Tea is one of the oldest drinks in history. Some of that history is wrapped in wars, myths, facts, rituals, spiritual acts, wars, medicines, and refreshment. The first story of tea is found back in 2737 B.C. in China. The legend states that an emperor was boiling water when a leaf fell into it from a tree. The accidental encounter of leaf to boiling water sparked the beginnings of drinking tea for its refreshment. As time progressed it was found to have medicinal properties.
Tea made its journey to North America in the 1600s. The Dutch, who settled in New Amsterdam, (our now beloved New York!) brought it with them at a highly taxed rate. English providers of the tea taxed the colonists at heavy rates by enacting the Tea Act. This enraged them to dressing as Native Americans and dumping the tea in the water to rebel. This led to the fight for independence in 1776.
Tea is not a fad drink that will come and go. It has been fought over and sought after. It has been here a long time, and will remain one of the leading drinks all over the world for years to come. What makes tea have that “stay power” as a consistently popular drink?
- It offers delicious refreshment to your pallet.
- It can provide medicinal benefits.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Its cooling properties will make your body feel refreshed.
It’s important to understand that there is a difference between herbal tea and regular tea. Herbal tea is an infusion of parts from plants such as leaves, seeds, roots or bark steeped into hot water. When you drink a well-steeped herbal tea you are essentially drinking all of the plant’s benefits in a delicious and easily digestible form.
Regular tea is a drink made by pouring boiling water over the cured leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, which is an evergreen shrub from Asia. When visiting your grocery store, you will quickly discover that there are many types of teas, but they are all made from Camellia Sinensis.
When drinking to your health, you’ll want to choose herbal teas that are right for your skin, mood, energy, and your taste buds. So, which will you choose?
- Ginger Tea – If you’re struggling with digestive issues, this tea is for you. It can help ease nausea, vomiting and upset stomach due to motion sickness.
- Chamomile Tea – This calming tea is made from flowers. It can help you sleep and also help with digestion after you eat. It can also relieve cold and fever symptoms.
- Peppermint Tea – When struggling with bloating or gas, peppermint tea can offer you relief. It can also warm up your body and even cause it to sweat.
- Rosehip Tea – Rose plants make Rosehip tea. It offers great amounts of Vitamin C for your immune system, skin, tissues and adrenal function.
- Lemon Balm Tea – Just as a glass of lemonade lifts your spirits, so can lemon tea lift your spirits. It can help you with your concentration, and can offer major mood boosting benefits.
- Rooibos Tea– This tea comes in many different flavors. It is a commonly drank tea because of its flavor and its antioxidant properties. These properties can help with fighting off disease and also ward off signs of aging. Eczema seems to disappear in the presence of Rooibos tea.
- Dandelion Tea – Dandelion tea is known for its liver cleansing properties. It also can boost your liver to function at a higher capacity.
- Chrysanthemum Tea – If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, this tea is for you. It can also help with your dizziness, tinnitus, and headaches.
- Motherwort – Motherwort works to not only strengthen the cardiovascular system, but it is also known to drive melancholy from your heart and cheer your mind.
- Echinacea Tea – This tea is powerful in fighting colds. It can also boost your immune system against flus and other upper respiratory ailments.
While your herbal tea may provide medicinal benefits, they don’t have to taste like a cup filled with medicine. Herbal teas are meant to be enjoyed. When preparing your herbal teas, you should fill your kettle with filtered water. Heat your water to just before boiling level. Boiling water can damage the delicate flavors of your herbal tea. Add one teaspoon or one teabag per 6-ounce cup of water. Steep your tea for 5-15 minutes, depending on how bitter you enjoy your tea. Sweeten your tea with a little honey or a whole stevia leaf and enjoy the flavor and health benefits that your cup of tea will provide for you.
At Les Belles NYC, we’d like to remind you that everything you put into your mouth and body could affect the health and strength of your teeth. Choose your teatime drinks wisely, and sip your way to a healthier smile.