Herbal teas have been around for centuries.
On the other hand, herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices or herbs.
This means herbal teas can come in a wide range of tastes and flavors and make a tempting alternative to sugary beverages or water.
In addition to being delicious, some herbal teas have health-promoting properties. In fact, herbal teas have been used as natural remedies for a variety of ailments for hundreds of years.
Interestingly, modern science has begun to find evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of herbal teas, as well as some new ones.
Here is a list of 5 healthy herbal teas you’ll want to try.
Chamomile tea is most commonly known for its calming effects and is frequently used as a sleep aid.
Two studies have examined the effects of chamomile tea or extract on sleep problems in humans.
In one study of 80 postpartum women experiencing sleep issues, drinking chamomile tea for two weeks led to improved sleep quality and fewer symptoms of depression (1).
Another study in 34 patients with insomnia found marginal improvements in waking up during the night, time to falling asleep and daytime functioning after taking chamomile extract twice a day (2).
What’s more, chamomile may not just be useful as a sleep aid. It is also believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and liver-protecting effects (3).
One study also found that chamomile tea reduced symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, while another study in people with type 2 diabetes saw improvements in blood glucose, insulin and blood lipid levels (5, 6).
While more research is needed to confirm these effects, preliminary evidence suggests that chamomile tea may offer a range of health benefits.
Peppermint tea is one of the most commonly used herbal teas in the world (7).
While it’s most popularly used to support digestive tract health, it also has antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral properties (7).
Most of these effects have not been studied in humans, so it’s not possible to know if they might lead to health benefits. However, several studies have confirmed peppermint’s beneficial effects on the digestive tract.
Therefore, when you experience digestive discomfort, whether it be from cramping, nausea or indigestion, peppermint tea is a great natural remedy to try.
Ginger tea is a spicy and flavorful drink that packs a punch of healthy, disease-fighting antioxidants (17).
Evidence also suggests that ginger may help prevent stomach ulcers and relieve indigestion or constipation (20).
Finally, some studies suggest that ginger may offer health benefits for people with diabetes, though the evidence has not been consistent. These studies have found that ginger supplements helped with blood sugar control and blood lipid levels (25, 26, 27).
Hibiscus tea is made from the colorful flowers of the hibiscus plant. It has a pink-red color and refreshing, tart flavor. It can be enjoyed hot or iced.
In addition to its bold color and unique flavor, hibiscus tea offers healthful properties.
For example, hibiscus tea has antiviral properties, and test-tube studies have shown its extract to be highly effective against strains of the bird flu. However, no evidence has shown that drinking hibiscus tea could help you fight off viruses like the flu (28).
A number of studies have investigated the effects of hibiscus tea on high blood lipid levels. A few studies have found it to be effective, though a large review study found that it did not have a significant effect on blood lipid levels (29).
Nevertheless, hibiscus tea has been shown to have a positive effect on high blood pressure.
What’s more, another study found that taking hibiscus tea extract for six weeks significantly decreased oxidative stress in male soccer players (32).
Be sure to avoid drinking hibiscus tea if you’re taking hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic medication, as the two may interact with each other. Hibiscus tea may also shorten the effects of aspirin, so it’s best to take them 3–4 hours apart (30).
Echinacea tea is an extremely popular remedy that’s said to prevent and shorten the common cold.
Evidence has shown that echinacea may help boost the immune system, which could help the body fight off viruses or infections (33).
Many studies have found that echinacea can shorten the duration of the common cold, lessen the severity of its symptoms or even prevent it (33).
However, results are conflicting, and most studies have not been well designed. This makes it difficult to tell if positive results are due to echinacea or random chance.
Therefore, it’s not possible to say definitively that taking echinacea will help with the common cold.
At the very least, this warm herbal drink may help soothe your sore throat or clear up your stuffy nose if you do feel a cold coming on (34).