Herbal Tea Benefits
World Health Day 7th April 2013:
Theme: Addressing High Blood Pressure
The theme of World Health Day on 7th April 2013 is high blood pressure, also known as raised blood pressure or hypertension. Do you know what the symptoms are? Usually there aren't any - that why it is often referred to as the 'silent killer'. Many people only discover they have high blood pressure through some catastrophic life threatening, and often fatal event, such as a stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure is preventable, and can be countered by reducing the amount of processed/packaged food intake and eating a balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, tobacco as well as taking regular physical activity.
When people generally think of visiting a chiropractor, it's usually to seek relief for back pain or neck pain. Chiropractic does more than just treat pain; by adjusting the spine and improving the way the brain communicates with the body, this can improve the functioning of the nervous system. A number of scientific studies have demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments lower blood pressure:
In 2007 at the University of Chicago Hypertension Centre medical doctors and chiropractors conducted a study of a group of patients with high blood pressure. The patients were split up into two groups with the first group of adults receiving a course of chiropractic adjustments to their neck. The second group was given a fake/sham (placebo) chiropractic adjustment. 8 weeks after undergoing the procedure the 25 patients who had received the chiropractic adjustment had significantly lower blood pressure than the 25 similar patients who had received the sham adjustment with no side effects. The study tracked the effectiveness of adjustment to the Atlas Vertebra, also known as C-1. The Atlas vertebra is the uppermost vertebra in the body and holds the head up.
So what does a chiropractic adjustment have to do with blood pressure?
The researchers hypothesize that mis-alignment of the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow to the arteries in the base of the skull. If the vertebra is out of alignment and pinches nearby nerves, many patients many never experience pain, but they may experience the effects of misalignment in other ways such as higher blood pressure. By correcting misalignments through Chiropractic adjustments this can improve nerve function and combined with lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet this can lower and improve blood pressure without the need for medication.
Herbal Tea Benefits
Herbal teas are renowned for their benefits but what benefits do herbal teas actually have and why are they so advantageous to our health? Read on to find out more.
What is Herbal Tea?
Herbal tea looks like tea and is brewed in the same way as tea, but it not actually a tea at all. This is because they do not come from the Camellia Sinensis bush, the plant from which all teas are made. Herbal teas are actually infusions, and are properly called tisanes. Tisanes are made from mixtures of dried leaves, seeds, grasses, nuts, barks, fruits, flowers, or other botanical elements that give them their taste and provide the benefits of herbal teas.
Unlike other forms of tea, herbal teas contain no caffeine. They also taste great and are easy to drink. Your herbal tea may consist of one main herbal ingredient or it may be a blend of herbal ingredients, designed to bring about a specific purpose, such as relaxation, rejuvenation, relief from a specific condition, amongst other things.
Noted Benefits of Herbal Teas
Firstly, it is important to note that there is a huge array of herbal teas available on the market – each one designed to have a specific therapeutic or medicinal benefit. However, there are some general benefits that can be obtained from herbal teas, and these include:
- achieving a more calm and relaxed state of mind
- supporting heart health
- aiding with stomach and digestive problems
- providing cleansing properties for the body
- promoting energy and wellness
- nourishing the nervous system
- strengthening the immune system
- providing antioxidants to the body
- boosting energy levels and invigorating the body
- relieving stress
- helping to avoid colds
- stimulating the internal organs
- promoting a good night’s sleep
- it is caffeine free and tastes great
Some Common Herbal Tea Ingredients
There are many different herbs that can be found in an herbal tea, each with a different use. Some common ones include:
Allspice – helps to soothe the common cold and relieves upset stomachs
Anise seed – aids digestion and freshens the breath. It can also soothe a cough and improve bronchitis.
Chamomile – is renowned for its calming properties and is also said to be anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic
Chrysanthemum – is sweet-tasting and is able to reduce body heat resulting from fever. It also helps protect against liver damage and utralises toxins.
Cinnamon – is calming and helps to support healthy circulation and digestion.
Ginseng – stimulates vitality and helps the body stay healthy.
Ginger root – is excellent for improving circulation, and is one of the best herbs for improving digestion, nausea, lung congestion, and arthritis.
Hawthorne – strengthens the heart and increases blood flow.
Lemongrass – is frequently used due to its calming properties.
Parsley – is a diuretic and helps with kidney function.
Pau d'arco - has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of organisms including bacteria, fungi, yeasts (including albicans),
viruses (including herpes simplex types I and II, influenza virus, poliovirus and retroviruses) and parasites.
Peppermint – is good for stress relief. It also helps with stomachs and digestive issues and helps to freshen the breath.
Red Clover - use as a medicine for menopausal symptoms, cancer, mastitis, joint disorders, asthma, bronchitis, psoriasis and eczema. It is not
recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Rose hips – are a natural source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are a liver, kidney, and blood tonic, and are a good remedy for fatigue, colds, and
Sarsaparilla – promotes energy and healthy skin.
Slippery elm – helps to relieve stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal problems.
Making Herbal Tea
When you are making your herbal tea, use fresh, cold water. Do not use aluminium cookware as it can affect the taste. Use glass, cast iron, or stainless steel where possible. A tea strainer is very helpful as it lets you create your own blends of teas or herbs, and stops the leaves and flowers from escaping into the drink.
Once the water has boiled, add one heaped teaspoon of herbs for every cup of water. Cover and let the herbs steep for ten minutes. Do not over-steep the herbs as the flavour may become too strong and taste more medicinal rather than pleasant. If you want to enhance the flavour of your tea, honey or lemon can be great choices.