Yesterday, we began a discussion on how teas could help with your individual complaints. Let’s continue on, starting at number four in our list of conditions that could be helped with different types of herbal tea.
- Infections — Depending on what type of infection you are suffering, different herbs may be good for you. For common colds and throat infections, try taking echinacea or licorice root as a prophylactic. If you are prone to urinary tract infections, give cranberry a go.Cranberry: Cranberry tea may help ease digestive complaints. However, you’re better off drinking straight
cranberry juice. Cranberries are an effective anti-adhesive that could keeps infection from sticking. It’s a proven prophylactic against urinary tract infections. Buy prepared cranberry juice or take fresh cranberries and put them through a juicer.Echinacea: This immune booster can help fight off colds if taken as soon as the first signs of infection appear. It is available in capsules and tinctures, or can be taken as tea.
- Licorice Root: Licorice root helps battle infections and lower fevers. Bring one teaspoon of licorice root to a boil in a covered pot with one-and-a-half pints of water. Simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Drink one tablespoon at a time — up to two cups per day.
- Pain — Herbs can also sometimes help patients deal with lingering pain. Try this herbal tea to see if it helps ease your aches.Devil’s Claw: It is used for many types of joint pain, most notably osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. It is a bitter herb known to stimulate appetite and help with an upset stomach. Pour one and a quarter cups of boiling water over one teaspoon of shredded, dried devil’s claw root. Let steep for eight hours in a covered container. Strain. Take one teaspoonful, three times a day.
- Mood and Energy — Teas are not just for your aches and pains, but they can also boost your mood and your energy levels, or relax you when you’re stressed. There are lots to choose from, so let’s take a peek at some of your best choices.Chamomile Tea: This anti-inflammatory speeds healing of minor injuries and rashes. It also soothes indigestion,
reduces stress and helps you relax. It is sometimes used as a treatment for ulcers, insomnia, colds and bronchitis. The active ingredients are flavonoids and essential oils.
Purchase a commercial brand of chamomile tea and follow the manufacturer’s directions, or steep one teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink hot.Ginseng: This known energy booster may also improve mood and boost immune function, Try a commercial
preparation from a reputable source or add half a teaspoon of powdered ginseng root to a cup of hot water. Drink up to three times per day and add honey or lemongrass to improve the taste.
- Green Tea: Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that are important in detoxifying a tired, overworked body. It has a bit of caffeine in it, but not as much as coffee or black tea. Purchase a brand of green tea that you trust and make it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Alternatively, you can purchase loose tea from an herb market or health food store. Pour one pint of water over one ounce of dried leaves and let steep for up to 20 minutes. Drink one or two cups a day.
- Valerian: Valerian is an age-old remedy for both insomnia and anxiety — it binds itself to brain receptors and exerts its sedating, calming effects there, as well as its muscle-relaxing effects. Those taking it have also reported no grogginess in the morning. Many commercial preparations are also available. Ask a health-food store employee or an herbal shop proprietor for a recommendation and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Gingko Biloba: This is more of a memory-helping herb, but don’t you feel happy when you know you’re developing a better memory? Ginkgo stimulates circulation, particularly in the brain. It is known to improve cognitive function and memory in all ages, especially the elderly. May help heart disease, angina, stroke, clogged arteries, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Raynaud’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and tinnitus. It is known to possibly help with impaired circulation in the legs. Ginkgo is reported to improve sexual function in both men and women. (Note: it could take one to three months to see results.) You can often find this tea at health food stores.
Now you see what a wide variety of herbal teas there are that you can add to your good health arsenal. Enjoy!