Tea and Their Benefits

It's that time of year where the weather keeps changing. Will it be a bright sunny day with the promise that summer is on the way or a blast of Jack Frost's snot? It's anyone's guess these days. However, I find that tea is good no matter the season, and if you find yourself feeling a little sluggish, sick, or stressed, maybe this post will help. 

*stay tuned till the end to get a special chai tea recipe from yours truly! ;)

Black

This is probably one of the most common teas you can drink. It's often the only option at diners and restaurants, but that shouldn't discourage you! So many people go for the fancy tea, but plain old black (with milk and sugar, lemon, or honey if you want) is a staple for any tea drinker. It has caffeine in it most of the time, which is good but not as strong as coffee. It also has health benefits such as helping with digestive problems, lowering blood pressure, and even helping with asthma.

 

Green

This is the drink that comes to mind whenever someone mentions "antioxidant" and for good reason. This type of tea actually comes from the same plant as black tea; it's just processed in a different way! There are endless benefits with this one, so I'll name a few: anti-aging, it's detoxifying, it helps lower cholesterol, and helps with weight loss, and most importantly, at least for me, it boosts your immunity! I still get sick from time to time,but I find that when I drink green tea regularly, I get sick a lot less. I haven't had the flu ONCE since I started drinking it. 

 

Jasmine

You might not know this, but Jasmine tea is actually just regular tea with dried jasmine flowers in it. It might sound strange, drinking flower water, but it tastes amazing and it's pretty easy to come by. This one is good for stress relief in particular without sacrificing that all-important caffeine. The smell is relaxing and the actual tea is soothing as well.

 

Oolong

This is the tea that is most often served at Chinese restaurants (if it isn't green tea that is). It helps boost your matabolism, makes you alert, is good for your hair and skin, and even helps prevent osteoperosis! 

 

Lemon Ginger

I drink this one quite often. If you're sick, this a good one for sinuses and sniffles as well as tummy issues. If you drink a cup in the morning, it helps get rid of bloating! It also soothes pain and is good for ovarian cysts! This saved me when my cysts were a nightmare and I wish more people knew about it.

 

Peppermint

This is the tea I always reach for when my stomach hurts. It helps easy any pain or gas and it tastes great too! Peppermint tea is also the one I choose when I want to get stuff done because the scent is strong and trains my brain that whenever I smell it, it's time to write. In addition, peppermint tea is good for bad breath and respiratory problems, and even fevers!

 

Chamomile 

This is the stuff that sleepytime tea is made of. I drink this whenever I have insomnia and while it doesn't exactly knock me out, it does help me relax. It is also good for menstrual cramps, rashes, swelling, and if you put it under your eyes, it can help with dark circles.

 

Lavender

Lavender is another calming flower that I often add to my tea. It helps with insomnia and anxiety, and when you add lemon, it's great for migraines!

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, so I often drink it when I have aches and pains. It also helps that cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors and I love anything with cinnamon! You can buy tea bags or simply add some sticks to your tea kettle with your regular tea. It also helps with bad cholesterol, improves circulation, and is rich in polyphenols, which help naturally stabalize blood sugar.

 

Matcha

Matcha powder is, in fact, just green tea. The leaves are ground up and you actually drink them along with the hot water instead of steeping them like traditional leaves, which makes it 10 times more powerful in antioxidants than regular green tea! One of the reasons I like this one so much is because it is the only type of caffeine (that I know of at least) that is both calming and makes you more alert without jitters. It's packed with good things unlike any type of coffee, and it doesn't make you crazy if you drink too much of it.

This type of tea is not for the casual green tea drinker. It's very strong, and packs a punch! But if you're adventurous and like green tea, I say give it a try! It's one of my favorites. :)

 

Rosehip

Rose hips are actually the rounded parts of the rose underneath the petals. They are high in Vitamins C, A, and E, and also have iron, magnesium, and potassium. in addition, this magical concoction can help improve mobility, reduce pain and joint inflammation, and is good for reducing cholesterol--particularly in people who don't use medication for it!

Like Jasmine tea, you can brew the rosehips by themselves or add it to your regular tea of choice. I like to mix in a little vanilla or almond extract, and it really makes it so you don't feel like you're drinking perfume.

 

Calendula

Another herbal tea, calendula is from another flower: marigolds!

This tea is crazy-powerful and packed with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. As a result, it's great for bug bites, rashes, eczema, small cuts and bruises, and sores. It speeds up the healing process while at the same time protecting against infection! How cool is that? 

*disclaimer: this tea can promote menstruation, so you don't want to drink it if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant. However, if you suffer from super long or intense periods, I would give it a try!

 

Nikki's Spicy Chai Recipe!

This is my go-to drink for when I want something nice and warm--especially in the fall and winter. It has a ton of spices and things that make you feel all fuzzy inside, so if you try to make it, let me know what you think!

*All of these measurements are pretty rough. After you make it a few times, you can tweak it more to what you like!

What you need:

  • 1 inch of ginger root
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper (or 6-10 whole pepper corns)
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 bayleaves, torn
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (or 3-6 crushed cardamom pods)
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 3-4 cups water
  • milk substance of your choice (I use almond milk, but any will work!), however much you want
  • sugar (however much you want)
  • 3 black tea bags (or around 3 tbsp of black tea of your choice)
  • a pot
  • a blender (optional)
  • some kind of small strainer

How you make it:

  • Pour water into the pot and add all of the herbs and spices. Wait for it to boil for around 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Cover and let steep for however long you like. The longer you let it steep, the stronger the tea!
  • Strain liquid.
  • Add however much milk and sugar you like to some of the chai liquid (I usually go by color with the milk--a nice light brown. Then around two teaspoons of sugar).
  • You can add this mixture to a blender to make it like a foamy Starbucks drink or just stir it like the rest of us mere mortals.
  • I usually store the leftover chai liquid in the fridge and it keeps for around a week! It makes around 3 or 4 cups, depending on how much of the liquid you add to your milk or sugar.

*This version that I make may be too spicy for some, but I like it that way. If you don't like spice, just tweak the pepper and bayleaves!