseng can also help one’s concentration and memory, as well as support healthy immune function and cardiovascular health.
Pain relief. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a flowering plant whose leaves and stems are covered in sharp hairs that may cause a painful “stinging” sensation when touched. Stinging nettle has been studied for its effects on joint health and the body’s natural inflammatory response. As a tea, it offers vitamins A and C, the minerals potassium, calcium and manganese, plus antioxidant flavonols, phytosterols and lignans.
Calm. The passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) received its name several centuries ago from Spanish explorers in Peru. They thought the plant’s white flowers, with their bluish-purple calyx “crowns,” evoked the passion of Christ. Over the years, this plant’s flowers, leaves and stems have been used in traditional medicine for calming and sleep-promoting purposes, and to help with occasional restlessness and stress.
Passion flowers contain antioxidant flavonoids, including quercetin, rutin and luteolin, fatty acids and alkaloids. Experience their benefits in a delightfully aromatic tea made from organic leaves.
What’s your favorite tea for emotional and physical comfort? Share it with us in the comments below.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.