Hello dear readers!
It's the hottest part of summertime here in the northeast, and few things are sounding as refreshing as a nice tall glass of iced tea.
Tea has no calories, and no carbohydrates (especially when you remember to sweeten it with stevia, a natural herbal sweetener made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant).
Tea has been enjoyed for thousands of years not only as a satisfying beverage but also for its therapeutic benefits.
Many kinds of tea have scientifically proven health benefits due to their naturally occurring nutrients. Let's mention a few here to help inspire your own tea-brewing adventures!
Caffeinated Teas - Rich in Antioxidants
Black tea contains only about half the caffeine of coffee. It helps boost your body's resistance to infections, and is also demonstrating positive effects in helping prevent heart disease.
One of my personal favorites, it's a great digestive aid. Earl Grey's distinctive flavor comes from bergamot (a type of orange) which is thought to help digestion by stimulating stomach enzyme production.
This one gets lots of press for good reason, it really does help boost immunity. Green tea is richer in more nutrients and is higher in antioxidants than most other teas, enhancing its immune-boosting and anti-aging effects. It is thought to be more effective than black tea in helping prevent Alzheimer's. Green tea has been scientifically proven in research trials to be effective in the treatment of diabetes as well as cancers involving the stomach, prostate, and lungs.
I think this would have to be my all time favorite tea, if I had to choose one. Yerba mate tea is rich in polyphenols, like many other teas, which make it high in antioxidants. It's stimulating and soothing at the same time. It wakes me up while helping me work with a more clear and focused mind, no jitters or bouncing off the walls like with coffee or other caffeinated teas.
Herbal Teas (Also called Tisanes)
Touted worldwide for its benficial effects in cancer treatment, Pau d'arco tea (also called Taheebo) has a nice mild flavor and tastes great on ice. It is also effective as an antifungal treatment, which makes it a great choice for anyone with yeast overgrowth.
It has a very distinct flavor, and a gorgeous reddish color, and is naturally caffeine free. Richer in antioxidants than black tea, rooibos tea helps promote healthy skin and eases eczema, and can also help prevent cancer. It has anti-inflammatory properties which make it beneficial in the treatment of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and muscle cramps.
Need Vitamin C? Drink Rosehip Tea.
Elderflower tea can help alleviate allergy symptoms and hay fever.
Mint stimulates production of digestive juices and can ease the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome and aid digestion.
Peppermint tea also aids digestion, in fact, it has antispasmodic effects on the digestive system.
Chamomile tea helps soothe the nerves and relax muscles, which is what makes it a popular nighttime tea.
Ginger tea soothes upset stomachs.
Red Raspberry Leaf tea is a popular tea for women. It helps regulate menstrual cycles and is especially beneficial in the later months of pregnancy as it helps strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles.
My source for excellent organic teas & herbal tisanes
Tea Brewing Supplies
Basic Herbal Iced Tea Recipe
1 quart (4 cups) of pure water
4 tea bags of your favorite herbal tea
1 – 2 tablespoons dried stevia leaves, or 1 or 2 stevia leaf tea bags (or 10 drops of liquid stevia extract )
Bring the water to a boil.
Turn off the heat, add the tea bags and the stevia leaves & let them steep for about 5 minutes.
Strain and cool to room temperature. Serve over ice if you like.
Makes about 4 servings